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WordPress How-To

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The content of the article series “Getting Started with WordPress”:

And finally, you sit and look at the letters that came to your email: one with the data for managing the domain name, and the other with the data of your website. Now you are about to install WordPress on your site, but do not know how to do it.

Well, you have two possible options:

  1. You can use the automatic installer (it is usually provided by web hosting),
  2. You can do everything manually.

Now, since this series of articles is devoted to a detailed analysis of the installation and configuration of WordPress, let's fully focus on the manual installation of this CMS.

It's not that complicated if you follow the instructions methodically.

Before we get started

You will need the following things:

  1. credentials from the control panel of your site,
  2. credentials for FTP (this data should also be in the letter that you received from the host after registration),
  3. FTP client program.

Here is a short outline of our next steps:

  1. Customization tools
  2. Download and unzip WordPress (WP) files,
  3. Setting up a database (DB) MySQL,
  4. Download WP for hosting,
  5. Linking WP to the database and running the installation script,
  6. Enter the name of your site and create a user account.

Tool Setup

Since we are going to directly connect to our disk space on the hosting, we need a convenient access interface. The type of program that provides such an interface is called an FTP client (from the English File Transfer Protocol).

In fact, they are very similar to programs such as Explorer for Windows or Finder for Mac, but with the difference that they connect you to a remote hosting drive and allow you to work with files located there using a personal computer, laptop or even a smartphone.

As with other software, there are many different FTP clients and, again, ask your friends and acquaintances for advice or use the Internet to choose the best option. I can recommend you use the free cross-platform program FileZilla.

Download the version for your operating system and open the application. Then open the "Site Manager" window (hotkey to call CMD / CTRL + S or click on the icon in the upper left corner)

To successfully connect to the web hosting, fill in the following fields:

Having set up your FTP client in this way, you will not need to remember your login information the next time you connect.

If you want to connect automatically when you start the program, then you need to check off the option “Quick Connection” at the top of the FileZilla window.

If you want your connection to be secure, I recommend that you select the “TLS via FTP” option in the “Encryption” drop-down list. You will be asked to allow access with a security certificate the first time you connect.

MySQL database setup

This part of the article introduces you to a new territory, where everything may seem very complicated and incomprehensible, but have patience and you will succeed. But then you will tell everyone with pride about how they tamed the beast called MySQL with the help of its deep knowledge and skills.

In this example, we will use the control panel on the hosting (in this case, cPanel is a very popular hosting interface). However, the general principles are the same everywhere, be it cPanel, Plesk or any other similar web interface.

Just follow my instructions. If the interface of your hosting is different, use the official documentation for it to find out how to carry out the procedures described in this chapter, but the meaning of the actions will be approximately the same.

  1. Open your browser and enter the control panel with your site (for example, http://mydomain.com/cpanel),
  2. To create and configure the database, we will use the MySQLL DBMS Tuning Wizard, which will lead us through all the necessary steps in sequence:
  • creating a database
  • creating a database user account and linking it to the database,
  • assignment of user access rights to the database.

Creating a database user account using a strong password

You can also name the user account as you wish. I recommend using a password generator to get a really strong password. But do not forget to copy it or write it somewhere, so as not to forget.

Upload WP files to hosting

Now it's time to return to our FTP client and connect to the server. Click the "Connect" button and a window will appear like this:

  • The server connection panel displays a list of server requests and responses,
  • Two panels are located below: the left one contains the directories on the user's computer, and the right one - on the remote server,
  • Then comes a couple of panels that display the contents of folders selected on the local and remote drives,
  • And finally, at the very bottom is the file upload / download status window (now it’s empty, since we haven’t transferred anything yet).

Now that you’ve gotten a little comfortable, you need to make sure that the unpacked WordPress directory that we prepared in the previous step is selected on the left panel that displays the contents of the local computer. You also need to make sure that the right directory on the remote server to which you Planning to put your WordPress. In my case, I use a subdomain (subdomain) and therefore put the WP files in a folder called testsite.

In most cases, you will place the CMS files in the root directory on the server (most often it is called public_html or www). When all the folders are correctly selected, select all the files on the left and drag them to the right pane. After that, FileZilla (or another FTP client you use) will begin the process of copying files from the local computer to the remote server.

