• 10 hours
  • Easy

Free online content available in this course.

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Last updated on 2/7/20

Launch your WordPress site

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Getting a WordPress site off the ground quickly is a breeze. Maybe you're launching your own personal project, or you've received a request from a client to build a website, but either way you can get the ball rolling stat. This course features a base project example that involves diverse criteria you'd consider for any WordPress usage.

A local band, Cat Avalanche, in your city has reached out and is ready to pay you for a live, great-looking website. 🎸They're about to go on tour and have no web presence besides their Twitter account!

Here's the band's criteria that involve themes you'll see often with clients, like vague design requests, site structure, etc.):

  • The website should have a dark, "underground" feel, made to feel like the visitor is at one of Cat Avalanche's live shows. The band has also sent you a photo from one of their concerts you can use in the design scheme if you want.

  • There should be separate pages for the following content: a home page, information about the band, their tour dates, their blog posts, and their contact information.

  • The band's logo should be visible on the top left of the page.

  • The site navigation should be at the top of the page, not on the sides.

  • The band's name, Cat Avalanche, should be in the site URL.

The whole rest of the execution is up to you! Luckily, WordPress gives you the tools to integrate and tweak all of the above as part of a project.

WordPress installation via Themecloud

You'll use a platform called Themecloud to get up and running quickly on WordPress. There are many available options for WordPress installation and hosting though, ranging from super-dev heavy lifting to 5-minute-ready tools.

Themecloud
Themecloud

If you're faced with a one-time project that probably won't require much technical ongoing maintenance or heavy lifting, it's a great bet to use a tool like Themecloud that takes care of almost everything for you so you can jump right to the product itself (and appease your client that much quicker)!

You'll use Themecloud here for the following reasons, instead of other quick installation services. With Themecloud:

  • You're not blocked by domain name registration: many WordPress starter kits force you to register a domain immediately, which costs money and can be a mental roadblock since domain registration is such a paid commitment. Instead, Themecloud gives you your own dedicated example.themecloud.me URL so you can have a live site instantly and worry about buying a precise domain later.

  • You'll have daily site backups: your site will be backed up every day to Amazon S3, and you can even use these backups as a staging environment to test stuff.

  • You'll have access to all themes and plugins: many WordPress managers limit you to only a few themes, but with Themecloud you have access to the full WordPress landscape of themes and plugins (including the ability to customize your HTML, CSS, and even PHP).

To get started, visit https://www.themecloud.io. Feel free to explore around a bit, then eventually navigate to Sign Up in the top right corner. From there, you'll enter your basic information. You'll use this same user account even to manage multiple WordPress projects.

From your new Dashboard, you'll click the New website button. Your next choice will be between a very basic WordPress installation or a prebuilt site. You'd select Vanilla WordPress Install here, which will give you the most simple and clean base upon which to build a site to your own specifications (without a million elements already decided for you).

Installation choices
Installation choices

On the site configuration popup, select a name and a title. The first field, "Name," will determine your .themecloud.me domain name. You can always add a custom domain (like example.com) later! Since the project example for this course involves my imaginary local band "Cat Avalanche," I'll add these values. Adapt them for your own imaginary local band!

Initial site settings
Initial site setup
Themecloud site dashboard
Themecloud site dashboard

From the particular site's Dashboard, you'll see the daily site backups on the first tab, along with buttons to scoot over to Settings, and you'll have access to domain and FTP tools. This is also where you can delete the website, but be careful with that red button!

The Hosting plan tab is where you'd adjust your subscription.

Get rolling

You've done all the legwork to get started on Themecloud, and now it's time to look at WordPress itself. Here are two magic buttons to do so:

WordPress-bound buttons
WordPress-bound buttons

The "Go to your website" button takes you to the actual domain of the site as a visitor would see it. 

The "Admin" button takes you to your WordPress dashboard. Go ahead and click it. This is the page we'll start from in the next chapter!

Example of certificate of achievement
Example of certificate of achievement