Getting Started Creating A Website with WordPress

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Creating websites these days are easier than ever with so many places that offer free tools for building your website while taking care of much of the coding framework so you just have to worry about the content.  The problem with a lot of these tool driven sites is that you have to host a lot of ads or additional content as the tradeoff for the free tools.  Especially if you are looking to try and make money online via ads or other means, it is much better to own your own domain name and configure your own framework for your content.  This may sound intimidating to many who have little or no experience with coding or have no idea where to begin. 

One of the increasingly popular and powerful platforms available these days to get a website up and running as well as to include many powerful plugins and preexisting code snippets is WordPress.  We want to take a look at how you can use WordPress to get started creating a website.  However, there are important first steps that need to be performed in order to get ready first.

Domain Name

  • You must first purchase a domain name

It cannot be emphasized enough as to how important your domain name is.  The domain name is the heart of your website.  Most likely you will want to choose a domain name that is keyword rich with the content that you are looking to publish on the web and present to search engines.

Hosting

  • Purchasing hosting is not necessary if you have some other means of housing your physical files where they are exposed to the Internet.  For most though, purchasing hosting is important to have a physical area to store and host your files as well as make Internet DNS servers aware of where to find your content.  DNS servers are like a phone book for the Internet allowing the IP addresses assigned to hosts to be mapped to user friendly names that we can all understand.
  • Choose your hosting company wisely – Pick a 2nd rate host, and you will be sorely disappointed.  There is absolutely nothing you can do to tune your website if the host that it resides on performs terribly.  Make sure to review hosting companies thoroughly and compare and contrast plans and features.  Do not always look for the cheapest host out there as the old addage of “you get what you pay for” is true most of the time. 
  • A good way to pick a great host for WordPress is to check out the hosting link at https://wordpress.org/hosting/ as WordPress.org will list their picks of reliable, high performance hosts that you will most likely be satisfied with. 
  • When looking for your Hosting company to host your domain name and website files, in thinking about using WordPress as your framework, there are a couple of requirements that need to be met in order for WP to function:
    1) PHP version 4.3 or greater
    2) MySQL version 4.1.2 or greater
  • Don’t just assume that your host provides these features as many of the lower level hosting packages may be barebones without any additional features or capabilities

WordPress Installation

Once you have purchased a domain name and found suitable hosting that has the capabilities to host a wordpress blog, you should be ready to get started with the wordpress installation.  The most basic installation steps include but are not limited to:

  • Downloading the latest version of WordPress
  • Extracting and uploading the files to the root of your hosting account
  • Configuring your database access on your hosting account, noting DB name, and configuring a user that has access to the DB for use with the wordpress configuration file
  • Configuring the wp-config.php file to include all the appropriate DB access properties, hostname, user, password, etc to connect WP to your MySQL DB. 
  • Running the initial WordPress configuration screens to configure your password and other configuration parameters.

A very detailed installation guide can be found on wordpress.org at https://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress