3/8 Notes: Master Your Digital Destiny

Follow the steps outlined in these two presentations and the instructions below, and you can move beyond using proprietary publishing solutions with limited features. You will be a bonafide web publisher with the power to create interactive, database-driven open source web and mobile sites and services.

Expressions from JournovationSU

Master Your Digital Destiny from JournovationSU

Breaking it down into three (almost) steps:

  1. Get your domain and web hosting
  2. Set up WordPress
  3. Configure WordPress

OK maybe there are a few mini steps in between each major step. Let’s review each one in detail.

But first: please let me know if you need financial assistance for obtaining a domain name or web hosting. This typically costs only $50 a year at most, sometimes even less.

I. Get your domain and web hosting.

1. Get a domain name.

Usually costs $8/year, sometimes more, sometimes less. Godaddy.com and Name.com are two cheap options. Need help finding an available name? Enter words into Nameboy.com.

2. Get a web host.

Many domain registrars also now offer hosting, but you can get your own. I reccommend FatCow.com, but you can use any web host that offers PHP, MySQL and preferably CPanel, which is a simple graphical interface for managing your site.

3. Point your domain name to your web host.

You will get instructions from your domain registrar and web host on how to do this, but it basically entails entering some numbers from an email into an online form and waiting a few hours for the domain to “propogate” across the entire internet.

II.   Set up WordPress

1. Any web host with CPanel has an autoinstaller. In CPanel they’re often called Simple Scripts, Mojo Marketplace, or Fantastico Autoinstaller. Look for a WordPress icon and click it.

If you want to be able to install multiple web sites with different domains on the same web host without paying extra, create a folder for each site. Then add the existing domain to your web host, and set up a “pointer” that goes to that folder.

2. You can also do it manually (a little harder, but lets you know what’s really happening). Start by downloading WordPress for free at http://wordpress.org.

IMPORTANT: WordPress also operates a commercial service at WordPress.com, but this is not the same as WordPress.org.

2. Download and unzip the WordPress files.

3. Follow the “five minute install” instructions on WordPress.org. The hardest parts of this are creating a database, and modifying the wp_config.php file. We will walk through how to do this in class.

4. Go to the WordPress installation on your domain name. The URL will look something like this:


III.  Configure WordPress

After your site is installed, you can modify it by going to a URL like this:


Then, log in with the user name and password you set up. Then do the following in the WordPress interface.

1. Go through the basic setup, such as choosing a name.

2. Choose a theme under Appearance. You can browse and install themes created by others all within the WordPress interface with your FTP login credentials.

3. Choose plugins under Plugins. There are may different plugins that do different things. We will go through some of the basic ones in class.

4. Add content through the Posts section.