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Lindsey
03-24-2014, 11:19 AM
Installing and Customizing Wordpress Blog

Most websites are too big and complicated to be hand coded using HTML, JavaScript, PHP and other web-based technologies. It's hard to change the design, and updates require administrator permissions, which you don't want to give to other people. For these reasons, most websites are built using a
CMS (content management system). It runs on the web server and it allows people with little knowledge of web design and coding to create great websites.

More than half the websites on the internet using a CMS are built with WordPress. It's very popular and is the best one to learn about CMS and website building. We will see how to create a site using WordPress over the next three issues. It isn't hard, and the basic framework can be up and running in minutes.

There are two types of Word Press user: those that want to create a personal website for themselves and those that want to get into website creation perhaps with the aim of doing it professionally or semi-professionally and making a bit of money setting up sites for other people. Many web design companies employ Word Press experts, so it's a good skill to learn.

How to install Wordpress:
At wordpress.com you can sign up for a free WordPress website,and the site hosts hundreds of blogs. However, some of the best features are restricted. For example, there are thousands of plug-ins for WordPress that add extra features and functions, but they aren't available on wordpress.com sites.

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Go to wordpress.org and you can download the Word Press code for free software. You could unzip the files and upload them to your web hosting company and configure them yourself. The only requirements are that your web host provides PHP 5.2.4 and MySQl 5 or later. There's a five-minute setup guide at codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress,1and perhaps experts can do it that fast, but the first time you try, it seems quite complicated.

Fortunately, many web hosting companies have automated installers that do everything for you. log into your site's admin interface, such as cPanel, and you'll see options to install Word Press or a general option to install popular scripts. Click the Install button, choose the save location, and everything is done for you.

It's unlikely that you'll ever need to manually install WordPress, because there are so many hosting companies that provide automatic setup. WordPress can be installed into the website's root folder, which enables anyone typing yoursite.com to go straight to the home page. Suppose you already have a website and you want to add a WordPress blog.

Just install it in a subfolder called blog (any name will do). You can link to it from the home page or visitors can go straight there by entering www.yoursite.com/blog (http://www.yoursite.com/blog). You can make it even easier using a subdomain. Log into your site's admin interface, such as cPanel, and in the Domains section is a Subdomains option, which turns folders into domains. For example, the blog subfolder becomes blog.yoursite.com. This is easy for visitors to remember and it looks great.

Configure WordPress
If WordPress is in the website root, log in at yoursite.com/wp-login, but if it's in a blog subfolder, for example, use yoursite.com/blog/wp-login. Click Settings in the left panel and enter the website title and tagline (subtitle). These appear on all pages in the website. The title may be short and simple, but make the tagline descriptive, such as 'Help and information on rebuilding classic cars' or whatever the website is about. There are options for setting the time zone, a Sunday or Monday start to the week and various date and time formats. These can be set as you prefer. Always click the Save Changes button whenever you make changes. None of the options in Settings, Writing is essential, so ignore them for now. Select Settings, Reading. The home page can be automatically generated from the latest posts (updates) or it can be a traditional static home page. We will look at creating blog posts and static pages later, but for now, set 'Front page displays' to 'your latest posts'.

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When you have one or more static pages you can return here and select one if you prefer it. The home page can show each post in full, and there's an option to limit the number so it doesn't grow too long. This is 10 by default. What most people do, though, is show a short summary with a link to the full article.
There's an option 'for each article in a feed, show' and either 'Full text' or 'Summary' options. If you select Summary, WordPress automatically creates summaries from the first 55 words of the post, but choose 'Full text' because there's a better way of creating summaries, as we will see when creating posts. Click Save Changes if you change any default settings. The Settings, Discussion section has features for configuring the comments that appear at the bottom of posts. If your site ever becomes popular, there are options to break comments across several pag.es with 50 on each, to close comments after 14 days and so on.
Settings, Permalinks has some useful options, and internally WordPress uses links like yoursite.com/?p=57 for pages and posts. That's not user friendly, so there are half a dozen different options for displaying friendly URLs. You'll see all types used on the web, and its personal preference which you choose. For example, you could have one with the date in like yoursite.com/2014/03/24/blogpost-title.html or just yoursite.com/blogpost.html.

Find And Install Themes
A WordPress theme determines how the website looks, including the color scheme, fonts and the positioning of elements on the page. It takes quite a lot of knowledge and skill to create a Word Press theme, but fortunately there are thousands of ready- made ones to choose from. They determine what you can do, so it's important to select one that has the features you want. Some have a sidebar panel on the left, others have a sidebar on the right. Some have one template for posts and pages, but others have several. Some are designed for showing photographs, others for magazines style articles.

Many people browse the web using phones and tablets, so make sure the theme adapts to screens of different sizes. When previewing a theme, shrink the browser width to 600 pixels or so and check that the content still looks good.
There are more than 2,000+ themes at wordpress.org/themes, and many are free. There are also numerous websites selling premium themes, and there's money to be made creating them. Log in to Word Press and select Appearance, Themes on the left. This shows the currently installed themes, and clicking the Activate button on a theme thumbnail applies it to your site.
To add a new theme, click Add New at the top. The Search box at the top enables you to find any theme on Wordpress.org, and there are options to browse featured, newest and recently updated ones. If you've downloaded a theme from another site, click the Upload link to select it on the disk drive and install it.