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Which CMS is best for me?

posted by admin
Miércoles, marzo 10, 2010

In today website development there are endless options for bringing an idea on-line. From building a website ground-up to buying a branded solution. All these options have their pros and cons. The options, in my opinion, narrow down to how friendly is the implemented solution with your on-line objectives and time-cost constraints. In my personal experience almost all modern websites require at some level a simple but powerful content publishing administration, and the perfect solution seems a CMS (Content Management System). This article explores the open-source freely distributable CMS’s, as they are clearly market leaders and very attractive no-cost options.

All the software solutions quoted here are extensively tested, widely implemented around the world and thousands of programmers are familiar to their technology. This is a very important feature over bundled software. Mainly “open-source” means that the Information Technology Team will have access to the “source code” of the programs, being able to extend, modifiy and customize the end-user need … simply modify the site at will.

The three major Content Management Systems that are presently up to a professional development, design and commercial point of view in internet today are Drupal, WordPress and Joomla!. For you to aquaint yourselves with them I’ve made a little note on their features in a comparative manner for you to investigate. I’ve had experience using each extensively, and know the ins and outs of actually using the systems. To put this quite simply, I will not be giving you many statistics based on research… I’m giving you first-hand experience.

Each of this CMS systems has its flaws and each has its strengths (which I will explain below) you can build any kind of website with either one. I have built blogs with Joomla and I have built shopping cart websites with WordPress. It just depends on what you need it to do, your familiarity with the system, and how long you have to work on that program, but that doesn’t make it less valuable, it just makes it less useful for the particular purpose you are aiming.

WordPress:

WordPress is an excellent system to use when creating a website that lets you quickly get on-line, but while it is often used as a blog, it can be configured to work in many other interesting ways as well. One particular client of mine recently needed a website that would allow him and his employees to have an internal website for sharing notes, documenting tasks and writing about what was going on. Since WordPress is easy to use and some of them were already familiar with it, it was an obvious solution. Install WordPress on a server that they could access quickly and easily from anywhere with an internet connection, and let them get to business rather than have to learn about a whole different system. In fact, my firms’ website, http://www.pproyectos.com, has been built in this technology.

It is key to know that WordPress is extremely easy to use and setup. I have used it several times with clients that are brand new to the internet and having a website, yet they can pick this system up and use it quicker than the other two. Since WP is already developed to work as a blog, though, it can be setup to do so without any hesitation. Comments are already built into the system, as well as pinging services, multiple blogger profiles, trackbacks and more (these features come seriously in hand when a good web ranking is primary objective). Most of the time nothing needs to be done to those systems either, because they already work the way that the user would want them to.

WordPress, however, is not to be used for everything.For exmaple, using WordPress as a shopping cart for certain type of merchandise (selling products that require booking as hotels, etc.) prooved to be a challenge as another solution had to be implemented as complement. WordPress is not unfriendly to commercial uses, but a very complex shopping cart will have to be coded independently.

WordPress Pros

Simple to use – Little need for modifications
Excellent sharing information in a sequential manner
Even the most elderly of users can get the hang of it quickly

WordPress Cons

Not very developer friendly, you need some experience to code vast functionality into it.

Drupal:

This advanced content management system more closely resembles a developer platform than a traditional CMS. Its not to say that only developers can use the system though, but to say that they will feel more at home here than in the other two. Interestingly, being more developer friendly does not automatically make it more user friendly – in fact the developer has to work hard to make it that way if they need the end-product to do so.

There are dozens of more tags and functions that can be used to develop in Drupal than in WordPress or Joomla. Every single node has its own set of commands and tags that can be placed elsewhere to manipulate the function of the site, and this makes for a very intense experience (whether or not you know what you’re doing). For those that are not so developer-minded, this can be the trial of their lives, but for people who live in code – well, they can literally get lost developing some very cool websites.

Now, these websites can act and function in some pretty neat ways, but Drupal also has the problem that it just doesn’t always look that great. I have seen very few websites built in Drupal that look and feel as good as they function. You can especially see this in the theme directory on the Drupal.org website, where there are dozens of these themes built to prove the exact point I just made. It’s a shame really, because with all of the development advancements the software has, it would almost be perfect with a stronger usability and design interface.

