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Create Your Own Website Using WordPress in a Weekend Paperback – 30 Jun 2013
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About the Author
Author Alannah Moore leads a double life between Paris and London. When she's not prying into the lives of artists or kitchen-table business owners, she might be found cracking open a bottle of Menetou-Salon, rustling up an Indonesian curry or strolling leisurely along the Seine with her Cavalier King Charles. She discovered her skills for talent spotting when researching the world's best web designers for her first book Create Your Own Website Using WordPress in a Weekend. Alannah's website is at www.alannahmoore.com
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I was precisely in the situation that Alannah talks about, my initial website had been written (using Wordpress) by my nephew who had moved on to other things and was too busy to program my upgrade. Taking control is thus a vital first step. Next I emailed my website host and asked about installing Wordpress.org. The tricky thing about help guides that provide examples (and in Ms Moore’s book she gives the examples of Dreamhost for instance) is that if you are with another platform then what you see on screen may look very different and this will frighten you still more when you go clicking buttons and wonder exactly what is going to happen. My host was helpful and said that my instinct about clicking on the Wordpress icon would indeed install it - as Alannah’s guide mentions. I then realised that as I already had a website, albeit out of date, up and running, then Wordpress must already be installed and so I followed her suggestion about WP-admin and I was then on familiar territory.
Again, I followed her suggestions and updated Wordpress to the latest version, sadly not covered in her book, and also the Plugins. I spent a lot of time just clicking through before I was ready to make changes. I then took tiny, tiny baby steps doing one thing at a time which meant that I did not have to take the site down and install the new one in its place but could upgrade what I had one tiny step at a time. I was going to install a completely new theme and even downloaded one but mercifully did not activate it as I realised I quite liked what I had but just wanted to update it. Simple things like changing the Copyright from 2013! to 2013-2017 for instance gave me enormous satisfaction and also confidence that I could do more. By retaining much of the original framework I realised that I could for instance update the ‘latest release’ section on the home page simply by replacing the text and the photograph. I then moved on to more adventurous things like creating new pages and then links to those new pages but retained the older ones that I was replacing just in case I ran into trouble.
I then went on to create a gallery (my website is to do with books) of all my current books and found this came together beautifully. I then managed to change the link so that from the home page a visitor could click on the ‘book’ link, which I had updated and upgraded to ‘current books’ which then took you to a gallery of all my current books. I then realised that I could go no further as I wanted the viewer to be able to click on each of those individual books in the gallery and be taken to an individual page to do with that book where there was more detail and hopefully a button that they could then click on to buy! I realised that this was not covered in Alannah’s book and I was really stuck as I could go no further. I think it was Wordpress itself that talks of help and also the forums. I reasoned that if a simple site like mine had come across this problem early on then there must be others who had faced similar. Going to the forums in this way was perfect as I found a wonderful free Plugin that solved the problem. Again taking Alannah’s advice I realised that on my Mac I would have to click on the file to re-zip it before it would install and then suddenly I was able to add another link to each of the photos in my gallery. This worked like a dream and I realised that my confidence was growing all the time.
Although the book mainly deals with an earlier version of Wordpress I did not find this a problem. What stumped me for some days was installing the Jetpack plugin as she advises. I realised that my site ran really slowly, took forever to load a page , so much so, that I could literally go and make a cup of tea! Even worse, it meant that I could no longer edit pages. By removing Jetpack I was able to get back to work and I am unsure now that I have finished whether to reactivate it or not.
My last hurdle was creating the buttons to purchase a book. I found that Alannah’s suggestions were echoed in my bookazine and then I realised that all the clever stuff was on the Paypal site and all I was doing was creating a button with a bit of code that would link to it! This worked really well and I then realised that although I had the WooCommerce plugin installed I didn’t really need it as my simply Paypal buttons would be perfect and also I reasoned that any customers would be comfortable with Paypal. I chose the buttons that had the multiple payment options below them and in no time the whole thing was done.
Okay, one or two pages are a little crude, sometimes the positioning of text or digits can be a little wayward. I added ISBN numbers to each book page and these seemed to have a life of their own also the Paypal buttons could appear anywhere! I then created a new heading “Purchase” and made sure the Paypal button code went below this and it was just about sorted.
So, despite some tricky moments I can recommend these books and although I am much more confident, I realise that if I can do it then just about anyone can – not perhaps up to Amazon website standards! but at least it’s a start, my website is up to date and I an thirsting to learn more and may just try a little coding next! Good Luck.
I am reasonably computer literate, but brand new to websites. The book is very logical and starts from the very beginning with how to get your domain name and select a host for your website, all the way to getting my website written and getting Google to find it. It is now up and running.....
I would recommend the book to anyone wanting to write their own website. Whenever I got stuck the book helped me out. I found the most difficult bit was linking the domain name to the web host, but the book provided me with the information so I knew what to ask my web host so we could sort the problem.
The world have moved on a bit in the short time since the book was written, and some of the instructions are not quite the same now, but near enough so I could work it out.
I will take you a bit more than a weekend, but not very long.
With the help of this book I had my website up and running in 2 days and couldn't be more pleased with it.
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