Creating A Website, A Complete Guide For Beginners

Websites are becoming easier and easier to make, meaning that the age of people making them is getting younger and younger. Nowadays, you’ll find many blog owners are in their early teens, and you’d be surprised to know that in many cases, that teenager set the website up completely by themselves. It’s likely that these websites have been created on some type of content management system (CMS), most probably WordPress. With over 70 million websites running on the service, it’s estimated that roughly 25% of sites on the World Wide Web are made with WordPress, and that’s what I’ll try to walk you through today.

When I set up Geeks Have Landed late last year, it was the first time I had even attempted to set up a website with my own domain. Previous attempts at setting up a blog had been done with services like Yola, which is great for beginners, but not really for those who want to manage a website seriously. That’s why WordPress is an extremely useful thing to use, there are thousands of themes available for under $50 which look more professional than anything an expensive designer could have built for you a few years ago. This time last year, I had less than no idea how to even begin with WordPress, it all seemed very complicated and any tutorial I found seemed to assume that I already had some form of previous knowledge, which meant I had to use several different tutorials to finally set up the website you are on right now. Hopefully this tutorial will guide somebody with absolutely no experience through the many steps to creating a website, once you do it once you can do it a thousand times, like riding a bike.

Domain and Hosting

You can’t have a website without a domain. I doubt anybody with access to the internet is unaware of what a domain is, but just in case, it’s the address you type in to get to the website you desire. For example, geekshavelanded.com is our domain. If you are after a domain that has already been taken, things get complicated as you have to have direct contact with the owner of the domain, and it’s likely that you’ll have to pay quite a bit to take it off their hands. However, if you think of a domain that hasn’t been taken, you can get one for dirt cheap.

one.com hosting image

The thing is, you can’t run a website with only a domain, that’s just the name for your website. You’ll need a server host to run it on, and depending on what you want the website for, it can be very cheap. I recommend using One.com, but that’s the only service I have ever used. Geeks Have Landed has been using One for a year now, and it only costs me about £30 a year. For that price, it’s paid for itself very quickly, however if you thing your website needs a lot of storage or will be attracting a lot of attention, you might want to consider investing in extra hosting. For the benefit of this tutorial, I would advise using One.com.

Other Domain Registrars and Hosting Providers

Once you have registered a domain and hosting, you’ll probably have to wait for a while. If I remember correctly, it took a little under a day for One.com to send me an email confirming that everything had been registered correctly. This e-mail also provides the passwords and information necessary for the next steps.

Download an FTP Client

Once you have received this e-mail, you’ll need to connect to the server. You do this by using an FTP client, the most popular of which is FileZilla. It’s a method of communicating with the server you have just set up, and you can upload files from your computer to the hosting account. Websites are made up of thousands of different files containing HTML, so it’s easy to transfer these files from your computer to the server. Once again, although there are alternative FTP Clients, I would advise using FileZilla for this tutorial as it’s the most popular and is available on all platforms.

Filezilla logo

To connect to your hosting account, you need to enter the information that you should have received in the confirmation email to your account. If you didn’t, it’s extremely simple to gain access to that information as most of domain registrars and hosting services have brilliant live chat services, especially One.com. The details you need to enter into FileZilla are the Host, Username, Password and Port. In most cases, the host will be ‘ftp.yourdomain.com’, your username will be ‘yourdomain.com’, your password will be the password you used when setting up the account, and the port should be 21. You may be able to leave the port clear, however if you are at all unsure about the details, you should contact your service with live chat.

Downloading and Installing WordPress

So, you have created a domain, purchase hosting and have downloaded and set up FileZilla to connect to your account, now you need to install WordPress to run that site. Here’s how;

  • Download The latest WordPress files from WordPress.org/download.
  • Once downloaded, extract the files to somewhere you can find easily, I usually keep it on my Desktop.

Now it’s time to use FileZilla again. If you have lost connection to your host, you should be able to quickly connect again by clicking the ‘quick connect’ option to the right of the detail fields. Once connected, there are two small windows, one of which is your computer, the other is your website’s files. On the left hand side, find your WordPress folder and transfer all the files from inside the folder across to the other side. It will take a while to transfer everything across as there are a lot of folders and it is uploading all of them to the root of your soon-to-be website.