Drupal Pros

Extremely developer friendly.
Can be used to create very complex websites.

Drupal Cons

Not very designer and user-friendly. It’s hard for someone with little code knowledge to make the leaps required to do the very cool things that Drupal is becoming known for.
None or very basic theming (skinning), probably because it has been developers, not designers, that are making the themes.

Getting a Drupal website published could cost you more time, and thus more money, than WordPress or Joomla.

Joomla!:

If WordPress is more for end-users and Drupal is more for developers, and Joomla! is somewhere in the middle. The name Joomla, in fact, means ‘all together’ in Swahili (Urdu). the idea is to concieve a CMS system that works well with designers, coders and end-users.

Designers may choose Joomla because of it’s flexibility. Newcomers to Joomla (and website management) will love the fact that it is very easy to use and even customize as more and more developers create tools that are easier to understand. Developers, likewise, will choose the system because of its large capacity for development and customization. The new MVC framework was built just so that anyone with the knowledge could override the core of the CMS without actually modifying the original code.

Still, it’s far from perfect. It’s still not as flexible as Drupal is with its code. While there are many ways to override what the default code does, there are some parts of the system that just can’t be pushed and stressed as hard as Drupal can be. Also, while Drupal can be used to run multiple websites with one backend and database, Joomla lacks the ability to create multi-sites. It is just powerful enough to be useful, but not enough to do anything.

In a side-by-side comparison with WordPress, Joomla still has some way to go with being user friendly. In each case where I’ve had people use both systems to manage a website, those that lacked good knowledge of the internet or how their website even worked always chose WordPress over Joomla. It is simple enough that it can be taught to practically anyone, but not enough that anyone would want to learn it.

Joomla Pros

Somewhat friendly for all types of users – Designers, Developers and Administrators
Has been rapidly growing and improving itself for the past three years

Joomla Cons

Still not user-friendly enough for everyone to understand
Not quite as powerful as Drupal, and can be a bit confusing for some to jump into

In Conclusion

There is not just one system available to build websites with, but if a quick and user-friendly solution will be priority, then WordPress should be a good choice. If very complex functionality will be required and time and budget are in hand, maybe Drupal can be more usefull. Joomla is neither, and in my opinion, this makes it a little bit weaker.

Besides all you’ve just read, it is my recommendation that the person to explore this CMS software should have a basic knowledge of website handling so to understand the basics of html edition, some coding, javascript and if better, php so to fully understand the potential of this three solutions. Web ranking friendliness is also a good skill to allow you evaluate their potential.

For further information and services, our company can install, customize or upgrade any of this solutions. Please contact us to receive assistance, we will be glad to help.

Software Development in Argentina

posted by admin
Miércoles, diciembre 16, 2009
Buenos Aires Unviersity - Exact Sciences Faculty

Buenos Aires Unviersity - Exact Sciences Faculty

Argentina, and particularly the City of Buenos Aires, is worldwide known for its high-quality universities and academic institutions. In the last few years, especially since the Argentine currency devaluation, more foreign students have enrolled on Argentine universities, mainly from Latin American countries who come to start or continue their university studies in Argentina. Therefore, they take advantage of the favorable exchange rate while they benefit from the high educational level.

No doubt this instructional demand has created an excellent professional base for argentina technology companies to harvest their personnel, and Proyectos Informaticos is not an exception. Our team is composed of excellent systems engineers and analysts with experiencie in software development, website development and systems support in Argentina.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in lowering your software cost by outsourcing in Argentina. Software development in Argentina is an excellent experience and opportunity, and we can be your definitive  partners for this.

to return to ”Website Development With WordPress: Adding WordPress Plugins You Will Need” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site and allows a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs (yes, the www.yoursite.com/whatever) on your website that are available for crawling. It allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently. Sitemaps are a URL inclusion protocol and complement robots.txt, a URL exclusion protocol.

It is also important to understand that Sitemaps supplement and do not replace the existing crawl-based mechanisms that search engines already use to discover URLs. Also, using this protocol does not guarantee that web pages will be included in search indexes, nor does it influence the way that pages are ranked in search results.

