Having decided on a WordPress.org template for my new self built website, the next thing to do was to upload the WordPress.org software. Then I could start building using my chosen template.
The recommended way to do this is to identify the website hosting company of your choice, buy the hosting package you want and download the software to the host. Then you can build your website online, but under a temporary URL (website address) where only you can see it. If you have an existing website as I did, it is completely unaffected by the new website being built and operates normally.
My big mistake!
I completely misunderstood how the temporary URL worked and wrongly assumed that it would adversely affect my existing website. One option that we read about to avoid this problem was to upload the WordPress.org software onto my computer. It would act as a local host until my new website was ready for upload to my host.
So that’s what we did, and all went smoothly.
But when we were uploading my website files to A2 Hosting, the host I had selected, this decision came back to bite us. My website files had lots of references to ‘local host’ (ie my computer) which didn’t work when the website went live online. The files needed to refer to the website URL to work properly. If I had built a temporary website supported by the host, all these references would have been to the temporary URL and we wouldn’t have had this problem.
I couldn’t have sorted this out alone. I had help, but we still spent a weekend Googling and searching for answers on forums. In the end, the best advice was from A2, my hosting service. But it still took a morning to follow all the instructions before everything was sorted out.
Building a website on your own computer is a valid way to do this, but neither I nor my helper had the expertise to do it efficiently. Conclusion? Unless you have the experience, I wouldn’t recommend it.
If I had used WordPress.com to build my new website, I wouldn’t have had to worry about any of this at all as it’s part of the service. So all my pain was self inflicted!
The fun bit – building the WordPress website using video guidance.
Other blogs in the series:
My DIY WordPress website Part 1: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
My DIY WordPress website Part 3: Building a website using video guidance