Getting Started with WordPress

So, you’ve decided that to try the waters of this blogging thing and your friend, or a search engine landed you in the WordPress Camp. The only problem is, you don’t know where to start. The next few post will attempt to get you started quickly and easily.

Choosing A Solution

There are a couple of solutions to getting started with WordPress.

  1. Obtain hosting space and a domain name, download the current WordPress distribution from WordPress.org and install it yourself.
  2. Go to WordPress.com and sign-up for a free account and get WordPress for FREE.

Not to confuse you, but WordPress is completely free. That’s right, you don’t have to pay for it. The reason I put free on the WordPress.com solution is because WordPress.com will not even charge you for the web space. There are a few conditions that we’ll go into in a later post.

Options 1 : Do-It-Yourself

This option is for those who are not faint of heart and committed to having a web presence. For the most part, finding a hosting package that will support WordPress is easy, and although inexpensive, not free. There are a couple of requirement you need to meet when choosing a hosting provider. For a complete list see Hosting WordPress at WordPress.org

  1. PHP version 4.3 or greater
  2. MySQL version 4.0 or greater

I also recommend you seek these additional features from you hosting provider to make development and deployment smoother.

  1. FTP Access – For uploading files to your site
  2. phpMyAdmin – database management
  3. Email Accounts – It’s always nice to have email accounts associated to your domain so your not always using something like bigKyleColtsFan4495@gmail.com.
  4. Linux based – OK, maybe a personal bias, but Windows is a horrible hosting platform.

This may seem like a lot, but most hosting providers have these feature and a whole lot more for under $10 a month. WordPress.org has a list of hosting providers on their website. I’d like to add Hostmonster to that list as it’s the one I use myself.

Option 2 : WordPress.com

This is a great option if you’re new to WordPress or you’re short on cash. There’s basically no way to loose by choosing this option and it may even be a good idea just to sign-up even if you plan to have someone else host your WordPress website. (Activating the default Anti-spam plug-in requires registering at WordPress.com).

There’s nothing you really need to know other than visit the site and sign-up, but we’ll go over it in detail in a later post.

Conclusion

Choosing WordPress is easy, but deciding which way to deploy your site may take a little more study. Stay tuned to my next post which will cover Option 2 : WordPress.com.

Posted on March 15th, 2009 in WordPress Basics | No Comments

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