Load WordPress

Learning how to load wordpress and setting it up correctly is a core skill.

How To Install and Customize WordPress

This tutorial will teach you how to install WordPress, the very popular blog and content management system, using Fantastico in cPanel. It is a very simple task thanks to Fantastico. In order to complete this tutorial you will need to be using a hosting provider that offers cPanel web based management software. If you followed our previous instructions on hosting it will be easy.

Log into your cPanel account and click the Fantastico icon (happily pictured below). This is usually at the bottom of the cPanel page.

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With the Fantastico window open, click on the WordPress link located in the Blogs section.

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The WordPress page will open and you will see a short description of what it is.

Verify that you have enough free space and then click the New Installation link.

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You will see the New Installation options.

First is the installation location.

Install on Domain: From the drop down, your domain should be selected. (If not select it).

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Install in Directory: Leave this blank if you want WordPress to be installed in the root of the domain. For example you will access WordPress at http://www.yoursite.com/ . .

If you want to specify a different directory, type it in this field. For example if you put ?blog? in the field, the url will be

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Now you will have to enter the administrator name and password. This is the username and password that you will use to access the WordPress dashboard to do all your work. You will not use the cPanel again but log in directly from your site…

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In the base configuration section, enter the following information:
Admin nickname: the name you want to display for the admin account.
Admin e-mail: the email address of the admin
Site name: your domain
Description: What your site is about.

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Optional: I just put in 123 as we don’t usually post via email.  This is for emailing into your WordPress which we don’t use much so just enter any old password click on the install WordPress.

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The installation will tell you what updates have been made. Click the Finish Installation button.

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The installation is finished. You have the option to email the details of the installation to someone, or return to the overview. Put your own email in here.

Once your return to the WordPress Overview page, you will see that you have WordPress install in the ?Current Installations? section. Click the Visit Site button to view your new site.

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If you can see the site, your installation was successful.

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You can now start adding content to your site, change the layout, and take advantage of the power of the WordPress system. To login click the link on the menu to the right. Your username and password will be the ones that you enter earlier for the administrator. Happy Blogging!

Make sure you keep a copy of the username and password in a safe place.

Once you have loaded WordPress it is important to go through and clean up the installation so it is a skeleton ready for you to add your own material. For customizing we only need to go to a few tabs. We will discuss the rest later. The main ones we need to edit are Manage, Comments, and Settings. Design, plugins etc will be dealt with in their own workshop.

Lets go through this step by step.

Dashboard

When you first login you will be taken to the dashboard. You don’t need to do anything here but have a look through as there is some interesting material. Especially look to the right to see the current status and as you get more popular it will show some nice stats.

Once you have loaded WordPress it is important to go through and clean up the installation so it is a skeleton ready for you to add your own material. For customizing we only need to go to a few tabs. We will discuss the rest later. The main ones we need to edit are  Options.

Settings

Settings is probably the place where most people get confused. There are a number of things we want to do in here.

In the general tab you can configure the name of your blog and description. Its all fairly self explanatory. With certain templates this will be displayed in the header however we can also enter nothing and create a header with the information in it so it is up to you.

The only other section in here you may want to look at id the users section.

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If you want to let people register to your blog and post comments etc then tick the appropriate box and use the default role to assign what you want them to be able to do.

If you change anything make sure you click on the Update options button before continuing on.

Writing

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In this section you can choose where your post will go by default. Obviously when you write a post you can choose something else. On a first install this will be called uncategorized. I usually leave them at the default.

Under this is a section if you want to use posting by email. To post to WordPress by e-mail you must set up a secret e-mail account with POP3 access. Any mail received at this address will be posted, so it’s a good idea to keep this address very secret. Here are three random strings you could use: ba4f9, 0c2d5, 9d1a6.

Reading

In this section you can choose the layout for your readers. This is what appears when you write posts.

  • Front Page – is where you can either use the standard format or change the blog into a Content Management System like Blogging Empires. If you want it to be a standard blog where your posts are shown on the front page leave as Front Page displays your latest posts. If you want to set it up as a content management system them create a category called home and one called posts and select the ? A Static Page? and choose the home category for the front page and the posts category for all your posts. You can name them whatever. You could make a category called blog for your posts.
  • Blog Pages – this tells the software how many posts you want on the page before they go into the archives. No they don’t disappear they just get filed under the category you assigned them to and you and your readers can access them anytime by clicking on the appropriate category on the front page.
  • Syndication Feeds – is what people see if they request your feed. We will go into this later but my suggestion is that you leave it in the default settings. Especially make sure full text is ticked.

Discussion

Here are the best settings to have for this section. We will be adding in a plugin later to take care of any spam comments. If you want to moderate the discussion then choose the appropriate setting however it is best to let anyone post as long as they include their email.

Permalinks

This is the last section for customizing. Permalinks are the way your blog presents the url and it is important to change this not only so it looks nicer but also for the search engines. I personally just like the post name for the url. Makes it easy to navigate and just looks nice.

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Well that’s it for customizing. We are now ready to go and add some themes and plugins to add more functionality.

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