Some of you may have chosen to go with a hosted platform, which is a great way to get started in blogging. Because WordPress is used by the largest percentage of blogger (and because it’s my favorite!), much of the techie talk in this blog will relate to WordPress. But, even if you use another platform, hang in there with us, because we’re about to venture beyond the basics and start discussing promoting our blogs, writing killer content, headlines that hook, and a wide variety of topics about the various aspects of blogging.
Hopefully, you’ve selected a web hosting service that includes cPanel in its features. Most do. There are a lot of features included with your cPanel, and I’ll likely write a post soon with an overview of them, but today, we’re going to get your blog up & running. Are you ready?Great! When you signed up with your hosting provider, you should have received an email notification with your login information. The email may have a lot of information, such as your site’s IP address, the nameservers it’s stored on, and your username and password. That username and password are what you’ll need to log into your cPanel.
Your new web host may have uploaded a place holder, otherwise, your site will pretty much be a big blank page with the words “Index of” followed by a long line of stuff you probably don’t understand. Don’t worry — I don’t understand that stuff either, but I know it describes the server system the site is stored on.
The first thing you’ll need to do is type /cpanel after your domain name, like this:
Type in your username & password, and, ta-da! — you’ll be at the home page of your cpanel. Scroll down to the bottom and look for a blue smiley with the words Fantastico De Luxe under it. Fantastico is an autoinstaller. This means it will load select platforms and scripts onto your site without you having to do it manually. When you’re just getting started, this is very helpful. Click on the Fantastico icon.
Now you’ll see a large box that give a brief description of Fantastico’s function. Look in the left sidebar and you’ll see several categories. Find WordPress under “Blogs” and click on it. Now the big box will display a brief synopsis about WordPress with links to the platform’s main site and support forum. These are handy links to book mark for future use, by the way, but you won’t need them at the moment.
Click on the link that says “New Installation.” Now there is a bunch of stuff in the box. Ignore the first two boxes (under Installation location) and look at the Admin access data area. Pick a username and password you can remember and enter it here. Next, pick the name you want displayed on the site as the Admin nickname. You can change this later, but I almost always put my name — Linda Fulkerson.
Next, type the name of your website and put your tagline in the next box. Now you’re ready to click the Install WordPress button. Woo-hoo!
The next screen tells you a bit about your MySQL database. That’s not something to be concerned with right now. We’ll get into databases MUCH later. Click “Finish Installation.”
The final screen reminds you of your username and password. (They must be thinking about people like me!) Notice the sentence that give you the URL to access your admin area. It will be http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/. You can go ahead and click on that link now if you want. It’ll open your website’s login page in a new window, but before you close out of your cpanel, type your email address in the box provided and click on the Send Email button. This way you’ll have an email record of your WordPress installation.
Log into your wp-admin area. This screen is called the Dashboard, and we’ll talk about it and create your first post in the next post in this series. There’s a link to your site in the upper left part of your dashboard. Click the “Visit Site” button. Your site should look like this (only with your name & tagline):
Congratulations on successfully installing WordPress onto your new site! Tomorrow we’ll do a quick overview of the Dashboard, browse through the settings, and create your first post. You may wish to plan what you want to tell the world the day you launch your new blog.