Setup (part4)

Alternate title:

WordPress, why won’t you love me?!
I’ve done everything you’ve asked for, EVERYTHING, and I just don’t know what else I can possibly do to make this work!
(with tears of frustration)

But that’s too long of a title, really, so we’ll just go with Setup Part Four.

This post assumes that you have your owe domain name hosted on a server that you can gain access to it. For the record, I use ixwebhosting – this isn’t an affiliate link, it’s juts to let you know where I’m coming from.

Step 1: mySQL

My host comes with mySQL databases. I don’t really know what this means, other than I need them for wordpress to work okay.

While inside ixwebhosting, I click on the “add new database” and follow the instructions carefully, (creating a new database user if I need to) and taking notes as to what my database name is, what the database admin’s name is, and what the database admin’s password is. After you fill all that stuff out, you’ll also need the database hostname.

Step 2: Opening up wordpress

Download the wordpress file from earlier and unzip it onto your computer. You’ll need to use winRAR or winZIP or something similar to open it. Once you extract the files you’ll need to open the folder and look for the one labeled “wp-config-sample.php”

You’re going to need something that can open that file. I use Activestate’s Komodo. If you’re going to do any sort of webdesign at all, I LOVE this program, even though I don’t use it much. If you’re just going to use it this once, that’s fine, you can delete it when you’re done (but why would you?!)

In the wp-config-sample.php file, fill out four areas. Make sure you don’t mess up the quotes, ONLY replace the text inside the quotes, and make sure you don’t add any spaces!

Replace the ‘database_name_here’, ‘username_here’, ‘password_here’, and ‘localhost’ with your notes from when you made the database in step one. (Localhost is where you copy the database hostname.) (Also, sorry if this sounds super pedantic, but I’ve messed up those damn apostrophes before, and they’re super important.)

Save this file as “wp-config” (removing the “sample” from the name.) If Komodo asks if you want it to add the php extension, say yes.

Step 3: FTP

Now you need to get this onto your server. You can use the internal ftp that comes with your hosting, but I don’t really know how to do that.

I used filezilla to connect to my host server. Filezilla is probably the easiest ftp thingy I’ve ever used. Just fill out the connection details, and if you’re really a goof like me, there’s even a “save this connection” area, so I don’t have to remember my passwords or sign-ins.

After connecting to my server with the ftp, select the domain name you want to add wordpress to by double clicking it. (I have a couple different sites on my host, and I don’t necesarrily want them all to have wordpress.)

On the left hand window is where your “Local site” is, select your wordpress folder and open it up so you can see all the folders in there, including your new “wp-config.php” file. Select all of those and drag them to your domain’s “remote site” to the right.

Now to go make a sandwich or something – it’s going to take a while for all of these to copy over.

 Step 4: Install

This is the big moment. Once everything is done copying, open a new tab in your browser, and type in your domain name. If everything went right, there should be a wordpress prompt welcoming you to wordpress, and asking you to fill out your site name, and things like that. If you’ve made it to this point without any accidents, I applaud you: I have never made it here on the first try. Just fill out your info, and you’re ready to go find some themes and play around. (I’ll write about themes next!)

 Figuring out where things went wrong

If your new site doesn’t immediately welcome you with a wordpress setup, and you’re wondering what the heck happened, well, you’re in good company. I can’t say for certain what’s happened on your end, but I can tell you where I’ve gone wrong.

wp-config inaccuracies: make certain that you don’t delete an apostrophe, and that all your text is snug in between the apostrophes in the config file. Also make certain you wrote your name and passwords with the FULL name, ie, write ‘typodsite_jenn’ instead of just ‘jenn’ when it asks for user name. You need the whole thing.

wp-config password: I have a list of passwords that I use, and copious notes on how to use them. One of the things I didn’t realize was that if I change my database user password, it changes it for every instance. Back in the old days, setting up a new database, I’d use a new “just for that database” password that was ACTUALLY linked to my name, not my database. So it changed all the previous databases passwords, and I watched them disconnect, one by one. I finally figured it out and felt kinda dumb. If this is your first database, then just remember to keep that in mind when you set up your next one.

index.html: This happened this morning to me! Anytime you have something with the word “index” on it, your site goes to that first. The new domain name came with a placeholder “index.html” file and after double checking my spelling, my apostrophes, my password – double checking everything I could think to check, I went and looked at my site through the FTP. Sure enough, after I deleted the index.html, the wordpress index.php was able to take control of the site, and suddenly everything worked!

Patience: if nothing else, find someone that knows a little about setting up websites. Have them looking over what you’ve done. Also don’t be afraid to google your heart out, trying to find a clue as to what has happened. You can also email your hosting site and ask them for help – they are incredibly knowledgeable, and can sometimes get into the guts of your site and tell you, “oh, you left out a dash here,” but they’re sometimes hard to get a hold of, and not really interested in “easy” things like wordpress setups.

Next: Setting up a Comic Press theme

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