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Setting Up a WordPress Website

I recently had one of my students ask me about starting his own website. I wrote out some instructions for him, so I thought I would share them here.

I’ve been using the WordPress platform for a few years now, well before it became the Internet Marketing standard. I rarely design HTML sites anymore, because WP is so easy to use. My clients are now able to update their own sites instead of waiting for me to get to their requests – makes it much easier for both of us!

I’ve had my own hosting company for several years now. My step-by-step list is going to include setting up the hosting account as well, because I am sure if people haven’t ventured down this road, eventually they will.

I can go through all of these steps in about 20 minutes total if the domain resolves quickly enough. I used to have to wait 48-72 hours before a could access a new domain name, but now it’s almost always instantaneous.

Okay, here goes!

  1. Purchase new domain.
  2. Set nameservers to point to the hosting account during the purchase.
  3. Go to main hosting control panel and add new account
    • Choose a unique username
    • Choose a password.
    • Choose a hosting package.
  4. Log into domain cPanel.
    • Add email address
    • Set forwarder to a general email address if desired.
    • Go to Fantastico in cPanel.
    • Install WordPress – remember username and password.
  5. Go to domain.com/wp-admin
  6. Update to newest WordPress version
  7. Choose Theme
  8. Go to Settings – General
  9. Site Title – use your main keyword in the title
  10. Site Description – use a sub keyword in the description
  11. Email – the address where you want site visitors to contact you
  12. Add www in front of domain
  13. Change time zone to UTC Chicago (or whichever time zone is appropriate)
  14. Change first day of the week to Sunday (if desired)
  15. Go to Settings – Permalinks
  16. Choose Custom Structure and add this code to the blank: /%postname%/
  17. Add Plugins and activate – there are many plugins to choose from – these are just some that I use.
    • Akismet – get unique code
    • All in One SEO Pack – requires configuration
    • Plugin: Contact 7 for Contact Page
    • TinyMCE Advance
    • Plugin: Google XML Sitemap
  18. Delete the default Hello post and comment
  19. Delete the default blogroll links
  20. Set up main site pages:
    • Home
    • About
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Site Map
  21. Set up categories – change Uncategorized to General or your main keyword
  22. Update your footer to include current year and copyright message

This is the first version of my installation list, but I will tweak it as I perfect my system.

You are ready to make your first post! I’ll show you how to do that tomorrow.

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