Sliced asparagus

Your own WordPress site – part 2

Posted on Posted in Guide, WordPress

This post follows on Your own WordPress site – part 1.

Now that you have all the tools, let’s get going with settings on your hosting account and installing WordPress.

Server-side setup and installing WordPress

Once you have your domain and hosting account (preferably with the same hosting company) you need to log in to the hosting control panel and set up some server-side settings. Don’t worry, these are simple and you only need to do it once! At the time of writing this post I am hosting my site with iPage.com who has a proprietary control panel.

The most common control panel for many hosting companies is called cPanel. Regardless of the controls that your hosting company makes available, there are a lot of basic functionality that should be available to you, like creating FTP accounts. To access this control panel you will need to log into your hosting company’s site where you signed up for the account and navigate to where you can manage your service. If you are unsure, this is good time to test the level of support that the company provides by asking them to direct you to where you can do the following:

  1. Setting up an FTP account
  2. Creating a database and connecting to it

Setting up an FTP account

Once you are logged in to the control panel navigate to the FTP settings first. Here you need to create an FTP account which you will use to access the files on your website!

ipage control panel

 

First click on FTP, FTP accounts or its equivalent. Here you should be able to create a new FTP account. You may notice that there is already a Master FTP Account. For security reasons and best practice it is strongly suggested that you create separate FTP accounts for each of your sites. This will prevent you from accidentally uploading the wrong files to the wrong website and should your password be compromised it limits the damage to where the single account has access.

Part 2 - Create new FTP account screen

 

Navigate to where you can create a new FTP account. While you can select any username that you want, it would be best to make it something that relates to your site so that you can remember which username to use for which site. Best practice also suggests that you use some password generator to generate a random complex password. If you are only going to have one website, you can leave the FTP Directory empty.

While you have this dialog box open, it makes it easy to set up FileZilla at the same time. Open FileZilla and select File > Site Manager and click on New Site.

FileZilla new site

 

Enter the host as ftp.YOURSITE.com (use the appropriate Top Level Domain e.g. .com). Enter the username that you selected as well as the password generated above (after entering your password here there is no need to remember the password or write it down).

Before you click Connect, navigate back to the browser and click on Create FTP User. After this you can Connect with FileZilla!

Now that you have access to the files on your server, you will need to upload the file that you downloaded from WordPress.org.

Part 2 - FileZilla connection

 

Navigate to where your WordPress files are located on your computer. Select the files and folders (wp-admin, wp-content, wp-includes, index.php and licence.txt) and drag them over to the Remote site on the right. Often this step can take a couple of minutes, so this is a good time for a cup of coffee!

Create a database and connect to it

Once the files are all uploaded, you can enter your new site’s URL. If everything went well you should now see the WordPress installation screen.

Once you have selected the language preference of your installation and clicked Continue, you should see a page telling you that you need to following items to proceed:

  1. Database name
  2. Database username
  3. Database password
  4. Database host
  5. Table prefix

On order to get these we will return to your host control panel and navigate to MySQL Database or MySQL Database Wizard where you can manage the databases on your hosting account. Click on the link to create a new database.

wordpress create new database

 

Assuming that your hosting company allows you to have more than one database, it would be advisable to create a database for each WordPress site. Enter a name for your database as a username and password. Again it is advised to use some form of password generator. As you enter these details enter them on your WordPress installation as well to save some time! The Database Host will almost always be “localhost”. For the Table Prefix enter two or three letters followed by an underscore that you will easily associate with your particular site like for infinitecurious.com use “ic_” or “inf_”.

WordPress database connection

Certain control panel interfaces (like cPanel) will automatically append their username for you in front of the database name and database username. If this is the case, be sure to include that part when you pass your database name to WordPress.

Click Submit.

If everything went well WordPress will say: “All right, sparky! You’ve made it through this part of the installation. WordPress can now communicate with your database. If you are ready, time now to…”

Click Run the install.

Installing WordPress

After a couple of moments, the installation will ask you for details of your site and username.The site title (as you may have guessed) will be the actual name of your site like InfiniteCurious.

Now I know that at this stage you’re beginning to wonder how many more usernames and accounts you will have to create! Well, up to now every username and password (except for the ones used to log into your hosting account on say, iPage.com) was only used for the installation and you don’t even have to remember what either the username or password was!

This one is different. The username and password that you create here will be the details that you use to log into your own site to manage the content. Therefore it is vital that you remember it or use some form of password manager. Enter your e-mail address from where you would like to manage your site.

Note: At the bottom there is a check-box next to Privacy that will allow search engines to index your site. At this stage it is strongly advised to uncheck this box since your site will be empty and under development. You can re-check this later under settings once you are ready for the world to see your site.

Click Install WordPress.

After a couple of moments, you should see a screen telling you that the installation is complete and that you can log in. Log in now with the username and password that you just selected on the previous page. Once you are logged in you will see your brand new, fresh out-of-the-box WordPress site!

Next up we’ll go through some basic settings after which we’ll look at some plugins and themes!

Feel free to share your experience in the comments 🙂