SECTION I – INTRODUCTIONS
This section has the following information:
About this class
Who is presenting?
Who is organizing this?
About this Class
“Using wordpress to manage your website”
was created after a number of people asked
the presenter about how to use & best
leverage wordpress for their websites.
This is a ‘rush’ intro, you wont leave this class
knowing how to do everything, but we’ll point
you in the right direction and help you get
Followup class? If there is demand for more, a
followup presentation could be arranged.
Lifelong computer geek.
BS Computer Science, Antioch College 1992
Unix SysAdmin at The Jackson Laboratory
Manager of Svaha LLC
President of Downeast Mac Users Group –
Personal Blog ‐ http://matt.baya.net/
Web Hosting, Design & Consulting since 1995
Svaha LLC provides internet consulting and design
services for artists, small businesses and non‐proﬁt &
community focused organizations. We enable our clients
to focus on their projects and goals while we focus on the
technology behind the curtain.
We host hundreds of websites, including many in this area.
Downeast Learning Cooperative
Purpose is to enable its members, who are interested in
technology, both digital and mechanical, to learn from
one another and share what they have learned with the
This is the third presentation in a series by Coop
members that will continue over the coming months.
http://downeastlearning.org/ ‐ Go sign up!
Links to this presentation and other content
shared here will be on this site.
SECTION II – BACKGROUND INFO
This section includes a REALLY quick
overview of :
Other geeky terms
Starting simple and getting more complex.
Not trying to insult anyone but it’s important
we’re using the same vocabulary so when we
start getting more complex you can
(hopefully) follow me
Peeling the Onion
Hopefully tear free
For purposes of this presentation it's any device
capable of receiving input and transmitting
output of information.
Personal Computer, iPhone, Cell Phone etc.
A communication medium that allows computers to
transmit and receive data from each other.
Client / Viewer/User – A human @ a 'computer’ (PC,
Mac, tivo, wii, iphone, blackberry, cell phone)
connected to the internet.
Web Site – A collection of data available by request.
Text, images, video, audio, etc.
Web Server ‐ A computer dedicated to serving up
ﬁles from a website to a client.
Web Host ‐ Company that manages one or more web
Download – Retrieving ﬁles from another computer
Upload – Sending ﬁles to another computer.
Yet More Definitions
HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language
Using only text it encodes the content (data) and the
formatting (design) so that they can be displayed by a …
Software that runs on a computer that can request ﬁles
from websites hosted on a webserver. It then translates the
HTML and displays text and graphics together.
Internet Explorer (IE)
iphone, blackberry, cell phones
Wii, xBox, webTV
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)
<title>This is the page title</title>
The body of the message.
So what happens when…
Someone views a web page
A Client downloads a web page
A client connected to the internet that is
running a web browser application
downloads the text (HTML formatted) and
images associated web page from a web
server that is managed by a web host.
The World Wide Web in Plain English
Videos in ‘Pla makes ‘in Plain English’ videos
(My name is) URL
URL – Universal Resource Locator
A way to reference an address for speciﬁc web
Used when linking
http, ftp, rtsp, itts?(itunes)
Gets more speciﬁc from left to right
What’s in a (domain) name?
TLD – Top Level Domain
.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .me
New ones all the time
IP address – What’s your #?
IP = Internet Protocol
IP address – Every “computer” on a network
needs an IP address.
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx – where xxx = 001‐256
Would be pretty tedious memorizing
Oh wait, we already do that for phones!
But why not make it easier?
Since we’re on a network we can have a way to
associate a “Domain Name” with an IP address.
DNS (Domain Name System)
Basically a big list of domain names & IP
So when you type in a domain it knows where
Root Servers – On the internet
Name Servers – At your web server/host
DNS Cache – On your local client
What is my IP ? http://whatismyip.com/
Domain Name – Why get one?
why ‐ (ﬁnd old presentation?)
