The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Newbie’s Guide to Installing WordPress
Hello and welcome to the chaos and angst that is my cyber-world! Day 7 of the much anticipated and dreaded CMS class and I am still here. Very fussy, this content management stuff. My left brain is in the unaccustomed leadership role, trying to coax the right brain out of the weeds. Thank god instructor Bryan has the patience of a saint. We’ll see where he is about week 9. So much drama…will the LB be allowed its moment of glory? Will Bryan be tearing his hair out at week 10? Stay tuned for the unfolding of the ongoing saga of my excellent adventure into cyberspace.
And now for the fun part: how to install WordPress. Bear with me through all of the minutiae as I painstakingly document this process for future reference for the technically challenged (that would be me.)
First up, there are several non-negotiables like you have to purchase a domain name, select and purchase a web-hosting provider (like GoDaddy, Blue Host or SiteGround), have FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access, an FTP Client (like FileZilla, Cyberduck, Transmit), figure out your favorite text editor, and choose a web browser (that would be Chrome, Firefox, Safari and hopefully not the hapless IE.)
Like a recipe, there are steps involved but really, a lot more is going on, especially by those who intuitively get it. The basic outline:
- Download the latest WordPress files from WordPress.org
- Upload those files to a web server
- Create a MySQL database and user
- Configure WordPress to connect to the database
- Finally, run WordPress installation
Seems so easy, but alas, is not, the least of which is trying to keep track of all of the necessary user names and passwords. To begin, one must download the latest software from WordPress.org. These files will need to be uploaded to the web server using the FTP client. So go to Transmit or some other FTP client, locate the files and download. Then connect these files to the web server by selecting and dragging them. On Siteground, you load the files into the “public_html” folder.
The next step is to go to your web host e.g. SiteGround or BlueHost. These hosts use a “C” panel for site management. There should be a database module that allows you to create MySQL database (this is where the WordPress content is stored.) Bravely click it. You will then make a name for the database and click to create.
Then we need to figure out a MySQL user: this is a person (you) who is able to access and modify the database. When signing up, it is important to make sure the password is strong. Make sure to add the user to the new database and give them all privileges to access and modify said database.
If you have made it this far without a panic attack, a glass of wine or both, it is time to connect WordPress to your newly created database. One needs to go back to the FTP client and find the wp-config-sample.php file. This file needs to be renamed to wp-config.php. Double click to open in your text editor and begin to fill in the database details. This process can be further secured by using “unique phrases.” I’m not quite sure that I understand this part so am hoping that my grade will not come down to missing this step. Proceed to close the file.
To run WordPress installation script, you will need to enter the site’s web address into your browser. WordPress will then give prompts (title, admin username and password, primary email) and you are ready to log in.
To access WordPress admin so the content can be “managed” as they say, type wp-admin at the end of the website URL, enter username, password and then wonder of wonders, you are good to go!