But to my experience, this is a must. This is the fastest way to notify google about your website and changes and should seriously aid in your SEO process. To elaborate, please take a look at our article about Making WordPress Search Engine Friendly.

Sitemaps are particularly beneficial on websites where:

Some areas of the website are not available through the browsable interface, or webmasters use rich Ajax, Silverlight, or Flash content that is not normally processed by search engines. The webmaster can generate a Sitemap containing all accessible URLs on the site and submit it to search engines. Since Google, MSN, Yahoo, and Ask use the same protocol now, having a Sitemap would let the biggest search engines have the updated pages information.

So, let’s work on a way on how to automatize this process, which is a very simple task in wordpress.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools

Although this is not mandatory, as we wan’t to be shure our sitemap es being posted, we will need a google webmaster account. The url for registration is http://www.google.com/webmasters/. Once your account is created, you should create a record for the site you wan’t to work with, and via the google authentication methods, confirm the site ownership. I personally recommned the script placing in your website root modality, as I have done this process various times and this choice has proved to be the one that never fails.Now, we should install our XML sitemap automation.

For this, we will include another plugin in our installation, a plugin called Google XML Sitemaps.

XML Sitemap Generator

XML Sitemap Generator

This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO. Please download from here (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/), decompress and install this plugin by uploading the resulting forlder into the ftp://yourwebsite.com/wp-content/plugins folder.

Once this process is complete, you should activate the plugin. In the plugins section of your wordpress admin panel, please activate this plugin. All settings are pretty self explanatory and you should not have to meddle with them much, but in the configuration page (the link in the plugin detail in the plugins section) for this plugin you should add your google account info for google notifications to be done automatically.

Some features about this plugin :

  • Post Priority (this is especially useful, even more so if you have Popularity Contest enabled)
  • Auto-detects the sitemap location
  • Options to include or exclude specific content types (example, posts, categories, archives, tag pages, etc)
  • Easy to change the frequency for robots to re-crawl pages (example, Daily, Monthly, Yearly, etc)
  • Easy to change the priority level for each content type
  • And many more.

Finally, we should test our reporting of news to the google services. To do this there are two procedures. Manually, forcing the update, and automaitcally, allowing the plugin to perform the update. Automatically, the plugin will perform the update anytime your wordpress website is updated (you can configure which parts of the website to report – tags, posts, comments, etc.).

To revise your results, please log into the webmaster tools area in google, click your website and in the left panel click on Site Information>Sitemaps. There you should see the google sitemaps and the amount of indexed urls you have.

to continue to ”Website Development With WordPress: Adding your first Entry” please click here.

to return to ”Website Development With WordPress: Making WordPress Search Engine Friendly” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

Plugins are small scripts that can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. There is a directory in the wordpress.org (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/) website where you can take a look and find literlly thousands of them, whom can improve your worpdress experiencie in almost endelss ways.

In this small section I will discuss only two of them I consider ver important for you to implement. Further options are also considered, simply google “wordpress plugins” and you´ll find thousands of people recommending diferent solutions for your wordpress website. I’ve tried these and recommend them.

First of all, Backup !!!

Yes, you need a copy of your content and don’t want any problems with damaged or lost information. Although your host may have a backup implementation, it is never wrong to simply secure a copy of your information.  This is a simple plugin to help you automate the process of backuping your wordpress database to ensure there is no content loss.
Please download, extract wp-db-backup.php and upload it into /wp-content/plugins/ and activate it under the Plugins menu. Then Click the Manage menu in your WordPress admin area. Click the Backup sub-menu. When activated, this plugin will look for other tables in the same database (this can solve a general backup of the website). You may elect to include other tables in the backup.

Now simply select how you’d like the backup to be delivered:

  • Save to server : this will create a file in /wp-content/backup-*/ for you to retreive later
  • Download to your computer : this will send the backup file to your browser to be downloaded
  • Email : this will email the backup file to the address you specify

Click “Backup!” and your database backup will be delivered to you.

