In the previous posts in this series on setting up and tweaking a WordPress blog, we have discussed why setting up a self-hosted blog on an owned domain may be the best choice, and software that is useful for setting up and running a self-hosted WordPress blog. So now we are ready to go!
There are two different ways to go about installing a new WordPress blog. The first, and easiest, is to use an install script. The second is to do a manual install. But first of all:
Make a keywords file
Setting up a blog involves several new accounts and passwords. Do yourself a favor and create a file to keep all the new logins and passwords in. Before you are up and running, you will have created new logins and passwords to use with your domain registrar, your web hosting service, your MySQL database, your WordPress blog, and most likely one or two more!
From a security point of view, using different logins and passwords for each, and storing them in a file, is a much better alternative than using the same login and password again and again. Whether you use a Mac, Windows or Linux you can easily save your password file in an encrypted format.
Installing by script: The Easy button
Many of the popular Web hosting providers, for instance Bluehost, Dreamhost, GoDaddy, Media Temple, and others, provide installation scripts for WordPress and other popular software. (The image is from Bluehost.) These scripts are like easy buttons: One click, give some information; et voila – your blog is ready!
If that option is available, I can see no reason for not using it. Indeed, I have used buttons like those myself! Before I started to host my blogs on my own virtual servers, I often used this option. It is easy and fast, and it usually works very well.
The scripts may vary a little from one hosting service to another, but generally you will usually be asked a few questions about the name of the blog, and your user name and password after you press the button for the script installer. You just need to write down the information you give, as you will need it to log into the blog later.
If you are asked for information you don’t have, just take it easy, open a new browser window, get hold of the information, and provide it. Also, if something goes wrong during the installation (it doesn’t usually – the scripts are very good), don’t despair, you can usually just delete the install and start over again.
Manual install of WordPress: Step by step
You can skip the first step if you have received the name of a datrabase – for instance in an email – from your web hosting service, or if you have already set up a database.
- If you haven’t received it from your web hosting service, find out from your web host the name of your MySQL database, the user name you should use to connect to the MySQL database and the password for the database. You may have to create a MySQL database: your hosting service will have instructions for how to do this.
- Go to the download site for the newest version and download WordPress
- Unzip the files to your HD
- Use your FTP program (Filezilla) to upload the unzipped files to your server. If you want the blog to be in the root (http://yourblog.com), just upload the files inside the WordPress directory (not the directory itself) to the root of your server. If you want the blog in a subdirectory (http://yourblog.com/blog/), create the subdirectory and move the files there.
- Go to the WordPress site and follow the detailed instructions there. They have excellent instructions for the install itself!
Follow the steps there – the instructions are easy to follow. If you have problems, you can get in touch with me and I can assist you.
That’s it for this time. Now you have a WordPress blog, and the fun of installing themes and plugins and tweaking the settings, modifying the way it looks, and perhaps even making some changes to the code itself, can now begin!