how to create your blog II

4 03 2007

(c)

WARNING: a loooonnnggggg post… really… 😀

i am sure, after my post on how to set up a blog using free providers like WordPress and Blogspot, thousands of you trooped to those sites mentioned and created your own blogs… i am also sure that, by now, you’d have learned the limits of these free blogging sites… like, you can only customize the theme so much… like, you have a favorite plugin but you cannot install this in your new blog… like, you created a photoblog, only to find out that your particular blog has a limit in terms of hard disk size… or many others that, although you can live with them at the start, but you find restricting as you go along…

so what do you do?? well, for a little amount of money and a little patience, you can now start your own blog using your own domain, can have as little or as large hard disk space as you’d want, and put in as much content as you can think of…

how do you go about doing it?? read on and find out…

domain and hosting

first thing you need to have is a domain name… you can go to a number of domain registrars like namesdirect.com or register.com, or something local to your place of residence, like plogHost or Pinoy Web Hosting if you are in the Philippines which offers hosting as well as registration of a new domain name for a small fee…

i got mine from BlueHost for $6.99 a month for 2 years, a total of $167.66 paid for 2 years hosting services… fair price considering that it gave me disk storage of 200GB, i can host 6 domains in 1 account, site transfer [bandwidth] of 2 terabytes, and a host of other features that i can surely live without… find one that fits your budget and work habits because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them…

i swear the hosting sites mentioned in this post did not pay me, but i sure wish they did, though!! 😀

a few reminders, though:

  • your hosting should be easy to understand and configure
  • be sure to understand cPanel… that will be your main interface when working with your site/s… there is a working demo here if you want to try it out first…
  • be sure that there is an online technical support, at the very least… it can be a bummer if you only get email tech support, and you get an answer after 2 days… and, finally;
  • be sure that your hosting service and/or domain name registrar has deep pockets, lest you suddenly find yourself sans hosting due to bankruptcy…

OR, if you have your own server-type machine and know how to install a server-type operating system, all you have to get now is an Internet connection… in the Philippines, a decent connection [512kbps] can set you back at least Php3K a month… is it still worth all the hassle?? if yes, then go ahead via that route… it will surely be a lot easier because you have total control over your server, and no cPanel to contend with…

whatever you choose, whether you get hosting or you host your own server, you must at least have a competent technical proficiency in order to host your own blog, because that is not the only thing you have to think of… it will be assumed that you are comfortable working in the Linux command-line interface, in any case…

installing your blogging software

wordpress-logo.pngmovabletype.pngtoday, 2 of the most favorite blogging software in the blogosphere are WordPress 2.1.2 and MovableType 1.5… i actually started off with b2 software, but when a fork of b2 was renamed WordPress and that was continuously updated, i switched and never looked back since…

i have no experience installing MovableType, but you can find out from Six Apart’s website… that was why this topic will focus on installing WordPress…

ok, 1st thing you need to do is download it… if you have command-line access to your server, you type the following:

# wget http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

or

# wget http://wordpress.org/latest.zip

then go to your webroot [i’ll assume you know what a webroot is… if you don’t you’d be better off with a free and hosted blog], and assuming you downloaded the software in /home/yourdir/installers, type in the following:

# tar zxvf /home/yourdir/installers/latest.tar.gz

or

# tar zxvf /home/yourdir/installers/latest.zip

now that is done, leave that for a while and let’s install the database for use with your new blog… again, using the command-line interface, enter the MySQL command interface and type the following:

mysql> create database yourdb;
mysql> grant all privileges on yourdb.* to yourname@localhost identified by 'yourpass';
mysql> \q

substituting yourdb with your database name, yourname with your database username, and yourpass with the password you intend to use… take note of these values as you will need them later…

now, navigate to /yourwebroot/wordpress, copy a file named wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php, open that file and fill in DB_NAME, DB_USER, and DB_PASSWORD with the values you took note of earlier after creating your database… finished? save and close the file…

open a browser, type in ‘http://www.yourdomain.com/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php’ and you will get this page:

wordpress-1st-step.png

click on ‘First Step’ and fill in your blog title and email address in the next screen… your blog title must reflect your personality so think about it though you can still change it later on… after filling in the details, click on ‘Continue…’

wordpress-2nd-step.png

and installation is now finished!! 😀

the next screen will give you your admin username and temporary password you will use to enter your wp-admin panel for the 1st time… take note of the password, then click the underlined wp-login.php…

wordpress-login-screen.pngthis screen will be your gateway into a fabulous software providing you with a host of other fabulous features you can customize till you are happy with the way everything works… go ahead, type in your username and password then click on ‘Login’, and you are now on your way to an mind-blowing experience that is not like any other…

are we finished?? well, yes and no… yes, because the software you installed works out of the box… meaning, even without further customization made to the software, you can start blogging immediately… after logging in, click on Write -> Write Post and you’re off!!

and no because we can still do more with this software, like installing and customizing new themes [we are actually now creating our own], installing plugins, and others that will make your software work the way you want… but that is another post…

this has been a long one, hasn’t it?? but, i tell you, well worth it…

Ciao, sweetie… 8)

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