Nowadays, a huge number of authors choose a very popular interface to reflect their thoughts and share their passions; it’s called Blogs, these small content sites managed mostly by individuals. To facilitate the creation of these sites of a particular kind, the best is to start with a solid system that has proven itself, while avoiding the complications encountered by the authors developing websites.
Get Started With WordPress:
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free software that was created for this reason. It is probably the tool you need if you want to create a blog, simply for a personal presentation site or maybe for your online business.
So it’s good to know that WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System), it allows the user (the Site Administrator) to easily create content pages, such as:
- Company presentation pages
- Blog articles
- Contact page
- Portfolio for an artist
- Business site
The idea of a CMS is to provide the ability to easily create content on the site without having any coding experience or special technical knowledge.
WordPress was released for the first time in 2003 as a project derived from Cafelog. Many versions have come out since that date, each bringing many new improvements such as plugins, widgets, themes, and an improved user interface. Version 3 was released in 2010; it included menu management, new functions to modify the site header and multi-site support (which allows management of multiple sites on a single WordPress instance).
WordPress structure is based on PHP; a programming language designed for creating websites. This language allows developers to add functionality that can be modified by other users. It is easy to edit if you have the necessary basics.
One of the great strengths of WordPress is the huge number of available plugins developed by the community. These are modules to add functions to WordPress, such as creating a photo gallery or managing a newsletter. There are now over 36,000 plugins on the official site wordpress.org. Therefore, if you are looking for additional improvements for your website, you can find the right plugin(s).
The fame of WordPress in the world of blogging is such that there is even a dedicated website: wordpress.com (not to be confused with the official website .org), which allows you to create your WordPress blog without looking for hosting or installation. Everything is handled automatically; you only have to create your content.
Setting up the web server
What is a server?
To work, any website relies on a server that is responsible for sending pages to visitors. The server is a program that executes code structure (written in PHP in the case of WordPress) to generate and send pages in HTML format, readable by a web browser (Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.). To use WordPress, you need to have a server; The most used one for PHP is called Apache server, it’s completely free and can run on any environment (Windows, Linux or Mac).
In addition, the web server works most often with a database, which stores specific information to your site: page content, registered users, configuration, etc. All the changes in the website are potentially stored inside in the form of several data tables. MySQL is the most widely used open-source RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) because it’s totally free and compatible with the majority of applications; that’s why we will be using it.
A web server and the database can be installed on any machine, even your personal computer, which enables you to test your site locally ( it is called “localhost”). Always start with a local installation to limit the mistakes you might make as a beginner. If you have some errors on your pages when your website is online, any visitor can see them. In localhost, you will be the only one to have access to the site, so your work will be easier.
If you are on Windows, you can use WAMP, a program that contains an Apache server and a MySQL database on your computer. You can download WAMP on the official website, which offers several different versions of the software. If you don’t know which one to choose for your computer, check if your system is 32 or 64 bits.
After downloading the package, run the installation with the default options. It should create a folder c: wamp on your computer. You can verify if WAMP appears correctly with the displayed icon in the taskbar.
Now open HTTP: // localhost / in a browser. this is the address of the local web server.
If you get this page, your web server is working and ready to run WordPress.
For systems running Mac OS X, the alternative software is MAMP, which also installs all the required programs. You can download it directly via this link. http://www.mamp.info/en/index.html . First extract the zip file and run the .pkg file to start the installation.
Now MAMP is installed, you can launch it from the folder “Applications> MAMP” of your computer.
The window that opens shows the status of Apache and MySQL servers. If they are stopped, click ‘Start the servers’ to see the status bar go to green. Open the “Preferences” window. In the “Ports” tab, click the “Set to default Apache and MySQL ports”. Then, in the “Apache” tab, you can choose the folder in which to place the files on one or various sites on your computer. I advise you to choose the “Sites” folder which must already exist in your home directory.
You can now accept the changes and go to HTTP: // localhost / MAMP / in your browser to check if the server is working (see below).
If you use a Linux system as Ubuntu or Debian, the easiest way is to install the different packages containing Apache, PHP and MySQL. So run the following command in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 mysql-server libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mysql
All packages must be installed without problem. When installing MySQL, the console will prompt you for a password you will need to remember for connecting to the database, do not forget it! Then install phpMyAdmin with the following command line:
sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin
The command prompt will ask you as a first step to select the server to configure phpMyAdmin, select Apache and confirm the creation of a database to the next step. Finally, you must enter the chosen password to the MySQL installation to ensure that the package can create its own database.
When the installation is complete, go to HTTP: // localhost / in your browser. A confirmation page, as the following figure should appear.