WordPress is one of the best-known content management systems. Since the first stable version 1.01. under the GNU General, Public License was released as free software in 2004, WordPress has been continuously developed and extended by a growing community of developers.
The own website is the business card in the digital world. Hardly any company, trader or freelancer can do without it in the meantime, because a well-designed website is not only an inexpensive advertisement but also provides important information for customers and interested parties. While a few years ago it was necessary to have HTML and CSS knowledge to build your own website, today ready-made content management systems, CMS for short, take a lot of the work off your hands and allow not only the easy creation of a website but also a collaborative organization and editing.
The difference between WordPress software and the blog hosting service WordPress.com
The blog hosting service WordPress.com is based on free software WordPress. On WordPress.com you create a free blog or a static page in a few steps without installation. However, the functionality is limited compared to the installation software. There are fewer free themes available as well as less web space and the installation of WordPress plug-ins is not possible. The range of functions can be extended by premium services with costs, but the prices are quite high compared to the prices you pay for your own webspace with a provider.
For beginners in blogging and hobby bloggers, the scope of the free basic version of WordPress.com may be sufficient, but for professional websites, the installation version that you can get on WordPress.org is more suitable.
The advantages of a website designed with WordPress
WordPress is particularly well suited for building blogs, as contributions can be sorted into freely definable categories and readers can write comments. The program interface is divided into an administration page (backend) and the public website (frontend). Therefore, simple maintenance work or the addition of contributions does not have to interrupt the operation. WordPress can be managed by several users, who are assigned user rights by the administrator.
Even without knowledge of HTML and CSS appealing websites succeed by using free or paid themes. The range of functions is extended by numerous plug-ins, which supplement the CMS with, for example, statistics and backup functions, a weather map and social media links.
Requirements for the installation of WordPress
Before you begin the installation of WordPress, download the latest version from the WordPress website http://wpde.org. In the version offered there, the are many language packages that are already pre-installed. WordPress is open source software and may, therefore, be downloaded free of charge and used privately and commercially.
WordPress is written in the programming language PHP and requires a web server and a database for operation. If you don’t have your own webspace yet, please look for a suitable provider. Using the internet search you will find comparison portals that will help you. Make sure that your provider supports at least MySQL 5.0 for the database and at least PHP 5.2.4 for the software. Some providers offer cheap or even free web space with advertising. However, this option is not suitable for a professional website.
If you have found a suitable provider, log in on the administration page and create a new database for your WordPress installation. Many providers use Parallels Panel for the management pages, so the operations are similar. On the admin page, click Databases in the dashboard to open the options page. Click “Add new database” here.
In the next “Add New Database” window, type a suitable name in the text box behind “Database Name”. Then activate the checkbox in front of “Create new database user”. In the field behind “Database user name” write a freely chosen user name. Then set a password, confirm it and finish the process by clicking “OK”. Make a note of the user name and password, as you will need these for the later WordPress installation.
Optional software for uploading files to the Internet and editing web pages
To install WordPress on the Internet server, you need an FTP client that controls the data exchange between your hard disk and the server, such as the software Filezilla, which you can download for free at https://filezilla-project.org/.
To edit websites and script files, you need an HTML editor, for example, Notepad++ or Aptana. For simple tasks, the simple editor, which is pre-installed on every computer, is sufficient.
To unpack the WordPress installation package, which is packed in a zip file for an easy download, an unzipping program such as WinZip, WinRar or 7-Zip is required.
The installation of WordPress on a server
After the preparations for the WordPress installation have been made, you can begin with the actual installation. Unzip the downloaded zip folder containing the WordPress installation files and open the file “wp-config-sample.php”. Enter your database details in this file.
It is also useful to change the security key. You will find the instructions for this in the file.
Save the file as “wp-config.php”. Pay attention to the file extension “.php”.
Then start your FTP program. With the access data provided by your provider, log on to the server. Open the root directory, which is usually called “httpdocs” or “htpdocs”. Open the folder with the WordPress files in your FTP browser and transfer them to the root directory.
Then call up the web address of your site in your Internet browser. If your database data was correct, the start page of the WordPress installation will open. Here you will be asked to enter a page title, a user name, a password and your e-mail address in the corresponding text fields. Then start the installation by clicking on “Install WordPress”.
Within a short time, WordPress will be installed and you can log in in the admin area with your WordPress access data.
After logging in, the dashboard will be opened where you will find the most important information about the functions of your site. On the left side of the dashboard, you will see a menu for the most important functions in WordPress. You can immediately start writing articles, selecting a theme and customizing the design.
To get to the public view, hover your mouse over the page title in the upper left corner and click “Go to Page”.