When having the database backup emailed or sent to your browser for immediate download, the backup file will be deleted from the server when the transfer is finished.
Only if you select delivery method “Save to server” will the backup file remain on your server.

Additionally, our website will need a contact form. This is very easy to implement.
Download WordPress-Ready Contact Form v.2.0WP. This plugin has a form overview page to allow you to confirm the plugin’s general configuration, a set of extensive security features to countermeassure spammers and forgers and a form set-up error management to help ensure you set-up critical parts correctly. You can also customize the style of your forms to match your template (see our “Installing your chosen design theme” section for this set of articles).
WordPress-Ready Contact Form v.2.0WP

WordPress-Ready Contact Form v.2.0WP

This plugin is simple to install and can be done in a matter of minutes. The following steps will guide you through the process:

Unpack the *.zip file and extract the /wp-gbcf/ folder and wp-gbcf_readme.txt file. Using an FTP program, upload the /wp-gbcf/ folder to your WordPress plugins directory (Example: /wp-content/plugins/). In the sub-directory, /wp-gbcf_themes/, using FTP or your server admin panel, change the permission of the CSS theme files to 666, but you’ll only do this if you’ll want to edit them. Open your WordPress Admin panel and go to the “Plugins” page. Locate the “Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form” plugin and click on the “Activate” link.

Once activated, go to the “Contact Form” page and select the “Configuration” link on the sub-menu. If you need help, review the “Form Configuration Instructions.” You won’t be able to enter the URL yet, though. Once configured as much as you can, go to the “Write” page and click the “Write Page” If using a default page template give it a name like “Contact Page,” for example. Now go back to the “Configuration” page and add the URL of your newly-created form page. “Save” your changes. Now go to “Manage” and click on “Edit Pages” link on the sub-menu. Then locate your contact page an click on the “Edit” link to the right of it. With the page file open, add this code <!–gb_contact_form–> to the text area and “Save” the page.

To style your form, select the “Styling” link. There you may select one of the ready-made themes (designed for specific popular WordPress themes), use no theme, or create your own using the style sheet editor provided.

to continue to  ”Website Development With WordPress: Planning your strategic sitemap” please click here.

Business Website Best Practices

posted by admin
Martes, noviembre 3, 2009

Carrie Hill wrote a very interesting article about website best practices for small businesses in Search Engine Watch, Nov 25, 2008. After reading, I decided to elaborate on the content about designing a Web site with business in mind. She made a 25 item list, and I decided to go a little bit further. The general idea is to design a site that will please your visitors and the search engines.

First of all, install some kind of website statistics software. An online solution like Google Analytics it’s at the top of the list!, but you may also consider Piwik which is a PHP MySQL software program that you download and install on your own webserver. Monitoring your website is a must in commercial software!

Piwik Main Screen

Piwik Main Screen

Allow space for a minimum of 250 words of relevant text if possible but you should be careful about writing too much text and loading it to your website or blog site. For the Internet, there are different types of writing that are more appropriate.  Bold only key ideas in the text. Adding too much bold will over-emphasize the whole page, which is counterproductive. Generally, bullet points, bold words, short paragraphs and breaking up a lot of text and make it easier for viewers to read. Also ensure you have the right balance between text and graphics. Graphics-heavy Web sites with little (or no) text can make it hard for a search engines to determine the relevancy of your site to queries you should rank for. Images and graphics, on the other hand, help tell a story about your products and services.

Break up long paragraphs with photos or bullet points. Use a readable font and font size, and one that is hopefully easily scalable for low-vision users. Use quality graphics and photos. Poor photography can lead to less trust in what you’re offering. Remember: a picture is worth 1,000 words. If possible avoid Flash elements and java photo slideshows, they usually are visually attractive but various different web clients (mozilla, Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc.) may not show them correctly or use up bandwidth and system resources.

Create an eye-catching website header. This makes an impression on visitors, much like the façade, front door, or foyer of your store. Also consider how easy the home page and interior pages will be to manage in the future. Simple objective designs seriously influence the sites appeal. Please work on a modular design and consider your website should be able to link new pages and grow and change over time. Also use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to keep excessive code out of the way. This leaves a clean and concise interface for the search engines. And please remember your phone number should be prominent and located at top of page in large type. Additionally, if your business is not web based, location of your offices should be prominent and obvious on the page. Use header tags on every page — your tag should support the page title and be relevant to on page content that follows it.

