Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 3 – How to Build a WordPress Website

August 27, 2014 | Filed under: Blogging,Design — Tags: , , , , , @ 12:01 am

How to Bulid a WordPress Website

Welcome to yet another episode of our “Beginner’s Guide to Blogging” series. In previous episodes, I have covered “Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 1 – How to Start A Blog” and “Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 2: How to Choose a Web Host”. I expect that you have already read them; else I recommend you do so before reading this so you won’t miss anything.

In today’s guide I will cover the following:

Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 3 – How to Build a WordPress Site

By now I believe you have acquired your domain name and a suitable hosting plan and have been provided with your cPanel login details containing Login URL and username & password by your hosting provider. So its time to stop eating those Cheetos and get to work on your blog and the first thing is installing WordPress.

How to Install WordPress Via cPanel

Installing the wordpress is pretty simple if you know what you are doing & in this guide i plan to make it very easy for you.  Just follow the following steps:

1. First things first, you need your cpanel login details with login URL(sent to you by your hosting provider). Your cPanel login URL is always something like www.YourDomain.com/cpanel.

2. Now enter your cPanel login URL on the web browser and you will be required to enter the username and password provided to you through email when you obtained your hosting package. You login page will look like the following screenshot.

cPanel Login

3. Now, Enter the Username and Password and click on the “Log in” button to access your hosting control panel area.

4. After you have successfully logged into your cPanel, you will see a lot of tools you can use to manage your website.  But, since this guide is about wordpress installation so the only tools of interest are ones related to wordpress.

There are several ways of installing WordPress such as installing manually by downloading the WordPress installation package and uploading to your hosting server and then creating MySQL database or  installing via Softaculous or Fantastico.

The last two will be easier and less technical for you as a beginner. Depending on the version of cPanel your web host may provide you, look out for either “Fantastico” under the Software/Service or;

fantastico

WordPress” under the “Softaculous Apps” Installer section.

install wordpress

Now, Whichever method you use, the process is same. But for the purpose of this tutorial, I will be installing WordPress directly via the Softaculous Apps Installer.

5. So click on “WordPress” as indicated on the image above and you will be taken to a page that looks like this.

wordpress installation

6. Click on the “Install” button highlighted in blue and you will be taken to the WordPress installation configuration page. This is where the real installation begins, you need to be very careful about the information you give here as some of them may not be changed again after installation.

wordpress installation configuration

7. Now i will explain each step after the other carefully for you to follow.

Enter the required fields for your site as following:

Software Setup
Choose Protocol: Leave it at HTTP except if  you want to setup SSL for your site then you can choose HTTPS.
Choose Domain: Select your domain name from the dropdown
In Directory: Leave it blank if you want to install WordPress on your home directory or enter a folder name to install in a subdirectory/subdomain.
Database Name: You can choose to leave it at default or change it to anything you want.

Database Settings
Table Prefix: The WordPress database prefix is usually wp_, this is one field you must change to improve the security of your WordPress. You can change it to xx_, pw_, dy_ etc. Just choose any two letters of your choice and change it. You are safer that way.

Site Settings
Site Name: Enter the name of your site here. Remember your site name must reflect its purpose.You can see our site name here is “DK Community Blog“.
Site Description: Enter your site description here. The site description should be brief enough to say what the site you are creating is all about.
Enable Multisite (WPMU): Ignore this step except you are trying to create a Multi-Wordpress site.

Admin Account
Admin Username: Here is where you enter the username you will always use to login to your WordPress site. Please avoid using admin as always suggested by WordPress. Use something unique so as to make it difficult for hackers to guess your login details.
Admin Password: Enter your password here, please avoid simple passwords. Create a password that will be difficult to hack. Ensure to mix it up with Upper case, Lower case, Numbers and symbols. You can write them down somewhere very safe so you wont forget them.
Admin Email: Enter your admin email address here. It could simply be admin@yourdomain.com

Choose Language
Select language: Leave it at English except you are a non-English speaker, then you can select your desired language.

Then you can select any of the free WordPress themes provided for you and click the “Install” button. You can also enter your email address on the space provided for you so that your installation details can be mailed to you.

Congratulations

Congratulations, Now your WordPress site has been installed. You can go to your domain name and see your new site. Simply visit www.yourdomain.com on the browser to see your newly created WordPress site.

Now What’s Next?

Next visit your WordPress dashboard login page and login with the admin username and password you entered during installation. The WordPress dashboard login URL is often http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/. The login page will look like this.

wordpress dashboard login

After a successful login, you will now be able to access your WordPress dashboard from where you can customize your WordPress site and also install necessary plugins to get your site started. Your worpress dashboard will look like this screenshot below.

wordpress dashboard

Next Step, Customizing WordPress

The WordPress default theme may not be the most appealing one and so may not suit your need quite well thus the need to customize your WordPress and make it look more professional. But before that lets find out what a WordPress theme is.

