This article is for the one who is a newbies to WordPress, we will talk about how to install WordPress, how to do customization, how to start your first blogging post and some common trouble shooting tips.
Step By Step Guide To Make A WordPress Website
- Choose a WordPress Optimized Hosting
- Register a Domain Name for Your WordPress
- How to install WordPress in cPanel
- Install a WordPress theme to Make it Beautiful
- Install WordPress Plugin to Add more Features to Your Websites
- Start Writing Posts
- WordPress SEO Guide
WordPress Trouble shooting:
Choose a WordPress Optimized Hosting
It is a fact that you can create a blog without spending money via free platforms like WordPress.com. However, it is not a good idea to use free WordPress platform if you want to have more control on your future blog and make it professional.
So, except those free blog platforms, people have a much better choice: to work with a reliable WordPress hosting, which won’t bring such disadvantages above but will give you much convenience and benefit. As a matter of fact, you need not to worry about hosting fees since there are many budget web hosting solutions for you to select.
Bisend, Bluehost and Inmotion Hosting are recommended cheap web hosts for you. Their web hosting solutions respectively start at $3.95/mo, $2.95/mo and $2.95/mo after applying web hosting coupon. More importantly, you will get a lot, like unlimited disk space, data transfer and email accounts. Additionally, Bisend and Bluehost offers one free domain registration for one year, which will save you some bucks.
Register Your Domain
When you have a house (web host) to create your blog, you still need a house address, by which your visitors can find you. The house address is the domain name. It could be short, be long, be formed by words meaningful to you, and so on. But you have to keep it in mind that your domain should be easy to remember, so that visitors can easily find your blog. However, a lot of domains have already been registered. To check the availability of your domain, you can use this HostUCan Search Domain tool.
To register your domain, you can register it at the web host you choose or you can go to specific cheap domain registrars, like GoDaddy. Our advice is to directly register at your web host since the most of web hosts offer free domain name registration for one year. Thus, you will save some amount of money as well as time.
How to install WordPress in cPanel
There are multiple ways of installing WordPress on the server. While there are popular ways like Fantastico etc. to install it, the much famous ‘five minute install’ is still a classic. Since most of the web servers have cPanel installed, and use MySQL as the database, in this post, we shall discuss how to install WordPress using cPanel and MySQL database.
Step 1: Download the latest WordPress
WordPress is a free software, available for download from http://www.wordpress.org/download page. The current version is 3.5.1 and is about 5.2 MB in size. Download the zip or tar.gz. Unzip the setup files, using any standard unzipping software.
Step 2: Creating MySQL Database
This is where we shall use cPanel. Most of the web hosts have cPanel, and if you are yet to make a decision on the host, choose one with a cPanel functionality.
- Log into the host account and navigate to cPanel and then to MySQL database option.
- Choose a name of the database. Probably, ‘wordpress’ or ‘WPS’. Click the ‘create database’, and wait till the process is completed.
- Navigate back to the MySQL database page. Here you shall create username and password. After you do this, click the back link to return to MySQL main page.
- Go to ‘add users to database’ page and choose the username that was created in the above step.
- Now you shall probably land on the MySQL maintenance screen. Give yourself all privileges for the database. A confirmation message shall be shown, saying that you have been added to the database.
Step 3: Uploading the WordPress setup files
Using an FTP client, upload WordPress setup files which were unzipped in the step 2, to your server’s root directory. If you don’t know the location of the root folder, ask your WordPress hosting service provider about it.
Step 4 Running the Install script
- Direct your browser to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php.
- You shall see a message saying that WordPress couldn’t find wp-config.php and also a button which shall create the config file. This shall bring one to the page, which says ‘Welcome to WordPress’. Click the ‘let’s go’ button.
- The steps from here are pretty much downhill. Enter the name of the database, username and password which you had entered earlier.
- There would be ‘localhost’ mentioned in the database. Also, there would be ‘wp_’ mentioned as the prefix for tables in the database. After looking these up, click the ‘submit’ button.
- If everything has gone as expected, you shall see a screen which has the ‘run the install’.
- This is the beginning of WordPress 5 minute set up.
- Enter the title of the site, and other details like email, username and password that are asked.
- Here there are also option to enable Google and other search engines to find the website.
And you are done! In few minutes, there would be an email giving information as to how to login to the website.
It looks complex to get hosting, domain and install WordPress, actually all above could be done easily. We have written an article for you how to launch a WordPress website with Bluehost in 5 minutes.
What Might go Wrong
While the process is generally quite smooth, here are some common hiccups
- 404: Page not found: Enter the URLs properly.
- 403: Forbidden access: Check if the install file ends with an extension other than .php. If so, open that folder in the server (using Putty or any other FTP clients) and delete files which end with index.htm. index or html.
- Error connecting database: This means that you have messed up in the username, database name or password. Recheck everything. If the problem still persists, contact the webhost to sort it out.
Why Not Host Blog with WordPress.com
The blogosphere has lately become very populated. Many people want to start a blog. For a large percentage of them, the purpose of the blog has its original meaning a – ‘web-log’. However, there are those who want to use their blog as a platform to advertise, to review products and basically generate revenue. The choice of WordPress Hosting is crucial in this sense.
WordPress.com provides a very effective solution for those who want to use blog as a personal portal, however if you want to do more with your blog, there are some inherent limitations posed by the hosting at WordPress.com. In this post, we shall discuss some of the limitations of WordPress.com.