Final WordPress Setup

Once it has finished uploading, you’re not far off a functioning website. Visit the url you chose in set one, ‘www.yourdomain.com’. If the set up has been completed properly, you should be presented with a page asking you to configure your WordPress setup.

Database: WordPress

Username: Your MySQL Username, you should have this information in the hosting details.

Password: Your MySQL Password, you should have this information in the hosting details.

Database: localhost

Table Prefix: wp_ (if you want subdomains like ‘subdomain.yourdomain.com’, add a number or word to this to make it unique)

Following these steps, you should be presented with the option to give your blog a title and enter your login details to gain access to the dashboard, which is the place you will be spending all your time any time you wish to change or add something to the website.

The Basics of WordPress

Themes

Earlier I mentioned that professional looking websites are often maintained by young people, and that’s because it’s extremely simple to set up a good design for under $50. This is done through web design marketplaces like ThemeForest, where developers can sell the files of a website design, ranging from portfolios to news blogs such as this one, each for an extremely reasonable price. Once you’ve picked a theme, you buy and download it and then upload the files to the ‘themes’ folder found in ‘wp-content’ in FileZilla.

Of course, you can download themes for free as well, however in most cases you get what you pay for, so free themes might lack support if something goes wrong, which can happen as WordPress and plugins update. That brings me onto my next point, Plugins.

Plugins

Plugins is a fantastically simple way of running a website. Plugins can do a number of things, but below is the four main reasons that plugins can be useful.

Securing a website against hacks and spam

Integrating social networks with a blog

Tracking visitors – where they are from, how long they visited for and where they came from

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Some plugins cost, however it is completely achievable to run a successful website on nothing but free plugins.

How to download Plugins

Option 1

Download from the internet, a good place for paid plugins is Theme Forest. Once they are downloaded, use FileZilla to upload the files to the ‘plugins’ folder found in ‘wp-content’. Then visit the ‘Plugins’ menu on the WordPress Dashboard and activate the plugin you just uploaded.

Option 2

If it’s a free one you’re after, you can probably find it directly from the WordPress Dashboard by visiting ‘Plugins, Add New’. Then search for the name of the plugin you are after, install it and then click to activate it.

Up to you!

By now, you will hopefully have a fully functioning WordPress set up, which is accessible by typing in the domain you registered earlier into your browser. The rest is up to you, find a theme you like and fill it with the content you desire. Let me know if this guide was useful to you, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

Font Changer: Android Root Tip #1

There are many benefits to rooting your Android. Root provides access to parts of the phone that were otherwise unavailable, meaning that you can increase the speed of the phone and even install the operating system from another device. The main reason I use root, is to customize my phone to have it exactly the way I want. One of the ways of doing this, is by changing the system’s font.

By changing the font on your Android, you change the entire font. Not just on the home screen, but the text throughout the entire operating system. This is why it requires root access.

What you need

The only thing you need before you begin this tutorial, is root access to your phone. I haven’t done a tutorial on this, as there are so many different variations for each device that there would be countless posts. If you’re not sure how to root your Android, check out Ready2Root.com and search for your device. The easiest way of doing this also includes the use of a computer.

1: Download Font Changer

The first step is to go to the Google Play Store and download ‘Font Changer (root)‘. It’s a small download that wont work unless you have rooted your phone.

2: Choose a font

Using your computer as the easiest option, download a font of your choice. There are loads of websites where you can do this, my personal favourite is DaFont. Take time when choosing your font, it changes everything from the home screen to the texts, and even the web content on some browsers. If you choose a thin font, you may need to change it to large on your phone settings.

3: Download and transfer the font

Once you have chosen your font, connect your phone to your computer and enter mass storage/USB transfer mode. In your SD card, go to ‘.fontchanger’ and drop the .ttf file there. Then you can safely disconnect your phone.