If you include an online store, create logical and custom navigation with “Product” and “Purchase” links in clear view. Place strong call to actions throughout the site. Make it very easy for your user to find the “buy” button and get through your checkout process. Buying or reserving information should be prominent and above the fold (book now, checkout, shopping cart, etc). Don’t overload your contact or RFP forms with information. Make it simple and easy to fill out and submit — name, phone, e-mail address and comments are the basics. If you ask for personal information via a sign up or contact form, then you need a privacy policy.

Search engines don’t care how the words are delivered — paragraphs or bullet points are fine — just as long as your services and products are fully described on each page. Write unique page titles and meta descriptions for each page. This is ad copy, so take advantage of it. Sell using great keyword phrases and calls to action. Have a static HTML sitemap and an XML sitemap that can be uploaded to your Google Webmaster Tools account. Remember: when you add pages to a site, update your navigation and sitemap. Consider having static sitemap links that use main keyword phrase for the page it links to. It doesn’t hurt to wrap some descriptive text around those sitemap links either.

Finally, if you go into the process with some knowledge, hiring someone who can build you exactly what you need to be successful will be much easier and you’ll have some realistic and professional advice. If interested, please contact us, we can quote you on a site that accomplishes all of this and more.

to return to  ”Website Development With WordPress: Installing your chosen design theme” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

One of the main reasons to choose a CMS (Content Management System) as one like the WordPress platform is it’s search engine friendliness. Making wordpress search engine friendly is, basically, to improve search engine readability. The reasons for you to make this changes are so to improve this friendliness, and this is not a minor thing to consider.

A word about search engines: google.com is the ultimate search engine website. With almost 98% of all search traffic being routed via their website and their automated advertisment campaigns (aka. adwords) we want to be google friendly. In fact, most other search engines (as Microsoft’s bing, Yahoo, etc) make use of google to feed their own systems. So, google.com is the place to be. We will make our website the more “google friendly” we can. And, luckily,  this can be made with very little effort.

Permalinks

First, let´s change the way your URL’s show in the address toolbar of your web client (internet explorer, google chrome, firefox, etc.) By default, the wordpress instalation uses interrogation symbols and a lot of numbers to reach each page in your website. This is not so friendly to search engines. In fact, a simple “houses.html” would be more useful if you wanted to be placed in the search engine directory under “houses” keyword. And what would be great would be to simply use the post title as a url address. So, if you made a post under tha title “Nice Houses”, then this post page could be reached via “www.yourwebsite.com/nice-houses”.

In wordpress this is a very simple configuration. Please go to “Options>Permalinks” and change “Common Options” selection to “Date and Name” and save your changes. Once this is done, the whole database will be updated, and from now on, your pages will be reachable in the form “http://www.yourwebsite.com/2009/11/02/sample-post/”.

All in One SEO

Now, we will wan’t to prepare our webpages (not only the page address) for google indexation. This is not a complex process. I personally recommend a wordpress plugin named “All in One SEO”. This plugin will allow you to customize your keywords, title and description (and other meta tags) in an every page and a sitewide basis.

To install this plugin, simply download it from the author website and copy it into the /wp-content/plugins/ folder. Then goto the plugins section and activate this plugin.

Once active, you will be able to access a link under “Options>All in One SEO”. Please enable it, and change the home title, description and keywords to convenience. Make sure Canonical URLS and Rewrite Titles are checked. The rest should be left more or less the same.

That’s it. If you followed every step, your website should be up and ready to be google indexed in no time. A final word: allthouhg indexing is a fairly straight forward process, ranking (google placement of your website in a visible, reachable, searchable position) is not. On the contrary, usulally this is a very complex and lengthy process that requires analysis and a good strategy for your website to be properly placed in google. If you’d like further information on this process please contact us, we sell SEO services and would like very much to assist you anyway.

