What is WordPress ? Why should you use it ?
WordPress is a free and open source content management system. It is basically a tool you can use to create a website without learning how to code.
This article is essentially a guide for beginners who wish to create a website using wordpress. In order to do so, first we’ll be diving into the basics of wordpress by creating and testing a website in our local computer. And if you are ready, we’ll see how you can publish a wordpress site to the internet.
- The very basics of networking
Without wasting another second, lets begin.
Launching a wordpress site locally
- In order to launch a wordpress site in your computer locally you need to download 2 things. First you first need to download the latest version of it from wordpress.org. This will give you a .zip file.
- Then you need to extract it somewhere. This will probably give you a folder named ‘wordpress’.
- Now you need to install xampp from xampp.com. Xampp is basically a tool which can be used to retrieve stored data. In simpler words, its a server.
- After you have downloaded xampp, install it. This will give you a folder named ‘xampp’.
- Now copy all the files / folders you have inside the wordpress folder. Go to xampp > htdocs. This is the place where you will be having data about all your local websites.
- Create new folder here. Name it whatever you want. This will be the websites name. I created a folder named ‘newsite’
- Inside it paste all the files / folders you just copied.
- Launch the xampp control panel. There start the apache and mysql ports.
- Search for localhost/phpmyadmin in your browser. There go to database and create a new database. Lets say I created a database newsite_db. (this page won’t work if you don’t start the mysql and apache port first)
Alright lets see what we just did in the last 2 steps. First we launched apache server. This will start 80(http) and 443(https) ports. This enables us to connect to site made in htdocs folder
We also start the mysql port. This enables us to connect to the mysql databases, which xampp uses to store every kind of site data.
You can notice I already have different databases created (mysql, information_schema, performance scheme and phpmyadmin are there for default). These are just other sites I made.
If you also want to make other sites, just repeat the process we did.
Setting it up
Once you have created the database, you can just close that tab.
Now on a new tab search for ‘localhost/your_site_name‘ (in our case, ‘localhost/newsite’).
Then you might enter a setup configuration page like this
Select a language < Click continue < click to ‘lets go’. Then you’ll get this page.
Here first you need to tell it, which database you want this site to store its data. Which in our case is newsite_db. Then you need to select the username and the password of the database. When you install xampp the default username is ‘root’ and password is nothing(blank). Leave the other 2 unchanged and click on submit.
Finally it would ask you if you really want to run wordpress here and ask for its installation. Just click on ‘Run the installation’.
It is gonna ask you for some information too about the site. After you are done begin the installation.
Finally you are done. You will then be logged in to the wordpress admin dashboard where you can edit your site.
I won’t be diving deep into all the features of wordpress now. You can simply refer to youtube if you want. There are a ton of videos there.
But the main idea of first making you install wordpress in your local machine was to provide you about how wordpress actually works. It is recommended that you first play with wordpress in your local machine. And then go to the internet hosting part.
Hosting wordpress site on the internet
This part will be easier if you are familiar with how things work locally. Although it is recommended for you to first read this small article. This will help you understand things better.
So there would be 2 things you would need to have (buy):
- A domain name
- A hosting
Of course things would be different according to the kind of hosting you bought. I use hostinger, as it is the most cheapest one (In India). Although there are different kinds of hosting provider. You can use other web hosting services like bluehost. Or you can use some managed hosting provider like digitalocean or vultr or some other cloud host.
The thing is you will be doing very same thing we did in local, the only difference is how the host will set up for you.