Lately I have been helping a few friends setting up their blog. I can probably help a few more but I thought I create an online instruction that they can follow to set one up themselves.

Well, this is not going to be a perfect guide so I welcome all comments to make this guide more user-friendly for people who have never setup a blog in their life. Since the title says Not-So-Idiot, I am assuming you possess some computer/internet/techie knowledge. If you don’t, feel free to use the comments.

If you want to skip the hassle of setting up a blog, you can always get a free blog account from blogger.com. If you have your own domain and have a hosting account, most hosting companies offer a quick blog setup. You can always go with that as well.

But if you want your blog to be highly customizable; then these instructions will guide you through the process step by step.

1. Register a domain

If you don’t have a domain, you can register one from one of the many domain resellers out there. I bought my domain from godaddy.com. You can get it for less than $10 a year. I got a 2-year domain registration for $14.34 for 2 years after discount. There are plenty other resellers.

2. Get a Website Hosting

In order for people to find your site, your domain needs to be hosted. You can always get a hosting from the same place you get your domain. I have a deluxe hosting account with godaddy that allows me to host more than one domain.

3. Download the Blogging Software

Now you need to download the blogging software. The only one you need is wordpress. You can download the zip file from here. The latest version as of this writing is 2.2. Go ahead and unzip the file when you are done downloading it. All the files you need are located inside the wordpress folder.

4. Create a database

All those articles you write on your blog (along with other contents) have to be stored somewhere. The database is where all the blog’s contents are stored. Login to your hosting account and find the database icon. Typically it is a mysql icon.

Click it to create a database for your blog. You need to enter 3 things here. First it’s your username. You can use your domain name minus the .com or .net or .org for the username. For this example, I’ll just use sample. If you want extra security, you can use sample2 or sample3 or other variation. Second it’s your password. Mysql requires your password to have at least 1 alphanumeric, 1 uppercase letter, and 1 number. When you are done, with the second step, repeat it for the third step to verify your password. Then click on create database to create the database.

5. Updating the file with the database information

In your wordpress directory, rename the file wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php. You will need to edit this file with a text editor like notepad. Open the wp-config.php in notepad, and fill in the database information. You will need to update 4 fields.

a. Replace the putyourdbnamehere with your database name, in this case sample.

b. Replace the usernamehere with the database username, in this case is also sample.

c. Replace the yourpassword here with the database password you created.

d. Replace the localhost with your database server location. You can find your database server location by clicking on the database you created. It says 99% chance you don’t need to modify this, but I happen to be in the 1%.

6. Decide how you want to implement your blog

a. The blog is the main navigation of your site (like mine)

In this case, upload the contents of wordpress to the root directory.

b. The blog is integrated into the main navigation of your site (like this)

Rename directory wordpress to blog (most common; you can rename it to whatever directory name you choose), and upload the directory (not the content) to the root directory of your domain.

7. Run the wordpress installation script

Now you need to run the installation script to activate your blog. You will have to do this step from your browser. You need to access the wp-admin/install.php script. To do this, you type <your domain name>/wp-admin/install.php on your browser address bar and press enter. e.g. http://www.sample.com/wp-admin/install.php

Remember, if your installed your wordpress in a sub-directory, you will need to put that sub-directory name before /wp-admin/install.php

8. Blog navigation menu

You can access your blog navigation menu from the browser by typing the following on your browser address bar:

<your domain name>/wp-admin/index.php

Feel free to navigate through the menu to get yourself familiar with it.

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