We hope this helped you making wordpress Search Engine Friendly.

to continue to  ”Website Development With WordPress: Adding WordPress Plugins You Will Need” please click here.

to return to  “Website Development With WordPress: Installing WordPress” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index
please click here.

Now we have reached a fully working wordpress installation. So, let’s make it look as it should. Remember that when your design was chosen, in the website you did your search, the design should have a wordpress version compatibility note. For example, the original design applied to this website you are reading was 2.7, meaning that the version for wordpress you should installed is 2.7. Please don’t disregard this recommendation.

First: Download your theme of choice
To install a wordpress theme, we will need to download it first. There are thousands of themes in the web, and in our personal wordpress template store we carry some of the best. A wordpress theme is a set of files usually compressed in a single zip file. It has a style.css file containing the name (unique to the directory), tags, version (in the format of x.x or x.x.x and be unique to the theme) and classes: .alignright, .alignleft, .aligncenter (see http://codex.wordpress.org/CSS for more details). It includes a screenshot file, screenshot.png, and be a real screenshot of the theme, not a splash screen. A GPL compatible license. It exposes RSS feeds, it support Gravatars and widgets, it shows (usually in side bars) post categories and tags, the blog title and tag line.

Once downloaded, the files should be extracted into a directory under the themes name. For exmaple, if the theme is called “theme 987” then the directory for the files should be “theme 987”.

Second: Upload the theme directory to WordPress
With your ftp file transfer program of choice (please see our previous post for a recommendation), upload the decompressed directory into /wp-content/themes/ directory. This should leave you with something like a /wp-content/themes/theme987 directory.

Third: Activate the theme within your WordPress admin panel

Wordpress Theme Selection

Wordpress Theme Selection

Login to your WordPress admin panel, and navigate to the Presentation tab. In the center you will find the “Current Theme”. This is the theme wordpress is configured to use right now. Below it, the list of “Available Themes”. These themes are themes you can use but aren’t configured as “Current” right now. To activate our desired theme simply click on any miniature in the list. The theme will enlarge and in the top right angle of the screen an activation link will present itself. To continue please press this link. Once this is done, this selected theme will turn into the “Current Theme” and if you go to your wordpress site (leave the administration area) will see your newly chosen theme.

If you don’t like this option, you can still change this theme anytime with the same process described in this third part of the article.

to continue to  “Website Development With WordPress: Making wordpress Search Engine Friendly” please click here.

WordPress Hosting

posted by admin
Martes, octubre 20, 2009

WordPress hosting is one of our main strengths. Our team is devoted to wordpress customization for various needs. We have vast experience and can aid you in your internet wordpress venture in no-time. Our fees are very accessible, and we can offer webmaster services so to aid you in customizing, placing and ranking your wordpress driven website in the internet. Contact us, and if interested, take a look at our own experience in this article about wordpress hosting, building a website with wordpress.

Proyecto´s Team.

Tips on Choosing Domain Names

posted by admin
Lunes, octubre 19, 2009

In the beginning there was … a domain name. Yes, it’s very relevant the way you name your site. The small wording between the www and the .com (or whatever) is very relevant to search engines, users, programs and a lot of different components of this complex internet system, so, why don’t we give it a little analysis before rushing into any name we may comeup with.

In this article we are not going to elaborate about the registration process or dns, or any particular technical detail on domains, but on the simple and complex task of choosing a good domain name for your website. And, from a lot of experience,I’ve clearly concluded that all depends on what is the objective of your website, what is the underlying motive for your publication effort. So, let’s begin.

First of all, what is you wan’t to communicate? Some consider this a simple paraphrasing of their company, project, etc., but I believe it’s more, much more than that. Mainly, the domain name can be used to provide information about the site content. If the site is commercial and you wan’t to sell houses, probably a good domain name would be sellhouses.com, if the site is institutional and you’d like to provide information about yourself, maybe JohnGrisham.com can be a good domain name. If the site provides information about a humanitarian cause, maybe giveforlove.org could be a good domain name. As long as there is a message, a domain name can be an excellent first “grip” on your visitors attention (of course we are supposing you want your website name to be a factor of attraction, not a diterrent of internet surfers).

