03 First Steps

The Story So Far

  • I am signed up with an internet hosting company: Cloud Hosted
  • I have chosen my domain name: epic-site.com
  • I have a default WordPress website  running

The web hosting company owns and operates a bunch of very fast computers called servers. These servers have enormous disk capacity and high speed internet connections. I rent space on these servers and therefore I own and control any and all content I choose to put there and that includes my website.  I can put whatever I please on my website so long as I stay within the bounds of the law.

Hello Sarah !

This is where some sort of self help book comes in handy. I chose:  “WordPress To Go” by Sarah McHarry. The book is sub titled: “How To Build A WordPress Website On Your Own Domain From Scratch Even If You Are A Complete Beginner”.

Sarah 1 & 2

Sarah begins with Lesson 1 by explaining how to sign up for web hosting and register a domain,  we have already done that so lets skip to Lesson 2. Sarah’s Lesson 2 deals briefly with cPanel and installing WordPress and so on to Lesson 3.

Sarah 3 – Website Design

Any one on the planet can see your website by simply typing your website’s URL in their web browser.  My website is located at https://epic-site.com.

In order to edit the website you browse to URL:  https://epic-site.com/wp-admin which requires a user name and password for access.

This is where you do the business of stamping your personality on your website.

Choosing a Theme

The overall look and feel of the website is determined by your choice of template or theme in WordPress speak. There are millions of WordPress themes available, some free some not. I decided to go with Sarah’s recommendation  of “Twenty Fourteen”. The Theme can be changed at any time.

Hover your mouse over the name of your site title (epicsite in my case) in the top left corner and click “Dashboard”.

Now Hover over “Appearance” on the pop-up menu and click on “Themes”.

Now Hover over   “Twenty Fourteen” and click Activate. Sarah deals with themes in greater detail in Lesson 9.

Adding A Site Title

From the Dashboard, go to “Appearance” and select “Customize”, click on “Site Identity”.

Enter or edit the “Site Title”: epicentre

Enter or Edit the “Tagline”: Eric Pickstone’s personal web site.

The title and tagline will henceforth appear at the top of every page of your website.

Setting the Color Scheme

A plug-in is needed for this, see Lesson 12.

Adding a Header Image

This is how my site gets its Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite image.

From the Dashboard, select Appearance -> Customize and click on “Header Image” which will take you to the “Media Library” where you select “Upload Files”. Drag and Drop the image you wish to use as a header onto the import surface and adjust the crop selection as desired. The default crop size is 1260 x 240 pixels for a header image but you can adjust this to your own preference.

Sarah deals more extensively with library images in Lesson 7

Sarah 4 – Clear Out The Junk

The default website has a few sample pages that are irrelevant to your website so we need to get clear it out just as we might clear out any garbage left by previous tenants of our new apartment.

Delete Comments

From Dashboard, click on “Comments”. Hover your mouse over a comment,  note the command line that pops up and click on “Trash”. That’s how you delete any unwanted comments now or in the future.

Delete Posts

From Dashboard, click on “Posts”, you might see a “Sample Page”  or you may need to select “All Posts”. In any case,  hover over an unwanted Post and click on “Trash”.

Delete Pages

From the Dashboard, click on “Pages” then select “All Pages”. Hover over an unwanted Page and click on “Trash”.

Delete Unwanted Plugins

From Dashboard, click on “Plugins” then “Installed Plugins”, if you see the “Hello Dolly” plugin, click on its “Delete” option to get rid of it. Leave all other default plugins alone for the time being. Auntie Sarah will cover plugins in more detail in Lesson 12.

Configuring WordPress Settings

From the Dashboard, click on “Settings” and select “Permalinks”. Under “Common Settings” select the radio button “Post Name” then click “Save Changes”. This setting makes your website more search engine friendly by incorporating your website title into its URL. More on Search Engine optimization in Lesson 17.

No Comment !

I prefer to block comments for the time being so from the Dashboard, click on “Settings” then “Discussion” and uncheck: “Allow people to post comments on new articles”. This causes all other settings on this page to be ignored.

That’s it for now, the WordPress site is now ready to go, apart from adding your own content of course.


Eric Pickstone