CREATE South 2012: Kreg Steppe – "WordPress Zero to Expert in 60 Minutes or less"

Presenter: Kreg Steppe
Time: 2-3 PM


  • a web developer; knows PHP and WordPress
  • Co-Author of Teach Yourself WordPress 3 in 10 Minutes
  • Podcaster on Technorama
  • fearless

Why Use WordPress?

  • It’s open source
  • easy to use
  • expandable & affordable
  • well supported & documented
  • large community

2 ways to use it….self hosted .org &


  • no hassle
  • nothing to install
  • no patches
  • therefore good for novices
  • can’t upload your own themes.  you can’t edit PHP, but can customize styles
  • can’t upload a plugin
  • $99: free blog, mapped domain name, 10 GB space, no ads, custom design (still can’t upload your own), video press (video embed into post)


  • the DIYers solution
  • install any plugins
  • customize style sheet, PHP, etc.
  • keep up with patches (pretty painless, if configured right)
  • can use as the CMS that it is (ex: company handbook)
  • good for the more technical people

To install it yourself:

  • server hosting
  • mySQL
  • (some hosts have one-click install)
  • decision: is WP the root, or do you want to add this into something like
  • table prefix, if you want to run > 1 WP off the same DB
  • wp_ is standard.  Change it to flummux hackers
    • ex: cs_

Easiest to do this as part of setup, rather than after

  • change username from admin to make hacking harder
  • you may want to hide your site from indexing during setup & until you’re ready to go

Your One-Click Install options won’t let you change stuff to defend from hackers.  Some plugins can help walk you through changing this after the fact. Ultimate Security Checker – may be the name of that plugin.

Nothing special to delete WP.  Nuke the DB and delete the tables…done.

Chrome plugin: stylebot – you can select a bit of the site, change the style in the browser window, then save the file & replace your old one with the code you find there.

WP has created a Trash folder.  Thank you, WP gods.

Category tricks:

  • You can nest them
    • Podcast
      • interview
  • Posts tagged with the child category, will inherit the parent category, too.  Or not.  Your choice.  Nice!

Categories are more for structure.

Tags, he uses more loosely.  Google does a good job for indexing with keywords.  So are tags still worth it?  Not as important as using categories & making sure keywords are in the posts.  Sometimes you may want to use tags if, say, a plugin uses them in a useful way.

You can make your categories & tags into a menu item.

Excerpts – a hand crafted summary, toggles on & off depending if you want them (under screen options)

It’s multiuser friendly.  1) multiple users blogging on the same blog, admin & contributor, everyone with their own id.  Also can have 1 install with multiple blogs hosted off of it.  You have to go to and get code to put into (did he say config?)

Q: Tips for someone merging 2 blogger blogs into a .org install?
Use Tools, Import, Blogger blog.  Do a test first, to see if you can get it to work.  If it doesn’t do, it over until you get it right, then stick with the one that works.

If you wanted to move your to, have an intermediate address to fix up everything.  Also, Search & Replace plugin can change your URLS to make them work on the new blog.

You can make a .com go private or something else to get rid of it when you’ve moved the posts to a .org install.

Popular plug-ins: SEO ones, do things like move around the title of your blog & post on the browser tab, social media ones, Askemit to nuke posts, etc.
All-In-One SEO, TwitterTools (it will send a scheduled blog post & a tweet with it, too.)

Q: How to use as CMS?  Use categories to structure the blog.  Create Pages, versus posts.  You can make parents & child pages, add them to the menu bar, and woo, you’ve got great nav right off the bat.  You can even turn on & off sidebars from the page as you’re writing it.

You can install a plugin & make your site mobile.  Or you an make your own mobile theme.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake?  Install it & not blog!  Other things: not using categories, or using them wrong.  Try to organize them ahead of time so you’ve got a good frame to start with.  Also, be careful where you get your plugins.  Get it from the WordPress directory…plugins | ad new in your wp install

Q: Caching plugin?  Hasn’t been hammered enough to do it.

Q: Uses G+ hangouts to broadcast the video podcast live.  Were using Ustream  before. G+ works better with the lag than Ustream does.

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