In this installment, we will put everything together and get your site online.
NOTICE! You should have completed the steps of part 1 of this series BEFORE you start here. If not, then please return to the first post in this series... You should have already purchased a hosting service, registered your domain name, assigned the domain to your hosting site and downloaded the WordPress software. You should also have recorded your login credentials for your host’s control panel (cpanel).
I use BlueHost as my hosting service and I recommend it but you can use any hosting service you choose. In this tutorial, I will describe the process of setting up WordPress on a BlueHost (BH) server. Not all hosting services use the same control panel or dashboard so if you are using another host, the names in each step may be slightly different but basically the process will be the same. If you want to make it easy, sign up with BlueHost (HERE) and this tutorial will work. Disclosure: Clicking on the Bluehost link will not increase your cost but Bluehost will give me a small fee.
Starting Info: There is a less-detailed instruction available at http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress and I would encourage you to look there if you have any problems following this tutorial. However, this is a more detailed step-by-step guide than the one at WP. Note: this tutorial assumes that you are installing WordPress software into a folder off the root of your webhost home folder and your website will be located at an address such as http://mydomain.com/blog – if this is not the case, then you will need to adapt the tutorial to your situation. Prepare WordPress: You should have already downloaded the latest version of the WordPress (WP) software (HERE) and saved it on your local disk. You now need to un-archive the file. After that, it will expand into a folder named “wordpress” that will be in the same location as the downloaded archive file. You can delete the archive file (but NOT the wordpress folder) after it is expanded. Set up Your Host: Using your browser, log in to your hosting service’s control panel (BH: https://www.bluehost.com/cgi/account/cpanel). (You must have your Username & Password that was established when you opened the account) Record your basic information: (BH: in upper left-hand column) It is a good idea to open a .txt file (with a text editor) and record all of this info there. Name it whatever you want but keep the .txt extension. Be sure to keep this file in a secure location (on a cd or thumb drive).
- Main Domain:
- Home Directory:
- Server Name:
- Password :
Choose “Files” then “FTP Accounts.” The system should have established the Username as be the first 8 digits of your domain name and the password associated with the account Username. This username should show that it has “root” access (meaning that the home directory is a forward slash “/”) If you choose to create another user account, do so on this page and record the credentials.
- FTP Username:
- FTP Password:
If your host will allow you to use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), then you will want to set up an SFTP (Secure FTP, port 22) account and use that. If not, then the standard FTP (port 21) access will work fine. Create a Database: Back at your hosting service’s control panel select “Databases/My SQL Database Wizard.”
- Enter a short name for your database (something like “blog” or “ray” – without the quotes – will be fine) then click “Next Step.”
- Enter a Username (could be “blogu” or “rayu”) and press the “Generate Password” button
- In the popup dialog, press “Use Password”
- In the next dialog be certain to RECORD THE PASSWORD then press CLOSE.
- At the main dialog, press “Next Step”
- Next, look at the top of the dialog & RECORD the names for the User and the Database.
- Select “All Privileges” and then press “Next Step”
- The final dialog will announce that the Database was created so just press “Return to Home.”
Edit WP: Back on your harddrive, find the wordpress folder and open it.
- Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.
- Open wp-config.php in your favorite text editor (DO NOT use a Word Processor) and fill in your database details (recorded in the “Create a Database” step above) as follows:
- Find the line that reads, define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘putyourdbnamehere’);
- Replace the “putyourdbnamehere” (the part between the single quotes) with the DATABASE name recorded above
- UserName: make a similar edit on the line for the DB_USER and put the UserName there
- Password: and again with DB_PASSWORD, enter the password that was generated in the previous step.
- Generally, you do not need to change the DB_HOST (leave it as “localhost”) but some hosting services use another name (check with your host).
- Find the line that reads, define(‘AUTH_KEY’, ‘put your unique phrase here’);
- Replace the portion between the single quotes with any collection of letters & characters that you wish
- Do this for the other three lines just below that one
- (Or, you can generate these phrases using the WordPress.org secret-key service – if you use this option, just copy all four lines and use them to replace the four similar lines in the file)
- Save and exit the file
Prepare FTP: Next you need to use an FTP client program. I recommend the FileZilla (FZ, “The Free FTP Solution”) program. You can download the appropriate version (Windows/Mac/Linux) here. When the program is installed, execute FZ and.. CREATE an FTP Connection:
- Click on “File” then “Site Manager”
- Press the “New Site” button & a highlighted entry appears in the window.
