In the first article in this series we looked at reasons why a videographer would consider WordPress as a website platform for his or her business. In this article we will look at how to go about implementing a WordPress website. It is not a step by step article, but rather its objective is to give you some sense of what to expect when you decide to use WordPress.
As you will see in a moment, before you know it your website will be live. But there will be no content! It pays to think before you commit what pages you want on the website and what text and pictures you want on the pages. It is helpful to have a Word document for each page so that you can copy and paste the content into the WordPress pages. That way your website will not be live without content for long. Typical pages to start with would be Home, About Us, Portfolio, Our Blog, and Contact Us.
Basic Website Stuff
For any website one has to have a webhosting company to host your website on their web server, and then you need a domain name (e.g. www.videoco.com) that points to the server. WordPress recommends a number of hosting companies. You might want to consider a local company so that you can go and talk to them if needs be. Once you have set up a hosting account with the company of your choice, they will create a folder on the web server for you. It is referred to as the “root” folder.
For WordPress to work, you need three things on your web server. Firstly there is the WordPress system itself (it is a collection of files and folders). Then your server also needs PHP and a MySQL database.
This basically means that you have to download WordPress from their website, and copy it to your root folder on the web server. So just how do you do that? I have no idea!
As we mentioned in the first article, all the content that will make up your website will be stored in a database. Part of the installation process is to link the MySQL database to your WordPress so that it will be able to access your website content.
Using Notepad to link the database to WordPress
The last step of the installation process is to set up the administration. You will be the “administrator” for your website which will give you the right to create pages, add or edit content. In this last step, WordPress will ask you for a Title and Description of your blog, i.e. the name of your company and your business tagline respectively. It will also ask you for a username and password that you would like to use. When you have entered the information and clicked to confirm, your website will be live!
Your browser will display the “Dashboard” which is your control panel from where you can now add content to the site.
Website Is Live!
If anyone enters your domain name in their browser, they will see your new, as yet content-less, website. At this point your website will by default have two pages, home and about. Your company name will appear at top of the web page, which is nice. Below that is a beautiful but inappropriate banner image, which you can ignore for now.
The Opening Screen of the New Website
Your first step is to add the additional pages you need, and paste the content into them that you have prepared beforehand. As you create pages, WordPress will automatically create links to them on the menu bar! So how do I create pages, you ask? As administrator, you will have access to the control panel for your website. In WordPress lingo it is called the “Dashboard”.
New site, with some text and a custom banner image
Once you have created your pages and added content to them, you need to let the world know that your website is ready. That is easy. You go to http://www.google.com/addurl and enter your URL (e.g. http://www.videoco.com) and it’s done.
At this point your website is on the Internet; it looks good, and has content. So for now, give yourself a pat on the back, and take a well deserved break! But soon you will probably start to think of the further tweaking that you may want to do. It will require a little bit of learning but there is no immediate rush. For example, you may want to replace the default banner graphic with something more appropriate for videography, and perhaps include your logo. These are easy to do but outside of the scope of this short article.
For more information you can go to the official WordPress website which is very comprehensive but rather overwhelming I have found. I do recommend an excellent online tutorial by Lynda.com. The tutorial covers the installation, use and maintenance of your WordPress website. Then there are many books on WordPress that you can order through Amazon.com – just make sure that the book covers WordPress 3.0!
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