How to Setup WordPress on a Client’s Hosting – Step by Step
WordPress is probably the most popular Content Management System (CMS) available. Anecdotally, I’ve noticed that a lot of the web hosts I work with offer WordPress as a one-click install, meaning they handle all the technical details for you. You can literally launch a WordPress site in a few minutes, and there’s a community of people who are willing to help you get started.
While you don’t necessarily need a CMS to run a blog, having the ability to edit content and update your site without having to log in to a back-end interface is incredibly useful. Especially if you’re new to web design or development, using a CMS can simplify matters greatly. You don’t need to learn how to code or design templates individually.
What Is A CMS?
A content management system is a tool that helps you easily draft blog posts, manage social media accounts, and more, all from the same place. Essentially, a CMS gives you a space to create and store content without having to log in to separate apps or accounts for each platform.
In the past, you would have needed to draft a blog post in Microsoft Word, then connect your social media accounts to the copy and paste it into a blog post in WordPress. Or, you would have had to log in to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest separately to share a link to your blog post. All of this would have been time-consuming, and, in some cases, prone to errors. Using a CMS can help you avoid a lot of the manual work that goes into creating and maintaining a blog.
Why Should You Choose WordPress?
There are a lot of reasons why you might want to choose WordPress for your CMS needs, but let’s discuss a few.
- Extensive documentation
- A large community
- Fully compatible with all the major browsers
Let’s dive in!
You’ll notice that WordPress is extremely popular with designers and developers who create websites for clients. The interface is incredibly easy to use, and the toolset is accessible for everyone. If you’re new to the platform, it’s incredibly easy to get started.
WordPress is also incredibly flexible. The creators build it to be modular and extendable, so it can adapt to any situation. If you decide later that you want to add a feature or take something away, it’s very easy to do so. While WordPress is quite stable and rarely causes issues, it is always advisable to check for updates directly from the developers.
WordPress comes with a thorough documentation portal that is actually pretty useful. The creators put a lot of effort in making sure that every aspect of the platform is easy to understand and accessible. Even better, they offer a lot of tutorials and videos that you can browse and watch for free. You can literally learn every aspect of WordPress from scratch, or take a ride on the documentation bus with the documentation’s tour.
If you’re looking for a well-documented, fully-supported tool that has a community of people who are happy to help you out, then WordPress is the right tool for the job. It also has a ton of add-ons and plugins that can enhance your website’s functionality.
A Large Community
WordPress has a very large community of active users who help each other out with tips and tricks as well as offer support via the extensive documentation and a live chat function in the forums. Since the toolset is so popular, it’s easy to find the answers you need quickly. If you do run into trouble, there are thousands of people who are willing to help you out.
WordPress is also incredibly active. The main website alone gets over 20 million visits per month, with over 300 million pageviews per year. The number of downloads alone is over 40 million, and it’s one of the most used content management systems in the world. If you’re looking for a tool that’s constantly updated and offers a large community, then WordPress is the right choice.
Fully Compatible With All Major Browsers
WordPress is a very versatile tool, and one of its greatest assets is that it works well with all of the major browsers. You don’t need to worry about compatibility issues when editing content, as it will render the same across all platforms. And, if you’re designing a mobile-friendly website, it automatically adapts to all devices.
There are some minor browser incompatibilities that you need to be aware of when using WordPress. For example, Internet Explorer 10 and 11 do not render PNG images correctly. But, other than that, you can focus on content and not the technology used to display it.
Step 1: Install WordPress on the Hosting Server
In order to setup WordPress on a client’s hosting, you’ll need to install the tool on the server. It’s very easy to do so, and, depending on the complexity of the site, can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more. In most cases, you can launch a test version of your site with just a couple of clicks, and begin editing right away.
The first step is to visit the WordPress website and click on the Download button to visit the downloads page. From here, you’ll need to choose either the Lite or the Professional version, depending on whether or not you want to have ads on your site. (Note: You will not be able to select the free version if you are running a commercial site or blog.) Next, you’ll need to click on the Install button to begin installation. Depending on the type of server you have, this will either download and install a basic WordPress skeleton, or complete installation including a database, themes, and plugins. (Note: If you chose the Lite version, you will be able to install WordPress quickly and easily, without having to worry about additional fees. However, you will not have ads or additional functionality, except for the free version.) Once the installation process is complete, you’ll need to visit your WordPress dashboard to set up your user name and password. (Note: If you’re looking for a simple, free WordPress install, go for the Lite version. If you’d like to create a commercial-grade site or blog, or want to take advantage of additional features, go for the Professional version.) From here, you can click on the Settings icon to begin configuring the CMS. You can also click on the Support link to reach the WordPress documentation, or the FAQs link to access a frequently asked questions page that addresses many common queries. Once you’ve gotten familiar with the general setup of your WordPress site, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Set Up Your Email Accounts
You’ll need to set up at least two email accounts to use WordPress. One is for administrative purposes, and the other is for content contributors. It’s preferable to use a dedicated email app for this, such as MailChimp, that is separate from your main email account. This is because it can be very difficult to keep track of multiple accounts if one is used for content, and the other is used for administrative purposes.
Setting up the administrative account is quite easy. You’ll simply need to create a new email account (without using the same email provider as your content account) and give it a secure password. It is preferable to use a dedicated email app for this, such as MailChimp, that is separate from your main email account.
Next, you’ll need to create a new content contributor account. This will be a slightly more complex process, as you’ll need to have a separate email address from your main email account, and you’ll need to upload a selfie to prove that you are a human being. Once this is done, you can activate the account and begin receiving emails from WordPress, and any other emails you’ve subscribed to.
Step 3: Install WordPress on Your Devices
Now that your WordPress site is set up and functioning on the server, it’s time to move it to your devices. This is where the fun begins!
First, you’ll need to download the WordPress app from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and install it on your device (phones or tablets). Once the app is installed, you can set up a login and start enjoying your brand new WordPress site immediately.