Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog By Todd Wickersty
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogAgenda Registering a Domain Hosting Download and Installation Configuration Conversion from WordPress.com
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogDomain Registration The first step is deciding upon a domain name. What is going to be your address on the web? Decide on options A, B, and C in case your first choice is not available. When you attempt to register a domain, the domain registrar will automatically perform a search to find out if the domain address is available.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogDomain Registration .com registrations run about $10/yr. It is still the best-known extension. Other domains, such as .fm cost around $70/yr or .info costs about $1/yr. GoDaddy.com and VoxDomains.com are a couple registrars we have used and recommend. If you plan to host your WordPress blog on GoDaddy, then I would register the domain there too so it’s all in one place. Don’t get roped into any of the upsells during checkout. 99% of the time, you won’t need those features.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogHosting There are plenty of good hosting companies to choose from. We advise to pick a host that is established and provides good customer support. You need a hosting plan that supports PHP 5+ and MySQL. This is a common request. We have used Media Temple, IX Web Hosting, and GoDaddy over the past 5 years for hosting WordPress sites.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogHosting Media Temple $20/month for their cheapest plan (gs grid service - @ http://mediatemple.net/webhosting/gs/ ) They service many large customers such as ABC, Warner Brothers, Starbucks, and Toyota Great for scalability GoDaddy $4.74/month for the Economy Plan (http://www.godaddy.com/hosting/web-hosting.aspx ) IX Web Hosting Plans run from $6.95, $9.95, and $12.95/mo (http://www.ixwebhosting.com/index.php/v2/pages.hostingPlans )
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogHosting Don’t Use Yahoo! Small Business Hosting! Yahoo! Places some restrictions on your installation and hosting account that others don’t, e.g. Can’t installWordPress in the root Can’t edit .htaccess Several additional plugins are automatically installed with the Yahoo! WordPress install script. These plugins are not necessary.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogDownload and Installation Option 1: install WordPress through your hosting account When shopping for a host, seek out a hosting plan that includes WordPress installation. This is usually a positive because it is simpler to install WordPress through your host than from WordPress.org. If your host offers you the ability to install WordPress through them, make sure you have flexibility to install WordPress in a subdirectory and have access to change the .htaccess file. GoDaddy provides this. Option 2: The famous 5 minute install! (download from WordPress.org) Download the code from http://wordpress.org/download/ Follow the instructions at http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress#Detailed_Instructions WordPress promotes that it takes 5 minutes to achieve. I would budget 30 to 60 minutes.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogDownload and Installation Option 2 cont’d: The famous 5 minute install! (download from WordPress.org) This option requires you to upload the WordPress code to your host and setting up a database, which will store all of your blog or website’s content (images, text, etc) You will need to know how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload the code and how to set up a database. If this is too challenging, then we recommend installing WordPress through your host (Option 1)
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogDownload and Installation Option 2 cont’d: FTP FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a means to transfer files between one computer to another on a network In order to use FTP, you must have a FTP client, which is the tool used to move the files. There are plenty of good FTP clients out there. We recommend Filezilla (http://filezilla-project.org/) or FireFTP (http://fireftp.mozdev.org/), which is a Firefox Add-on. Once you download your code from WordPress.org, you log into your host using your FTP client and upload the WordPress code to the directory you choose or create
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogDownload and Installation Security Tip: Install WordPress in a subdirectory, and not the root directory. Don’t name the subdirectory WordPress. How? Upload the Wordpress code into a subdirectory (folder) you create on your hosting account. For example, http://businessbullpen.com/subdirectory name/ Why? If a potential hacker views the page source, s/he can easily figure out the site is running on WordPress. He or she can deduce the technology required to operate WordPress and then explore vulnerabilities with those technologies or WordPress itself. The popularity of WordPress increases the exposure of vulnerabilities.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogDownload and Installation Option 2 cont’d: Setting up a database Setting up a database is typically the toughest task for a non-technical person to accomplish when installing WordPress Every host is different, but we advise that you follow the instructions on the WordPress site: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress#Step_2:_Create_the_Database_and_a_User
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogDownload and Installation Option 2 cont’d: Running the install script After the files have been uploaded and the database created, you should open a browser and run the install script. This can be found at http://yourdomainname.com/your subdirectory/wp-admin/install.php You will need to know the name of your database, the database username and password that you set up and the database host. When prompted for a username, do not use admin. That is the default username for WordPress. Using admin as your username makes it easier for a potential hacker to compromise your account. Always create a password that is difficult to determine (combination of letters and numbers) Detailed Instructions: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress#Step_5:_Run_the_Install_Script
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConfiguration Search Engine friendly permalinks It’s important that your site use URLs that are search engine friendly. To do so, you need to change your site’s permalink settings in the WordPress admin. Steps: Login to the WordPress admin Click on Settings, then Permalinks and change the Common Settings to either Day and Name or Month and Name. We recommend Day and Name. Click the Save Changes button.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConfiguration If you have installed WordPress in a subdirectory, then you must take some additional steps in order to have your site render at your domain name. For example, if the WordPress code was uploaded to http://businessbullpen.com/wp10/, then the site would display at http://businessbullpen.com/wp10/. We want the site to display at http://businessbullpen.com, so these steps must be taken: Log into your WordPress admin Click on Settings and then General in the left column nav bar. Change the Site Address to where the site should display (http://businessbullpen.com in our example above). Keep the WordPress Address the URL that the code was uploaded to (http://businessbullpen.com/wp10 in our example above) Within the WordPress subdirectory, copy (do not cut or move) the index.php and open it in a text editor (e.g. Notepad) – see next slide
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConfiguration When you open index.php, it should look like this: <?php /* Short and sweet */ define('WP_USE_THEMES', true);require(’.wp-blog-header.php'); ?> Change it to this: <?php /* Short and sweet */ define('WP_USE_THEMES', true);require(’./your subdirectory name/wp-blog-header.php'); ?> In our previous example /your subdirectory name/ would be /wp10/ Save it and upload index.php to your root directory. In our previous example, index.php would be uploaded using FTP to the root directory on businessbullpen.com and not the /wp10 subdirectory
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConfiguration Go back into your FTP client and copy .htaccess from your subdirectory and paste it in the root directory. Your .htaccess file is a hidden file so you might have to set your FTP client to view hidden files in order to do this. Now you should be able to view your site at your domain name (e.g. businessbullpen.com) and the WordPress admin would still be accessible in your subdirectory (e.g. businessbullpen.com/wp10/wp-login.php)
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConversion Converting from WordPress.com to a Self-Hosted WordPress blog is simple.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConversion Login to your WordPress.com Admin Click on Tools, then Export Click Download Export File button. A XML file will be downloaded. Save it to your desktop.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConversion Login to your WordPress Admin on your self-hosted WordPress blog Click on Tools, then Import. Click WordPress on the right frame.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConversion Browse for the XML file that you downloaded and click the Upload file and import button
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConversion The next page will ask you to assign authors to the posts and pages that you are importing. You can create a new author or assign to an existing author. You can also import all attachments that were exported from your old blog.
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogConversion Once you hit the submit button, WordPress will display the progress of the import and inform you when it is complete. That’s it!
Launching and Managing a Self-Hosted WordPress BlogQ & A Questions? Todd Wickersty email@example.com businessbullpen.com @toddwickersty wick.me