So, if the domain name should provide information about your venture, obviously the first place to start is to understand your underlying motive for the website.

Commercially, there are usually endless ways to provide information in a domain name. You can provide information about your service or about a product. For example, a company that sells ships can take shipsforsale.com as a good example of a combiantion of both. Maybe, as a branding strategy you could add your company name in the domain, and combined with a product, this can be illusionships.com.

In my experience, the best domain names usually come from understanding what your potential internet reader may find related or familiar. If a person is looking for a particular car, and you want to provide information about cars, maybe carinformation.net can be a good option. This combines the product and the “information” keyword he will most likely expect to find in regards to your websites content.

I’ve seen thousands of sites named teracorp.com, where we don’t know the sites objective unless we take the time to enter the website, and considering the vast amount of information we can accumulate via the internet in a few seconds, this can be a setback as a search engine may not find your website “related” and simply disregard you as an option to the issue, and if the search engine still shows you, the user will probably filter your website himself. On the other hand, this can be the objective of the site’s owner, and only users best known to his services will be invited to enter his website.

Also, what about length and complexity? A good rule of thumb is… if you’d have truble remembering your website please don’t use it. For example, “shipsforsale.com” is a  12 cahracter long domain plus extention (the .com), and mywebforu2c.com is similar in length, but unless you are familiar with contractions, the first domain will be a much better option to remember, at least to me, than the second.

So, after some thouhg, and with various ideas on hand, you are decided to reach a good domain name, but… what are your available options?

Usually, as you may have already guessed, domain names (considering only normal – not taken or high demmand names), are usually already taken. There is always someone that was there first. The solution is to be a little more resourceful. There are some sites, domain suggestion sites (for example http://domain-suggestions.domaintools.com/), that can help you acomplish this task. They will test different semantic combinations and aproximations to a word, series of words or phrase you may input, and will also check availabitlity. You can still go the simple way either, like with http://www.networksolutions.com/, where you enter a list of domains and the website will guide you in availability and the process of registration.

A word about localization, as maybe you aren’t registering a simple .com but maybe a .uk, .es or whatever. Please take into consideration that, for example, spanish/latin characters as á or ñ, or many other non-standard english characters dont usually go well with search engines, and if they can be registered via your nic authority, that does’nt mean they will be properly indexed by google, or even typed in international users keyboards!

Finally, the extention matters. Users expect .com domains to have a commercial underlying motive, .net to be informational, .edu to belong to an educational institution, etc. Don’t get creative, as if by any means you get to register a .org for an commercial website, you will only confuse and gain the distrust of the internet community.

If you’d like some more advice, or simply need help, please contact me.

to return to  “Website Development With WordPress: Chosse a hosting service” please click here
or to return to the tutorial index please click here.

Ok, by this moment you have already chosen a design and a hosting service where to place your website. So, finally, let’s begin installing the software.

Important, when your design was chosen, in the website you did your search, the design should have a wordpress version compatibility note. For example, the original design applied to this website you are reading was 2.7, meaning that the version for wordpress you should download to work with is 2.7. Please don’t disregard this information, as some versions of wordpress may have no compatibility issues in your design (for example a 2.7 version may very well work in 2.8), but if they do, you’ll find yourself hacking into the design to correct this issues.

Finally, let’s download the corresponding version. To do so, please click here (when this tutorial was published, the wordpress current version was 2.8.4) . The file you will download is a .zip compressed format file containing all the WordPress Software. This software has to be unzipped and transferred to your hosting service. By the way, our article consideres you have registered and delegated a domain for your future website. If not, please read our article about “Choosing Domain Names to tackle this issue.

Once downloaded the wordpress zip (in our case wordpress-2.8.4-zip), please feel free to decompress the zip file. If you don’t already have a winzip or a similar sofwtare installed, maybe consider 7-zip. 7-zip is an excellent full compression solution, it’s open source and it’s free. You can visit their website by clicking here. Download, install, decompress the wordpress zip.

