Getting into the Wordpress Groove - Webnames Blog

Getting into the WordPress Groove

A WordPress Newbie Sets up her First WordPress Website!

Here at Webnames, we are bullish for WordPress.  We’re helping any and all of our customers get their webhosting set up so it can take a WordPress install.

My personal website was done in WordPress but I had the help of our web designer to get it up.  So yesterday I thought I might take a stab at setting up a WordPress site myself and making it rock with cool plugins.

I had Max help me with webhosting database setup and the initial php configuration for WordPress.  The webhosting set up was a little tricky and thankfully Max knew all the best practices for the .php edit (to avoid getting hacked). (By the way, Webnames.ca provides free, managed WordPress installs to its webhosting customers.)

Download the latest version of WordPress from www.WordPress.org. Edit the wp-config-sample.php  (call support for help) and save it as wp-config.php and then FTP the contents of the downloaded WordPress folder up to your new website.

WordPress prompts you for a couple of things like a password and Blog Name and then you’re ready to download a theme.  I picked the Constructor theme and downloaded it while on my new site.  It self installed – so that was easy.

Now I wanted to add my Twitter stream o’ consciousness.   I chose to “add new” in  the plugins menu item and searched for Twitter.  A bunch of options came up, I reviewed them and “installed and activated” one of them.  I edited it so it used my Twitter account and then I previewed my web site.  Nothing. Hmmm.

Now I was reduced to reading the readme for the plugin.  Turns out I need to “add the widget to the sidebar”. Hmmmm.  But I downloaded a plugin.  How was I supposed to turn a plugin into a widget?  After much Googling and head scratching it turned out that the plugin was already a widget.

So I went into widgets and dragged the Twitter widget into the section called sidebar.  I previewed my web site and my twitter feed was there!  But it was unattractive.  I went back to the well and downloaded a new twitter plugin called Xhanch that also was a widget ( I catch on fast), dragged it into the sidebar, deactivated the old widget/plugin and then I had a much more attractive twitter feed.

With my new love of plugins/widgets I downloaded one for Delicious (smartly called Delicious for WordPress) and it put itself in the middle of my blog.  Which was weird. I had to move it to the sidebar and I would really like it to go somewhere else but I don’t know where or how to get it there.  So I need to work on that bit of it.

I added a page (easy) and then installed my .tel contact info as an iframe.  That was easy as it was just a piece of code that was on the Telnic website that I plopped on the new page. It came up perfectly.

Inserting a video seemed like the next cool thing, so I downloaded a non widget plugin called Smart YouTube, and read the readme on how to use it. I found a YouTube video I wanted to embed, followed the instructions and the video popped up like magic.  I was totally into the WordPress swing.

Then I couldn’t think of anything else to do other than change the colours, which I did and then promptly changed back as my new choices hurt my eyes.

From stem to stern my fiddling around took about an hour and half and I got a tricked out and I must say, somewhat ugly website.   But fixing the look will be what the next hour and half will be for!

Resources:

Here are some “Best of WordPress Plugins” lists from 2009 and 2010 that  you might want to check out when planning your WordPress Blog or Website:

Business 2.0 – 30+ Must Have WordPress Plugins

Mashable – 20 of the Best SEO Plugins for WordPress

Site Sketch 101 – The 15 Best WordPress Plugins to Use in 2010

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