Installing WordPress-Website for Dummies

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I have already written over this once, but even that time, I mentioned that “I am not expecting anyone to learn from this article that “How to make A Website out of WordPress” by this website, as my approach was kind of naïve and nursery kid’s learning”, but this topic was something that kept on tempting me and today I am back.

In fact, I was to design a website for my workplace for internal requirements, so I thought to revisit the instructions and pen them down for once, so that people wishing to do something like that could get the job done in one shot without much R & D.


Why a WordPress?

Reasons might be plenty.. from a Company to even a Coffee shop now days wanna have a site and their wordpressopinions on it. Yes!! blogs are here and they get recognition too, but a site is a little different thing look-wise and even bloggers wish to have their full control over their blogs, which online hosting like WordPress and Blogger couldn’t afford to provide for their right reasons.

Reasons are plenty for a WordPress based website. You may want to have a website to show off between your friends on the same LAN in some college like MNNIT, IIT, IIIT or some IIM or you may want to bring a community or even official platform for company insiders.

WordPress because, it seems to be the best solution against its competitors for Installation, Management, controls, scaling and even backup/ migration. In just few mins, even a Layman get a strongest of website running and he wonders that he never knew a single line of HTML.

Simplicity is power” That’s why WordPress. Otherwise technically speaking ..

WordPress is an open source CMS, often used as a blog publishing application powered by PHP and MySQL. It has many features including plugin architecture and a templating system (supports various themes that way). Used by over 300 of the 10,000 biggest websites, WordPress is the most popular blog software in use today.


My requirements this time ..

The purpose was be to build a one-stop website to provide a common platform for sharing information, internal news and more importantly a mean to interact with groups and individuals across the company (via group/ private chat solutions). The additional scope of the website was integrating all of our web modules running for different purposes mostly via web links only (easy way).

Additional features asked for were …

  1. All of the content needs to be secured via passwords and login would be required for access any of the content on website.
  2. Different pages required for different department/ groups, which will host posts from their side only (though all of the content would be subjected to moderation).
  3. Different levels and roles would be required to post/ modify the content like Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor and reader with their controlled set of privileges.
  4. Intranet Chat facility requires having group/ private messaging support.
  5. Email facility would be limited to contact form that one could use to submit some query to any department and it will be mailed to designate email ID directly without being post on Website. (provided Internet facility available on server).
  6. News flash system that will show significant information scrolling on sidebars all the time.
  7. Integration with our other services (mostly via hyperlinks opening in tab or new windows) like Ticketing system, Training Modules, Monitoring System etc. The target would be to implement a single-sign-on for the similar web services like Training, Helpdesk etc.
  8. There might be possibly different sites for different networks that would be kept in sync5 by end of day or twice a week (based on feasibility).
  9. Optional Documents hosting that could allow viewing Doc, XLS and PDF documents online without converting them into HTML This feature could be utilized for hosting various policy documents or similar things.

I guess very generic yet professional kind of requirements these are, though one can always find what they want with a WordPress.


Installation requirements

You know that installation requirements always vary around what you need and what you could put in. In itself, WordPress isn’t a huge software package that you might be thinking about this side, but yes.. what platform you are going to use, matter more. You can make use of XAMP installation to bring Apache, MySQL and PHP at a place on Windows or you may like to use the natural Linux Platform.

Here I am going to use WordPress MU (separate project build for multi user environment) in place of normal WordPress though requirements and instructions would be the same.

Hardware requirements

RAM Required: Minimum 512 MB (In favour of OS nto WordPress)
Disk space: Installation doesn’t take even 50 MB, but it’s suggested to keep 1-2 GB space at least.

Software Requirements

Operating System: Linux\ Windows (We are using CentOS here)
System Software: Apache with Mod_Rewrite, PHP , MySQL and related components.
WordPress-MU: WordPress-MU package from http://mu.wordpress.org/latest.zip

Note: Internet required for easy Installation of packages and plug-ins, though all the packages could be installed and managed offline as well.

