At the current times, WordPress is the best CMS platform there is without a shadow of a doubt. True there are many other CMS platforms available, paid and open source, and you are bound to hear praise going their way and claiming to be the best. This however does not change the fact that WordPress is at the very top of the food chain being highly reliable secure and easy to use.
It therefore comes as no shock to realize that it has close to over 50 million sites riding sturdy on its back or the fact that web designers would never ever dream of making use of anything else. In this article, we will assume that you have set your mind on using WordPress as your CMS. And with that, let us have a look at the checklist to creating the perfect WordPress site.
1. Choose a domain
Web users would not be in a position to find you if you do not have a domain. In the event that you do not know what a domain is, www.twitter.com is a domain as is http://www.yahoo.com. The www and the http:// are optional. The sites will work whether or not you put these prefixes. The rest of the part is what is on discussion.
When choosing a domain bear in mind that there are 4 main elements namely:-
- Top level domain
- Root domain
- Sub domain
- Sub folder
Read up more on strategies to use when choosing a domain name in order to make the bet pick. To buy a domain, you may want to visit TDWS Domain. There are however other sites available that you can choose from.
2. Choose a hosting package
This is extremely important. If you get it wrong, your site will suffer the consequences. The hosting service should empower you and never at any one point limit your success. For instance, there are some hosting packages that will allow a single domain. As such, if you are looking to have multiple domains, which many people are, then this hosting package would not work for you. When you are making your choice, consider the following three factors:-
- The company
A good place to start hosting will be with Managed WordPress Hosting, where you can focus on your blogs and TD Web Services can maintain your website.
3. Configure the name servers
If the domain name you got came with the hosting package, then this step is irrelevant to you. If not, read on.
The moment you have your hosting account and domain, you need to point the domain to the servers of the host in order for the domain server to be able to connect to the server. After signing up, your host provider should have sent a default domain name. To change this, navigate the control panel to the ‘change nameservers’ option and edit. The change will however take 24 hours before it takes effect.
4. Upload the WordPress
Download the latest and compressed version of WordPress there is and then upload it to your hosting server using FTP. To use FTP (file transfer protocol) you first have to download as well as install an FTP program such as FileZilla.
After connecting to your server through FTP, you will be provide with a list of folders among which will be the name that you choose for your domain. It is in this folder that you should upload the files.
5. Create a database
It is in the database where all your data will be stored including configurations, user data and content. Every time a page in the site loads WordPress will query the database for all the information that is required from the title, categories, content, publish date and tags. Through your host’s panel create a database and configure the username as well as the password.
6. Modify wp-config-sample.php
After completing the full database setup, it is time to edit the wp-config-sample.php file using the FTP program. The first step is to rename the file and then open it using notepad or any text editor you may have.
Find the lines that ask for the database name, username and password and edit them to your credentials and then save and exit.
7. Install WordPress
Move on to your domain. During the installation of WordPress, it will require some basic information that is pretty easy to fill and create the account. It is a short process.
For security purposes, be sure not to use your user name as ‘admin’ as it is easily guessed by many hackers. The moment you have submitted the above information you will be able to log in through the admin panel.
8. Choose a theme
The theme you choose will be the foundation of the design that you will have for your site. There are literally thousands of themes available, both free and premium. They suit your need whether you are creating a real estate site, a design site or food site.
With all the options available screwing up is easy. To avoid messing up, the following are the minimum requirements for the theme you should get.
- Great design
- Solid code
- Valid CSS and HTML
- Strong readability
- Compatibility of the latest WordPress version
- Extensive documentation and support
The above are the steps to get you started. This is only half the way. The other half you will need to:
- Configure the WordPress basics
- Secure WordPress
- Create the most important pages
- Optimize your site for the search engines such as Google and Yahoo
- Set up the analytic
- Back up
- Set up the caching