laptop and coffee in preperation for how to use wordpress to make a website

How to Use WordPress to Make a Website

Do you believe in miraculous solutions that let you accomplish things faster than anyone? Do you believe that there is a shortcut for everything? I am very sorry, but this article is NOT for you!

You probably landed on this page because you looked for a guide to teach you how to use WordPress to make a website. In that case, you are in luck! This is the proper guide for you. It may not be the most captivating, most exciting, simplest, or even most complete. However, this guide is the most realistic and pragmatic.

You can’t cut corners and become a medium to advanced WordPress user. You need to work hard and be consistent. Some aspects will get you in trouble, and you will need additional resources. By reading this guide, you won’t end up being a WordPress expert. It’s not even the beginning of becoming a WordPress expert. It’s only the end of being a beginner. Even the best guides and teachers can’t replace your endeavour and practice! If you agree with me, you are on the right track to use WordPress to make a website.

Another advantage of using this resource is its modular format. You can read this article from beginning to end or check out the modules that cover the subject you are interested in. Altogether, I recommend on reading the full post because it will take you from zero to hero. You may skip small details but don’t forget, the devil is in details.

WordPress started as a blogging platform, but nowadays it is suitable for any kind of project. It’s the leading CMS (Content Management System), and its supremacy isn’t severely endangered by other CMS’. It’s free, search engine friendly, customisable, reliable, and pretty secure. By knowing the ins and outs of WordPress, you can create any kind of website.

Without any further ado, let’s start our journey!

Preconditions:

I assume that you already own a domain name and have a host. It’s more convenient to choose a hosting provider preferred by WordPress.org. You will also need the following tools:

  • A text editor
  • An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client
  • Credentials to access website host
  • A BIG cup of coffee! (optional).

1. How to Download WordPress

meet wordpress

WordPress.org is a place that you will continue to visit many times from now on if you use WordPress to make a website. You will download the latest version of WordPress necessary for your site from here.

After installing WordPress, you will also visit WordPress.org to search for themes and plugins.

Download the WordPress version available, keep it on your hard-drive and extract it. You should have a list of folders and files similar to the screenshot below.

wordpress file structure

HINT: Download WordPress from and only from WordPress.org, and chose the latest stable version.

2. How to Install WordPress

To make WordPress work, you will need to create a database. Even though it sounds complicated, it will take you less than five minutes. Go to cPanel via your host’s control panel, find the Database section, and click on My SQL Databases.

cpanel mysql database location

Here you will find a button — Create Database — and click on it. Write the database name, hit the Next Step button, and create a username and password. Make sure to give this user ALL privileges.

create a database through cpanel

HINT: Database name, username, and passwords are capital for your website. Keep them stored in a file on your computer. I recommend writing them on a piece of paper just to be sure that you still have them if your hard drive breaks.

At this stage you will need to ensure that the WordPress files you downloaded earlier have been uploaded to your website’s root directory via ftp and ensure that the database has been created. Next, you need to add the database details to your wp-config.php file (an important WordPress file).

wp config file location

Within this file search for database_name_here, username_here, and password_here, and replace them with yours.

HINT: Editing the wp-config.php file isn’t rocket science, but any error means that your website won’t work.

Make a copy of wp-config.php, add your data to it within a text editor and upload it via ftp, or simply edit the existing one via the file manager within CPanel.

wp config code

Open your browser of choice and write your domain name (for example, wordpresssite.com). You should see the language selection page if you have done all the above steps properly. Select your language, and fill in some information such as database name, username, password, database host, and table prefix. Fill in this information and hit the Submit button.

wordpress setup screen

Finally, you will need to fill in another set of information such as site title, username, password, email, and search engine visibility.

wordpress title setup screen

HINT: This username and password is different from the username and password created in cPanel. For security reasons, they should not be the same.

This entire process is called the famous 5-minute install. It can be pretty difficult because there are many actions to take.

There are a few auto-installer alternatives that significantly streamline the WordPress installation process. Softaculous and Fantastico are two of the most widely used auto-installers.

Useful Resources to Check Out:

Pages:

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About Steven Watts

Steven WattsSteven is the founder of Newt Labs. He's a WordPress specialist with an interest in building the most effective websites possible. Since 2010, he's been helping businesses with their online goals.

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