‐ branding ‐ You want people to remember
‐ Mobility ‐ Analogy to phone number having
phone company name in the number
‐ Centralization ‐
‐ Control ‐
Domain Name – How do I get one?
Registrar – Cheap (~$8) to expensive ($35+).
Some TLD’s (.tv) cost more.
All they do is point DNS to your host
Diﬀerence? Value added services in addition,
but base service the same.
Hosting packaged with
TLD (Top Level Domain)
.com / .net / .org / .biz / .info / .me
.com still most popular.
.org for non‐proﬁts
.net for networks, like ISPs etc.
Only ones that are policed;
.edu – for higher ed (though some secondary)
.coop – for oﬃcially registered coops
.tel – brand new. Like a directory
Open source software (OSS) ‐ is deﬁned as
computer software for which the source code
and copyright are provided under a software
license that permits users to use, change, and
improve the software, and to redistribute it in
modiﬁed or unmodiﬁed forms. It is very often
developed in a public, collaborative manner.
Free vs commercial
Commercial – Hire a select few experts, they do
all the coding & testing.
Pros – Tight control over changes. Support
Cons ‐ $$$
Open Source Community – Anyone can
participate and suggest changes. Entire
community (websites, lists, etc) focused on each
product. Learning from each other. Evolving to
meet the needs on the ﬂy.
Pros – Free. Quick updates. Part of something
Cons – Sometimes lack of support. Docs/training only
Open Source Software we’re using
Linux OS (CentOS, Red Hat, BSD)
Ruby On Rails
MySQL‐ Database. Think of an Excel
spreadsheet that’s searchable/sortable.
Apache httpd – Web Server software
Old Web Publishing model
Create HTML on local machine.
Load via web browser. Note problems
Change code locally.
Static HTML website
User requests a page
Server ﬁnds that HTML ﬁle
Send ﬁle to user’s browser.
More old model html problems
Static content. Every link, image, header,
footer are all ﬁxed.
Everytime you make a change you have re‐
So if you had your phone number on every
page, you’d have to edit all of them to
Not searchable. Not dynamic.
Server Side Applications
Paradigm Shift ‐ This isn't your father's
Not just static text ﬁles, it’s a program
running that is serving up data it’s pulling
from a database.
Content (data) is separate from design
Cake vs Icing
Dynamic. Searchable. Interactive.
Server Side Example
User requests a page
Server queries database
Database returns results
Application converts data to HTML
Automatically adds sitewide footer/header/etc.
Sends HTML to user’s browser
Large Remote Apps examples
These are private custom applications
Facebook, Myspace, friendster, livejournal,
Blogger, wordpress.com ‐ Blogs
ﬂickr ‐ photos
youtube – video
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Large website management tool
Content organized by topic, date, etc.
Some static content, some dynamic
Themes – Designs
Plugins/Modules – Adds new features.
Lots of choices, I’m no expert on this front.
Some custom from places like Sephone
Help manage online communities where users
have logins, interact with each other.
What is Wordpress?
Blog publishing tool
For posting lots of entries
Views organized by topic, date, etc.
Static pages and dynamic content
Wait… déjà vu!
Wordpress.org vs wordpress.com
Wordpress.org – Has downloadable script
(application) that you can install on your
account on a webhost.
Wordpress.com ‐ lets you get started with a
new and free WordPress‐based blog in
seconds, but varies in several ways and is less
ﬂexible than the WordPress you download
and install yourself.
Wordpress is a CMS
While not engineered originally to be as
robust and customizable as the ‘BIG’ CMS
applications, Wordpress can do all the basics.
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid – Why use a
sledge hammer to pound in a tack?
Great for individuals, small businesses as a
web publishing tool. Still best for ‘pushing’
information out, not as good for interaction &
Just to be clear…
From here on out I’m talking about the script
you can download from Wordpress.org and
installing it on a web server.