- Replace the “new site” characters with the name you will use for this FTP connection.
- Enter the “host name” in the appropriate field (on BH it will look like “box123.bluehost.com”)
- Change Longontype to “Normal”
- Enter your FTP credentials: Username (BH: usually the first 8 characters of your domain name… eg., “mydomain”) & your password.
- Click OK, the dialog will disappear.
- Again, click FILE/Site Manager & choose the connection that you just created
- Press CONNECT.
- If required, re-enter your password. After a few seconds, you should see a list of files & folders in the right-hand pane of FZ. Congratulations! You are viewing your HOME directory listing on the hosting service!
Create the Host Folder: Still using FZ, in the middle right-hand pane,
- Find the folder named “public_html” and double-click on it to open it in the bottom pane.
- Right-click on the “public_html” folder and select “create directory”.
- In the dialog box, name the folder something like “blog” or “wp” (without the quotes) and click OK.
- When the folder is created, double-click on it to open it for view in the lower-right-hand pane.
Copy WP to the Host: Still in FZ, in the left-hand pane,
- Locate the wordpress folder created in the first step above. Double-click to open the folder.
- Click once on the last file at the bottom of the list (should be xmlrpc.php).
- Move to the top of the list, hold down the shift key and click once on the top folder in the list (NOT the one that has 2 dots by it – it should be wp-admin). All of the files and folders should now be highlighted.
- Right-click on any of the highlighted files and select UPLOAD. The program should then start uploading all of the wordpress files to your “blog” folder on the host. You should see them starting to fill the lower right pane of FZ.
We are getting close! Wait until all of the files have been uploaded to the host before proceeding. When the transfer is complete (probably about 3-5 minutes), the top pane of FZ will display, “Status: Directory Listing Successful” Finally, Turn on WP: This is the final step and there is only one “got-ya” that you must watch for.
- Using your browser, visit your WP installation script at http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php (replace the “example.com” portion with YOUR domain name and the “blog” portion with the name of the FOLDER on the host where you copied the WP files – eg, “blog” or “wp”)
- If that fails, visit the main domain name (eg., https://bishoptec.com) and under the “Index of” click on the name of the folder that you copied the WP files into.
- The WP installation will ask you for the name of your blog (Blog Title), your email address & whether you want Google/etc to point users to your site. The EMAIL address MUST be valid!! This is where WP will send your login credentials. The data in each of these fields can be changed later so don’t get up tight with the Blog Name, etc.
- Fill out the blocks and press “Install WordPress”
- WP will create the ADMIN user and generate a PASSWORD. It should also send this info to the email address that you entered.
- Highlight & copy the password on the screen, then press LOGIN
- Enter “admin” for the Username and paste the password into that field then press LogIn.
- You will be taken to the admin control panel for WordPress where you can make any changes that you wish to the configuration. (Including changing the password for the admin if you wish.) I would not recommend making too many changes until you know what they do.
- You should create your OWN USER (different from the admin user) and complete the profile before you log out.
- When you have finished with SETTINGS, click on the “visit site” link in the upper left-hand corner (in the black line) to see what your new web presence looks like.
- If you wish for your site to be located at the root of your domain (e.g., https://bishoptec.com) vs in a folder (eg., https://bishoptec.com/blog) then you need to follow the instructions on the WP site here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Giving_WordPress_Its_Own_Directory
At this point, your browser’s address bar will show the actual address that users will need in order to visit your site. The appearance of your site may seem pretty bland right now but it will change DRAMATICALLY with just a few simple changes in the configuration. The NEXT article in this series will explain some of the setting for WP and how they can work for you. After that, we will cover add-on’s such as Themes & Plugins. These will extend the “look and feel” as well as the functionality of your site! Immediately, you may start creating categories & adding pages & posts on the site. (Note: Data that should be available and appropriate for a long time – eg., static data – should be saved as a “page.” Data that will be pushed back by newer articles should be saved as a “post.”) Regardless of the setttings and add-ons, the categories & contents of posts, pages, etc will remain unchanged.