For all you foodie bloggers out there who want to set up a self-hosted WordPress site, this is the first of a series of posts that will help you set up a self-hosted WordPress blog site.
In a call with my fellow Zomppas a couple of weeks back, we were chatting about how we had noticed that many of the foodie bloggers and arts & crafts bloggers we follow are growing more and more dissatisfied with their Blogger and WordPress.com hosted sites, and that they are contemplating a move to a WordPress.org self-hosted site. We realized that some posts dedicated to this more technical topic area would actually prove quite helpful to many of our readers and fellow foodies who want to improve their blogs or even start start one.
I have been working with WordPress for about four years now, and my biggest pride and joy is zomppa.com, of course! I should specify that the instructions that follow are relevant to WordPress.org self-hosted sites and not WordPress.com hosted sites (please read up about them to see how they differ).
To spare you all a ridiculously long post with techie information overload, I will break this up into a series of four posts over the month of February:
- WordPress installation and basic setup of your site
- Customization and theme selection
- Essential plug-ins, security and analytics set up
- Answer any questions that may arise from first three posts
There are plenty of similar step by step approaches out there in the blogosphere on how to set up WordPress sites, and no doubt, other people will have slightly differing views on the order and emphasis I may put on some steps, and that is cool. This is just how I go about setting up WordPress site, and I hope it is helpful.
1. Register your domain name
My preference is to register my domains with the likes of www.godaddy.com or www.register.com, rather than with my host provider service I’m going to host the site with. This way, should you decide to change host provider, you wont have as many complications in maintaining your site live.
2. Select a host provider and the right package for you:
You will want to do your research and read reviews before selecting a host provider. If your site is going to be mainly country specific, then for SEO purposes, it is good to select a host provider based in that country. If you want your site to have an international spread and are hopeful for sizeable traffic from around the world, then I would recommend using one of the biggies like Hostgator or Lunarpages, as they will provide round the clock 24/7 support.
In selecting your package you will have to gauge the number of sites that you intend to host and the amount of bandwidth you will need. Larger sites with lots of content (especially site-hosted video) will likely need their own account. Most host providers do list all this information and are usually pretty helpful in assisting you to determine which package best meets your needs. You can always upgrade in any case.
3. Installing WordPress
- Once you have purchased your account package, they will send you an email with all your account access instructions. This will include the 2 nameservers addresses, and usernames and passwords for your control panel (cPanel) and FTP (if you have purchased a hosting plan for more than one site).
- You will then go to your GoDaddy account and change your nameservers so that they point to your host provider. (You click on the “Advanced Settings” for your domain and see a hyperlink in the bottom left corner to set your nameservers)
- All the big host providers like Dreamhost and Hostgator have quick install features for WordPress based sites so all you will have to do is insert your domain name and it will install WordPress on your domain. You will then receive an email informing you that a WordPress site has been set up under your domain and they will give you the username and password to access the back-end/dashboard of the site.
4. Basic Initial Set-up for WordPress
The WordPress Dashboard can look somewhat daunting upon first arrival so let me just walk you through a few things that you will want to set up on your site before you start putting up content.
- General settings: In here you will want to set your site title & tagline, along with the date, time, etc
- Fix permalinks: Unless you want your posts to have non-SEO friendly URLs with numbers, you will want to change the default permalink to a date and post name setting (0r just a post name “/%postname%/” setting).
- Set up users: If you plan on having other people put updates to the site, you will need to create accounts for them. As the administrator, you can then establish the level of access that they will have. Unless you are certain of other users expertise in using WordPress, I would stay away from giving them Administrator and editor privileges.
- Selecting and installing themes: There are thousands of themes out there, and in my next post I will write more about the various choices out there. For now, my main recommendation would be that you select a paid theme rather than a free one as they will be coded better for search-engine optimization, and they come with much needed support from the developers if you need assistance with your theme.
- Install basic plug-ins and widgets: Again, there are thousands upon thousands of plug-ins and widgets available for download. I will write more about plug-ins in my next post.
Check out the other two posts in the series:
Additional useful resources that cover the whole WordPress set-up process:
Installing WordPress: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress
WordPress video tutorials on A4Magic.com
WordPress training by Atomic Design Studios
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Category: WordPress Tips
About the Author (Author Profile)Kat is not only a whiz at online new media and social networking–is the brains getting this site up and running!–but she’s also a monster on the tennis courts. Her penchant for honesty and genuine pursuit to lead a good life has garnered her many fans, although she is far too modest to even realize this. A connoisseur of espressos, cappuccinos and Italian/Irish gastronomy, Kat will gladly share her opinions in one of four languages. Check out Kat’s site if you need help with your social media and web communications strategies www.kathleenholmlund.com
Sites That Link to this Post
- Tweets that mention Setting up your Foodie Blog on Wordpress | Zomppa - International Food Magazine -- Topsy.com | February 7, 2011
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- Setting up your Foodie Blog on Wordpress – Part 2 | Zomppa - International Food Magazine | February 15, 2011
- Setting up your Foodie Blog on Wordpress – Part 3, Plugins | Zomppa - International Food Magazine | February 22, 2011
- Setting up a Food Blog | February 22, 2011