The Basic Installation

halo_wordpress

The way is as simplest as it could be, but still sometimes, people unknown from Linux terms bring mess for them, so even if longer list of steps, I am trying to bring a completely detailed set of instructions .. (obviously assuming though that you got your OS installed right ways)

  1. Type on console yum install httpd php mysql mysql-server mysql-devel php-gd php-mysql
  2. Start the web service, if not started. On server console type service httpd start followed by chkconfig httpd on
  3. Start MySQL service, if not started. On server console type service mysqld start followed by chkconfig mysqld on
  4. Edit /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf and search for AllowOverride None and replace the second occurrence of the same with AllowOverride All (essential step for Permalink structure, you will know later on). Restart the httpd service by service httpd restart.
  5. On Server Console type mysql and then on MySQL prompt type create database wordpress to create a blank database to host WordPress database in next steps. You can chose any other name than wordpress as well.
  6. Install FTP by command yum install vsftpd, then chkconfig vsftd on followed by service vsftpd start
  7. Edit /etc/vsftp/ftpusers and /etc/vsftp/user_list to comment out root entry in both. By default root is not allowed to login into ftp.
  8. Download the zip file from http://mu.wordpress.org/latest.zip
  9. Extract the same and rename the folder wordpress-mu to something suitable to the name you wish to have in url (e.g. We have atstoday in our case). We also could install the same in web root but in that case, it might have issues in other web app installations.
  10. Copy the same folder in web root directory /var/www/html and provide appropriate modifications rights the same folder and /tmp folder. (Hint: use WinSCP)
  11. Open http://IP_Address/Folder_Name in any browser, where IP_Address is IP Address of the server, you are installing and Folder_Name is name of the folder, you copied into web root.
  12. If everything is fine, then it will provide you the installation page and will ask for Database Connection details. First select radio button for Sub-directories in Blog Addresses option, then in next keep Database Name as wordpress as we given the same in step 4, User Name will be root, password would be blank or if any password you given for MySQL user named root, Database Host would be localhost, Server Address would be the IP_Address, Site Title would be the text you want to be displayed on title bar and then it requires to give an email id essential for password recovery.
  13. If everything goes fine, then it will show success message and will provide a generated33 password for admin user. Note down the password or copy it.
  14. Press the login button, login into the site, go to users in left pane, edit the user and then change the password as per your convenience.

Customizations – Themes and Plug-ins

The above procedure creates the basic install of WordPress-MU. For customization as per needs, you have to go through themes and various plug-ins available for WordPress.

Theme: If online, then we could use the search facility under Appearance->Theme to search, preview and download themes available on WordPress Database. Once downloaded, it will be available in offline install. There is option for uploading themes as well that could be used if Server not connected to Internet. We are using theme named Atahualpa with a few advanced customizations in code here and there.

Plug-ins: Plug-ins provides extension of capabilities for basic WordPress Install though depends on many factors. Currently we are using a few crucial plug-in like: My Category Order, Announcement ticker highlighter scroller, WP-UserOnline, Dagon Design Form Mailer, WP Customized Login, Members Only, PHPFreeChat, WordPress Database Backup and User Access Manager.

Backup and Restore

wordpress-must-dos

Post/ Categories/ Tags/ Comments Backup/ Restore: For taking backup of these contents, there is option to export all these in form of .xml file, in Tools->Export.

Similar way, Tools->Import could be used for importing the same.

Settings Backup/ Restore: Inclusion of WordPress Database Backup plugin makes the job little easy. As per settings, it could keep on mailing core database files in zipped format (*.bz2) to designated email ID (provided the server is on Internet) or there are options for taking manual backups by pressing button. For restoring from backup, you need to unzip the backup file first that would be some blog.bak.sql and then needed to restore it via command line in following manner.

mysql -h mysqlhostserver -u mysqlusername -p databasename < blog.bak.sql

Enter password: (enter your mysql password)

 

Migration from one server to another

That’s the toughest part of the work and not suggested to be performed by someone having not proper idea about MySQL, Apache, PHP etc. I am trying to put all the steps in some easy way here. Though there are better ways around to do this and its not suggested to follow these steps for some online site.. I am talking about local installs only. (In fact, only this part of instruction is something I think needs much enhancement as this way is prone to be buggy in complex environment)

Our assumptions are,

  • You have a completely configured and working WordPress based website at one server.
  • You got another server with fresh installation.

