MM2213 Intermediate Web Design :: Art Institute

Week 4: Introduction to WordPress

Getting a WordPress Site Set Up

Creating the empty database

I'll go through the steps in class for creating a fresh MySQL database using phpMyAdmin in MAMP (which is a piece of software that mimics a live web server on your own desktop.)

In my experience, phpMyAdmin makes it really easy to establish a new database.

adding a MySQL database using phpMyAdmin

Some hosts have you work with cPanel, which has its own method for generating mySQL databases and database users. I've come to prefer this method, because it has a more intuitive interface.

adding MySQL databases and users using cPanel

Obtaining the latest version of WordPress

Click the big blue Download button in the link above. Save the ZIP file somewhere where you can find it again.

Make sure you always have the latest version of WordPress installed. Hackers are always trying to expose and exploit vulnerabilities on WordPress (and other) sites. WordPress is always discovering and fixing these holes.

Don't worry about going to in the future to get the latest updates once your site is live. Your Dashboard will tell you when updates are available, and will automate the update if you wish (back up your site first!)

Adding the WordPress contents to your site

  1. Unzip/unarchive the WordPress version ZIP file. Inside it you'll find a wordpress folder. Inside of that folder, you'll find all the files and folders that make WordPress tick.
  2. Create a site folder inside the MAMP (Mac) or WAMP/XAMPP (PC) folder on your desktop. If you do not have MAMP, WAMP, or XAMPP installed on your personal computer, either install it or use a school computer. Call the site whatever you wish, but don't use spaces or special characters in your folder name.
  3. Copy all of the contents of the wordpress folder into your site folder.

Editing config.php

Connecting to the database

One more step before you can install WordPress on your web server: edit the config file so that it can connect to your database.

  1. Find the wp-config-sample.php and rename it as wp-config.php.
  2. Find these lines of code in the config file:

define('DB_NAME', 'putyourdbnamehere'); // The name of the database
define('DB_USER', 'usernamehere'); // Your MySQL username
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'yourpasswordhere'); // ...and password
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost'); // 99% chance you won't need to change this value

  1. Change some of the code:
    1. Replace putyourdbnamehere with the name you gave your database.
    2. Replace usernamehere with your user name for the database.
    3. Replace yourpasswordhere with your password for the database.
    4. Leave localhost alone—the database is on the same host as the website.
Secret keys

Generate your unique secret key codes

  1. To make your WordPress site extra safe from hackers, click the link above to generate eight lines of code with secret keys in them.
  2. Find these lines of code in the config file and replace them with your new lines of code:

define('AUTH_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_KEY', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');

For the greatest security, it's recommended that you regenerate and replace these keys regularly. You can do this after the installation; they won't break anything.

Running the installation

  1. Open the default page from MAMP in a browser. From there, point your browser to install.php inside your site folder.
  2. Fill in the site title and the admin's email address.
  3. Click Install WordPress. The script will build all the necessary tables in your database.

Previewing your WordPress site

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Getting familiar with the Dashboard

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Adjusting the default settings

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Installing alternate themes

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Installing plugins

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Working with widgets

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Adding and editing users

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Adding content

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Categories and tags: content taxonomy

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Working with media

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Backing up your site

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Reference Book

For much more on installing WordPress, check out:

Smashing WordPress

Dropbox go to eCompanion

Upload the following by midnight of our next class day:

Week Assignment File Name
4 My First WordPress

Assignment Details

My First WordPress

Follow along with the steps in class for installing, configuring, and adding content to a WordPress website. ZIP up your site folder and turn it in.