WordPress ‘How To’ Guide

So, as I usually ask near the start of my posts, what’s this post about? I’ve setup a whole bunch of WordPress blogs in my time. Some have been for personal use, some for friends that need help getting started, some I’ve helped friends with and some have leaned more towards being commercial in nature. All of them, though, have followed a pretty similar process when it comes to the installation and configuration steps required for WordPress best-practice (in my opinion anyway). This article is going to cover the process I follow when I’m setting a self-hosted WordPress blog. These steps do not apply to blogs hosted on wordpress.com.

Please feel free to contact me through my contact page if you need clarification on or want to discuss any of the information in this post.

I apologise in advance for the length of this post … I tend to go into a lot of detail when writing posts like this. I hope it all helps someone though. 🙂

Assumptions & requirements

To begin with, you’ll need a few things before you even get started. Here’s a brief, but not exhaustive, list of things you’ll need.

  • A domain name. The domain registrar you choose is up to you – it would be irresponsible of me to say that any particular registrar is better than any other.
  • A web hosting account. I use ICDSoft – this is one situation where I’m happy to say they’re better than any other Linux host I’ve ever used.
  • A copy of the latest version of WordPress. As of today, September 1st 2010, this is version 3.0.1 and can be downloaded from http://wordpress.org/.
  • A theme. WordPress has possibly the best theme support around so this is quite important. Personally I use theme from Elegant Themes. Pick one, download/purchase it and have the files ready for later steps.
  • FTP credentials. You’ll need to know the DNS address or IP address of the FTP site that supports the final, published URL, as well as the username and password to login there. I use the free FTP client, FileZilla – it’s free and works on OS X (Mac), Linux and Windows.
  • MySQL credentials. You’ll need to know the connection address or IP address of the MySQL server that will support your WordPress installation, as well as the username and password used to connect.
  • An empty database ready for your WordPress installation. You don’t need to put anything in it – the WordPress installation scripts will do that for you.