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Getting Started with WordPress Part One

Even the most experienced of Web Designers can find using Word Press for the first time a little daunting. I know that when I first started using it I became a little confused by just what exactly Word Press is for and how it is used.

Here is a quick and easy guide to get started with Word Press – Part One. This part will guide you through the installation of Word Press on your domain name.

1. Domain and Hosting
Before you get started with downloading Word Press you will need a domain name and somewhere to host it. I use Dreamhost to buy my domains and host them. (Get $50 off a yearly Dreamhost package by clicking here).

2. MySQL and PHP
When you choose a hosting company make sure they support PHP and allow you to create MySQL databases. Some hosting companies charge you per MySQL database so try and steer clear from them. With Dreamhost you have unlimited MySQL databases so you can even have more than one blog if you wanted to!

3. Download Word Press
Go to the Word Press website (www.wordpress.org) and download the Word Press software. Unzip the files into an appropriate folder on your computer. I saved my copy into a folder called “Emz Design” when I initially downloaded it so I’d remember where it was and why it was there.

4. Change the wp-config.php file
There will be a file in the Word Press folder called wp-config-sample.php which you will need to edit. In this file there is a place for you to insert your database details. It will look something like this:

// ** MySQL settings ** //
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘database_name’); // The name of the database
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘database_username’); // Your MySQL username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘database_password’); // …and password
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’); // …and the server MySQL is running on

You will need to edit these as below:

‘database_name’ replace with the name of your database.

‘database_username’ replace with the username you use to access the database.

‘database_password’ replace with the password you specified when creating the database.

‘localhost’ can remain the same in most cases but if it doesn’t work specify the IP or hostname given to you by your hosting company.

You will now need to save this file in the same place you found it, but save it as wp-config.php.

5. Upload the files to your website.
Be careful when uploading the files to your website because depending on how you want to use Word Press you might upload it to the wrong place. Some people make the mistake of uploading the whole thing in the folder “wordpress”, which will upload to your domain as www.yourdomain.com/wordpress. This is a great way to do it if you want to have a separate blog from your site, although I’d recommend using a different name instead of “wordpress”, such as “articles”, “blogs” etc.

But, if you want your blog to be your main site, open the wordpress folder on your computer and upload all files in there to your domain. This should upload all files to www.yourdomain.com

6. Install Word Press!
All you need to do now is go to www.yourdomain.com and it will take you straight to installation. Provided you have specified the right database details in the wp-config.php file you should now see a page that asks you for the name of your blog, and your email address. Insert this information and you’re good to go!

Word Press will give you a generated password for you to login to your account. Please change this as soon as you login so you have a password that’s easily remembered.

Getting Started with Word Press – Part Two will be coming up in the next couple of weeks and will deal with creating and managing posts and pages.

Getting into Google – Not is all as it seems

Today I checked my Google Analytics and found out that my previous post “The Top Five Best Fonts for Web” was in the top ten in Google for the following terms:

“best blog font” and “best font for web”

I had one visit for each term and to be honest I was a little excited because 1. I only posted this post 2 days ago and already it is in Google, and 2. I’m on page one on Google!

Now, we all know that getting on page one on Google doesn’t mean much if nobody is searching for those terms, but I think getting into the top 10 of Google for terms we didn’t even think about and without even trying, that is something. Don’t you think?

The terms “best blog font” and “best font for web” aren’t all that vague and I think it may be possible that more than one person would search for those terms. Afterall, if you were looking for what the best fonts for web are, wouldn’t you use one of those terms?

Unfortunately, adding an “s” onto font leaves me nowhere to be seen.

The important thing to remember is when trying to get into Google is getting on page one for “small blue socks in wigan lancashire” is far less insignificant than getting on page one for “socks” – but if we did it without even trying, isn’t that something?

The Top Five Best Fonts for Web

Whilst deciding on what font to use for a new web design project, it occured to me that I always use pretty much the same font everytime.

It’s inevitable that the same few fonts will be chosen again and again because not all computers will have those “special” fonts installed, but in my case, even though there are a selection of “safe” fonts to choose from, I always undoubtedly end up choosing “Lucida Sans Unicode”, or “Trebuchet MS”.

Now, you may be wondering why I’ve chosen “Tahoma” for this site if I always end up selecting “Lucida Sans Unicode” and “Trebuchet MS”. The simple answer to that question is: I wanted to try something different.

Don’t get me wrong, “Tahoma” is a widely used font and undeniably an “old-school” font (I remember using it when I first started dabbling in web design nearly ten years ago!), but at the moment there are so many blog sites using “Lucida Sans Unicode” and “Trebuchet MS” that I thought I’d try and break away from those fonts.

So, this all leads me to list off my Top Five Best Fonts for Web.

1. Lucida Sans Unicode

2. Trebuchet MS

3. Tahoma

4. Georgia

5. Arial

This is my opinion only – please feel free to add comments and let me know what your favourite fonts are!

Adobe Creative Suite Licence Tour ’07

Last month I went to an Adobe seminar, where they showed us the new features of the CS3 Package. I went there in the hopes of learning something new and exciting. They did show us alot of the new features in Photoshop CS3 Extended that looked pretty nifty, but as yet I haven’t had the oppurtunity to try them out as I don’t have that particular version.

One thing I was dissapointed about was the ignorance of one of the presenters. He completely disregarded the fact that designers CAN code in HTML/CSS. He showed us a couple of things in Dreamweaver using Dreamweavers built-in code generators (!), then wen’t on to tell us “Don’t worry, you won’t have to touch any of the code, Dreamweaver will do it for you”. He spoke to us like we didn’t have a clue, when almost all of us there (probably) were professional web designers!

I received an email earlier asking me to fill in a survey about the day, and in the additional comments section I added this:

I was dissapointed in one of the presenters who showed ignorance to the fact that web designers actually code in HTML/CSS etc.

Being shown how to create a bit of HTML code to me seemed tedious. Especially as they used Dreamweavers built in code generator instead of hand-coding!

There are some people who do actually know how to design AND code – perhaps he’d better realise that before his next presentation.

I wonder if anyone else felt annoyed enough to write a comment like that? Or maybe it’s just me 😉