WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS). It was originally released as a simple blogging platform in 2003–as a fork of b2/cafelog, for those interested in the code origin–and has grown into one of the most-used CMS on the web. As of this writing, “WordPress is used by 28.7% of all the websites, that is a content management system market share of 59.5%.” (Data provided by W3Techs “Usage Statistics and Market Share of Content Management Systems for Websites, September 2017”.)

Installing WordPress

Setting up a WordPress install on your own domain can be done by following these steps:

  1. Access your cPanel (https://emerson.build/dashboard) by logging in with your Emerson username and password.
  2. Under “Applications“, click “WordPress“.
  3. You will be taken to a page with more information about the WordPress software. To begin the install click “+ Install this Application” to the right of the application title.
    Installatron view of WordPress application and install button
  4. On the next page the installer will ask for some information about this install:
    • Under “Location”, specify where to install WordPress. * For more information about these options, visit the “Subdomains vs. Subdirectories” section of this documentation.
      • To have WordPress be what users see when they go to “yourdomain.emerson.build”, leave that as your selection under “Domain” and leave the “Directory” field blank.
      • If you’ve previously created a subdomain to use for WordPress, you can select it from the “Domain” dropdown and leave “Directory” blank.
      • You can also install WordPress in a subdirectory of your site by entering a folder name in the “Directory” field.
    • Under “Version”, we recommend to leave most of the default options, with the exception of “Automatic Update Backup”. We recommend changing this to “Do not create a backup.” You can read more about this recommendation and alternative options in the “Managing Backups” section of this documentation.
    • Under “Settings”, you will be asked to set an administrator username and password. Randomized defaults will already be entered for you, but you have the option to change these. These credentials will be different from your Emerson account, but by using your Emerson account to access your cPanel dashboard, you shouldn’t need to login separately to your WordPress blog (see “Understanding Emerson.build’s Accounts & Passwords” for information on how to recover this account info in the future). The other options under “Settings” allow you to change your site’s Title and Tagline as well as the administrator email address.
  5. When you’re happy with the settings you’ve chosen, click “+ Install” at the bottom of the page. The installer will take just a few moments to install WordPress and a progress bar will keep you updated. When it is complete you will see a link to your new WordPress site as well as a link to the backend, administrative dashboard for your WordPress site (this will end with /wp-admin/).
    "My Applications" in the Installatron link for access to the WordPress dashboard without logging in.

Congratulations, you’ve now installed WordPress! Now you can start customizing it with themes, plugins, and more.

Resources for configuring and using WordPress

Visit your WordPress site’s Dashboard by clicking the /wp-admin/ link in your “My Applications” list (From the cPanel: Applications > My Apps). This is where you will configure your WordPress site’s settings and add content. There is extensive documentation on using WordPress online. We’ll be linking to topics of interest in the WordPress.org documentation below.

First Steps with WordPress

Glossary of terms (includes advanced topics)

Appearance and Themes
Publishing Content

The primary activity that you’re likely to be doing on your WordPress site is publishing content. The content could be text you write, pictures you take, videos or audios (which may be hosted on another site), or other media that you’ve found elsewhere on the web.

Special note: Posts vs Pages

Out of the box, WordPress provides two primary content types for you two work with: posts and pages. If you read blogs or have ever written for a blog before, the concept of a post is probably a bit familiar. Posts often are content that appear on your blog in some kind of scheduled way. They usually are presented on your site in reverse-chronological order. Posts might be what you use to share your regular thoughts, reflections, or ideas about a topic. Posts make up a kind of “river” of content that you’re producing as part of your blogging activity.

Pages usually correspond to our more traditional concept of what makes up a Web site. Pages are presented outside of the “river” of content that are posts. They are more likely to stand alone and be organized according to a traditional hierarchy. Pages might be content that is less frequently updated or changed.

If you were using WordPress to build a business Web site with a lot of information content, you would probably use Pages. If you added a feature to that site where you started to advertise special events or news, you would probably use Posts.

A few other things to know about Pages vs Posts:
  • If you want your content to be accessible to your users via RSS/syndication, you’ll need to use Posts. By default, Pages do not appear in a site’s RSS feed.
  • Categories and Tags (which are used in WordPress to help you organize your content) are ONLY available on Posts. Page organization is done through customizing your site’s menus.
  • Okay this get’s a little tricky: WordPress, by default, also creates “Category Pages” and “Tag Pages” that display all the Posts in a category or tag. These are NOT related to the regular Page type.