Create a WordPress Blog in 10 steps

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After my recent lecture on the importance of blogging, I thought I’d take a moment to illustrate how easy it is to create your own blog.

While you can certainly get a blog up and running in about 30 seconds using Blogger, it does have its limitations.

I much prefer WordPress. While it takes a little longer to set up, you have much more control in terms of naming your blog (no annoying “blogspot” in your URL), and way more control over the look and feel of your blog. It really is worth the extra time.

The other downside is expense. Blogger (and others) are free. Using WordPress with your own domain (URL) means having a host. This is (literally) a small price to pay for the security and customer service that working with a good host provides.

I’ve been using TextDrive for several years, and love them. My blog has never been down, and whenever I have any question, it’s answered almost immediately. For $15/month, I get more storage space than I’ll likely ever use, and the ability to host up to 5 different websites/blogs.

This tutorial assumes you are using TextDrive to host your WordPress blog. I don’t know how to get a WordPress blog up any other way.

OK, here are the ten steps to set up a WP blog using TextDrive hosting:

1. Find a url and register with GoDaddy. This will cost you about $8.

2. Create an account with TextDrive. $15/month gets you 5 websites, and excellent customer service and reliability

3. Go to the domains tab on godaddy and click on the “Nameservers” tab in the middle and enter into the first four boxes: DNS#.TEXTDRIVE.COM (replace the # with 1, 2, 3, and 4)

4. Create your blog’s database:

    •Login to Webmin (https://webmin.server.textdrive.com/) [replace the word “server” in the URL with the server name you receive from TextDrive
    •Click on Virtualmin Virtual Servers
    •Click create a new database
    •Name your database whatever the name of your blog is + .com. This .com part is important. So if your blog is called “funkyblog,” name your database funkyblog.com
    •Make sure the Database Server Type selected is MySQL
    •Click Create.

5. Download the most recent version of WordPress

6. Change the wp-config-sample.php file that’s in the WP folder.

    •Open the wp-config-sample.php file that’s in the WP folder with a text editor (I use TextWrangler – it’s free and good)
    •You’ll see some lines of code that look like this:
    define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘yourdatabasename’);
    define(‘DB_USER’, ‘yourusername’);
    define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password’);
    define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’);

    •Change the text between the quotes with your information. That is, where it says ‘yourdatabasename’ you’ll replace it with ‘funkyblog’. Important note: you leave the quotes, but here you DON’T add the .com
    •Do the same for ‘yourusername’ and ‘password’, replacing those with the user name and password you got from TextDrive. Again, keep this information inside the quotations.
    •Don’t worry about the ‘localhost’ – leave it as is.
    •Save this file as wp.config.php back into the wordpress folder.
    •Trash the wp-config-sample.php file

7. Upload the contents of your WordPress file to TextDrive

    •Download an FTP program. I like Fugu. It’s free and works well. This FTP program allows you to transfer your files from your computer to your webhost (TextDrive).
    •Fill in the information in Fugu to connect. TextDrive will supply you with this information.
    •Click on the Domains Folder
    •If you’ve followed the steps above to create a database, you’ll see the name of your blog in this Domains folder
    •Click on the “web” folder
    •You should now see a folder called “Public
    •In the left hand panel of Fugu, navigate to wherever you’ve saved your WordPress folder
    •Double click on it to open it and reveal its contents.
    •Select all of the items
    •Drag all of the items into the Public folder in the right panel (IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DRAG THE CONTENTS OF THE WORDPRESS FOLDER AND NOT THE FOLDER ITSELF)
    •Wait for all the files to upload – this may take a few minutes.

9. Open a web browser and enter this URL: http://www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin/install.php Obviously, replace the words “yourblogname” with … uh … your blog name, so it would be http://www.funkyblog.com/wp-admin/install.php

10. Follow the 2 steps that greet you when this page loads (making sure to write down your WP user name (Admin, by default) and password.

You’re done. Start blogging.

Please feel free to shoot me corrections, tips, and—most importantly—links to the blogs you set up!

For more information, check out the community forum at the TextDrive site.

  1. Jeremy’s avatar

    Potential bloggers looking for paid hosting might also consider Dreamhost (dreamhost.com). $10.95/month, cheaper if prepaid, and a setup free. They give you a free domain at setup, though, and every account has 500gb of storage, 5tb of bandwidth, and unlimited hosted domains.

    I’ve been with them for about two years now and haven’t had any problems. They even comped my account for a year after Katrina.
    Most importantly, though, WordPress and some other apps can be installed with one click to any doman, with automatic database setup.

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