WordPress 4.8.1 from WordPress Codex
August 8, 2017
Show all

Creating your WordPress site (Part I)

Overview

In 2016, WordPress is actually powering 26.4% of the Web. Now August 2017, it’s 28.5%. Also interestingly on a daily basis there are over 500 sites being created on WordPress.

Just remember that we’re talking about WordPress.org. During the time, you published more than 660 million posts on WordPress.com in 2015, and made more than 655 million comments. I did a simple calculation that is on average 1,808,219 posts per day! A lot of people have a lot to say.

Various sites are powered by WordPress, here is just a few.

Ok, that’s all for now. I’m gonna talk about knowdlege , not the numbers any more. We’ll learning about working with domain name, hosting provider, installing WordPress, search and use popular Themes & Plugins to decorate your site.

This article will be quite lengthly. I decide to break it into 2 parts. Part I is about WordPress basics. Part II will talk about WordPress Themes & Plugins.

Part I: Get To Know Your WordPress Site

If you already know about the basic, you can skip to the part you’re interesting in.

1. Understand domain names
2. WordPress: .com vs. org
3. Understand and how to select a good host
4. Connecting domain to your host
5. Installing your WordPress

Understand domain names

It’s easy to understand. Look at our website url: http://wpsettings.com. The domain name is wpsettings.com. And you should understand the different between a domain name and an URL. A domain name is a part of an URL (like http://wpsettings.com is an URL).

Alright, to make it simple: Your domain name looks like your home address. Let’s say your address is at 4150 Sydney Place. All I have to do is typing your address into an online yellow page search, and that’s it.

Below is a full example. You can know everything in details. If you don’t understand all of that, don’t worry about it; a lot of this isn’t relevant in everyday use. The only part you’ll need to focus on is the domain name because this is how users will refer to your website.

http://demo.wpsettings.com:80/portfolio/kyejuice/kyejuice.php?edit=false&view=true#comment-5

Ok, let’s see what happened in the example above.

http:// – This is a well-known protocol for web language. It tells your web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) how to get/receive data from the server. There are others like https, ftp.

demo.wpsettings.com is a domain. Wait, it’s a kind of domain. But the correct name is: sub-domain. Yes, demo is a sub-domain of wpsettings.com. By this way you can categorize your site into multiple sources, depending on your own purposes. Another way to categorize your sub-domain could be wpsettings.com/demo.

wpsettings.com is the right & correct domain name. You might notice that there’s no www. before the domain name. That’s ok. This prefix is optional. The end of this domain is .com. It’s called Top Level Domain. Some popular names are .org, .net, .info.

80 is the port number for the http protocol, by default. And 443 for https. For now just don’t need to focus on these port numbers since you’re not working on these numbers for most basic works.

portfolio/kyejuice/kyejuice.php This is the path to access the file called kyejuice.php. To visit this file you have to go from your domain to Portfolio, then Kyejuice folder. But the path doesn’t necessarily point to an actual file on the server. More often than not, the server and/or the code will figure out what you need based on the URL, rather than the URL linking to an actual file.

?edit=false&view=true are parameters — two of them, actually. The first key-value parameter is preceded by a question mark; all subsequent pairs are preceded by ampersands. The server-side code picks up on these values, and the values can be used to modify views or save data, for example.

#comment-5 is an anchor that can be used to take the user to a specific place on the page right away. If you visit the link above, you will be taken lower down on the page to a specific comment. Note: I mentioned this in the article since the most important feature of WordPress is comment management.

So, how to choose the right domain name for your website?

Choose and Register a domain name is pretty easy.

You can find all sorts of tips on choosing a domain name, but it almost always boils down to keeping it short and memorable. This is definitely good advice, but always have a brand strategy in mind as well. Sometimes choosing a domain name might be difficult, especially considering that the top tips for domains always include keeping it short and easy to type.

There 2 two popular domain name providers: Godaddy and Namecheaps. Most of the places where you can buy a domain name also allow you to grab hosting. As a rule of thumb for security, keep your domain and hosting separate.

If someone can get into your hosting account, then they can steal files and data. If your domain is registered in the same place, then they could potentially transfer the domain away, leaving you with nothing.

