How To Host A Website Together With Design And Maintenance Tools
Hosting your own website can be a big job if you don’t know where to look for help or resources. We all have to start somewhere and we find that when we have a problem with our website design and hosting, we can quickly go to various forums or instructional sites to research solutions.
Most likely, another individual has experienced the exact same thing, so why waste time trying to figure it out ourselves?
That is the greatest advantage of the internet … immediate knowledge!
What Is The WordPress Depository For Plugins?
We know that throughout this site we have favored WordPress as a CMS, mostly because that is how we built our own sites. Likewise, it is the predominant platform worldwide. Conglomerates, news outlets, small businesses, and hobbyists, all install the software on their hosting accounts and run their websites through its interface. WP is not restricted by size or functionality. In fact, it is so influential that now scores of developers create almost any feature imaginable. And that is where the depository comes into play.
Our first resource, that we want you to be aware of and actually use, is the Plugins section of WP. If you have thought of a feature that you want your website to offer, then in most cases, it is not necessary to pay for customized coding. Features that are common or popular are going to have a ready-made script. And to refresh your memory, a plugin is a little script that you add to wordpress to enable your site to offer an added feature or specific functionality.
You can find plugins by going through a search engine and reading reviews from other site owners, or you can go directly to “https://wordpress.org/plugins/” and use the search function to find your required topic. As you can see in the screenshot above, the directory presently lists over 55,000 scripts. Undoubtedly, that figure alone demonstrates how hugely widespread WP actually is!
Once you decide upon a plugin, just remember the name and author, then in the dashboard of your site, look for the plugins section, and click on Add New, then type the name in the search and get the relevant plugin. Click Install Now. You can then activate it and follow the instructions to customize it.
How Can You Easily Back Up Your Website?
We’ve spoken over and over again about ensuring that you have a backup of your website files and database. Although website hosts advertise that they do daily backups, it is still your responsibility to have your own copy off-server. There may be several reasons for this.
One, the server may go down and data is lost. You want to be able to restore as quickly as possible.
Two, you may have updated your software and now things have gone wrong with your site. Instead of wasting valuable time, you can grab your backup and get the site live again in its original form.
Third, you are migrating your site as you upgrade to better hosting. You’ll need everything from the existing server in order to make the site live on the new server.
Fourth, you might have to change domain names, and will need everything moved over to the new name.
Our team uses two different methods to backup our sites. And not only do the backups allow us to remain protected in case of some sort of failure, it also gives us the ability to quickly migrate files if needed.
One thing that we should mention here is another phrase for doing a site backup is cloning a website. In other words, when you migrate it, it has to be exactly the same, thus, a clone of the original.
In the first case, some of us use a WP Plugin called All In One Migration. We have found an explanatory video that shows you how to backup the site, as well as migrate it using this script.
In the second instance, other team members use a plugin called Duplicator.
How To Tell the Differences Between Hosting Plans?
Of course, this whole site is about web hosting. But one area that even we have problems with is when trying to compare plans between companies. It doesn’t matter if you are looking at free hosting, cheap hosting, the best website hosting, shared hosting, reseller accounts, VPS, elastic hosting, or a dedicated server, each company has its own specifications, and it is difficult to compare the similarities and differences in order to make a final decision.
Indeed, there are times when you are required to edit some of the wordpress or theme files. Examples of situations are in the case of ads and you need to incorporate code into the header file, adding a copyright to the footer, adding more functionality to the functions.php, or any changes to the theme’s design, specifically the style.css.
Now before we go on, the standard response to knowing whether or not you can do this is two-fold. Make a backup and be sure you know what you are doing. Trying to modify these files successfully is considered a more advanced skill set, where one tiny error, such as an extra character, can cause your site to go haywire instantly.
Further, when we say a backup, it wouldn’t hurt to have one of the whole site, but specifically the file you plan to edit. Just call the existing file a new name before uploading the revised file of the same original name. This way, if something goes wrong, you can quickly re-upload the original.
Now, we have seen many tutorials where experts tell you to modify the file right in the dashboard of WP. This is not always the best way to edit files. If you aren’t sure where the modifications are supposed to be made and you want to see the line numbers, open the file in a program such as Crimson Editor or Notepad++. Both programs are free.
The plain version of notepad that comes with Windows will show you the file, but does not do more than one undo and cannot show you the line numbers or colors for different code. Absolutely under no circumstances do you open and/or modify any of these files in MSWord, OpenOffice, or any type of word processor.
In the case of theme file changes, it is always best to create a child theme, so that if the theme author updates the original theme, you don’t lose your changes when the theme is overwritten. Again, make sure you have a master copy of the theme, so that you can get back to square one if needed.
This video tutorial will walk you through the steps of making a Child Theme.
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