4: Setting the font

Visit the Font Changer application. If done correctly, the application should wait for a while as it refreshes the fonts. Once it’s done that, it should display you with the name of the fonts you have dropped in the ‘.fontchanger’ folder. Select the font you have just downloaded and reboot your phone.

Done!

When your phone reboots, your system should have a completely new font throughout. As I mentioned, it may be worth expanding the text size to see it better, which can be done in the settings menu of most Android phones.

Hide Being Seen on Facebook Chat

Earlier this month, Facebook updated it’s less than perfect chat service to inform it’s users when their message has been read. Not-surprisingly, this has been very poorly recieved, as it means people feel pressured to respond to messages they may want to leave till later, or even leave completely.

Luckily for you, there is now a way to hide when you have read a message on Facebook. At the moment this is only available for Google Chrome.

Simply download the extension at the link below, and enable it to make sure you can avoid even broadcasting when you have received a message.

Facebook Unseen

UPDATE: The link above now leads to a dead page, the application was removed from the Chrome Store.

How To Get Samsung’s ‘Smart Stay’ on any Android

The Samsung Galaxy SIII is one of the most highly anticipated Android phones of the year, mostly as a result of to ‘ground breaking’ features such as ‘Smart Stay’, a feature which sleeps when you look away.

Until now, has only been available to SIII owners. Even the ever-so-reliable people over at XDA developers struggle to port it, as it relies on the Samsung (TouchWiz) framework. But now, through the use of a simple application, the feature has been made available for any Android owner.

ISeeYou is an application available on the Google Play Store which offers the same appealing feature as Smart Stay. I haven’t had a chance to try it out completely yet, however the small amount of reviews on the store seem pretty positive.

ISeeYou is a free application, however a paid version is available with some extra settings.

Link: Google Play

Turn Your Photos Into Tilt-Shift & Bokeh Masterpieces

If you’re like me and only have a novice understanding of Photoshop, then adding cool effects to your photos can be a huge frustration, which usually leads to disappointment with the final product. Luckily, last night I stumbled across an extremely easy to use website called TiltShiftMaker, which adds a tilt-shift and bokeh effect to any image you upload.

I find it very difficult to explain what the tilt-shift effect is, so I advise you watch the video below. A YouTube user was imaginative enough to re-create a view of Battlefield 3, with a tilt-shift effect.

As you can see, it makes some things in the shot clearer, and blurs the rest which creates a sort of ‘miniature’ effect.

Below I re-created a wallpaper of a racing track, adding the tilt-shift effect along with some bokeh.

Before

After

The photo above was the first image I edited with TiltShiftMaker, and I’d say the results were pretty good. The website can also be accessed from an app for Google Chrome. Below is a few more images created using the website. (Click images for photographer’s Flickr)

 

Best Place to Buy | The Elder Scrolls Skyrim

We are currently smack in the middle of the gaming surge I have spoken about in previous ‘best places to buy’ articles. Battlefield 3 is out, Fifa is out, Goldeneye Reloaded has just been released, and Skyrim and MW3 are just around the corner.

In this article, I have compiled the best deals I can find for Skyrim in local supermarkets and gaming retailers. Please add more in the comment section below.

Note, These Are UK Deals only. If you are interested in writing a U.S version, please visit ‘Write For Us‘.

Consoles, Standard Edition

Game & Gamestation offer the game at the standard price of £39.99, but offer to bundle the strategy guide for an extra £10.

Grainger Games beats the two above by selling the game for slightly cheaper, at £38.99

Best – Asda are selling the game at an already reasonable £37.97, however you can take it down to an amazing £30.38! Simply type ‘MVG311020’ at checkout.

 

 

PC, Standard Edition

It seems that unless you purchase from an online auction, most places seem to sell the game at £29.99 for PC.

Best – Asda are selling the game at an already reasonable £27.87, however you can take it down to an amazing £22.30! Simply type ‘MVG311020’ at checkout. 

Summary

There is no competition, ASDA are offering the best deals that I could find for this extremely high demand game. The price they are selling it at is already cheap, but to get the game for £30 for consoles and £22 for PC is just a steal!

 

 

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