Getting Started with your Website [Basic Guide]Thursday May 11th, 2017 More Information, Z.com News, Events
By: Mark Christopher Lund
Difficulty Level: Easy
Good day! It’s wonderful to see you here. You’ve probably stumbled into this article because you’ve decided to create your very own website, am I right? Well let’s not dawdle and get down to it!
Now before we get started, I will assume you already know what a website is and how it works. There are a tons of ways on how one could create a website and usually you would require the aid of specialist to help you in creating one, but nowadays with the technological advancement we have, you yourself can create a simple personal site without being too technical and having to handle those messy codes.
This article will show you a how to, step-by-step, guide in helping you in creating and launching
your own personal site. We will begin now by discussing what you will need:
Choosing the right CMS
CMS stands for “Content Management System”, it is a tool created to bridge the gap between developers and the less tech-savvy users. Designed to aid developers in creating fast and easy to setup website that even an average user could also easily operate, to an extent of the user’s knowledge.
Over the years a number of CMS has saturated the web development scene raging from simple ones used for blogging and journalism to more complex and rich in features, used primarily in e-commerce sites. The most popular ones; WordPress; Drupal; Joomla are the three major CMS used on a regular basis.
WordPress takes the lead as the most used CMS, powering over 26% of sites worldwide and counting. With that amount of users it is no wonder WordPress has become successful in making the web more accessible to everyone. Moving on, setting up WordPress shouldn’t be too complicated, but I will discuss it to you in complete details for better clarity.
Choosing a good Hosting Plan
Before you even think of designing your website, you would first require a web server or a place where you would contain your website. I had discussed the different types of hosting plan, in detail, on a previous post: How to Choose the right Hosting Plan?
For those that may have a bit of a difficulty in using any of the hosting plan mentioned, Z.com offers an out of the box web hosting specifically made for sites running in WordPress.
To begin, create your account by clicking the sign up button on the Z.com for WordPress Hosting page, this will redirect you to your cart. (see Fig. 1.0)
In the add to cart page you will be prompted to choose your billing cycle, data center of choice and you are also given an option for a static IP address on your server, just choose not now on this if you’re not sure. (see Fig. 1.1)
After clicking NEXT, if you’re a new customer, you will be asked to enter your VALID email address together with your chosen password. (see Fig. 1.2)
In the chance you have already an account kindly skip this and proceed to Fig. 1.4.
Once you have clicked the CREATE ACCOUNT button, a dialog box will appear prompting you that the email address you have chosen shall be used when you login to your account. (see Fig. 1.3)
Upon confirmation you will receive an email from Z.com containing your account number, keep this for you will need it later on.
Selecting your chosen email as a default login credential, this will result in redirecting you to the next page, here you will input all your personal details for account verification and billing purposes. (see Fig. 1.4)
Another way, if the above method didn’t work, is by logging-in to your control panel. Clicking the human icon will show a drop-down list, select account settings. From there you may input all your personal information for account verification. (see Fig. 1.5)
After you have filled in all of your information, you will then proceed to step 3. This is the billing process, Z.com uses PayPal as a third party client for a much safer transaction, simply choose PayPal as a payment method and proceed to checkout. (see Fig. 1.6)
A PayPal account is needed to proceed with the transaction, but in the chance that you may not have a PayPal account, you may also pay through Debit or Credit Card. (see Fig. 1.7)
Once the payment is accepted you will then redirected to step 4, confirming your order has been accepted and shall be available within a few moments. (see Fig. 1.8)
You may now proceed to your control panel to set-up your web host. To begin, go to the WordPress hosting set-up page by clicking the WordPress menu in the navigation bar. (see Fig. 1.9)
Upon going to your WordPress Server List, you would notice under status that it is still waiting for settings (see Fig. 2.0). Click on the Server Default Settings to continue.
To set up your server, fill up the empty input boxes with all the necessary information of your site similar to the sample form. (see Fig. 2.1)
Note: Remember to change text inputted here to information unique to you.
Going back to your WordPress Server List, the status should now appear as running. This means that your server is ready and good to go. (see Fig. 2.2)
Now to check if everything’s working accordingly. To go to your web server simply click the Name Tag under your WordPress Server List. This should take you to your now working WordPress Server. By default your site should also be running now, to visit it on the web simply input the url you have chosen in Fig. 2.1. In this example we have used site.webstarterz.com.
On the other hand, to launch the WordPress Dashboard you can either click on the 2nd option under your server (see Fig. 2.3) or type in the url: site.webstarterz.com/wp-admin. Both methods should take you to the login screen.
Setting Up Your WordPress Site
Now that we have finished setting up your server, we can now move on to setting up your site in WordPress. First off, this is the WordPress Login Screen (see Fig. 2.4). Here you will input the username and password you have chosen in in Fig. 2.1 to enter the dashboard.
After successfully logging in, you will then be redirected to the WordPress Dashboard Interface (see Fig. 2.5). Here is where all the magic happens. If you have tried creating a blog in wordpress.com, the interface you will find here is quite similar, but with more features.
The image on the left is the menu for your dashboard, with it you could create your post, create new pages and the likes. Changing the name of your site can also be done here as well, this could be accomplish by navigating to the Settings>General sub-menu. In this area you can update your site title, add a tagline that would describe what your sites about, as well as change your default site url. (see Fig. 2.6)
Note: Changing the Site Address (URL) as well as the WordPress Address (URL) requires one to have a valid domain that has been registered on the control panel otherwise this will cause your site to crash if changed here directly, without proper transfer.
Adding New Post
To add a new post, navigate through the dashboard menu and look for the Posts Tab and under it chose Add New. Another way this could also be done is by going to the All Posts page and look for the Add New button near the Posts title bar. (see Fig. 2.7)
Below is the add new post, you create the new content using the default WordPress WYSIWYG editor or by adding your own HTML tags if you are familiar with it, in it’s text editor. With the WYSIWYG editor you can easily add image, change font size, add some links, etc. Once you are done writing your content, you can publish it to appear on you homepage by hitting the Publish button at the far right side. (see Fig. 2.8)
Below is what your post would look like as it appear on your live website.
Changing Theme and Customizing
WordPress is an advance web creation tool that is rich in features and, to a degree, simple to operate. Customizing your site with WordPress may take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, everything should be straight forward. There are numerous ways on customizing your theme, depending on the theme you have chosen. A premium theme even comes with its own theme editor that gives users additional access and a lot more flexibility in designing there website. For today, we are using the FREE and default 2017 Theme for WordPress. To access the theme editor go to Appearance>Customize. (see Fig. 2.9)
The customize area is where you can change the name of your site, change the over all colors of your theme, add menu and many more. (see Fig. 3.0) Try to play around with it to become familiarize. I will no longer elaborate too much on this, but I may work on some future writing with more detailed explanations on how each these components works.
Choosing a Domain Name
Once you are familiarized with website building using WordPress, you may want to upgrade your
domain name to a more suitable one. You can read more of this later on… Choosing The Proper
Domain Name (How to Guide)
This end the basic guide in setting up your first website with z.com. This guides main purpose is to brief the topics of setting up a web hosting as well as setting up a website using WordPress, we didn’t go in deeper details on working with the CMS as there are tons of topics to discuss that it may be a bit too overwhelming for a single article to cover, but it is enough knowledge to get started with your site. Hopefully this guide is able to serve it’s purpose. Until then, Happy Coding!