First of all, you need to perform the first six steps of basic installation as those are preparing steps. Now, you will have a blank database named wordpress ready in MySQL.

First use core backup file from original server and use the steps mentioned in Settings Backup/ Restore to place the same database (including settings/ post/ username/ passwords everything) in new server. In next, copy all the wordpress files that would be in /var/www/html/Folder_Name, in the similar location at new server.

After the same, you need to edit a few options in /var/www/html/Folder_Name/wp-config.php as per the new environment. Then, you need to manually update the new IP Address inside many tables of new database, provided you always used absolute links in your website all the time.

Here is a list of few crucial tables and values to edit.

  • siteurl value in wp_1_options table (provided you have only one blog under WordPress-MU otherwise change accordinly)
  • domain value in wp_blogs table
  • domain value in wp_site table

So, this is whole thing.. any further question.. you can always come up here and ask. I really miss that while studying, I wasn’t aware of this great thing, neither do I was in my starting job days.. hope many of you starting earlier than me.. good luck..

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Android and Chromium OS running on Nokia Booklet 3G

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The bonus day adventures didn’t stopped over Ubuntu only, but I progressed further to get my hands on the other buzz making OS’s around. Chromium, MeeGo and Android are probably the lead generation of modern OS’s and though I failed to get MeeGo running on Nokia Booklet 3G, but for rest of the two at least Installation part was no-brainer.

AndroidChromium OS

I know not only me, but many people out there are surprised over no support of MeeGo over Nokia Booklet 3G. An OS developed by Nokia and Intel is not running over a Nokia designed Netbook that has Intel Processor, Chipset and Graphics hardware. Irony!!! But it is.. my attempts to get MeeGo booting on Nokia Booklet 3G are all going fruitless till now. Thanks the other two OS didn’t disappointed me the same way.


There been many discussions around Android on Netbooks and even the most popular blog over Google Operating system puts a comment over it. Searches point over some very complex installation methods that may scare the hell out of you. But the basic point of all is, currently not many drivers exists in real world to make all the inside components of a Netbook running perfectly with Android.

Yes, it is as disappointing as it sounds, but as much I felt after having hands on it, what I got is this. It was LiveAndroid as even after my tries, I haven’t go the version, ThunderSoft people talking about. May be my opinion will get a change when I come across that version or if get some netbook with complete touch screen support like the first video on this link.

Android on Nokia Booklet

Google Android still seems to be a Mobile Operating System only and Google seems to have no plans about porting it in any form to Netbooks as well. Though may be someday few geeks could come up with their custom solutions around this, but as of now.. check the video given below to know what I am talking about.

 

It may look snappy, but all the things keeps on crashing. This thing not detecting 3G Modem inside, most of the app as they are related to phone functions and probably made for touch usages seems to be useless here. May be you need to work around a lot to bring some of them running, but as of now, its not in shape of a Netbook OS as much I guess. But somewhere inside, I know the fault is of mine that I didn’t tried more harder as it was just an adventure of short time.

widgets on AndroidAndroid control center

Though as per interface, it sure gives you idea that Mobile OS’s of today sure has a very good chance to make into Netbooks due to their snappy nature and easy navigation styles. Though its true they will always keep you tempted to touch on the screen icons lol !!!


The other attempt was with Chromium OS, Google’s OS targeting to Netbooks only. Though honestly speaking, I didn’t liked the interface much. I mean its nothing more than a Chromium browser built upon some invisible built of Linux, some small icons in top for Network etc, but nothing more.

Chromium OS on Booklet

Though installation was easy and went exactly like the way, I did with Ubuntu, but still my opinion will remain the same that Google will be needed to push much harder to make people familiar with it.