When this procedure is completed, you will see that the download queue has been cleared and the files have been successfully written to the remote drive. If you right-click on the right pane and select the Refresh option, you will see copies of the files displayed on the left pane.

But in addition to these copies, additional files can also be placed on the server, the availability of which depends on the software installed by default. In my case, there is a cgi-bin folder. Do not pay attention to it - this directory does not affect the installation of WordPress.

Let me remind you of the steps that we have already taken. We installed an FTP client to be able to upload WordPress to a remote server, we prepared our database to connect with WordPress, downloaded WordPress itself, unzipped it and uploaded it to the hosting.

The next step is to link WordPress and the MySQL database.

Linking WP to the database and running the installation script

Open a browser and go to your website. You will see the following message: “It seems the wp-config.php file has not been created. You must create it before you continue. ” This is actually good news, as it means that WordPress is successfully installed and we are ready to connect it to the database.

The default table prefix will be wp_ and it is recommended that you change it to your own version to improve security. You can specify any prefix. For example, as you can see in the image below, I specified the value xprt_ (it ends with underscore so as not to confuse the prefix and table name). Once you have filled in all the fields, click the "Submit" button and proceed to the next step.

Enter the name of your site and create a user account

After clicking on the “Send” button, you will see the welcome screen and the final form in which you will need to enter the name of your site, as well as make some more important settings by creating a user account. As you can see in the image below, I named my site My New Website and created a user account called myname. I also entered my email address and, finally, unchecked "Allow search engines to index my site" before the completion of the site.

It makes no sense to allow site indexing if it is not full of content, right? We will return to this issue when the time comes to tell people about our site.

Conclusion

WordPress is known for being able to install in just 5 minutes. And although when you perform the installation for the first time, it seems that it takes much longer. Do not worry, with the advent of experience you can complete all 6 steps much faster.

If you have an understanding of the processes, and not just rely on automatic installation scripts, then your future as a site developer will be less nervous and much more productive.

This short tutorial for beginners will serve as a great impetus for mastering more complex technical issues in installing WordPress.

Congratulations and welcome to the WordPress user community! We are glad to welcome you!

This publication is a translation of the article “Beginning With WordPress: Installing WordPress Manually”, prepared by the friendly team of the Internet technology project

The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

The first question that usually arises for newbies who come across WordPress is where to put your site? You can use one of two options: install your own, stand-alone WordPress site or register on WordPress.com - here you can host your WordPress site for free.

WordPress.com (free hosting)

WordPress.com is a site owned by WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg, who runs Automattic. In essence, the site is a free service that allows you to easily create and host your WordPress site without worrying about paying for hosting, domain, etc. You can simply create content without delving into the technical aspects.

Automattic makes money on WordPress.com by displaying text ads on your website and charging for additional services such as backup, premium themes, and plugins. You get at your disposal a free subdomain for your site in the format http://vash_sait.wordpress.com. You can always purchase a separate domain name and bind it to your site.

Pros and cons of choosing this method:

  • Free service. It is enough to register, and you can use your site.
  • Ease of use. It’s very easy for beginners to understand, no need to dive into the technical wilds.
  • Security. The site is hosted on secure servers running Automattic.
  • Free service. The company itself maintains everything up to date.
  • Availability of support.

  • You have to pay for using your own domain.
  • Limited selection of topics and fees for their ability to change
  • Limited selection of plugins
  • You cannot monetize your site until you reach 25k views per month, after which you will need to use their Ad Control program.
  • If you require more than 3 GB of free space, you will have to pay.

WordPress.org (self-hosting choice)

WordPress.org is a site where you can download the latest version of WordPress to install on your hosting. This version is completely free and distributed under the GPL, i.e. you can do whatever you want with the system. You can use WordPress to create any number of sites, configure the system as you wish - you can even rename the system and create your own “fork” if you wish. This is the beauty of the GPL.

