I got that far: Domain name, web host; paid for both. Get on my cPanel and I'm lost. I'm not even sure if my domain name is connected to the host. I did put the domain name in when I bought the webhost package, but I know there's more to it on both ends: Registrar and host.
If needed, I'm using Namecheap for domain name, Hostgator for webhost.
Also, I can't tell from cPanel how to even set up the website.
I have a theme I want to buy, it's a wordpress theme, not from wordpress.org, but looked good to me. However, not buying it until I know what I'm doing.
Any help would be much, much appreciated. In all honesty, I'm lost.
First, take a deep breath and relax 8
You'll need to make sure that your nameservers are set up in the registrar. This will make the link between your domain name and the host. Under cpanel you should find a section for nameservers. This will give you 2 different nameservers (or possibly more) that you can enter on the registrar entry for your domain.
It will take as long as 48 hours (although usually less) for this information to propagate through the internet DNS servers so that your site becomes visible.
The next step is to install WordPress. This is done in 2 different ways. The easiest is to use Fantastico which should be an option on your cpanel (usually down at the bottom). Look for WordPress in the list of packages it can install for you and follow the instructions. It should take maybe 5 minutes.
You'll need to do research on setting up WordPress to look and act like you want, but that isn't too hard. The hardest part is figuring out which theme and plugins to set up.
You're right about me needing to relax. I finally did. I got that nameserver thing done. Fantastico was a word I was trying to remember because somebody mentioned it in the forums. That's a lot of help. I definitely was prematurely wigging out. So, down at the bottom on cPanel, look for wordpress package to install, follow directions. Sounds good, will be my next move. Thanks both you guys for your quick response. I kind of dove into the water, then it started looking pretty deep. Lol.
This is a very helpful post/step by step guide: http://hubsacademy.com/972/building-a-p … -timeline/
Thanks, Susana, I will definitely check out that link. I got as far as installing wordpress and a theme, then got lost again on actually changing and posting to my new site; but, as usual, it will work out and I'll start learning. I love the help I'm getting here, though. I can use it. Will be checking out that link.
You're welcome. I've just started learning wordpress too. It gives me severe brain ache
Yes, I'm getting that brain ache myself. Shortly after posting here, I got a call from Hostgator, and got some help from them; it's pretty cool they actually call you after you put up a site. She told me to check out some YouTube videos on WordPress and, sure enough, I found some good stuff; like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Jv47_VIBOQ
And that link you posted was a lot of help too. Definitely got me going in the right direction.
You just have to remember that when you purchase your domain names from a site different from your host site, you have to change the nameservers from your registrar to your host. Hostgator is pretty quick, usually less than 15 minutes and your cPanel is very easy to use once you start playing around there. Setting up Wordpress is super easy right from cPanel and you will be up and running in minutes.
Good for you Nate! Just remember it isn't a race.
There are 2 types of posts you can make: pages (which are usually part of the menu options and can be nested) and posts (which are in categories and chronologically organized). Each of these has a section in the admin menu to add new ones or list the ones that are there (giving you the option to edit, delete, etc). These are the main avenues to look at for now. Also, some of the stuff under Settings should be looked at. Don't sweat the stuff you don't understand at this point. Come back to that later.
Thanks, LoneWolf, I appreciate your help much. I'm learning a lot. It's new and challenging, but I'm having fun. I'm figuring out a lot as I go. I was noticing the pages and the posts, and I finally figured out how to get them where I want them on the site. I will look more into settings. You're right, it's not a race, I can pace it, figure it out as I go. I keep learning new things.
I was wondering what you guys might know about updates and plug-ins on Wordpress. I've gotten some notices about installing updates and getting plug-ins on my Wordpress. I'm a little nervous about doing it because I don't want to foul anything up. It's going well, by the way. Putting content on my site, pretty happy with how it looks so far. It will take me awhile to build but I'm loving it.
Some plug-ins slow down the page from loading. Once installed though, you should update when available.
I get my plug-ins mainly from the Wordpress site. My favorite is a traffic counter. Almost up to a hundred visitors a day, once I break that threshold, I am going to monetize the heck out of the site.
Or you could use Jetpack or Google Analytics.
That is a good idea, and I was thinking about when I should monetize the site; sounds like a hundred visits a day is a good goal.
