When it comes to a platform on which to build your blog it is almost impossible to look beyond WordPress. It is very easy to understand for the novice but also packs some very powerful features for the more advanced user. It’s also free!
Now there are two options to choose from with WordPress. WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a site similar to blogger where you can host your blog but you have limitations with what you can do on your site. I strongly recommend using WordPress.org to host your blog.
You will need to pay for hosting and a domain name but the yearly cost of hosting and domain name is very low. The flexibility of hosting your own WordPress site is well worth the low start up costs.
As the site expands in content we will be covering WordPress in some depth so you will be able to go from a novice to a pro in no time.
WordPress runs on PHP scripts and is database driven. Don’t worry if you don’t know PHP or MySQL you can still build a site – what that does mean though is that WordPress must be installed on a server for PHP and MySQL to run.
If you want to keep start up costs down though you can install a local server on your PC or Mac and run WordPress that way. This is a great way to develop a blog before publishing it and will allow you to have a play with web development and blogging to see if its for you.
If you don’t like reading through tutorials every step is covered in detail in the video screencast. This was done on a Mac but it should be easy enough to follow along for Windows users. I will be making a Windows tutorial video very soon.
1. Download and install MAMP from here http://www.mamp.info/en/downloads/
2. Download the latest version of WordPress http://en-gb.wordpress.org/ and extract the .zip file.
3. Copy the WordPress folder into the htdocs folder in MAMP. This is where all of your WP sites can live.
4. Rename the folder from WordPress to something more descriptive, such as the website name
5. Turn on MAMP services, PHP and MySQL
Start MAMP not MAMP Pro
6. Create a database by visiting the MAMP start page http://localhost:8888/MAMP/?language=English
Click on the phpMyAdmin link
Click the databases tab
Enter the name of your database in the create database textbox and click the create button.
I like to name my databases WP_sitename but you can name them anything descriptive.
Make a note of your database name for step 9
7. Visit http://localhost:8888/
8888 represents the port MAMP uses by default. If you change the port you will need to change the number here
8. Open the directory, which you renamed in Step 4 and run the install
9. All Right Sparky! Create a wp-config file by clicking the button.Fill in your site information including the database name which you created in step 6. Set the username and password as root and enter your email address. Leave the other fields as they are.
10. To log in to your dashboard visit http://localhost:8888/sitename/wp-admin
You will need MAMP services to be running otherwise this won’t work
11. Start developing!! You will now be able to view your site at: http://localhost:8888/sitename/
Whilst the site is in its infancy we’re going to rely on your feedback to get the tutorials perfect. If there’s anything you’d like to see changed then let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest from the site!