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How to Set Up WordPress

We love WordPress here at Make a Website. In fact, we recommend it as the foundation for all kinds of different websites. The site you are reading right now is made using WordPress. Would you like a few more examples of companies who use it? OK then, how about CNN, UPS and The New York Times!?

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to create beautiful, professional looking websites with little or no coding experience. Long gone are the days when creating an attractive website required expert HTML programming skills. WordPress uses a combination of themes and plugins to tailor every site to the owner’s requirements. Anything you can think of that you want your site to do, you can be almost certain someone has created a plugin to do it. WordPress is a superb construction kit, and it’s simple and fun to use.

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Now, we will show you the basics of installing WordPress onto the Web hosting plan for your domain. For the purposes of these instructions, we are assuming that you are using HostGator for your hosting and domain registration, as per the instructions on this site.

If not, don’t panic. HostGator uses the popular cPanel interface preferred by many of the popular Web hosting companies. You may well find the procedure is exactly the same for your Web host – if not it will be very similar.

1. We are going to show you how to perform a simple installation of WordPress using cPanel. If this option is available to you (and it is with HostGator and most popular hosting firms), there’s no point in putting yourself through a tricky manual installation.

First, use your hosting account login details to log onto cPanel.

Main panel

2. Hunt through the plethora of icons until you find the one called “Fantastico De Luxe.” In HostGator’s panel, it’s found under the “Software / Services” section.

Fantastico

3. Click the “Fantastico De Luxe” icon, and select “WordPress” from the long list on the left:

WordPress

4. Click the “New Installation” link. You will then see a rather intimidating looking form. Don’t worry, it’s simpler than it looks, just follow the advice below the screenshot:

WP Install

- Assuming you’ve set up your domain according to our instructions, the Install on domain section should already contain the correct domain name for your website.

- The Install in directory box can be left blank.

- The Admin access data section should be completed with a username and password of your choice. Make sure you make a note of this somewhere.

- The Base configuration section is simple too. The “Admin nickname” can be your name, assuming you will be the site administrator. The “Admin email” section should contain your main email address. If you forget your password, this is the mailbox that a reset message will go to so make sure you choose an email address you have constant access to.

- The site name and description can be completed exactly as you choose.

5. Click “Install WordPress” when you’re finished. Another screen will appear containing MySQL database details. Don’t worry at this stage if this information is meaningless to you, as all you need to do is click “Finish Installation.” However, it is worth making a note of these details in case you need them in the future.

Install2

6. After you click “Finish Installation,” there may be a brief pause, but after a short while you should see a screen like the one shown below:

Arrow

The most important information here is the link to your new website’s admin area, indicated by the arrow in the screenshot. The username and password will correspond with what you entered in Step 4 (above). You might want to double check you’ve noted these down correctly.

7. At this point, you’re probably very eager to head to your new site and begin playing with design features and content. Unfortunately, you may not be able to immediately. If you’ve installed WordPress immediately after registering your domain, you will probably have to wait 24-48 hours until your domain registration propogates over the Internet.

SO, if clicking through to the admin area URL gives you a “page cannot be displayed” error, you may need to give it some more time – sorry! You will find a lot more information on this if you click on this link.

8. You should now be able to click the URL to the admin area and browse to the login page for your new WordPress website:

Dashboard

9. Enter the username and password you set earlier in the installation and click “log in.” You should then see the main WordPress dashboard.

Main Dash

10. Your basic WordPress install is now ready to go! In fact, if you click on your domain name in the top left, you will have the option to visit the site as it stands. For now, it will just use a basic theme and have only sample content, but the hard part is now done!

Sample site

If you’ve come to this page from one of our other tutorials, you’ll want to go back there now and continue to follow instructions specific to the type of site you are creating. Otherwise, you are now free to play with the features of WordPress and start adding content – good luck!

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Author Picture Written by Pete Zaborszky
Pete runs Make a website and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does. You can also find him on Twitter or Google+