Why wait? 100 visits a day is 3,000 visits a month. That's quite a target unless you're skilled at self-promotion. If I'd waited until I had 100 visits a day on my blogs, I would've earned zilch for two years! Whereas I actually earned about $8,000 in that period.
It is supposedly a bad idea to put Adsense on a site that gets few visitors because of Google's "smart pricing" policy, but that's really a misunderstanding of how it works.
http://www.nichepursuits.com/how-to-avo … -adsense/#
You're not going to get smart priced just because you're not getting many visitors. You get smart priced if your visitors are clicking on the ads but not buying - and that has nothing to do with quantity of visitors. So that's one theory busted.
The other theory is that if you put ads on the site, you're going to annoy readers. So, you wait until you have lots of readers and start annoying them then? That doesn't make sense, does it? Well-placed, relevant and useful ads aren't going to annoy anyone. You're providing a service to your readers by giving them links to products that are helpful.
It's much easier to ensure ads are relevant and useful if you concentrate on affiliate ads and keep your Adsense ads (which you can't control so much) to a minimum. Either way, don't swamp the site. Avoid banner ads across the top of the site (but banner ads below posts are fine). Put ads in your sidebar, and don't forget you can also recommend products within your posts.
Updating themes and plugins in WordPress is very simple. Just click on the Dashboard->Updates and you'll see all the updates that are available, including WordPress itself.
Select all the plugins by clicking the checkbox in the header. Then hit update and wait. Go back to the same page when it's done and do the same for themes if there are any. If there is an update for WordPress then just hit the update button.
Pretty much all updates for WordPress are just that simple. Some advanced plugins may require you to go to the settings page. They will notify you of that at the top of every admin page until you do so.
You should always apply every update that comes along, even for plugins and themes you have not activated. And if the plugin or theme is not activated then you should actually consider deleting it.
As for what plugins to add, you need to determine what features you want that WordPress doesn't deliver. Then look for a plugin that does. There are lots of free plugins available through wordpress.org. You can go the Plugins screen in your WordPress and search for them there. Then when you find something you can install it directly to your site with one click. You'll have to activate it and some require some setup. But most are pretty simple.
Thanks, that's solid. What threw me off a little was a message on the screen, I think where you install the update, it says something like, "Before you update, make sure you have a back-up of your files", something along those lines; so, then I thought, I better make sure I have a back-up. Then I was thinking it must be simpler.
Backups are for when things go wrong. That is extremely rare, but not unheard of.
The first plugin you should look for is a good backup plugin. http://listmarketingadventure.com/why-i … up-plugin/ discusses the backup plugin I used to use and which one I use now. Both of them are free and email you a copy of the backup. There are also premium plugins that have more functions, but the free ones are probably all you need at this point.
Note that the ones I wrote about only backup the database. They don't backup the plugins, themes, or uploaded images. But most of those you will be able to download again (or upload) if there are issues that require a restore.
Once the plugin is installed and activated, it pretty much runs on it's own sending you email of your backups. I set an email folder for them. A filter automatically puts the emails into the folder and it is set to delete anything more than a month old. All I need to do is periodically check that it's still running (i.e. the emails are showing up).
Fire up Hostgator's Live Chat. They are very, very helpful. They talked me through the whole thing when I first started.
Good idea. I had already gotten a call from them (hostgator) the day following when I put the site up. She told me to go to tech support, also directed me to some good wordpress youtube videos.
The live chat will do more than that. I've used them several times - basically just going on the chat and saying "I'm stuck, how do I ....?" So far, my problem has always turned out to be self-inflicted (i.e. I was doing something stupid, or I was looking in the wrong place), but every time they were very patient - and more often than not, they actually did the job for me instead of packing me off with some advice. For instance, when I couldn't figure out how to install Wordpress, they installed it for me.
Thank you MistyHorizon and prettydarkhorse for showing me this option, too, for creating a database back-up to put on my hard-drive.
It's the scrapbook add-on for Firefox. It is good to have back-up in more than one spot, I hear.
Go to the domain itself, upload a theme. You can always change themes. Take it from there. The site is not built in Cpanel.
Hope that helps.
I was in the exact position a couple of years ago. Started it all, then got lost and confused. It was like being thrown in the deep end.