 

May be I was not happy with Chromium OS more because I was not able to bring Network running over it that is something like essential to Chromium OS. Dear Google India is not ready for all time working Internet till now, its still a rare thing and top of that none of Network here or Wireless Cards of Nokia Booklet seemed to be supporting this OS. So, for me it was a failed attempt like Android. Though there is a console, so I think that there were more things to do for me.. which I didn’t ..

chrome ConsoleChrome Memory

Waiting for your comments, if you can link some positive experiences, I really want to hear some positives about these two OS’s and Nokia Booklet 3G …

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Ubuntu on Nokia Booklet 3G-Part 2-Full glory

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I am back again with Nokia Booklet 3G and this time Ubuntu running from HDD 🙂

Though it was the last day of trial and Albertine already had scheduled a pickup with DHL, but it was a saturday and though I kept on waiting whole day, but I didn’t got a call from DHL and it came out as a blessing as not only this post about Ubuntu on Nokia Booklet HDD (No USB) and its multimedia installation, but two more adventures will be posted on this blog very soon; Chrome OS on Nokia Booklet 3G and Google Android on Nokia Booklet 3G.

Ubuntu Install on Nokia Booklet 3G

As I wrote in my last post that there was a hurdle in my complete experience with Ubuntu running Nokia Booklet 3G. I was missing the best of the graphics as the drivers I was using were asking for a reboot and I was not allowed to do as after the reboot the changes I was making over USB boot were getting reset. Sure, there are workarounds for such things, but I am not a Linux Geek that way (now I realize) and neither did I had time as it was 3AM night here and I was to catch up for office on the day next 7:30 AM. So given up over that.

Thanks Kalpesh, for your suggestion about Wubi and in a way thanks to DHL as well for providing me one bonus day trial on Nokia Booklet 3G otherwise, I was going to miss many things.


Wubi was amazing thing about people, who wish to enjoy Ubuntu without altering their original Windows Installation like it was my case as I was not wishing to alter the installation that came from WomWorld on a trial. Here are instructions to have a full fledge Ubuntu Install over Noka Booklet 3G without altering your Windows Installation.

1-2-3 step – Installing Ubuntu on Nokia Booklet 3G with Wubi

Step 1: Download Wubi Ubuntu Installer (1.4 MB) from here.

Step 2: Just run the exe, choose the partition to install and set the Installation Size.

wubi

Partition here means the logical drive over which you want to have your Ubuntu folder, it doesn’t required whole partition and will not format anything of your HDD.

Step 3: Press Install and you are ready to go.

It will create a dual boot and when you will chose Ubuntu then for the first time, it will setup Ubuntu for you. It takes a little time, but not more than 15 mins I guess and pull your sleeves.. full Ubuntu is here in your service without altering your Windows Install. 🙂

installing Ubuntu

The most special thing about Wubi install is not only its creating easy and very familiar dual boot, but also keeping the option of un-Installing it from your windows at anytime like any normal application.

ubuntu uninstall

Here is the real thing, Ubuntu running on Nokia Booklet in dual boot with Windows 7 Starter. Though it took a 30 secs to start, but I guess the Netbook version of Ubuntu will take a little more less time in booting (Mine one is Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop version).


In the earlier attempt, while I was not able to get hardware acceleration and 3D graphics, there was also that full resolution and I was stuck up with just 800×680 thing.. but not this time…

Ubuntu resolution

There wiki was right on spot and though it mentioned that 3D support on Graphics drivers in Beta stage for 10.04 release, but for 9.10 it was full supported. Just mentioning to keep in mind, if you wish to have older version. Though for a normal user, it doesn’t matter much if its in beta or full till when it works and it works very well here.


Obviously, before the above video, I was install VLC, Mplayer etc, though for unknown reason, it didn’t worked through command-line for the first time, so I chosen the GUI way and as I earlier mentioned, after choosing Multiverse Repository it was easy as a pie.

vlc player1mplayer

More happy I was to know that Google Chrome now started support Ubuntu from their official install page and now normal user need not to struggle through Wiki pages.

Google Chromegoogle Chrome Installed

Is there anything left to do with my Ubuntu now?? I am waiting for comments from you all.

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