Yesterday you should have registered a domain name and set up a Web hosting account (if you didn't already have them). Today you're going to jump into getting your website set up. We're going to use the self-hosted version of WordPress.
Rather than hosting a basic static website, I'm choosing to run you through website setup with WordPress. That's for three primary reasons:
- WordPress is very easy to use (if you can write in Microsoft Word, you can create pages and posts easily in WordPress.
- WordPress allows you to update your website from anywhere with an Internet connection (no need to be where your files are stored in order to upload the edited versions).
- WordPress is very adaptable -- you can incorporate a blog, directory, and other features easily. That said, WordPress can also operate like any static site. It doesn't have to be a blog.
Follow the steps below to get WordPress setup on your hosting account. Note: These instructions are the easiest method for those who used the recommended host from yesterday (or any host with Cpanel and Fantastico installed). Your process might be different if you use a different hosting provider, and you might need to do a manual WordPress installation instead (in which case you should follow their five minute installation tutorial).
1. Follow my previous instructions on how to install WordPress using Cpanel and Fantastico (when you login to your Web hosting control panel). If you have to setup your domain name as an add-on domain to an existing hosting account -- instead of being the primary domain setup already when you signed up for the hosting -- those instructions are in the post as well.
2. When your WordPress installation is complete, I'd like you to start looking for a theme (design) to use. There are many free WordPress themes available (including a couple that are exclusive to Query-Free Freelancer members in the members only section here -- designed by Chris Hennis). Chris also has some free themes at JungleJar.com. I strongly suggest looking into his as they tend to be clean, simple, and use understated tones that are ideal for professional sites as opposed to traditional blogs. Installing a theme can vary from one to the next. For example, in Chris' themes, you'll find installation instructions in the ReadMe.txt file included with the theme download (including the themes available on this site). Another option is to login to your WordPress installation (www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin), and click the "Appearance" link in the left sidebar. In the dropdown menu, then click on "Add New Themes." You can search for themes based on things like color schemes or layouts there, and simply click the "Install" link below the theme you want to install. That's the easiest way to install a WordPress theme if you're just starting out.
Now that you have your basics setup, tomorrow we can move on and talk about the different pages and / or sections you could (or should) add to your website, and you'll start to build your basic pages.