3 – Installing WordPress

WordPress is by far the most popular website platform out there. Obviously this site is run on WordPress but did you know the following companies use WordPress too: CNN, UPS, TIME, Samsung, InStyle, eBay, Volkswagen, and many more? WordPress is nothing more than a content management system (CMS) that allows a user to easily manage a website through a control panel. In the past you would have had to connect to your server to download a webpage to modify and then upload it once finished. The beauty of WordPress or any CMS is that you make all your edits in the administrator control panel. You also add themes, plugins, users, etc all within the backend. You will rarely ever have to connect to your server. Here are five reasons why I personally love WordPress:

  1. It’s 100% free to use with no hidden charges of any kind.
  2. The WordPress community is the largest out there so support is good.
  3. There are hundreds if not thousands of additional add-ons such as themes and plugins.
  4. The learning curve is very quick and requires really no HTML knowledge.
  5. It’s secure if you keep it up to date to prevent hackers from intruding.

How to install WordPress on Bluehost

In our last step I showed you how to sign up with Bluehost in order to host our soon to be website. Installing WordPress literally only takes a few clicks and doesn’t require any knowledge of MySql databases or other complicated stuff. First you have to login to Bluehost and head to your CPanel. Scroll down until you are at the Site Builder section and click on “WordPress”. You will be redirected to another site where you can begin the installation by clicking “Install”

wordpress bluehost

The installation of WordPress is pretty easy but there are a few editable fields. In my screenshot you can see the options I chose but to give you a better understanding I will break down each option and what it means.

  • Step 1 asks if you want to install the latest/stable WordPress version. You can leave this as is. It will ask you where you want to install WordPress and if you want to use a www. or not. I prefer to use a www. so selected that and left the second field blank since you want to install it in the parent directory.
  • Step 2 is for setting up your username and password. It can automatically generate that for you but I prefer to make my own username and password. This is what you will use to login to WordPress. I’d recommend to NOT use admin as your username. Leave “Automatically create a new database” checked.
  • Step 3 asks if you want to install additional themes. I choose no since I know I will install other themes but you can if you want.
  • Step 4 is some legal stuff. Just accept it and click “Complete”

wordpress install

You will know be redirected to a new page that has your website, login URL, username, and password. Congrats, you’ve officially installed WordPress on Bluehost.

Tweaks for WordPress

Although WordPress comes very bare, there are a few things I’d recommend to change to make it more user friendly. The first thing I like to change is to make sure WordPress has SEO friendly URL’s. By default it uses dynamic parameters in the URL structure so you would see something like yourdomain.com/?p=321. We’d rather have URLs that look like yourdomain.com/awesome-post. To change this go to the left sidebar, click on “settings” and then “permalinks”. Make sure the “post name” setting is checked and click save.

permalinks

Under the same Settings menu, click on “General” and you will be able to change your website name and subtitle. The website title is important since it shows up in Google searches, your browser title bar, and throughout your website. You can title this something simple as your name, your brand, or something like “Emily’s Fashion Blog”. The tagline box is where you can enter a subtitle and is not required. You could type in something like “My daily food and fashion adventures”.

wp info

If you look at your website, you’ll notice that WordPress generously puts in some filler content so you can better understand where certain things appear. Since you’ll be adding your own posts and pages it makes no sense to keep them. The three places where WordPress puts filler are under Pages, Posts, and Comments.

wordpress trash

The next steps…

Now that we have WordPress finally set up, we can now make it look good by using a custom theme that’s more ‘fashion’ friendly. Our next step will show you how to find a WordPress theme that will turn your boring blog into a stunning showcase.

Click here to head to step 4