At this point you have already set up your hosting, domain and custom email address for your new website so it is time to start installing the software you need to run it. In this post, we will be learning how to install WordPress.
1. What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system, that allows you to login to your new website so you can make changes easily without needing to know any code. The editor looks just like a word document – so there is nothing to fear. WordPress also allows you to publish blogs, which are known as posts, so you can keep your website up to date.
One of the most powerful aspects of WordPress is the plugins, which allow you to extend the functionality of your WordPress website, without having to start from scratch again. For example, you could upgrade your website to a directory site, add e-commerce or add paid events. These are all more advanced functionality that is not covered in this course, but we will be adding more advanced courses in time.
WordPress now powers over 26% of all websites online and is the engine behind 60% of all websites that have a Content Management System (CMS). The biggest upside of it being such a popular CMS is that there is a fantastic community behind it that provide lots of support and advice online.
2. How To Install WordPress
To install WordPress follow these steps:
- Login to your Siteground hosting account & click on the ‘My Account’ tab
- Next click the red button just underneath it – go to cpanel – the cpanel is your control panel and it is where all the magic happens in your hosting.
- Once in your cpanel scroll down to WordPress Tools and then click on WordPress Installer.
- This brings you to a tool that does a very quick and easy one click install. Scroll down to the ‘Install Now’ And fill in the following fields:
- Change the Choose Protocol at https:// so your website uses its SSL certificate for security.
- Your domain should be selected already if you only have one domain assigned to your account. If you have more than one domain, choose it from the drop down menu.
- Next scroll down to Site Settings. Type in your site name which is your company name. Next set your site description – remove the ‘My WordPress Blog’ – that is just holder text.
- Under Admin Account you will need to set your username and choose this carefully as you will not be able to change this. Do not use obvious usernames as they make it very easy for hackers to hack your website. Do not use the following words as usernames: admin, user, username. Also don’t use any derivative of them eg: companynameAdmin.
- Copy the password that you are given to your password and information file, so you always have access, along with your new username and the Admin email address that you signup with.
- And that is it – all you need to do now is press Install!
- You will need to wait about 2-3 minutes for the installation to complete, but when it is finished you will be shown two URLs. The first is the link to view the front end of your new website.
- The second link, ending with /wp-admin/, is the link you will always need to login to the back end of your website to make changes:
3. Setting Permalinks
The first thing you always need to do when you install a new WordPress Website is to set the Permalinks. The permalinks are how the post URLs are displayed on your website. By default WordPress uses ‘ugly’ permalinks like https://constructios.com/2016/11/28/sample-post/ – imagine how difficult that URL would be to remember? Another reason to change them is that these URLs are not very Keyword Friendly for Google.
To change them, click on the Dashboard menu and then Settings and choose Permalinks from the flyout menu. You will see that the permalinks are set to Day and Name. You want to change them to Post Name, so tick the radio button beside that format. Then scroll down to the end of the page and click Save Changes. Now, that same link above will look like this: http://constructios.com/post-name/ – much easier to remember & find!
You should always do this when you install a WordPress website – if you leave it until after the content has started to be indexed by Google, then you risk breaking links and therefore sending your customers to 404 error pages and losing your rankings with Google.
After this post, you will have learned how to install WordPress and have your first website live – it doesn’t look amazing just yet but if someone navigates to your domain name they can see an actual website.
Now that the heavy lifting of creating the bones of the website is done, in the next post we will cover up this raw version of the website with an attractive “Coming Soon Page”