A Fantastico Way of Creating a WordPress Blog

by A.D Paterson on 02/09/2009

In an earlier article we touched on setting up a WordPress blog using something called ‘Fantastico’, and now it’s time to check this out in a little more depth.

In this article we’re going to look at why you should be picking a blog that you host yourself over a free hosted blog, then we’ll look at why it should be a WordPress blog, and finally we’ll go into the process of getting it running using Fantastico.

Why would you want to host the blog yourself?

There are a number of very good reasons for hosting it yourself, and top of that list is ‘ownership’. If you have the blog setup on a free hosting site, and they, for whatever reason, decide to stop your access to the site, you’ve lost everything.

This doesn’t happen a lot, but you’re still at the mercy of the changes in the terms and conditions they put on allowing you to have a freely hosted blog.

Just imagine how bad it would be if you’d built up a following of people, a back catalogue of articles, and had other things stored on the site and then had to wave goodbye to it all because someone decided they wanted to stop your access?

You also have far more control over the way a blog looks, including the plugins etc that you can run on it, if you’re hosting it yourself. Another thing you can do is to change the blog theme to pretty much anything you want. Now, that might not sound like a big deal, but, when you consider how good some of the blog themes are when it comes to SEO, you could be missing out in a big way.

Blogs do have a tendency to be ranked far quicker than a standard website, but, just being indexed isn’t enough these days. A good, solid, methodical approach to SEO is needed when it comes to getting a first page ranking – and many of the newer blog themes take that into consideration.

Very closely linked with the idea of making the most of the SEO potential is the fact that if you’re hosting yourself, you can have a keyword rich name to go with your site.

Free hosts will let you give your site a name but it will generally include their company name as well i.e. if the company was Wibble.com and you wanted your site to be ninja knitting the full name would be something like ninjaknitting.wibble.com – not exactly memorable, or SEO efficient.

Why does everyone talk about using WordPress blogs?

The main reason is because they are quick and easy to setup, and, they are probably the most flexible and widely supported of the CMS (content management systems) available.

WordPress itself is free and is either included with your hosting via Fantastico, or you can download it and install it yourself – which isn’t difficult, but isn’t the easiest option either.

There are a vast, and ever increasing, number of plugins available for WordPress blogs. A plugin in is a small bit of script that you can just plug in to your blog to add all sorts of new features to it. These could include ways to add adverts, a list of all of your latest Twitter tweets, almost anything you could possibly need will have a plugin available – and most of them are free to use.

There are a huge number of things you can do with a WordPress blog, including having the ability to change to those SEO friendly blog themes as mentioned earlier.

Great, so how do we get a hassle free installation of this marvel of modern technology? Fantastico is going to be the quickest and easiest answer to your installation prayers.

Setting up is easy enough. Start by locating the Fantastico button which should be in a section near the bottom of your CPanel. Next, find the button that says ‘WordPress’, input where you want it to be installed, add your login details, and you’re up and blogging – well almost.

You can either have the blog as your actual website, in which case you’d create it in your root directory, or have it as an add on to your existing site, in which case you’d want to create a sub-directory i.e. /blog making the URL www.yoursitename/blog.

You should then be given the option to log straight into your new WordPress blog, or to go off and do something else on your CPanel. You will also get an email confirming the installation and giving you the admin login details for safe keeping.

The best thing to do when you first get inside the WordPress admin area (to login it will always be the URL to your blog followed by /wp-admin) is to have a look around and get familiar with what’s there before you start creating posts.

There we have it; a way to quickly and easily use Fantastico to install your new WordPress blog.

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