Part 11: What is WordPress & Installation Process
A content management system is simply the software that you will use to add content to your website. That content will include written work, images, videos and other elements such as tables or polls.
Therefore Content Management Systems (CMS), as the name would suggest is a method of storing and creating the content for your website. There are many to pick from such as:
- Hosting companies also offer their own website builders
Why Use WordPress?
There are many different types of site builder and content management systems available and any of them will allow you to build a website. Many website owners like WordPress because it is free and very well set up to make publishing content very easy.
For me, the bottom line is that it is easy to use and very flexible as well. Around a quarter of all websites built use WordPress as their content management system.
Additional Benefits of Using WordPress
Having choices of design for your website is very important. You do not want to be stuck with a limited choice. WordPress uses “themes” that offer a wide range of designs. You can get a lot of different themes to use that help create the design of your website and there are over 2,500 of those. Many of these are free.
You can also get plugins which allow you to add features and there are over 30,000 of those. These are small pieces of code that allow you to create particular elements on a website that you may want to include in your website.
So overall it is super easy to use, search engine friendly, safe and secure, can be used with different types of media and is highly flexible. It is also one of the best content management systems for beginners.
In most cPanels on your web hosting account there will be a section where you can download WordPress simply by clicking a button and filling in a few fields. Normally within your cPanel it will sit under a main heading known as “SCRIPTS.”
Many hosting providers now use what is called the “SOFTACULOUS APPS INSTALLER,” as you can see in the image below.
On my cPanel on my hosting account it looks like this:
So I click on the WordPress button and then on the install button.
Setting Up the Main WordPress Login
You will then need to fill out some fields. Leave the In Directory field blank and add a site name (without the www) and then add a brief description. Please note that the description can be changed later so for now just include a basic tag line which is just a few words on what your website is about.
I have done that for my website theperfectgrind.co.uk and the setup is shown below.
You now need to fill in the Admin user name box and the password information. Do not use Admin as the username as that makes it easy for hackers. Pick a good name and password. Like any information placed online make sure that the login names and passwords are difficult to guess.
You also have to include an email address for the details to be sent to you.
Various host providers then also offer other options such as installing a theme or particular plugins. However, these can all be added afterwards so I always go with the basic settings. When you click the install button, a programme runs and it normally takes about one minute for the installation to complete. WordPress will now be set up.
When you look at your domain name by typing it into the browser it will now look something like the image below. If it does then you will know it has been installed properly. You are now officially online.
Now of course it doesn’t look a lot like a website at this moment, but that changes when we start to work on it, add a theme, plugins and some content.
Accessing your WordPress Website
To access your wordpress website you then go to a link that will be shown in your installation details. It will look like this: http://theperfectgrind.co.uk/wp-admin/
It is always your domain name with a wp-admin at the end which stands for WordPress Administration.
To login use the Admin details that you entered during the setup process and click login. When you do, you will be taken to the WordPress dashboard for your website and it should look like this. In the left hand corner you will see the word “Dashboard.”
This is essentially the back end of WordPress and is where you can control anything that will appear on your website. It is also where you can design your website and add the all important content.
Your technical challenge is now at an end and we are ready to do the basic settings and get started. That will be covered in the next section
To be able to design and add content to your website you have to install some type of Content Management System (CMS) I like to use WordPress because it is easy to work with, already very well set up to be search engine friendly, and is also very flexible in terms of adding design features.
If you prefer to use another CMS system that is fine but in this case study I will be using and explaining WordPress.
The remainder of my case study is about adding themes and plugins for WordPress and then how to add content.
If you opt for a different CMS then you can skip to the understanding website structure section.