Easy to Set Up

WordPress is famous for its five-minute installation. In fact, if you have your database connection details
in hand before you begin, it might not even take you that long! The system requirements for WordPress
(discussed in more detail in the next chapter) are modest, allowing it to run on most commercial shared
hosting plans that include PHP and MySQL.
WordPress comes with everything you need to set up a basic website. The core system includes:
• Posts and pages. In the most traditional use of WordPress, a blog (composed of
posts) will feature a few “static” (but still database-driven) pages, such as “About.”
However, as you’ll see throughout this book, you can use these two primary
content types in a number of other ways.
• Media files. The post and page editing screens allow you to upload images, audio,
video, Office documents, PDFs, and more.
• Links. WordPress includes a link directory, often referred to as the blogroll.
• Categories and tags. WordPress includes both hierarchical and free-form
taxonomies for posts. There is a separate set of categories for links.
• User roles and profiles. WordPress users have five possible roles with escalating
capabilities (Subscriber, Contributor, Author, Editor, and Administrator) and a
very basic workflow for editorial approval. User profiles include a description,
avatar, and several forms of contact information.
• RSS, Atom, and OPML feeds. There are RSS and Atom feeds available for just about
everything in WordPress. The main feeds include recent posts and comments, but
there are also feeds for individual categories, tags, authors, and comment threads.
An OPML feed for links is also built in.
• Clean URLs. With the included .htaccess file, WordPress supports search enginefriendly
URLs (or permalinks) on both Apache and IIS servers, with a system of
tags that allow you to customize the link structure and several built-in
• Spam protection. The WordPress download package includes the Akismet plugin,
which provides industrial-strength filtering of spam comments. Because it uses a
central web service, it constantly learns and improves.
• Automatic upgrades. WordPress displays an alert when a new version is available
for the core system as well as any themes or plugins you have installed. You can
update any of these with the click of a button (although it’s always a good idea to
back up your database first).
As of version 3.0, you can easily expand your WordPress installation into a network of connected
sites. The setup process is just a little more involved than the basic installation, and your host has to
meet a few additional requirements, which I’ll go over in chapter 13.
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