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Installing A WordPress Blog

By • Apr 8th, 2008 • Category: Band Blog Tips

If you’re new to the world of website creation, then the easiest way to get yourself online is with a blog. There are a lot of sites where you can get a blog; I prefer WordPress because it’s free, versatile and there are loads of useful plugins available for it.

WordPress comes in three basic flavours; if you don’t have your own hosting, then you should use, which will host your blog for you. This is the easiest option, and recommended for beginners. All you have to do is set up an account and start blogging.

If you want to install WordPress on your own hosting, you need to visit, download the latest version, unzip it and then upload the files to your server via FTP. If you have Fantastico, you might be able to install WordPress automatically from cPanel, so you should check that first.

The third form of WordPress is called WordPress MU, where MU stands for Multi-User. This allows you to set up a site where users can register and create their own blogs on your hosting. We’re getting way ahead of ourselves here though – maybe I’ll come back to this one later on…

Why Should I Host My Own Blog?

Although a blog hosted on can be a valuable asset, if you want full control of your site then you should get your own hosting package. There are starter packages available from as little as a dollar a month, and any decent site will begin paying for itself within a very short time anyway (I’ll cover monetisation issues later on).

Having your own site means you can control exactly how it is structured, and how it looks. You can go into the style sheets, html and php to add, edit or modify anything you like. Although a blog is great for getting started, if you’re serious about developing a long-term web presence then you will quickly outgrow it.

How To Install WordPress

As mentioned above, the typical way is to download the latest version and upload it to your server using an FTP client. WordPress recommend using Filezilla, although you can use any FTP client; a useful alternative is Smart FTP.

I won’t go into the details of installation here, as there is a very clear guide to installation on the WordPress site. If you run into problems during the installation, the support forums on the site usually provide an answer.

Before you can set up WordPress, you need to set up a database that it can use. This is usually done from your hosting control panel, where you should see an icon or menu item for mySQL databases. You need to give this database a name, and create a user with all priveleges. This means that you can read/write/execute any file. Make a note of the database name, user name and password that you created.

Potential Problems: Wp-Config File

The installation requires that you enter your database information in the wp-config.php file. Remember not to leave any spaces inside the apostrophes.

The database name and user name will have an underscore in the middle, so that they appear in this format: ‘user1_mydatabase’, ‘user1_myusername’. Your actual information will be different, of course, but this is the structure you should follow.

Your password will be entered on its own, like this: ‘password’.

Some people encounter problems connecting to the database when they run ‘install.php’. If this is the case, the first thing to try is changing ‘localhost’ in the wp-config file.

Some hosting providers use a separate server for SQL databases, so if you have a look in your control panel you might be able to find out what that is. If you can’t find it, you can always ask them. Once you have this info, you replace ‘localhost’ in the wp-config file with the correct server name, probably in this format: ‘’.

If this doesn’t solve your problem, then it’s time to hit the forum.

Potential Problems: File Permissions

At this stage, you probably have WordPress installed correctly, and it looks like everything is working fine. However, if you go to the ‘Design’ menu and enter the Theme Editor, you might find that WordPress won’t allow you to save any changes you make. This is because the WordPress files are not writeable, so you need to change the file permissions to allow WordPress to modify these files.

If you’re using cPanel, you can just click on a file or folder and select ‘permissions’. Here you can make the files writable; it’s faster if you apply changes to all files and sub-folders.

This process is also referred to as CHMOD, which stands for change mode. The highest level of access is 777, which means that all actions are allowed on that file or folder. As always, you can find plenty of help on the WordPress site if you run into difficulty setting file permissions for your blog.

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