FileZilla WordPress Path

FileZilla WordPress Path

Now, upload the decompressed folder structure to your hosting. To do this you will need a ftp transfer program. Personally, and after using various ftp software programs, I can recommend filezilla ftp client. This software it’s also open source and free, multiplatform and very reliable. In our development team it has wide acceptance. To download filezilla please click here. To simplify things, I recommend you put the folder structure under your web root directory (the web directory that will show when you type http://www. yourwordpresswebsite.com/), this will make things a lot simpler when search engines start to crawl your website and visitors want to remember links. In linux based hosting services, this would be the inside the public_html directory, and so, for example, the path to your wordpress index.php would be /public_html/index.php (see figure).

Once you’ve copied all the content into the hosting directory, let’s start installation.

First we need to create a database in the webserver. As explained before, we recommend a cpanel enabled website, so this article will explain how to do this with the cpanel software installed, but you can do this with any software your host provides, as long as you can create an empty datababase and a user with priviledges to create, edit and delete all structure and data in that database.

In case you have cpanel, goto http://www.yourwordpresswebsite.com/cpanel and login with the user/password you were provided upon subscription to your hosting service. Look for the Database section of the cpanel screen and choose the corresponding MySQL icon.

MySQL Cpanel Icon

MySQL Cpanel Icon

Keep in mind that your Cpanel account may be using a skin or different theme, so it will not always look exactly like the screenshot above. Now you will be introduced to athe MySQL database admin area of cpanel. The first step in the process will be to create the database.

Create Database

Create Database

My recomendation is to choose a simple name, as WP or wordpress. Enter the name in the form and click on “Create Database”. This process will create a database in your webserver, tipically, under the name “username_databasename”, so for example, if your cpanel username was “johnuser” and you named “wordpress” the database you created, your datababse will have to be addressed “johnuser_wordpress”. This is because in shared hosting environments the database name has to be unique and so the software will always append the username to the database so to guarantee this. Now we should create a user for the database.

Database User

Database User

Choose a simple name, easy to remember, for example admin. This will not make your security vulnerable, as the real trick for not easily being hacked is a good password (Please see our section about password selection to deepen this particular issue) and lets simply say that the password must be at least 10 characters long, should have numbers and alphanumeric symbols, and must evade dictionary words. Now enter both, and press “Create User”. This will create a user that can be assigned, with certain priviledges, to your newly created database.

Assing User to Database

Assing User to Database

In the future, this same user can perform tasks in other databases. In MySQL, as in various database server softwares, users and databases are independent entities that relate themselves according to privileges. Privileges are what a user can do in the corresponding database. So, simply choose your new user and database from the drop downs and click on the “Add” button. Now you will be taken to another sreen to choose what privileges should the user you’ve created have in this database.

Choosing privileges

Choosing privileges

Simply select “All Privileges” to ensure wordpress will be able to perform all tasks needed in the database.

Once the database is created, the rest is quite simple, go into your ftp software and rename wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.

Edit this file with a text editor (Important: never use a word processor like Microsoft Word for editing WordPress files!) and fill in your database details by replacing the default values in your in this file with your own specific database settings.

Set Database Name:  Replace putyourdbnamehere, with the name of your database, e.g. MyDatabaseName. The line should read … define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘MyDatabaseName’); // Example MySQL database name
Set Database User: Replace usernamehere, with the name of your username e.g. MyUserName. The line should read … define(‘DB_USER’, ‘MyUserName’); // Example MySQL username
Set Database Password:  Replace yourpasswordhere, with the your password, e.g. MyPassWord. The line should read … define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘MyPassWord’); // Example MySQL password
Set Database Host: Replace localhost, with the name of your database host, e.g. MyDatabaseHost. The line should read … define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘MyDatabaseHost’); // Example MySQL Database host

Finally, when this is done, save the file to your server, and if you copied the wordpress files directly under your web root, run the WordPress installation script by accessing http://www.yourwordpresswebsite.com/wp-admin/install.php. If you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://www.yourwordpresswebsite.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php.

Finally, you will be directed to the administration login, where you can enter the user/password you provided during the installation and start the configuration process.  There are many options to configure, and we will start by installing the chosen designer theme. Please continue to next section now.

to continue to  “Website Development With WordPress: Installing your chosen design theme” please click here.