In order to do this you will need an account on
a web host that has a server that meets the
technical requirements for installing and
PHP version 4.3 or greater
MySQL 4.0 or greater
The mod_rewrite Apache module
(as of 04/28/09 for Wordpress 2.7.1)
SECTION III ‐ INSTALLATION
This section covers the basics of installation
of wordpress including;
Downloading & uploading
Setting up wordpress
Download & FTP
The Hard Way: Download and FTP
http://wordpress.org/ ‐ Follow links for
You’ll end up with latest.tar.gz or latest.zip on
your desktop. You should be able to double
click on this to uncompress.
You’ll end up with a folder named ‘wordpress’
with a number of ﬁles and sub‐folders in it.
CyberDuck ‐ http://cyberduck.ch/
Or command line: /applications/utilities/terminal
FileZilla ‐ http://ﬁlezilla.sourceforge.net/
Upload the contents of the wordpress folder to
wherever you want your wordpress install to
Your Web Hosting Account
You’ll get a username & password.
They should tell you the ‘path’ where your website
PATH = The folder where your website is located,
usually something like:
If you have an existing website and want to
experiment with wordpress elsewhere you can put it
in a sub‐folder:
Upload the files
Use your ftp client to upload (aka PUT) the
contents of the wordpress folder you have on
your computer to the “PATH” where your
website resolves to.
Note – The above says ‘THE CONTENTS’ of
the wordpress folder. Don’t upload the folder
You may need to contact your web host on
how to set this up since it varies from host to
You need a MySQL database name and an
MySQL account name that has permissions
to write and setup that database.
Many web hosts oﬀer a web management
system to control options for your account
like e‐mail addresses, ftp accounts, and
In this example I’ll be using some tools
included with cPanel, a popular tool that
many hosts oﬀer to set up a MySQL database
Other hosts oﬀer plesk, Hsphere and other
tools that basically do the same thing.
cPanel Database Section
• Use the “MySQL Database Wizard” to create a
database and a MySQL user with permissions to
access that database.
cPanel video tutorials
cPanel actually has free video tutorials for a
number of options – These are available to
My SQL ‐ A guide to creating and modifying
MySQL databases in cPanel.
MySQL Wizard ‐ Create and manage MySQL
databases with this step by step wizard.
For tonight’s workshop I’m using:
I just created this for this workshop, just happened
to call it wordpress, it could be anything.
The web interface is just a shortcut to editing
the wp‐conﬁg.php ﬁle. You can create this by
just copying the wp‐conﬁg‐sample.php to
wp‐conﬁg.php and manually entering these
Configuring via web
In order to start the conﬁguration through a
web browser just open the URL where you
put your install.
In order for wordpress to create the wp‐
conﬁg.php ﬁle the directory with your
wordpress install needs to allow the
webserver to be able to create & edit ﬁles.
Permissions & wp‐config.php
It will try to auto‐create the wp‐conﬁg.php ﬁle but this doesn’t always work.
/wp‐admin for admin login
To login to the admin part of your wordpress
install just use the url with /wp‐admin
appended to it
For our examples :
Posts – Blog entries, news. Time stamped.
Pages – For static content. Date not
Categories – For organizing content by
diﬀerent topics. Example – Blog entries,
news, press releases, photos, family. Can
have multiple for each post.
Tags – like categories but more casual.
Wordpress Terminology 2
Links – For list of URLs of other sites
Link categories – For organizing your links
Widget – Small tool for displaying custom
content in sidebar columns (sometimes
header & footer)
Plugin – Add‐on scripts. TONS of choices
Theme – The design, look & feel of your site
SECTION V ‐ Settings
The following is a quick overview of the
settings options and my suggestions for ‘Best
Other books & tutorials will suggest
otherwise. Find what works best for you.
Simple ‐ /%postname%/
Organized ‐ /%category%/%postname%/
Chrono ‐ /%year%/%month%/%day%/
Structure for growth. Assume you will be
adding pages later so plan a heirarchy.
Posts and Pages
Posts are for blog entries, announcements, news,
etc. Time stamped, date sensitive stuﬀ.
Categorized and tagged for easy sorting.