If you decide to use this version of WordPress, you should take into account some additional details. First of all, you will need to register your own domain name and purchase hosting in a suitable hosting company. You will also need to install the script yourself, which may scare away some newbies. Fortunately, many modern web hosts offer the ability to install WordPress with a single click. Next, we will show you how to install WordPress yourself, but first, let's look at the pros and cons of this way of using WordPress.

  • Free to download and use.
  • Full control over your site
  • Install any themes and plugins
  • Monetization by any means

  • You have to pay for a domain name and hosting
  • It is necessary to monitor updates and site security
  • You need to regularly back up the site
  • A steeper learning curve
  • Support not included

A few words about choosing a hosting for WordPress

If you decide to choose your own hosting, then in this case you will need to do it correctly. After all, it depends on the hosting how well your site will work. If you choose poor hosting, you may encounter a slow site speed, poor user support and a host of other problems.

Today, there are excellent hosting companies offering quality services for hosting WordPress sites.

How to install WordPress

Many hosting companies offer WordPress one-click installation, which greatly simplifies this process. However, in some cases, you may need to manually install WordPress on the server. We will assume that your hosting uses cPanel as a control panel, which is the most popular option. In the case of other control panels, the steps presented may differ slightly, but in general they will be similar.

The first step is to go to your cPanel account and create a MySQL database for your WordPress site. Go to the "Databases" section and select the "MySQL Databases" option.

On the next screen, enter a name for the database at the very top and click on “Create Database”.

After the database is created, remember its name and click on the “Go Back” button.

Now we will need to create a user for the database so that WordPress can interact with it. On the page that opens, enter the username and password, you can click on the “Password Generator” button so that cPanel generates a secure password for you. After that, click on the “Create User” button.

The final step is to add the user to the created database. In “Add a User to a Database” select your database and your user from the drop-down list, then click on the “Add” button.

On the next screen, select the “All Privileges” field and click on the “Make Changes” button.

Now we have a database and a user added to it. We can move on to the next step.

We head to the WordPress website and download the latest version of the system. Once you have the zip archive with WordPress on your computer, unzip it and upload the files to the hosting.

Files are downloaded via FTP. Your hosting company should provide you with FTP information for your account. Enter this data into your FTP program, a good option is the Filezilla program.

Upload all WordPress files to the public_html directory of your hosting account if you want your WordPress site to be available at http://www.vashdomain.com. Or you can upload files to a separate folder - in this case your site will be available at the following address: http://www.vashdomain.com/blog.

Once all the files have been downloaded, visit your site in a browser to begin the installation process. You will need to enter the name of your database, username and password (all this was created by you earlier). The last two fields can not be changed.

After clicking Submit, the following screen appears, on which you can enter some required information about your site. Think of a heading for the site and specify the name of the administrator (for security reasons, I do not recommend you take the administrator name admin). Enter your password and email address, then click on “Install WordPress”.

After installation, you will see the message “Success”, which will notify you that the WordPress system has been installed. You can then click on the “Login” button to enter the WordPress admin panel.

Done! Now you have a working build of WordPress, and you can get acquainted with the WordPress console.

WordPress Console

To start working with a WordPress site, you need to log in using your username and password that you created when installing the system. You can enter the site at http://www.vashdomain.com/wp-admin, where you will see the following form:

After you enter your credentials, you will enter the WordPress console. The console is the main administration area where you can configure the settings of your site, create posts and pages, install themes and plugins and do a lot of other things. When you first install WordPress, the “Welcome to WordPress” section, which is located at the very top of the screen and contains links to the most popular tools and actions, is very useful.

You can also see what your site currently looks like in a browser. If you enter the site URL in a browser, you will see a standard theme called Twenty Fifteen. In the following sections of the guide, we will look at how to change the look of your site by installing other themes.

