Lesson #8: One-Click Web Development
We have reached one of the most exciting lessons in this course. By the end of this lesson, you will officially have a website setup on your domain. And as the title suggests, itʼs super easy to do.
This lesson will take about 60 minutes to complete and I recommend that you do it all in one sitting to keep the continuity. Also, you MUST have your domain name and HostGator account both purchased and setup in order to continue, as we will be using both of these.
More Details About WordPress
We introduced the basics of WordPress in the last lesson but I want to reiterate some information about it. WordPress is a piece of (free) software that will be installed on your website. When you have this installed, it basically acts as the brain of your website: it handles the design and layout, creates and formats the pages of content, organizes the navigation links, and even allows you to write pages of content just like you would in a word processor.
If you want to learn more on your own (beyond the scope of this course), WordPress has a great website with all kinds of information: http://wordpress.org/
This lesson will teach you how to install WordPress in a matter of minutes. After it is installed, you can access it by visiting yoursite.com/wp-admin and entering theusername and password that you choose during setup (below). Then you can change the design, update settings, write content for your site and more. We will get into all of the details in a few minutes. First, letʼs install this software.
Installing WordPress – Automatically
Typically installing WordPress involves downloading files, uploading them to the server, creating a database, linking everything together and then hoping it all comes out right. If that sounded like Greek to you, donʼt worry. Another reason why I love HostGator so much is that they have a feature to AUTOMATICALLY install WordPress with the click of a button. That is what we will be using. Take a deep breath and we will be done in 4 steps (under 10 minutes):
Step One – Login to your HostGator control panel (cPanel). If you have never done this, go to your browser and enter: yoursite.com/cpanel. It will prompt you for the username and password associated with your HostGator account. If you donʼtremember these, check your initial emails from them.
Step Two – Once you are in your HostGator cPanel, you will see a bunch of icons with text under them. Towards the bottom of the page there is one with a blue smiley face called “Fantastico De Luxe” – click on it. This is the tool we will use to install WordPress.
Step Three – Within Fantastico De Luxe you should see dozens of links on the left side, but right towards the top is WordPress, click on that. Then click the blue New Installation link.
Step Four – Donʼt let these options scare you. The only thing you should worry about is entering the administrator username and password (can be anything you want, but write them down). You will use this to access your site later. Enter your site title (i.e.“Knitting World”) towards the bottom and leave description blank. Click next to see a confirmation page, and then if all goes well, click again to finish.
WordPress is now officially installed! Visit YourSite.com to confirm. You should see asimple page with a blue header that says Hello World. If you do, good job! If not, reread the steps above and make sure you didnʼt miss anything.
(P.S. If you are still seeing a page with a GoDaddy logo on it, this means you neverlinked your domain with the HostGator account. Refer to the second half of lesson 6 for details on this).
Overview of the WP Admin Area
Alright – that was the most technical part of this entire course and it wasnʼt so bad, was it? We need to briefly go over some of the basic characteristics of WordPress. First ofall, how to login and make changes.
Login to WordPress – Visit YourSite.com/wp-admin and enter the username and password you used when installing WordPress above. You may want to bookmark this page and save the password to make it easier to find. This is the place where you will go when you want to write new content on your site or change your design.
Ignore (Almost) Everything – When you first login there is a lot of stuff here, butplease do not let that bother you. Most of it can be ignored for now. If it is not mentioned now, just forget it even exists. You donʼt need it.
Writing New Content – In a few lessons you will be writing real articles for your new site. But letʼs practice creating a new page of content now. On the left menu of the WP admin (thatʼs what this login area is called) you will see a item called Posts at the very top – click on that. You see one sample post called Hello World, but click the button at the very top that says “Add New”. Give this page a title of “Homepage” and then write anything you want in the content box. Finally, click the publish button on the right. You have just posted a new article! You can visit YourSite.com now to see the new content. Pretty cool, huh?
Some WordPress Housekeeping Items – The site is basically setup and done right now, but there are a few other cleanup items I want to take care of while we are in here:
Click the Settings tab on the very bottom of the left menu to bring up a page of optionson the right side. Make sure the data displayed here is correct. Enter your title, and a clever description under “Tagline” (donʼt worry, you can always change this later). Click save changes.
Next, go to Settings > Reading on the left menu and under “Blog pages show at most:” change that number to 1 and click save changes.
Posts Vs. Pages – You will notice that the sidebar includes menus for two areas called posts and pages. They look similar. Beginners usually have some confusion between the two. For one thing, they are both used to post content on your site.
The simplest answer I can give to help you distinguish between the two is that posts are individual articles and pages are used to create content that is not an article. For example an article on knitting would be a POST, but a page of content describing your siteʼs mission and purpose would be a PAGE. See the difference? Another feature is that PAGES are usually navigation links that can be viewed from every area of the site (an about page, contact form, etc. are all pages). Does that make sense? If not, Google: “Difference between page and post on WordPress”.
Honestly, your site could be completely done right now. If you simply updated the blue header with a nicer image (next lesson) your site is ready to go! Congrats on completing this lesson, you can tell all your friends that you are a bona fide webdeveloper now.
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