I always appreciate a good "how to" Blog!
Ok, so you know that you need a blog to better promote yourself and your services on the internet. But, there are so many questions. It seems so daunting.
How do you go about setting one up? What blogging platform do you use? What is the best way to go about creating a blog? What if I set it up wrong? Will the search engines even find my blog? How do I make sure search engines index it properly? And the big question… Will it all just be a big waste of time?
At the end of the day it’s all so confusing that you just never get around to it.
There are many options to choose from when deciding on where to put your blog. Now we all know that there are many ‘quickie fixes’ to having your own blog. You can set one up on blogspot, blogger, typepad, use a topproducer solution, host it on wordpress.org or a myriad of other blogging sites. Now chances are you already have an ActiveRain blog (and obviously so do I) But why are you going to give all of that Google juice to websites that already have traffic? Isn’t the point of having a blog to direct traffic to you?
The best option by far is to set up a blog on your own website. When you setup your blog on your own website, you are creating more content for Google to index and building relevance for your site. Assuming that you stick to the topic and blog about your business, you will see the benefits over time as your website moves up in search engine indexes. I can go over more about the benefits but the point of this blog is to show you how to get your blog setup so that you can finally get around to having your own blog.
BONUS: I also provide a ‘cheat’ at the very end of this blog to setup your blog the ‘zero sweat’ way.
The rest of this blog assumes that you have your own website hosted on GoDaddy.com. If you have another service provider, the steps are sometimes similar but there will be differences. Also check out my NEXT blog on ‘How to Correctly Convert a WordPress.com Blog to a Self Hosted Blog on GoDaddy without Losing Google Juice’. (Follow Cheryl Waller on twitter to be notified when it’s posted)
(1) GET YOUR FTP ACCESS INFO
The first thing you are going to need to do is get your FTP access information from GoDaddy. If you already have your FTP username and password, then skip to the next section. If you don’t have this, then Log into your account and click on Hosting.
On the next page you will click on ‘Manage Account’ next to the domain name you intend to install WordPress on.
(Now, since you don’t have your current FTP information, I really don’t recommend that you change your FTP password just in case you have someone managing your account. So what I am going to do here is help you set up another FTP user just for this installation.)
Click on ‘Settings’ and then ‘Manage FTP Users’
On the next page click on ‘Add FTP User’
Enter your new username and password and write it down on a piece of paper. Then click ‘Save’.
IMPORTANT: do not click on ‘Add FTP User’ again or nothing will happen. You have to click on ‘Save’.
(2) SETUP YOUR DATABASE
While you are still logged into your GoDaddy account lets setup your database. (If you skipped to this section then follow the directions above until you get to the part about ‘Manage Account’)
Click on ‘Databases’ and then click on ‘MySQL’.
At the top right of the screen, click on ‘Create Database’
On this screen you will fill in your username and password. Ignore the second section that I have crossed out below and then click ‘Ok’. Remember to write down your database username and password.
Ok now for a little patience. Wait about 5 minutes and then press ‘Refresh List’. Sometimes it takes a little longer, but I have found that it takes about 5 minutes for your database to setup. After you press ‘Refresh List’ click on the little pencil icon.
On this next page you are going to need that really long host name. Make sure you write it down exactly correct. This is very important.
Ok. Now you should have your FTP username and password AND your database username, password and host name. You need all of these to continue. The good news is… you are done with GoDaddy... so go ahead logout and close that browser.
(3) DOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION OF WORDPRESS
Simple enough. Just go to www.wordpress.org and download the zip file. Save it on your computer and unzip (extract) it to a folder. Remember where you put the folder.
(4) CREATE YOUR WP-CONFIG.PHP FILE (optional)
Go to the folder that you extracted your WordPress files to and find the file named ‘wp-config-sample.php. Right click on that file and open with notepad. You will want to change four things here and nothing else. Your username and database name are the same so enter those both as your database username. Then enter your password where it says password and that really long host name where it says ‘localhost’. When you are done, save the file as wp-config.php in the SAME folder as your WordPress files.
NOTE: This step is optional because WordPress allows you to do this after you upload. (I personally don’t use that process, but if you want to wait until after the upload… hey... go for it.)
(5) UPLOAD WORDPRESS
To upload WordPress you are going to need an FTP program. I use FileZilla with the transfer type set to Binary. I do not recommend using Dreamweaver for this step. I haven’t tried in quite some time, but I promise you that there will be a headache waiting for you if you attempt to use Dreamweaver to upload your WordPress site.
Using FileZilla enter your website address where it says ‘Host’ (without the www or http://) and then your FTP access information where it says username and password. Click ‘QuickConnect’.
On the left side of the screen browse to the place on your computer where you saved your files. It should look similar to the image below:
Highlight everything in that center left box by clicking anywhere in the box and then clicking Ctrl+A on your keyboard. Then simply click and drag to the directory to which you would like to install your WordPress blog in the right center box.
WARNING WARNING WARNING: if you have a website that you DO NOT want to lose then create a NEW directory in the right box (remote site) and then upload to that directory. Uploading a WordPress installation over an existing site will cause problems and I am not a fan of hate mail… so this is your one and only warning ;)
It will take a few minutes to transfer. So just go grab a cup of coffee and wait until the files are completely uploaded.
(6) SETUP WORDPRESS
Simple step here. Just open a browser and go to www.mywebsite.com or www.mywebsite.com/blogdirectory and follow the instructions to finalize the setup of your blog.
‘ZERO SWEAT’ CHEAT
Ok.. if you skipped through this entire blog and just jumped right to this part… chances are you really really don’t want to do this yourself anyway. You would like to, don’t get me wrong, but the idea of learning terms like FTP, Binary Upload and wp-config.php are just not your cup of tea. That’s cool. So… here is your cheat. WordPress Installation for Real Estate Agents
For more information on where to go from here… stay tuned for my next blog on WordPress Templates, Plug-ins Widgets and More…oh my… (Follow Cheryl Waller on twitter)
Marketing Consultant SEO, SEM, SMM