Installation & Basic Configuration of WordPress

For the vast majority of you, installing WordPress will be an incredibly simple exercise.  Most hosting companies offer a one-click install package, such as Fantastico.  So mosey on along to your hosting provider’s interface and tell it to install WordPress already!  If your hosting provider does not have a one-click install, you will need to download the latest WordPress package and follow these instructions for installation.

As you might remember from this post, WordPress needs a MySQL database to run.  You will need to define a database name for your MySQL database, a URL to install WordPress to, and a MySQL username and password that WordPress will use to connect.

So, for example, if you are want people to visit your blog at www.mycookingsite.com/blog you might choose:

Database name = mycookingblog
URL to install WordPress = www.mycookingsite.com/blog
Username = johndoe
Password = 123abc456def7890

Take careful note of your username and password.  I recommend choosing a 16-character randomly generated password (something more secure than the one above, obviously!).  This username and password are stored in a WordPress file called wp-config.php that will be automatically created for you by your installer.  Any time you change your password (which you should do relatively often, for security purposes), you will want to update wp-config.php.  We’ll talk more about that later!

If you are using a one-click installer, you will receive an email from your hosting provider once WordPress is successfully installed on your server.  That email will contain the password that has randomly been generated for you for your WordPress “admin” user.  Go ahead and go to WordPress and log in.

The login location for My Cooking Site would be: www.mycookingsite.com/blog/wp-admin

Username = admin
Password = given in your installation email

Welcome to WordPress!

There are a few things that you will want to do immediately.

  1. Users → Add User.  Create a new user for yourself.  Make sure that author name is the one that you want to be visible inside WordPress.  Give that new user the role of Administrator.  Make sure that you choose a password that is secure and different from your database password.  Again, I recommend a 16-character randomly generated password.
  2. Log out of admin and in with your new username.
  3. Users → Add User.  Delete the admin user.  Hackers target blogs that are easy to get into, and the first username that they will try is ‘admin’.  Make yourself less susceptible by deleting the user.
  4. Settings → General.  Update all of the fields.  Be sure that the “Anyone can register” box is unchecked.
  5. Settings → Privacy.  Select the box that says: “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors”.  We’ll uncheck this box once your blog is styled and ready for the world to see!
  6. Settings → Permalinks.  Choose either “Day and Name” or “Month and Name”.  Leaving the default is very bad for SEO (search engine optimization purposes).  A post URL of www.mycookingsite.com/blog/?p=123 means nothing to Google; a post URL of www.mycookingsite.com/blog/2010/01/brownie-recipe is much more descriptive!
  7. Navigate to Comments and delete the initial comment that WordPress creates by hovering over the name of the comment until links appear below it.  Select “Delete” and press “OK”.

Voila – you have WordPress!  The next post in this series will be all about plugins!  (As you know, plugins are my favorite things.)

1 response to Installation & Basic Configuration of WordPress
  1. Aha! This is already making more sense to me. Of course, I see all of this after I e-mail you. :) But would still be interested in your services if you’re available. :)

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