WordPress has become the most widely used content management system in the world over the last 10 years. It was first launched in 2004 as a pure blog system. Over time, however, it has continued to grow into a fully-fledged CMS for company websites and news magazines.
What are the requirements for using WordPress?
WordPress is free software that anyone can use, commercially and non-commercially. Anyone who decides on a project based on WordPress should consider the following:
Where should the project be hosted?
If you only want to start a small blog, you do not necessarily need your own web space. Rather, it is also possible to open a free blog directly on https://de.wordpress.com/. No administrative knowledge is required for this. After registering, you can start blogging immediately. The blog can then be reached at https://von-mir-gewaehlter-name.wordpress.com. However, it should be borne in mind that in this case you are fully involved in a foreign platform with the rules of the game there.
If you decide to put your project on your own domain (e.g. https://www.mein-projekt.de), you need your own web space in addition to the domain name. On our site you will quickly find the right provider for your project.
In order to operate a project based on WordPress, you need a web hosting package, which must contain the following technical components:
– PHP from version 5.6.2 or higher
– a MySQL database from version 5.0 or higher
– PHP memory limit of at least 32 MB (more info on PHP_memory_limit)
Attention: Even if the basic requirements of WordPress for PHP and MySQL require an old PHP version, the user should use a current version (currently: PHP 7.3 and MySQL 5.6). The reason is, on the one hand, that many developers develop their plugins and themes on newer versions and these will then no longer work properly with the old versions. But the even more important reason is that PHP no longer provides security updates for the old versions before 7.0.
WordPress itself recommends PHP 7.3 and MySQL 5.6 (https://wordpress.org/about/requirements/)
With many of the web hosts presented here, open source software can be installed directly from the administration area of the web space. WordPress is then installed in the ordered web space with just one click (here you can find out what to look out for with a 1-click installation). Later you just have to register (e.g. http://www.mein-projekt.de/wp-admin) and you’re good to go.
Not absolutely necessary, but highly recommended is the option of being able to activate the “mod_rewrite” Apache module on the server side. This can then be used to generate speaking URLs that WordPress does not come with by default. With all hosters listed here, this is possible or already activated by default.
As already described above, most web hosts allow you to install WordPress with just a few clicks from the administration area. But if you prefer to do this yourself, here are a few quick instructions:
– Download the latest WordPress version from http://de.wordpress.org/
– Unpack the ZIP file
– Open the file wp-config-sample.php with an editor (e.g. Notepad).
– enter the data for the MySQL database in the file (name of the database, user name of the database, password). You can find this data in the administration area of your web package under “MySQL databases”. In most cases, you do not have to enter anything different from the sample file under DB_Host.
– Then save the file under the name “wp-config.php”.
– Upload all WordPress files to your web space using an FTP client. Either in a new directory or directly on the top level of the web space (“root” directory). You can also find out the access data for the FTP in the administration area of your web space under “FTP”.
– then call up this page with a browser http://www.deinedomain.de/wp-admin/install.php
After the successful installation, you shouldn’t lean back for too long. WordPress releases regular updates. In addition to functional enhancements, the updates always contain security-related fixes. If you use an outdated version of WordPress for your project, you run the risk of hackers infiltrating the blog. These exploit the security gaps in old WordPress variants. The installed plugins should also be updated regularly.
Fortunately, updating WordPress or the individual plugins is very easy. Simply log into your WordPress and initiate the upgrade in the dashboard under “Updates”. Don’t worry, nothing can usually break.
The current WordPress version is 5.3
Look and Feel of your WordPress website
By default, WordPress comes with three layouts (themes). However, these are kept very simple. If you want something more individual, you can either download a free theme and try out how the website changes under the different themes. However, free themes usually have disadvantages, so it makes sense to purchase a so-called premium theme for a fee. There are international marketplaces for these premium layouts. Prices there start at around €10 and can go up to €80. Most of the time, however, billing is in US dollars. Payment can be made by credit card or PayPal.
If you like it very individual, you can have a designer create a template in Photoshop. You can find good designers at 99designs.com or upwork.com, for example. In the second step, however, a frontend developer has to implement the design and the functionalities behind it as a WordPress theme.