The first thing you should do is create your database. Some hosting companies will create one for you at sign up, so you may want to check the registration confirmation and welcome info they sent you. If you don’t have one, then you can follow this example for setting up a MySQL database on BlueHost, which is powered by cPanel.

You’ll need to login to your control panel, which you usually do by either logging in through your hosting company’s site, or through your own site with an address like “manage.yourwebsite.com” or “yourwebsite.com:8448″. Refer to your registration email from your hosting company for that information.

Once you are logged in, on the home page of your admin control panel, click on the link for the MySQL database under the Database heading:You’re now at the place where you can create databases and users as well as assign users to databases. Now, in the world of computers, databases belong to users, which means before we can create a database, we need to create a user. To create a user, simply enter their username and password here:Once you’ve added the user, go back to the database management screen. Now you’re ready to create the database, which you can do by simply entering the name here:Now that you have a database and a user, you need to assign the user to the database, which you can do by selecting the username and the database name from the drop down menus. Be sure to leave the “all” option checked because you want the user to have full access privileges. Now click the “Add user to db” button here:Your database is now set-up! Be sure to write down the database name, username, and password as you will need them in Step 3. Please note that some hosting companies will tag characters on the front of your database name and username, for example you may have entered “wordpress” for your database name, but your hosting company made it “you_wordpress”.

Step 2 – Download
Now that we have all of the pieces in place, the next thing you’ll need to do is download WordPress. WordPress comes as one of 2 file formats: “.zip” and “.tar.gz”. If you don’t know what “.tar.gz” is, then I recommend downloading the zip file. The downloaded file should either unzip automagically, or you’ll need to do it manually. Unzipping the file manually should just be a matter of double-clicking on the file, which should open the application you have to unzip files. If you don’t have an unzipping application, then I recommend WinZip for a PC, and StuffIt Expander for Macs. Both are free to demo.

Unzipping the file should produce a single folder full of the application files. Open that folder and move on to the next step.

Step 3 – Edit the config file
In that folder there should be a file called “sample-wp-config.php”. Open that file with a text editor like Notepad or TextEdit. Do NOT use Microsoft Word because it doesn’t save files in a format that is compatible with the Web!

At the top of the config file there should be a place to enter your database name, username, and password; enter the names you wrote down from the end of Step 1. Save that file in the same folder, but change the file name by deleting the word sample, which should make the file named “wp-config.php”. Now you’re ready for Step 4.

Step 4 – Upload the application
Here’s where you are going to need the FTP program. Launch your FTP software and start a new connection. There should be a place for you to enter your server address, your FTP username, FTP password. This is not necessarily the same username and password as your database. Your hosting company should have sent you your FTP address, username and password as part of your sign-up, and you’ll need to contact them if you can’t find it.

After you enter your login data into your FTP program, there should be a button to connect or login, which should open your website’s root folder. Some hosting companies start you in a folder up a level or two from your website’s root folder. You may need to click on a folder or two to get to your website. Often times the first folder you need to click is the name of your site, such as “yoursite.com”. Then you need to click on a folder called something like “httpdocs”, “www”, “http”, “docs”, or “public”. This folder is what is known as your “root” folder and it’s the beginning of your website’s folder and file structure. If you want your blog address to be “yourwebsite.com”, then you’ll want to upload the contents of the WordPress folder on your computer into the root folder for your website. If you want your blog to be an address like “yourwebsite.com/blog”, then you need to create a new folder titled “blog”, or whatever you want the address to be, in the root folder of your website and upload the WordPress files there. * It’s important to note that you only want to upload the contents of the WordPress folder on your computer, not the main folder itself (you do want the folders within the main folder).

Step 5 – Run the installer
Now that everything is in place, open a web browser and type in the address for your blog (it should be something like yourwebsite.com or yourwebsite.com/blog). If your set up is correct, then you will see a screen telling you to run the installer. If you missed a step, then you’ll be told an error and it should prompt you with a possible solution.

Running the installer should lead you to a screen with a place to enter your blog’s name and your email address. WordPress will email a password to the address you enter here, so be sure you can access that account’s inbox. Plug the password from the confirmation email into the login screen and you’re in!

First tips
After your blog is up and running, you’ll need to poke around the admin to discover all of it’s possibilities. There are a few first things that people generally like to do, such as:

Change your blog name or add a tagline under the “Options” menu.
WordPress has links in your blogroll to start with, you can edit those or add new ones under “Links”.
WordPress also comes with a first post, which you can delete under the “Manage” menu.
You can write your first post by clicking on the “Write” menu.
When writing your first post, note the options on the right of the page. For example, you’ll want to make sure to assign categories to your post or it will remain uncategorized.
You can select a different layout or style under the “Presentation” menu. On the bottom of that page, you can click on a link for new WordPress themes, which links you to hundreds of pre-made styles with instructions for how to install them.

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