This article explains how to install and configure WordPress and a few of the most popular WordPress pluggins, including WP SuperCache. Some of the steps in this article are specific to No Support Linux Hosting, but the vast majority of the steps apply to any web hosting company.
Step 1: Create the Website
The first thing you will need to do is create the website. This is very easy to do at No Support Linux Hosting. These instructions assume you have an existing account at No Support Linux Hosting. If you do not, you can sign up at No Support Linux Hosting and then follow these instructions, or you can follow the instructions from your alternative web hosting company. Click on the Login link in the upper right hand corner of the No Support Linux Hosting web page.
When prompted for your login details, use your email address and the password assigned to your account when you signed up. If you do not know your password, click on the forgot password link.
Now that you are logged into the No Support Linux Hosting Admin Section, you can create your website. Click on the Websites link in the horizontal menu bar or click the Create Website link in the vertical menu bar.
If you don’t have any billing credits in your account, you will see the Adds Funds screen. When this happens, simply submit $12 using PayPal. That will pay for your website for an entire year.
If you do have billing credits, you will see the Create Website page. All you need to do on the Create Website page is enter the domain name of your website, agree to the Terms and Conditions, and then click the Create Website button. This will create your new website on our least loaded cPanel Linux server.
By default, the Site Contact Email field will be set to your email address. You can optionally set a different email address for the site. If you are creating the website for a customer, then you would enter the customer’s email address into the Site Contact Email field.
At this point in the instructions, your site has been created and is ready to use. No Support Linux Hosting does not register domain names. You will need to register your domain name and set the DNS servers for your domain to the DNS servers listed at No Support Linux Hosting for your domain name. Be sure to read the DNS Servers section, because it will list which DNS servers to use when registering or transferring your domain name.
Step 2: Log into cPanel
After you have created your website, you will need to log into cPanel. The easiest way to do this is to simply click on the One Click cPanel Login link on the Edit Website page in the No Support Linux Hosting Admin Section.
As soon as you click on the login link, cPanel will open in your browser. If this is the first time you have logged into cPanel for this website, you will see a prompt asking you if you would link to go through the help tutorials. If you have never used cPanel, click Get Started Now. Otherwise, click No, I’m fine. Thanks!
Step 3: Install WordPress
There two ways to install WordPress. You can either use the automated installer or you can upload the WordPress files via FTP and manually configure everything. In this how to article, we are going to show you how to use the automated WordPress installer, since it is both easier and faster to do it this way.
Start by scrolling down to the Software / Services section of the cPanel menu. Then click on the Site Software icon.
This will bring you to a page where you can select which software to automatically install in your web hosting account. Click on WordPress.
The next page shown is the actual WordPress setup page. You will need to enter a username for the admin user. Most people simply type admin for the username. Then you will need to enter a password for the admin user. These login details will be used to manage your WordPress site once it is created, so don’t lose these login details. You are going to need them.
You will also need to decide which folder to install WordPress into. By default, it will be a subfolder called wordpress. I personally prefer to simply install WordPress into the root of the website instead of a subfolder, so I delete the word wordpress from the Instatllation URL field.
Once you are satisfied with what you have entered, click the Install button.
After you click the Install button, cPanel will install WordPress and then show you a confirmation screen. Your WordPress powered website is ready to use now.
If the DNS is already working properly for your domain name, you should be able to click on your website URL to view your WordPress powered site. If your DNS is not working yet, you will get an error when you click on the link. If that happens, you can wait until DNS is working (which can take 24-48 hours after you register or transfer a domain name) or you can use your local HOSTS file to trick your local computer into resolving the domain name. If you want to learn more about that, Google Edit Hosts File or use the Wiki at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file
Step 4: Using WordPress
The first time you use WordPress, it is going to look very plan. It is going to have the default template and will contain a Hello World post.
