10 Things to know about setting up and installing WordPress.
1. Simple WordPress Install
WordPress is really easy to install. After you have your webhost here’s the quick and dirty on getting WordPress installed. (WordPress shows 5 steps, but you really only need to follow 4, I’ll explain this below.)
Here’s a video to show you all of these steps for 1and1 webhosting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViDoAS1R-xI
2. Automated WordPress Install
Some webhosts offer automated solutions making it even easier to install. This method can be typically be done through your webhost’s admin panel.
3. More installation Help
WordPress’ recommended ways to install: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress
For some videos: http://wordpress.tv/category/how-to/installation-how-to/
4. Don’t create a wp-config.php file manually
I know it says this on the WordPress install page (Step 3), but with newer version of WordPress, setting the database credentials can be done through the easy browser-based install. Using the browser install helps prevent errors on modifying PHP code in an important install file.
5. Don’t use ‘admin’ when installing WordPress
This is a security thing, by default, WordPress has its first user’s name ‘admin’ (pre WP 3.0). Change it to something custom to you. It’ll make it harder for potential hackers to get into your site.
6. Don’t use ‘wp_’ as your database prefix when install WordPress
Again, another security precaution. This is a WordPress default, change it to something custom to the site. Relating to the previous tip, by changing default values on install you’re eliminating the most common possibility a hacker would use when trying to access your site.
7. Install more than 1 WordPress site to the same database
Extending 6., by changing your database prefix you can easily install multiple WordPress sites to the same database. Next time you are installing WordPress on the same webhost of an existing install, use the same database credentials. When asked to set the database prefix give it something different than your previous install. You can repeat this multiple times. (It’s not always ideal to install multiple sites on the same database, i.e. – shared web hosts with small databases, heavily trafficked sites.)
8. Build your site offline
It’s good practice to setup WordPress on your computer locally. When the site is ready to “go live” you can move the files to your webhost. What this means is you would setup a server on your computer and install WordPress to that. Then you would be able to edit and test your site locally without the fear of destroying the live site.
9. Install multiple sites under one WordPress installation
Use WordPress’ multisite feature to manage multiple sites under one install. If you have multiple WordPress sites it can easily become overwhelming to remember to update all your sites, plugins, themes, etc.) With WordPress multisite you can create a super-admin which would allow you to upgrade WordPress once and push it to all of your WordPress installs. This can also be done with your plugins and themes. Using multisite will allow you to create all your users in one location. Setting up a network of sites is a bit more advanced, but here’s some links to helping you do this:
If you’re sites have different domains (i.e. – this.com, that.com more.com) you’ll need to setup domain mapping with this plugin:
10. Still having trouble installing WordPress?
Here’s a comprehensive FAQ that covers the many facets of installing WordPress: http://codex.wordpress.org/FAQ_Installation
See the many other ways to install WordPress: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Installation_Techniques
If all else falls search and/or submit your question to the WordPress forums: http://wordpress.org/support/
(You’d be surprised to see how fast you’ll get a response back, I know because I’ve battled others to be the first to help someone out!)