Creating a Wordpress Site on WebFaction

Wordpress is a commonly used content management system that makes it easy to manage website content, work with multiple users, and design professional looking pages. Wordpress is designed as a blogging system, but can be used as a full CMS. Installing Wordpress on WebFaction to create your website is easy. This tutorial will lead you through the steps.


1. Create a new Web Site

The first step to installing an instance of Wordpress to use for your website is to create a new website on your WebFaction account. WebFaction allows you to create multiple 'websites' with your account, giving you the ability to create a unique URL for each. To create a new website, sign into WebFaction at http://my.webfaction.com, and navigate to your control panel. Once in the control panel, navigate to Domains/Websites -> Websites.

webfaction-new-website

The websites page allows you to create a new website. Click on Add New Website at the top of your page. The following window will appear where we can set the settings for our new Wordpress website.

createnewwebsite1

Set the following settings in the Create a new website form:

  • Name: wordpress (This has to be a one word name)
  • Status: Enabled
  • IP address: Leave Default
  • Security: Normal website (HTTP)
  • Domains: Set this to be wordpress.(your username).webfactional.com
  • Contents: Add an Application -> Create a new application. See the following for instructions on setting up a Wordpress application, and what this means.

In the dialog that appears, we create a new Wordpress 'application' on our hosting space. This is WebFaction lingo for install Wordpress. Set up the new website to use Wordpress with the following settings.

Wordpress Application
  • Name: wp (This name can contain no spaces.)
  • App category: Wordpress
  • App type: Wordpress 4.1(The most current version of Wordpress)
  • URL: Leave as default, this will match the URL you set in the previous window.

Click Save. Look through your settings, they should look similar like the following (slightly different to match your account). Once satisfactory, click Save to create your new website.

createnewwebsite2

A note will appear stating your website has been created. It will take five to ten minutes for the servers to propagate and recognize your Wordpress install. Go get a cup of coffee.

If you have waited a while and still do not see anything, try loading the site on a different computer or clear the DNS cache on your machine. To clear the DNS cache, follow the instructions to Flush the DNS cache on your machine at the bottom of the WebFaction Domains Help page.

Additional documentation can be found on the official WebFaction User Guide website, read more here for more on creating new websites and applications.


2. Setup your Wordpress Website Account

Once you have created your website following the steps above, navigate to your new site to set up your Wordpress installation. You will see the default wordpress template on your site, which looks like the following.

wordpress-default

i. Locate your Wordpress Password

To login to your site to start making edits, click on Log in under the Meta category on your Wordpress site. You will then be prompted for a username and password. Your username will be admin, but to find your password, you need to return to the WebFaction Control Panel. Back in the WebFaction Control Panel, click on Domains/Websites -> Applications -> wp (or whatever the name of your Wordpress application you created is.)

applications

Click on wp. Your admin password for your wordpress install is randomly generated, and located in the extra info field.

wordpress-password

ii. Login to your Website

Copy and paste this randomly generated password into your Wordpress login window, with the username admin. Click Log in to access your site. This is the administrator account that you manage, no one else. You can create accounts for others users once you are logged into your website.

wp-login

You will now see the Wordpress Dashboard, and have a fully functional Wordpress installation you can customize and deploy your new site with.

wordpress-dashboard

3. Run Updates and Customize

From your Wordpress Dashboard, the first thing we recommend you do run Updates to ensure you have the most current version of all Wordpress components. In the main panel on the side, select Updates and then update your version, plugins, and themes.

Updating your site and its components is VERY important, this makes sure Wordpress is configured with the most recent security patches and ensures a safer experience for you and your user.

wordpress-updates-01

Once everything is updated, you can proceed to update and build your site. A few tips:

  • Themes can be updated in the Appearance tab, finding a nice theme you can work with will help you get started.
  • CSS and stylesheets are located in the Appearance tab under Editor. Style your site with code here.
  • There are many plugins available that offer extra functionality. Explore the Plugins.
  • The Users tab will allow you to create accounts for other users, meaning you can build a site for a team and create accounts for each member.
  • You can change your password in the User tab, but write it down and don't forget it!

There are many tutorials out there for the various features and function of Wordpress, we recommend visiting lynda.com and searching for Wordpress.


4. Access your Wordpress Installation via FTP

To complete manual maintenance or add files to the directory in which Wordpress is installed, it is often necessary to access the server directory in which your Wordpress site is installed. Opening your FTP client, you can access all of the files. Details on how to connect via FTP are located in our DUSPviz FTP tutorial.

Sign into the FTP with your WebFaction credentials, not the Wordpress credentials.

The Wordpress site, and installation that includes all folders, files, and content, is located at username -> webapps -> wp.

ftp-location-wordpress

In order to not miss any files when you are working on FTP, change your settings to make your hidden files visible. Do this in Cyberduck and on a Mac by following the instructions at the following link.

Cyberduck and Mac: View Hidden Files

Congratulations! You now have a fully functional Wordpress website you can customize and develop to meet your needs!

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