Common parameters

There are some options that need to be configured for each new WordPress site. This is also a good way to get to know the console. First, let's visit the section “Settings” - “General” in the administrator’s menu and look at what settings we can set for the site:

  • Site Title (the name of your site)
  • Site Tagline (описание вашего сайта)
  • WordPress Address (расположение WordPress)
  • Site Address (домашняя страница вашего сайта, если вы устанавливали WordPress в подпапку)
  • Email Address (почтовый адрес администратора)
  • Membership (поставьте галочку напротив этого пункта, если вы хотите, чтобы пользователи могли регистрироваться на вашем сайте)
  • New user default role (пусть останется как Subscriber (Подписчик))
  • Date Format (формат даты)
  • Time Format (формат времени)
  • Day the Week Starts (Первый день недели)
  • Site Language (язык сайта)

Скорее всего, вам не придется здесь ничего менять, однако если вы в будущем захотите изменить заголовок или описание сайта, вы сможете сделать это в данном разделе.

Постоянные ссылки

The next thing to do is set up your permalinks. Permalinks are the URL structure that will be used on your site. By default, WordPress uses permalinks in the following format:

This format is not the most beautiful and not the most friendly to users and search engines, so you can switch to a format with dates, such as:

This format looks much better. However, an ideal solution would be the Post Name option, which is quite short and convenient:

To switch to this format, simply select Post Name, and then click on the “Save Changes” button.

Discussion Options

The next step is to configure the “Discussion” parameters, which are responsible for commenting capabilities. People can leave comments on your posts, which is great functionality, but you will need to control this process so that the site is not quickly filled with spam. Discussion options are in the Settings section. I recommend that you uncheck the “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles” option, as it is often abused. The remaining options can be left without touching - later they can be adjusted if you encounter an influx of spam (and an influx will certainly happen!).

At the very bottom of the page you can find options for avatars (Avatars). Avatars are small icons that appear on the screen in a comment next to the name of the person who posted it. You can choose standard images for those users who do not have their avatars, or you can disable them altogether if you wish.

Author Profile

The next section to be verified is your Author profile page. It is located at the address "Users" - "Your Profile". On this page you can set some personal options and information about yourself.

At the very top of the page, you can turn off the visual editor. I recommend that you leave the visual editor turned on, as it greatly simplifies writing. You can choose a different color scheme for the admin panel if the standard scheme does not seem very convenient to you. You can also disable the "Toolbar" (admin bar) when viewing the site. The admin bar is displayed at the very top when viewing a site in a browser and contains useful options and tools. I usually turn it off because I like to see the site in the same way that visitors see it, but you can always leave it if you find it useful.

Immediately below these options is a section with your personal profile. You can enter your name, contact information, website URL and a short biography that will be displayed under your records on the site. You can use this area to write about yourself and post links to your social profiles, sites, etc.

Content Creation

Now that you’ve got a little familiar with the WordPress console, it's time to use it to create something useful and publish new content on your site. In this section, I will show you how to publish blog entries and pages, and also consider the related options that you have.

The difference between posts and pages

By default in WordPress, you can create two types of content: posts and pages. The method of adding content to them is almost identical, which we will see in the next section, however, they differ in their functioning on the site. Pages are site elements that are used to host static content. They are used to create things like pages about yourself, contact pages, pages with terms and conditions of use, etc. By default, comments are disabled for pages because they are not required there. Pages are not displayed on the main page of your site, when you add content to them, they are designed to display links to them in the menu, in the header, in the footer or in other places.

Entries are the main content of your blog. When you publish a post, it will be displayed at the very top of the main page. When you publish the next record, the previous record will gradually go down. In posts, comments are enabled by default. You can sort entries by category, by date, and even by tag (more on that later). Your posts are displayed in reverse chronological order and fall into your website’s RSS feed, while the page is not.

Categories and tags

You can use categories and tags to group your posts. When publishing a post, you can choose a section that will contain all the posts related to this topic. The user can select this section on your site and see all the entries that are included in it.

You can add categories on the Post Editing screen, however I prefer to set them in advance. You must decide what topics you plan to write on and create relevant sections for these topics.

To do this, go to Posts - Categories, and add a new heading. Add as many rubrics as you need.

Another way to group content is to use tags. When you publish a post, you can add some tags to it that will describe the article. If we look at this article, we could add the tags “WordPress Beginners”, “WordPress Guide”, and “WordPress Basics” to it.

Then, if I write about WordPress again, I can use some of these labels again, i.e. a site visitor will be able to click on a label, say, “WordPress basics” and get all the posts associated with that label. Using tags is optional, so you can skip them altogether if you want. There has been some controversy over how useful they are to the end user.