To manage WordPress, you will need to log into WordPress’s admin section. You can either click on the Log in link or append wp-admin to the link in your browser. Either one of these methods will open the WordPress login screen. Enter the admin details you chose when installing WordPress.
Now that you are logged into WordPress as admin, you should see the WordPress Dashboard. This section will let you change everything within your WordPress site.
The best place to learn about using the WordPress Dashboard is the Help Section of the official WordPress website at http://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page The Posts section of the Dashboard will let you manage Posts and Categories. The Links section will let you manage remote links shown in your WordPress site’s menu bar. The Pages section will let you manage important non-post pages. The Comments section will let you manage the user comments.
Step 5: Change the Theme
The Appearance section is where you go to change the way your site looks. Let’s have some fun with the look of the site right now. Click on Appearance and then Themes. Then click on the Add New button to add a new theme to your WordPress installation.
The next screen is the WordPress theme search form. You can enter specific search terms or simply click the Find Themes button to show all of the themes that are available this way.
To use a theme, you will need to Install the Theme and then Activate the Theme.
To Install a Theme, click the Install link under the thumbnail of the theme you like. WordPress will pop up an installer for the selected theme. Then click the Install Now button.
Once that completes, the selected theme will be installed in your WordPress application. Installed simply means that it is available for you to use. Simply installing a new theme will not change the way your site looks. To change the way your site looks, you will need to Activate the theme. Click the Activate link.
Now your site will look like the new theme. Check it out by clicking on Visit Site. I usually right click on Visit Site and then select to open the link in a new tab. That way I have the WordPress admin in one tab and the WordPress powered web site in another tab. This is handy when working with WordPress.
Here is a screenshot of the RCG Forest theme that I selected for this example. As you can see, my sample WordPress site looks completely different now. Changing the theme is an easy and exciting way to dress up your WordPress site.
Step 6: SEO Friendly Permalinks
The next thing you want to do is configure SEO friendly permalinks. To do this, go back to the WordPress Dashboard. Click on Settings and then Permalinks.
Select Day and Name. Then click on the Save Changes button.
Now all of the links in your site are SEO friend instead of the ugly query string style links.
Step 7: WP SuperCache Plugin
The next thing to do is install the plugins that you plan to use. To do this, select Plugins in the WordPress Dashboard. Then click on the Add New button.
I always recommend the WP SuperCache plugin for every WordPress site. WP SuperCache is awesome because it makes your site load faster and it reduces the amount of CPU time and memory needed on the server side to operate your website. As your WordPress site gets more popular, WP SuperCache makes it possible for you to keep using inexpensive shared hosting. Without WP SuperCache, you would need to move your WordPress site to a VPS or dedicated server solution a lot sooner.
Enter WP SuperCache into the plugin search form and then click the Search Plugins button.
WordPress will show a list of the plugins that it thinks might be what you are looking for. Click the Install link for WP SuperCache.
WordPress will now pop up the Plugin Installer menu for WP SuperCache. Click the Install Now button.
WordPress will install the WP SuperCache plugin but it won’t be ready to use until you click on the Activate Plugin link. Click Activate Plugin..
Next, we will need to enable and configure WP SuperCache. In the WordPress Dashboard, click on Settings and then click on WP SuperCache. This will open the screen to manage WP SuperCache.
The first thing to do on this page is set WP SuperCache Status to ON WP Cache and Super Cache enabled. By default, it is set to OFF, which won’t do you any good. Once you have selected ON, scroll down and click on the Update Status button.
Now your site will benefit from the performance boost of WP SuperCache.
Step 8: Add Your Content
The final step is the most important one. Now you can add your own content to your WordPress blog. You can use Pages to store information that is static (such as an About the Author page) and Posts for all of the new content you post to the site each day. Good luck. If you get stuck and need some help, remember to check out the official WordPress documentation at http://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page
This WordPress How To Guide was written by No Support Linux Hosting, home of the $1/month Linux hosting solutions.