Probably one of the major limitations of a free WordPress site is that it doesn’t allow you to use Google AdSense or use other advertising programs. The terms & conditions of WordPress also prohibit you from writing paid posts, review products or sell links. Basically, you cannot use the free WordPress site for any commercial purpose. However, it does have a WordAds program, which is of course subpar to Google AdSense in terms of traffic inflow and outreach. Even after the WordAds program has been approved for your advertisements, you would have to share the revenue with WordPress.
The problem with Plugins
The strength of the WordPress comes in its customization features and availability of a rich pool of plugins and themes. In WordPress.com, you cannot extend the functionalities by uploading plugins. This is one of the major reasons why people migrate from WordPress.com to the self-hosted WordPress.org. By hosting your blog at WordPress.org, you can enjoy a wider spectrum functionalities with plugins.
The problem with Customized Themes
The theme choice is very limited. You can use only those themes which are available in the WordPress.com library. There are premium themes in the library, but that’s it. You cannot modify these themes, which is serious limitation for those who want to maintain a creative blog. For an additional $30 one can add custom CSS to make some cosmetic changes, but the overall functionalities and features remain limited.
So, if you want to use a customized theme, WordPress.com is not the place to host the blog.
WordPress.com is unusually strict in maintaining its services. Routinely, many blogs are suspended on the grounds suspicions or complaints from visitors. In many cases, this is done without warning. Which means that the blogger might not be aware that her content is locked out. Once the blog is blocked, the subdomain name is blocked with it, means that if you are permanently blocked, you won’t be able to start a new account with the same blog subdomain name.
Unable to exploit whole of the WordPress platform
WordPress is a powerful platform. However, if you are using WordPress.com, you get only the blogging service rather than the whole of the CMS suite. Unlike the full-fledged WordPress platform, you won’t be able to cumulatively add features to your site. This can be a problem for those who intend to expand their site from a mere information sharing site to a traffic sucker.
WordPress.com is a good place to start if you want to maintain a site where you to share your personal viewpoints. WordPress.org does give some modicum of freedom with plugin facility, but that doesn’t give the needed flexibility. If you want to do something serious, it is better to switch to some of the Best WordPress Hosting solutions in the industry, such as Bluehost and WebHostingHub. The way to go is to identify your needs and modulate your platform choice accordingly.
Allowed memory size of xxxx bytes exhausted
This is a common problem. This usually occurs in self-hosted WordPress sites. The user can access the plugin menu, but cannot install plugins. The error pops up because of the PHP memory limit. In the server, there are processes which limit the memory of a PHP site. The error due to this problem comes with the notice
Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted
The way to correct this is to add this line to wp-config.php
However, this is just a band aid move, because if the PHP limit is being reached, then there are some badly coded plugins installed in your site.
How to Properly Ask for WordPress Support
There are plenty of times when you would need support for WordPress. While many of the problems can be managed by reading through tutorials on the web or some other resources, the serious ones require the help from a personnel. However, you wouldn’t get support for WordPress if you don’t know how to properly ask for it. The first thing to keep in mind is that WordPress is free and open source.
A large chunk of what you are using as WordPress is not probably developed by the core team e.g. plugins. Chances are that these plugins had been developed by programmers as their hobby or side project. Unless they are selling the plugin, there’s really no way to make money from plugins. So, you should realize that they are not obligated to help you, not even ethically. In this post, we shall look into the proper ways to ask for WordPress support.
As it was mentioned above, the developers are not obligated to help you. They worked on a plugin and now you downloaded and installed it. For Free. If it doesn’t work, it’s really not their problem. Some of them might even have developed the plugin for their personal use, and shared it out of kindness! However, if you have found a problem with the plugin, most developers are more than happy to fix bugs or contribute patches.
However, they would not do it for you, if your tone is accusatory rather than pleasing. So, whenever you ask for help, make sure that you understand that it is not their fault that something is wrong with your WordPress.
Asking the right question
If you encounter a problem, the first place to start would be the FAQs page of the plugin or WordPress itself. If you turn up empty handed, try searching for the problem on the internet. It is very probable that someone else would have had the same sort of problem, and might have solved it. If none of these work, go to the support forum for the plugin and start your thread with the problem.
State your problem clearly.
- Include an elaborate description of your problem
- Mention which version of WordPress and plugin which you are using
- Where is your WordPress hosted?
- Mentioned the solutions which you have already tried
These information would certainly help the developer come up with a helpful answer. They might ask what other plugins you are using.
Also, you can reach to the developers through their Twitter account or emails or Facebook page. While these other media are useful, make sure that you don’t come out as being annoying. The developers might be in different time zone and their work schedule may be complicated. And one more thing, whatever happens, do NOT call them. No matter how polite you are, developers don’t like getting calls regarding their plugins.
Commercial Plugins and Themes
If you are having problems with commercial plugins, it is best suited that you ask through proper channels. When you buy a plugin, it comes with an assured support. These support mechanisms are swift and would be very helpful.
However, even if you have paid for the plugin, there is no point in being rude. Be as polite as you would have been if you were using a free plugin. It will get your work done faster!
Before you ask around for support, it is advised that you have tried many things with the problems. If you find some problem with a plugin, it is advised that you work through all the information that is available on the internet regarding it. Only after you are sure that you won’t find a solution, you should contact the developer. Hopefully, next time you end up with a problem, you would find support soon.