You can add tags in the same way as rubrics - either before you write content (“Posts” - “Tags”), or in the process of writing it. I recommend using the latter approach, since it is not always possible at the very beginning to know which tags will best serve the content.

Post editor

Now we move on to the Post Edit screen, which is where you spend most of your time in the WordPress console. In the record editor, you can create new records, edit them, publish them on the site, plan their publication, etc. Just go to the “Posts” - “Add New” section to start the process of adding posts.

The Add New Post screen contains a small field where you can enter the title of your post, and a wide field below it where you can enter the content of your post. Just above this large field, you can see the Visual Editor button, which is used to visually format text: assign bold, italic highlighting, place lists, quotes, links, etc. On the same level as the visual editor tab is the Add Media button, which allows you to add images to the recording.

Create a test record: enter a title, some text, and then click “Save Draft” (Save draft). If you want to insert a link, select a section of text, then click on the button with the link and enter the URL for your link. You can then click on the “Preview” button to see how the post will look on your site. Don’t worry, there are no posts on your site yet.

By default, you have at your disposal only some limited formatting options available in the visual editor. If you click on the “Toolbar Toggle” button, another line will appear with different options, where there will be additional formatting elements that you can use when typing your text.

Media Library (or Media Library)

An important part of any blog entry is the image. All images, video and audio files in WordPress are controlled by the media library. When writing a recording, you can access the media library simply by uploading an image or by selecting any of the previously downloaded ones. On the record editing screen, click on the Add Media button located above the main field of the visual editor. A window will appear in which the images already used on the site will be displayed:

To add a new image, click on the “Upload Files” tab, which will bring up the media downloader. Here you can either drag and drop your set of images from the computer, or click on the Select Images button and manually select the images located on your computer. After the file (s) are uploaded, you will be offered some additional options on the right side of the window.

You can assign a title and caption to each image, specify Alt text and description, and also select some display options for images. You can choose the alignment (without alignment, left, right, center), specify a link (without a link, a link to an arbitrary URL, a link to an attachment page, a link to the original file), and also choose a size (full size, medium size or miniature).

Click on the “Insert into Post” button and your image will be added to the post. If you later need to change any of these settings, you can click on the desired image once, after which a toolbar will appear where you can edit the image.

Publish Post

Now that you have written your post, pasted links and images into it, you can make it available on your site. Before you publish your entry, you will need to add some final touches to it. There are panels on the right side of the record editing screen that you must fill out. Select a category for your entry from the list you created earlier. You can also add a new category directly in this field. Enter some tags to record in the Tags panel, clicking Add after entering each new tag. And finally, the “Featured Image” panel (Thumbnail), here you can download the image that will be associated with this recording. Different themes display thumbnails in different ways, but they are usually presented as large images at the very top of the posts. They are loaded in exactly the same way through the media library downloader.

Once you are done with these options, go to the very top of the page - there you will see the “Publish” field on the right edge. To immediately publish an entry on the site, simply click on the "Publish" button. The record will immediately appear on the site. Before doing this, let's take a closer look at another great WordPress engine called publication planning. Click on the Edit button next to the “Publish immediately” text and you will see a calendar where you can set the desired date and time the post was published. If you set the publication date and click Ok, the Publish button will be replaced with a Shedule, clicking on which will schedule your entry. This is a very convenient feature if you add a ton of posts and want them to be evenly published on the site.

Now you know how to add posts to your WordPress site. Pages are added in the same way. Visit “Pages” - “Add New” and you will see the same post editing screen. The only exception: when creating pages, you will not be able to select tags and categories. Pages can also be planned.

Introduction to Themes

In this section, we will discuss WordPress themes. Topics are responsible for how your site will look and how content will be presented. They are exactly the component that visitors to your site see. There are different types of themes designed for different purposes. A WordPress theme consists of a set of files, each of which is used as a template for displaying different sections of the site. There is a template for the home page, a template for the blog, a template for individual posts, a template for pages, as well as any additional templates that are usually created by the authors of the topic. Let's look at some types of topics, paid and free, how to install them and how to customize them to your requirements.

