Choosing and installing WordPress

November 22nd, 2006

I thought it might be a good idea to say something about choosing and installing WordPress.

I decided early on that I didn’t want a hosted blog, using Blogger or Typepad. This meant that I needed to choose software that I could instal on a server. My approach was pragmatic, and perhaps a bit lazy. I started paying attention to the software used on the various blogs I read regularly, and soon found that most of the ones I liked the look of used WordPress. Interestingly, these also tended to be the ones written by the more ‘geeky’ bloggers.

When I looked into WordPress, I was pleased to find that it is released under the GPL, which meant that it met my unwritten criterion to be open source. I also liked the fact that it supported themes, making it easy to choose a look I was comfortable with.

I decided to install it on my iBook first, to get a feeling for the administrative interface. This was mostly straightforward. I used Matt Willmore’s Installing WordPress on Tiger, which was excellent. There was just one problem: after completing the installation, I got the ““Error establishing a database connection! This probably means that the connection information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect. Double check it and try again.” message mentioned in his comments. I eventually got everything to work by following the instructions for configuring Mac OS X Server to use MySQL at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301457. I used the option that changes where PHP looks for MySQL.

After making sure I was comfortable with the basic software and testing a few changes (see the Colophon above for details), I installed it on a web server. This was easy and fast, and a great demonstration of what it can be like to use open source software!

Entry Filed under: Blogs and blogging


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