Tyler Jorgenson

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How To Set Up A Website – Volume 2

I got a lot of really good responses to my last post on how to set up a website.  It included the basics of getting your host and securing a domain name.  Now that you have your host and own a domain let’s set up a professional looking website in less than 5 minutes.

Step 1. Log in to your Dreamhost account

Hopefully you remember your password.  Just login and you should be at the ‘Let’s Get Started!’ page with the toolbox and main menu on the left side.

Step 2. Install WordPress

WordPress is my website builder of choice because it is fully customizable and has a very big support network.  There are countless plugins that can make your WordPress site do anything you’d like.  I use it for eCommerce, blogs (like this one you are reading), real estate and more.  It’s a bit robust if you’re just building a splash page or 2 page test site, so I’ll cover site’s like Weebly in a different post.

1. In the Toolbox Click ‘One-Click Installs’
2. Click on ‘Install new website software – Advanced mode
3. A list of icons pop up, select WordPress and
4. Below the icons is an ‘Install to:’ option.  Select your site from the drop down menu and leave the part after the / blank.
5. Click ‘Install it for me now!’

Dreamhost will now install the latest version of WordPress to your site for you.  If you did everything right you will receive an email from Dreamhost in the next few minutes with the title “Success installing WordPress on your site!”

Step 3. Create a WordPress Admin account

1. Click on the link in your Success email that should look like this:  http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/install.php
2. At the welcome screen add a Site Title (This is the ‘name’ of your site and can be changed later)
3.  Leave the Username as ‘admin’
4. Create a strong password that you can remember.
5. Enter your main free email account (so you can access password resets from anywhere).
6. Click on ‘Install WordPress’

If done right you will now be at a Success! screen.  Look how good you’re doing!

7.  Click ‘Log In’ and log in with your username and password you just created.

Step 4. Customize Your Site in Your Dashboard

1.  Click  ‘Settings’ in the left panel.  Usually the last option
2. Select ‘General’ in the sub menu
3. Change the Tagline.  By default it says ‘Just another WordPress site.  That’s not cool.  Be cool.
4. Change your time zone
5. Click ‘Save Changes’
6. Click ‘Permalinks’ in the left sub menu
7. Chose either ‘Day and Name’ or ‘Month and Name’ if this is going to be a blog.  This is much better for search engines and looks much better than having just a post number at the end of your URL for each post.
8. Click ‘Save Changes’
9. Click ‘Comments’ in the left Menu about half way up.  Delete the ‘Hi, this is a comment.’ comment by hovering over it and selecting ‘Trash’.
10. Select ‘Posts’ towards the top of the left menu and then ‘Posts’ again in the sub menu.  Delete the ‘Hello World’ post
by hovering over it and selecting ‘Trash’.

You’ve now cleaned up your site so you can make it yours.  Your site is actually already live but we want to make it pretty.  It’s time to pick a theme.

Step 5. Chose and Install a Custom WordPress Theme

1. Click ‘Appearance’ in the left menu
2. Click ‘Themes’ in the sub menu
3. There are about 42 themes  installed for you already.  There are thousands more online, but you should be able to find one here that will fit your needs while you get started.  Browse the available themes and when you find one you like click ‘activate’.

That’s it, you’ve now updated and completely changed the look of your site in three easy clicks.

Step 6.  Add content

If you’re moving blogspot/blogger blog then this is easy.  You can simply import all of your previous posts and comments.

1. Select ‘Tools’ in the left menu
2. Select ‘Import’ from the sub menu
3. Blogger is the first option (log in to your google account in a different window first) Click ‘Blogger’
4. Click ‘Authorize’
5. Click ‘Grant Access’
6. Select which blog to import and click the magic button ‘Import’.
7. Since Blogger and WordPress have different usernames, select the one on WordPress that you want to line up with your blogger account and click ‘Save Changes’.  At this point your blog will import itself.

Step 7. Add/Edit Pages

WordPress starts you off with an ‘About’ page.  I usually leave this page but edit it to actually be about the website I’m building.

1. Click ‘Pages’ from the left menu
2. Click ‘Pages’ from the sub menu
3. Hover over ‘About’ and click edit
4. Edit the content to be all about you or your site (add photos with the Upload/Insert option at the top)
5. Click ‘Update’ over on the right

Congratulations.  You have now entered the real world where you can run with the big dogs.  No more will your name be post scripted with some giant corporate entities greedy tagline.  You’re free and you’re ready to rule the world.

In Volume 3 we’ll add my must have plugins for WordPress and customize your site a bit more with a widget or two.  Isn’t this fun!?

Click here to go back to How To Set Up A Website – Volume 1

2 Responses to “How To Set Up A Website – Volume 2”

  1. How To Set Up A Website - Volume 1 | Tyler Jorgenson Says:

    […] Bam! You have a domain and a host.  In our next series we’ll give you a few more action items to get a website actually set […]

  2. J. Mark Bangerter Says:

    I am really enjoying these posts. Great stuff. Keep it coming!

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