Guide to building your own website

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Photo by Flickr user CollegeDegrees360, used under CC licensing.

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2. Install WordPress

Of course WordPress is just one option for a Content Management System among many, but it is a very popular, well-supported, and therefore one of the best options available. I definitely recommend WordPress, whether you are planning on building just a blog site, or any other type of site. Certainly, for the types of sites grad students need to build and maintain, WordPress offers a perfect, easy-to-use, comprehensive platform. I’ll continue the remainder of this guide with the assumption that you are following my recommendation and choosing to install WordPress.

Go to your Control Panel by accessing yourdomain.com/cpanel, or by clicking the link to your Control Panel in the email that you received. Log in using your username and password.

Scroll down on your Control Panel to the section near the bottom called “Software/Services”. Within this section there is an icon called QuickInstall.

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Click the on QuickInstall. On the next screen you will see a list of software on the left side. Click on WordPress. Then click Continue.

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The next screen that appear will look like the screenshot below. Follow the numbered steps below to complete the install.

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  1. In the drop-down menu after “http://”, make sure your domain name appears there. Leave the next bow (after the /) blank.
  2. You can either uncheck Enable Auto-Upgrades or leave this option checked. You should always keep your WordPress installation up-to-date, but it’s up to you if you prefer to do it manually or automatically.
  3. Fill in the fields shown with your information. You’ll need to choose an Admin User name, and it is generally recommended that you do not use “Admin” since that is easily guessed.
  4. Finish by clicking Install Now! Once the installation finishes, you’ll see a confirmation with your login URL, the username you chose, and an assigned password.
Note: It can sometimes take an hour or two for the web host to set up your account. While you’ll be able to access your cPanel right away, your domain might not be accessible for 1-2 hours.
You should now have a fully functioning WordPress installation! If you visit your site right now, you’ll see the title with the default WordPress theme. The screenshot below is what one of my friend’s website’s looked like immediately after installing WordPress. Yours should look similar right now.

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Continue to next page for directions on setting up your site.

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Kyle Massey

Kyle is a current PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin in the College of Education.

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