Pages are for ‘permanent’ content. About Us.
Contact Us. Directions.
Pages can be nested in a heirarchy
SECTION VI ‐ Plugins
This section includes how to ﬁnd, install,
activate and conﬁgure plugins.
Plugins add additional functionality to your
Thousands are available
‘There’s an app for that’
• If you are going to have comments you NEED akismet.
• Comment spammers are EVIL.
• They WILL bother you, no matter how small your site.
• If you are going to take comments then require account
(with veriﬁed) e‐mail address &/or Captcha.
• Also require admin approval. You don’t want stuﬀ on your
site without knowing what it is.
Akismet is almost ready
This warning will appear at the top of all your dashboard
pages until you give it a valid key.
Akismet Configuration Menu Option
Note the new addition under your Plugins Menu for
My Favorite Plugins
All in One SEO Pack 1.4.91
Auto‐hyperlink URLs 3.0
Google Analytics for WordPress 2.9.1
Google XML Sitemaps 3.1.2
NextGEN Gallery 1.2.1
Search Everything 5
ShiftThis | Order Pages 0.3
WordPress Database Backup 2.2.2
Remember, all your data is in the server and in
Your webhost may do backups but they may not
be available on demand, just in case of server
Don’t assume others are taking care of this.
Better safe than sorry.
Wordpress Database Backup – Weekly DB dumps
via e‐mail. Get a gmail account.
FTP down the wp‐content folder to get all
plugins, themes, uploaded media.
SECTION VII ‐ Themes
“Icing on the cake”
Themes are the design of your
website. Since this is separate from
the content you can change themes
without changing the content of a
The theme design ﬁles are shared site
wide, so any change aﬀects all pages.
No automatic installation of WP themes (yet)
FTP the uncompressed theme folder into /
You can have a number of themes installed
and switch easily, don’t be afraid to get a
bunch to try out. It’s free. They aren’t that big.
You can always delete later.
Free & Commercial themes are available.
Searching for ‘wordpress theme’ will ﬁnd
thousands of results
WordPress theme directory – Free theme
directory available on wordpress.org. 743
themes as of today.
If searching elsewhere ‐ Look for themes
2008 or later. Make sure they are ‘widget
“Widgets” are tools to customize the
sidebar(s) of your website.
Some plugins add new widgets
Common widgets are the search box, recent
posts, tag clouds, etc.
Text widget can be anything (but you have to
use HTML to format it)
SECTION VIII ‐ SEO
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
This is just a very very brief overview of this.
Entire books have been written on this
subject and people who are experts in this
make huge amounts of money.
I am NOT an SEO expert (and thus am giving
a free presentation )
This plugin adds some useful functionality to
wordpress to allow for adding summary,
descriptions and keywords to each post/page,
as well as the entire site.
There is more info about this plugin and how
to best leverage it at it’s website ‐
Links Matter – Get clients, friends, business
partners to link to your site, ideally using
some keywords you want searches to reﬂect.
In return link to their sites.
Don’t Lie – Your summary, description and
keywords should reﬂect the real content of
your page. Trying to put keywords or other
content that doesn’t match will cause you to
be penalized in rankings
SECTION IX – Q & A and Demos
Happy to ﬁeld questions.
Depending on time we can look ‘under the
hood’ at some live wordpress sites I have
access to to see how they are setup and what
they are using.
Launching A Wordpress Blog EBook
Youtube Video Tutorials
Search for Wordpress or “Wordpress 2.7” on
Youtube and you’ll ﬁnd all sorts of
‘screencasts’ that will walk you through
SECTION X – Wrap‐up
Thanks for attending this workshop.
Feedback appreciated, either in person or e‐
mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Copy of this powerpoint will be available on
Did you appreciate this class?
We incurred some costs making this event
happen and would appreciate anything you
feel you can spare.
There is a box for donations located near the
front of the room.
It’s not over…
This class can be continued online at
Polls & discussion about future classes
Learn from each other.
Happy to answer questions.