Introduction to Installing WordPress
For installing WordPress on your blog hosting account, simply log into your domain’s control panel: www.yourdomain.com/cpanel
There are two columns, an information column, and boxes of links. Scroll down while looking at the second column (the larger one), for the “Software/App Installers’” box.
When the page reloads, you’ll see that on the left side is the menu; the first section after “Navigation” should be “Blogs”. Click on “WordPress” to begin the installation.
The next page will show you your current installations if you have any, and a link to install a new instance of WordPress on your server.
When you click “New Installation”, a new screen will load showing you step 1 of 3; this screen will be the basic information step.
- You will choose the domain you want to install it on. This is done with a drop-down menu box.
- You can choose a directory. Unless you want it in a directory other than the main directory, you should leave this blank.
- Enter your username and password for access to the WordPress admin on your server.
- Enter the nickname for your administrator account. This will be what the name will show whenever you make a public post.
- Enter the email address for notifications regarding this WordPress blog.
- Enter the site name, not the URL.
- Enter a description of the site.
When you’re done filling in this information, click “Install WordPress”. A new screen will load, confirming where it’s going to install. Click “Finish Installation”.
Finally, the last page will show you your admin username and password, and give you a link to the admin area so you can bookmark it. You also have the option to send the details to an email address which you should do.
Installing WordPress Plugins
One of the first things you should do with your blog is installed some themes. When you go to your blog’s dashboard, click the “Plugins” link on the left column.
A new screen will load, and show you all of the installed plugins by default; initially, there should be two: “Akismet” and “Hello Dolly”. “Akismet” checks your comments against an algorithm to see if they’re spam; this particular plugin is useful. “Hello, Dolly” gives you quotes from the song on your admin screens.
This little box will be immensely helpful, you can add a new plugin from here, as well as edit a plugin that you’ve installed if you’re feeling adventurous enough.
Adding a new plugin is easy, you click “Add New” and then enter the name of the plugin that you want in the search box. When I give you the name of a plugin as the heading for the subsection, it will be the exact name you will want to use as your search entry. You simply click “Install”, then activate it and it’s done.
Your API Key
In order to use some of the enhanced features from WordPress.com to your own hosted blog, you’ll have to get an API key. This is pretty much standard and unavoidable. Fortunately, it’s really easy to get.
After you sign up at WordPress.com (you don’t have to sign up for a blog, you can get just a username), there are two ways to find out your API key. From the floating menu at the top, mouse over “My Account” and click “Edit Profile” or click on the “Profile” link on the left column of the page. Your API key will be at the top of the page. After you get your key and enter it, click the “Update Options” and you’re ready to go.
Click “activate” for “Akismet”. This is one of those plugins that will require an API key but it’s worth it because of the anti-spam features it has. Askimet has functions such protecting you against spam and automatically maintaining your blog for you.
Click the link and the next screen will be about your API key.
Enter your key and you’re ready to go.
Akismet can make mistakes; it doesn’t automatically ban or blacklist someone. It will store the alleged spam for 15 days before it is deleted. If it is not spam, just approve the content and it will be added.
Installing WordPress: Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
This will help you optimize your blog for the search engines so you don’t have to worry about the finer points of SEO.
Yoast SEO is the original WordPress SEO plugin since 2008. It is the favorite tool of millions of users, including some of the most popular sites on the planet.
With Yoast SEO, you get a solid toolset that helps you aim for that number one spot in the search results. Yoast: SEO for everyone. Yoast SEO does everything in its power to please both visitors and search engine spiders.
This will simplify adding tags to your blog posts which it can do automatically, using (among other things) the Yahoo Term Extractions API which will logically pull keywords from your posts and use them for tags.
You can also use a whole lot of different management tools for tags, such as renaming, deleting, merging, searching, or editing. The interface makes it simple to even add the obligatory tag cloud you see all around the net.
Google XML Sitemaps
Google loves sitemaps, therefore, you should have one created for it. Fortunately, this is updated automatically whenever your site changes and the search engines are notified that support the sitemap protocol.
It makes sitemaps easy – you can prioritize pages and posts, or it can automatically calculate priority based on the number of comments. Finally, it will also generate a zipped sitemap along with the XML standard.
Installing WordPress: Other Plugins
These are not the only plugins to use; this is only a guide. When you get more comfortable with your blogging, you can search for other plugins to use. Clicking on the plugins link, you can select to show the most popular plugins along with the most recently uploaded or featured plugins.
Whenever you install a plugin, check to see if it would interfere with other plugins. Usually, an author would know if it would or not and would tell you, but not all the time.
If you notice anything strange happening, you can browse to your site’s files and rename the plugin. It will be just like you’ve uninstalled it if you need to do that.
Installing WordPress Themes
Now that you have the important stuff out of the way that most people won’t ever notice, you have to install the one thing people will notice: the theme.
Just like the plugins box, there is an appearance box. You activate it by clicking the “Appearance” link on the left column. The initial screen that will load will show you the themes currently installed and ready and will allow you to change them.
To add a new theme, click “Add New Theme” and you can use the search tools to find themes based on colours, number of columns, width, features, and various subjects. When you find a theme you like, you can preview it, and then install it. To see it, you have to click the “activate” link for it.
Installing WordPress themes used to mean you’d have to download them to your computer and upload them. Now, it’s as easy as installing plugins. When you click “install”, it will automatically install it to your blog so you can activate it.
When finding themes, you should find one that looks professional. The important thing to keep in mind is that you should find one that would look appealing to you; if it looks good to you then usually it will look good to everyone else.