What is a Worpress Theme?

What is a WordPress theme?

Wordpess theme is what your wordpress website will look like on the internet. It provides all the front end styling of your WordPress site such as colors, page layout, fonts & all other styling details.

 e

You can create your own themes or buy a theme or even choose one of the themes from the wordpess collection. Now for the purpose of installing a theme we’ll you a theme thats already available in wordpress.

Installing a WordPress Theme:

To install a Worpress theme follow these 3 easy steps steps:

1.  Simply navigate to Appearance > Themes.

install WordPress theme

2. Here, you will see all the themes you have currently installed in your application. To add another one, simply click on the Install Themes tab.

install theme

You either activate any of the pre-installed themes or click on the “Add New” button to add a new WordPress theme. Use either of the search field to search for free WordPress themes from the WordPress theme directory and click on the “Install theme” to install.

activate theme

3. Then activate the installed theme. That’s all, simply go to your blog front page to see the new looks of your site.

Now next thing is getting the functions you need in your Worpress website, This is where plugins come. So read on find more about plugins.

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WordPress Plugins:

What is a plugin?

What is a WordPress Plugin?

WordPress plugin is a program that adds extra functionality to WordPress. For example: “If you need to add a comment box to your site you just need to choose from a worpess collection of comments plugins available.”

There are over 30,000 WordPress plugins on the WordPress repository. They all add different functionalities to WordPress enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs.

WordPress by default lack some features, this is where plugins comes in to address such lacking features.

Installing Plugins:

So to install WordPress plugins, simply

1. Navigate to Plugins > Add New.

install plugins

2. Type the name or function of the plugin you want to install and click the “Search Plugins” button.

For the purpose of illustration let’s use the “Jetpack Plugin” as example. Type Jetpack into the search box and click Search plugins. You will see the following results.

install jetpack plugin

3, Click on the “Install Now” button to install the plugin.

activate jetpack plugin

4. Click on “Activate” to activate the installed plugin and you are done. You can repeat these steps every time you want to install a new plugin.

Recommended plugins for a new WordPress site:

Now as promises I will recommend some plugins that are very helpful when you are new to WordPress.
I recommend the following WordPress plugins based on their overall usage and performance for your newly created WordPress site. They are quite necessary for the security and success of your site:

1. Akismet: Akismet stops the spam messages in your blog comments. Good but has its flaws. Used by many bloggers.
2. Jetpack: This is a comprehensive plugin that contains a wide range of features like: Notifications in your toolbar, Connect site to social networks and Automatically share, view concise stats, Allow subscriptions to your posts to receive notifications, Share content with Facebook, Twitter and more.
3. WordPress SEO by Yoast or All in One SEO: This is also one plugin recommended by many to improve & ease your site’s SEO.
4. Contact Form 7 – For the “Contact Us” page on your site. With this plugin you can customize the contact form and also the mail content that gets delivered.
5. Google XML Sitemaps:In a time where every site wants to get listed on Google this plugin comes in handy by submitting sitemaps to Google and the other major search engines.
6. W3 Total Cache: Site speed is very important and by caching you can improve your site speed. So this plugin is for caching and to improve your site speed.
7. Flare: Everyone is going social these days and if you are not then you are a srep behind the rest. So this plugin is to add social media share buttons on your site and let your users share. And when you are new you can use any likes or shares or tweets that you can get.
8. iThemes Security: To secure your site from hackers because sometimes you are more vulnerable than you believe.

Conclusion & Whats Next

By now you would’ve built a nice WordPress site, customized it with a good looking theme and installed the necessary plugins you would need to get started.

In the next episode of the “Beginner’s Guide to Blogging” series, i would teach you how to compose an article, how to attach media files such as images, audio and even videos to a post, how to schedule a post and publish an article and even make updates to stay secure. In short “Managing Worpress”. So come back again for the next post.

Till next time keep commenting & keep sharing. Use the comments to ask anything you want help with.

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Nwosu Mavtrevor Desmond is a blogger and web designer. He owns and writes for Netmediablog. among other blogs.

2 Comments

  1. Hello Nwosu ,

    No doubt that you have done a great job. I think that WordPress is the most convenient CMS platform to start your blog. You have explained each and every step so brilliantly, that any newbies can easily understand how to start an WordPress Blog. Not only that, but You have also written about the process of installing WordPress Plug-Ins. It showed that you did a very strong home work before writing this informative article.

    Thanks for sharing this article with us. All the best to you for your blog.

    I have found your article from Kingged.com.

    Regards,
    Sarmista

    Comment by Sarmista Aun — August 28, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

  2. Thanks Sarmista for your awesome contribution and yes i had newbies in mind while composing this article because i was once like them and if i had come across such detailed article then, it would’ve helped me a lot. I hope i can inspire some people to become bloggers and hope they follow this guide to build their WordPress blogs.

    Comment by Nwosu Desmond — August 28, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

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