Setting up a WordPress site may seem like a daunting task, but can be quite simple if you use a host like Network Solutions, GoDaddy, or pretty much most hosting websites work.

People who have been fortunate enough to build plenty of websites from the ground up discover the powerful flexibility and ease of use with the WordPress platform. WordPress has many benefits for users to take advantage of.

  • Fast and Easy Installation – For those who have web hosting companies that run cPanelX for the webmasters’ control panel (several popular web hosting companies use cPanelX), your control panel has an option called “Fantastico De Luxe”. Clicking on the Fantastico icon will take you to a page that allows you to add all kinds of free applications on your website by simply following the instructions. Go and find the WordPress link, and install it on your website. The software is going to run you through some basic questions before downloading the full install of the most recent version of WordPress builds for your website.
  • Website Themes – Not many webmasters use the generic WordPress theme that comes with WordPress because the default theme is fairly plain Jane and non-interesting. Most prefer to design their own custom WordPress theme that you can simply upload directly to your domain which changes the feel and appearance of your WordPress website. Most of the WordPress themes are free, but you can get some robust paid versions as well. You will find over 1,000 themes loaded on the WordPress website from which you can choose from.
  • Website Functionality – Just as the WordPress themes give you custom design, if you have a specific functionality you want to add to your blog you can. Several programmers have made special WordPress plugins that will do whatever you want them to do. There are over 8,000 WordPress plugins on the WordPress website and many more that are not on the WordPress website. If you search for a plugin you want, just download it and install it for your blog.
  • Open Source – One of the benefits of WordPress is that it is built in PHP. The source code is visible to all who want to look at it. Additionally, WordPress includes comprehensive documentation and several functions that help programmers working with the WordPress Codex. Anyone who has a slight knowledge of PHP can work easily with the WordPress themes and plugins without having to be too advanced.
  • Self-Updating – In the most recent versions, WordPress has added a feature that notifies you when upgrades are available for the basic version of WordPress or for any of the plugins you have. Once the upgrade is available, you are immediately notified. In most cases, all you need to do is click on a link and your upgrades and updates will automatically install.

WordPress Installation

There are three ways to go about installing WordPress:

  1. A one-click easy install with a host
  2. A Blog with
  3. Downloading and installing the files yourself and setting up the database

I have written instructions for all three scenarios, and hopefully captured all the preferences our readers could have. If there is a step, or scenario I missed please feel free to ask questions in the comments and we’ll get them answered so that other members that might have similar scenarios can see as well.

Customizing WordPress

After your installation is complete your site will look pretty plain with a standard first post famously know as “Hello World!”.

There are three important parts to customizing your WordPress site:

  • Theme
  • Plugins
  • Widgets

Stripping Down WordPress

Before we get into getting those installed and how to set them up, you will want to strip down your WordPress install to the bare necessities, and install some very important Plugins that every WordPress site owner should have. I have put together step-by-step instructions on how to do this, including a detailed list of WordPress Plugins that you should have before getting started.

After you have gone through and gotten all the plugins you need you can work on your design.

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About the Author: Jennifer Mathews