How To Start with WordPress

WordPress

A Short Story

A decade ago I started my first blog on a Google's Blogger platform to share academic notes and personal thoughts. Gradually it became my habit and classmates attracted to it. They used to thanks me for sharing informative stuffs and helped them to complete homework with less efforts, which infect inspired me to learn more about the blogging.

After some months I moved to the hosted blogging service - WordPress.com. It provides better features for blogging flow. But again, after sometime I felt restricted about theme and plugin customization. And then I finally decided to move to self hosted WordPress blog on my server with complete freedom for development.

If you are a newbie to the WordPress then let me tell you that WordPress.com and WordPress.org both are totally different. So let's compare both with some valid points.

Note: Throughout this article we are going to talk about hosted and self-hosted WordPress. So I would use short name highlighted with the bolder below:

  • Hosted WordPress = WordPress.com = WP.com
  • Self-hosted WordPress = WordPress.org = WP.org

WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org

WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org

  1. WP.com is a free blogging platform (by automattic.com), where you can start by just signing up a simple form - while WP.org can be downloaded and run locally in your machine.
  2. WP.com comes with ready to use features. You just need a username to login and that’s it. No further technical configuration needed by you - with WP.org you need to be technically sound for setting up database. If you are familiar with PHP coding language, you would feel more relaxed.
  3. You are not allowed to install extra plugins on WP.com - while WP.org is all yours. You can install any plugin you want. Moreover, if you are good at development, you can create installable plugin as per your custom requirement.
  4. WP.com has large number of free themes available to choose from. If you can spend money, you can even purchase premium themes for better look and feel. But yet you cannot customize it - WP.org is a local instance of your blog. You have freedom for customization without any restrictions.
  5. Using WP.com you do not need to spend a penny for hosting (except you opt-in for a paid plan where you would get lot more extra features). WP.com provides free unlimited hosting with a subdomain (e.g.: blogname.wordpress.com) - while to shot a self hosted WordPress you need to buy reliable hosting service for your blog. And you can decide with the domain name to be a top-level or sub-level.


Above list give strong signal to start with WordPress self hosted environment. And I am here to guide you step by step. So let’s begin:

Setup WordPress Locally

To set up WordPress locally we need a local server. I would recommend WAMP.

Note: I am using Windows OS and hence chose WAMP as a local server. If you are using any other OS than Windows, you should check with MAMP or LAMP.

Now let’s begin with WordPress setup

  1. Go to WordPress.org official site to download the latest package to you machine.
  2. Once downloaded, extract it  to WAMP's "www" folder and rename to testwp (or any suitable name)
  3. I am assuming that WAMP is installed in your machine. Now you need to start it to run WordPress (testwp) locally. Here is an excellent guide on installing WAMP server.
    • wampserver-server-status
      wampserver-server-status
    • Try running http://localhost. You should get below screen:
    • wampserver-homepage
      wampserver-homepage
  4. Once WAMP started, create a MySQL database using phpMyAdmin. To do so follow this URL - http://localhost/phpmyadamin - you should give a database name wisely to get relate with the project so that you can recall easily in the future.
  5. Now we can start configuring MySQL database for local WordPress installation. Follow URL in any browser - http://localhost/{projectname}. You would be asked to fill up database configuration as shown in below image:
    • WordPress Database Configurations
    • Database name must be one you have created through phpMyAdmin. Default User Name can be root and left the password blank. No need to pass Database Host and Table Prefix now.
  6. Once you are submit with above form you will be taken to the next form where you have to pass details about your site/project/blog:
    • wordpress-installation
      wordpress-installation
  7. If all went well, you would go to the success page, where by clicking on "Login" button you have to pass username and password created under step #6.
  8. To access you can follow http://localhost/{projectname}/wp-admin
  9. View your site: http://localhost/{projectname}

You are all set to play with WordPress now.

Further Reading:


Resources


Also published on Medium.