Most web developers end up creating small websites for start-ups, individuals and small companies. These websites have a few basic pages like “About”, “Contact me”, “Home”, etc. WordPress is ideal for building such websites. WordPress is mainly known as a blogging platform but is gaining popularity as a first class content management system among web developers. It doesn’t take too long to build websites using WordPress and after the site is launched, it can be maintained easily as well. Small businesses can use WordPress to build websites and as an effective Content Management System (CMS).
Things you will Need
You will need to download a WordPress theme to create a graphical interface. The right theme or skin is important for the look of your WordPress website. WordPress does install with 2 default themes, but these are plain, and not very corporate or inspirational. Theme are not expensive and you can download fantastic ones from themeforest.net for as little as $35.
To create a website you will also need the services of a web hosting company. Make sure that the web hosting company you have chosen can support PHP and MySQL or Oracle databases. If you are using another database software, make sure that it is supported too. To enable faster website testing, install PHP and MySQL database on your local system. Most importantly, you will need to know HTML and CSS. While creating style-sheets and web designs, use “wrapper” div to enclose the page, <li> list tags to create menu items, “footer” div for credits, disclaimers, etc., “header” div for main navigation and “page” div to keep all page items in a single page.
Creating the Website
- Place a new database – MySQL or other – in the local or remote server. Most importantly, keep in mind or take down the user-name, password, host and database name of the database. Without this you won’t be able to access the database. Expand the zipped source code that you downloaded from WordPress and place it in the folder that will contain your website. Give read and write access to the folder containing the WordPress files. Next, type the website URL in the address bar of the browser, navigate to your website and complete the installation procedure. If the installation is successful, you will be asked to login using an admin password, which will be given to you. With WordPress version 3.0 and above you can choose your own password. As always, make sure you do not forget this password.
- Change the admin password the first time you login to your new WordPress account. After this, expand the compressed WordPress theme that you purchased earlier and put it in this path- /yoursiteroot/wp-content/themes/newtheme. Activate this theme using the “appearance” section. Then use the “Pages” section and add web pages for your website such as Home, Blog, Contact us, etc. Content can be added later on but ensure that you publish these pages before saving them. Next, choose “Reading” option from the “Setting” section. You can set the home page and blog page from here. It is advisable to select “Static” option for Front page displays. After you are satisfied with the page settings, click on “Save”.
- If you want to make certain adjustments to the theme that you downloaded, use the HTML/CSS version of the site to do so. With your HTML editor, open the website and navigate to the theme folder. You will find many PHP files, a folder for images and a styles.css file in the theme folder. Make the necessary changes using these PHP and stylesheet files.
With more coding knowledge and experience you can add additional features to your WordPress website. For further information, you can read the tutorials and watch the videos present in WordPress.
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