Good job with such a big step Nate! I remember coming on the forum 2+ years ago asking what the hell a nameserver was. You mentioned buying a Wordpress theme. I wouldn't do that till you're comfortable enough to know what you really want/need from your site.
Some plugin suggestions:
-Contact Form 7
-A backup plugin (I use Wordpress Move)
-A plugin to create a sitemap for Google Webmaster Tools.
-A SEO plugin like Yoast or SEO Ultimate.
-A social accessories plugin (to add a like, pin, tweet, stumble etc button to your content.)
-WP Captcha Free and/or some other spam plugins.
-Shortcodes Ultimate (if you want to add fancy boxes, dropcaps, columns etc)
-Google Analytics or Jetpack Site Stats to track traffic.
I'm writing that down. Sounds like those are necessary and valuable plug-ins.
If you use Yoast, it includes a sitemap for Google Webmaster Tools so a separate plugin isn't necessary.
If you use Jetpack, you don't need Contact Form 7 or social accessories plugins, because Jetpack includes them. It also has a Comments manager which includes a spam filter, so you won't need Captcha or Akismet plugins on your blog.
I like Jetpack because it covers the functions of so many other plugins in one package. That's useful because every plugin slows your site down a little bit, and speed is very important these days. Every plugin is a trade-off - if it does something vital, it's worth a small loss of speed. Otherwise it isn't!
The other good thing about Jetpack is that it gets you into the Wordpress.com community even though you don't have a Wordpress.com blog. I've connected with several .com bloggers who write on the same subject.
The only thing to watch with Jetpack is that it offers a lot of other features which you don't really need. Make sure to deactivate those (if you can't see a deactivate button on some, click the "Learn More" button and it will appear).
Finally - as others have said, don't buy a theme. In the early days of your blog, you don't know how you want it to look, so you're likely to buy the wrong thing. I know a lot of people say you "must have" Thesis or Genesis - but I've yet to be convinced they are so superior that they're worth investing in right at the start. There is so much to learn at first, you don't need the extra burden of learning how to set up the options on a theme as well.
The default theme is well-designed and fast. Unless you have strong reasons for not wanting to use it (e.g. you absolutely must have two sidebars), stick with it until you know what you're doing - you'll avoid spending money on mistakes!
Good points. I must admit I only use Jetpack for site stats... I still prefer other plugins for a lot of other things haha.
Do you actually find they do a better job, or have you just not got around to trying it?
I must admit I was the same at first - then I actually tried the Jetpack versions and had to concede they did the job competently and I didn't really need the extra features of some of the other plugins.
I'm a bit obsessive about keeping my plugins to a minimum for streamlining and speed.
Good info. It's good for me to know at this point to keep the plugins I get to a minimum; don't want to slow down my site.
If you are using a wordpress backup plugin, I suggest trying out the restore function to make sure its working right / works right - I had a sad experience with relying only on such a tool. You will probably never have cause to try the tool until you need it ... and then it might be to late!
Creating a backup of your wordpress database is very easy using phpAdmin in your cPanel
If your used to and comfortable with Wordpress it is a good next step in interacting with your site.
It takes about 3 clicks to backup or restore a wordpress database and it can be scheduled to be done daily or weekly etc
Good point! Yes I already had an unfortunate incident with losing content. Now I know how to use it.
Can I ask, how do you use PHP My Admin to create a backup? I've used it to remove errant tables left by plugins but I didn't know you could use it for backups.
I put the link in the HPfeed, Hubsacademy facebook feed and my personal twitter feed
http://wizzley.com/how-to-backup-wordpr … knowledge/
not sure if that one will stick around and I have a big upload going on so my machine is cranky slow and I will be calling it a night (took like 3 minutes to peck this out!)
you know I had a couple extra lines about the uses of phpadmin for plugin maintenance, spam comment removal etc .. but I chopped them off as I was concerned it would make the tool seem overcomplicated .. and its not!
Thanks, I just went and added it to my favourites and shared on Facebook.
Definitely going to be something I'll take a long hard look at later!
That is good stuff and I'm definitely heeding the warning; I will have to look at the content of that post from the link, though now I'm in the sleepy zone. I got it bookmarked. Looks like I got a lot to learn. But I'm okay with that.
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