Today, there are WordPress themes for a variety of purposes. There are highly specialized topics that allow you to create sites for doctors, hotels, sites in the form of message boards, portfolio sites, etc. There are more universal themes aimed at bloggers, business owners, etc. Most topics fall into one of the following categories:

  • Blogging Topics designed primarily for blogging
  • Business. Themes for creating corporate sites.
  • Portfolio. Themes for displaying images and video files.
  • Magazines. Similar to blog topics, but with more complex markup
  • E-commerce. Used to create online stores
  • Universal themes. Large topics that can be used for different purposes.
  • Applications More complex topics developed for a specific solution - for example, topics for creating catalogs, message boards, themes for real estate agencies.
  • Frameworks The foundation for creating your own themes.

Different types of themes offer different styling and functionality, so you should definitely read the description of the topic and watch the demo version of the theme to see if it meets your requirements. Next, we look at where you can download paid and free themes, what is the difference between them, and how to install them on your site.

Where to find free themes

The best place to look for free WordPress themes is the official catalog. There are over 2000 themes that are completely free. You can always download them and use for any purpose. The reason this place is the best source of topics is because every topic presented in the catalog goes through a rigorous selection and testing process for compliance with WordPress standards. All of them support all the functionality of the WordPress core and, more importantly, are safe to use on your site.

You can find a huge number of topics by searching on Google, however you may encounter some problems if you use this approach. Themes may have poor quality code, so some features may not work on your site. Some topics may have hidden sponsored links in the footer area (this is prohibited for those in the official directory) and, even worse, some topics may include malicious code that will allow hackers or spammers to access your site.

To add themes from the catalog, you don’t even have to visit the official WordPress site. You can install themes through the WordPress console. Visit the Appearance - Themes - Add New section and you'll see a list of topics. Here you can choose the latest topics, popular topics, as well as just interesting topics (which change randomly every day). There is also a filter that allows you to select themes by color scheme, features and layout options. You can search for keywords that will describe the type of topic you need.

Unfortunately, not all themes in the WordPress directory have such a chic design. At the moment, design requirements are quite low, so you may well find not the most elegant themes. However, you can always follow the section with WordPress themes to find the best quality themes for yourself.

Where to Get Premium WordPress Themes

Premium themes are paid / commercial themes that you can also use on your WordPress site. The main difference between paid and free themes is in design (although free themes have also recently become very professional looking). Premium themes may include more different features, however, the most important difference between these topics is the offer of user support from their authors. If you're a newbie, buying paid WordPress themes is a great investment. Companies that produce high-quality WordPress themes constantly offer updates for their themes, which ensure that the themes will work with the latest version of WordPress, while the authors of free themes do not always fulfill this requirement.

If you require a paid theme, you can purchase it either on the website of the developer company or on the theme market. Theme companies usually offer their own topics and have their own support system, implemented either as a forum or as a ticket system. The market is a platform where a variety of suppliers sell their topics. Support in this case is offered by each supplier, and not by the market itself. If you decide to purchase a theme on the market, be sure to study the reviews of this topic and support options, as each supplier can have their own.

ThemeForest. The largest market at the moment. They offer over 5,500 WordPress themes that are available in different categories. There are both good topics and bad ones with terrible code, so be sure to read user reviews before buying anything.

Creative Market. A great store that allows you to buy everything related to design. It has a smaller size than ThemeForest, but the quality of the proposed solutions on it is higher. В данный момент они имеют около 2000 тем WordPress, выставленных на продажу.

Как установить тему

Итак, вы скачали тему. Она должна быть запакована в zip-архив. У вас есть два варианта ее установки. Вы можете либо разархивировать файл и загрузить папку с темой по FTP в папку wp-content/themes на вашем сайте. Обычно эта папка расположена по адресу:

Более простой способ установки темы – загрузить ее в zip-формате через консоль. Чтобы сделать это, перейдите в раздел «Appearance» — «Themes» — «Add New» — «Upload Theme», щелкните по кнопке «Browse» и выберите zip-архив с темой на вашем компьютере, после чего щелкните по кнопке «Install Now».

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