If you’re serious about branding and you have the funds, you might want to buy a number of TLDs with the same name. That is, if you are registering mydomain.com, then you might want to buy the .net, .org, .info and the local version as well (such as .co.uk).

WordPress.com And WordPress.org

WordPress is an open-source software package and is free to everyone around the world.

WordPress.org is the central location for the WordPress software project. You can download it, view the documentation, ask and answer questions in the forums and more.

WordPress.com is a service that offers websites that run on WordPress. You can sign up for a free account and get a fully functioning website. You will only be able to use a WordPress.com subdomain — such as mywebsite.wordpress.com — but for a first-time user, the restrictions are minimal.

The free version gives you everything you need. When you’re ready to step into the realm of advanced customization, with your own domain name and other options, then you can go for the premium version or get your own hosting plan elsewhere.

Understand and how to select a good host

Technically there are 3 ways to go depending on your actual budget.

  • Shared Hosting
  • VPS Hosting
  • Managed WordPress Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting

Shared Hosting is the most cost-effective choice if you have limited budget. A single server can house hundreds of websites, which translates to hundreds of users. A single server is not that expensive to run, so the costs can be split between all users of the server. The price is normally around $5/month. Because hundreds of websites are running from the same hardware, what happens if there’s a coding bug in one of them that causes it to use up to 80% of available memory? The remaining websites (which could be hundreds) will grind to a halt and could become unavailable. The same issue arises with security; some attacks aim for a single website and end up affecting all of the other websites on the same server.

VPS Hosting – A virtual private server (or VPS) is similar to a shared environment, without the negative side effects. The hardware is still shared, but usually among a few users only, and the hardware is partitioned equally. Because you have your own corner of a server, you are free to do more with your account than you can with a shared host. This includes more server administration options, installation of tools, SSH access and more. While some VPS accounts cost $5, you will generally pay around $15 to $20 per month. If you have the money, then definitely do choose either managed WordPress hosting or a VPS over a shared environment.

Managed WordPress Hosting is a bit different because it’s not a different way of using server technology. A managed WordPress package is actually very similar to getting a website from WordPress.com, which itself can be considered a managed WordPress host. This makes your website a lot faster and more secure as well. Automatic updates, server-level caching and truly professional WordPress-specific support are just some of the benefits of managed WordPress hosting. The downside is a minor loss of flexibility. You can’t install any other platforms on these systems, and some plugins might be disabled by the host, usually for reasons of security or optimization. In short, you have less leg room than with a VPS. Again, if you’re new to websites, you needn’t worry much about this.

Dedicated Hosting is a hosting configuration in which a server is devoted to a single organisation or for a single purpose, such as a website. This is in contrast to shared hosting, in which a server acts as a host to multiple clients.

Connecting domain to your host

So now you already have your own domain name and your own host. What you need to do are:

1. Check your email for hosting provider, in order to see your host IP address.

2. Check your DNS information in your domain name account.

3. Connect your domain to host IP address.

This is just theory. I’m not going to write a book for this. The best practices are here, for example: How to connect a domain name to a hosting account or a server from Namecheap.

You can easily find the information by entering some Google keywords.

Installing WordPress

The best part is here. This is my favorite. If you have a managed WordPress host, you’ll be able to do this by filling out a simple form. Depending on your account type, you might be able to add any number of WordPress installations to your account. With other hosting services, you’d fill out a quick app or plugin and then you’d be done.

At WPSETTINGS, we provide a WordPress Installation and Integration service with an appropriate fee: $30-100 for one installation, depending on your theme & your actual requirements.

The WordPress Codex has a complete installation guide. If you’re stuck or need help creating a database, take a look at it and you’ll be done in no time!

Part I Summary

In reality, WordPress is a great system — just like many other systems, no matter how small or large the website. The problems you hear about, like poor security, pages grinding to a halt or a bad user interfaces on the front end, are almost exclusively due to poorly coded plugins and themes.

It’s time to get our hands dirty and start setting up our actual website from within WordPress.

I’ll come back with Part II: WordPress Themes & Plugins.

Mike
Mike
Mike is a Product & Project Analyst at WPSETTINGS, a Premium WordPress Development Service Provider which build responsive WordPress themes, best WordPress plugins, and professional WordPress customization services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *