A collection of questions and answers covering WordPress and website building in general
- Latest Questions and Answers
- Hosting and Domain Names
- Search Engines and Website Promotion
- Ecommerce and Shops
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Q- How can I find out the database name of my WordPress Install.
A- The database name is included in the wp_config.php file.This file is in the root folder of your install. You need to open it with a text editor see Understanding and Editing the wp-config.php File
Q- I’ve lost my WordPress Password What can I do?
A- You can reset your password by clicking on the lost your password link on the login page.
Q- What is the Home page preference order?
A- When you type in a website domain name without specifying a page e.g. www.abc.com then the web server will decide which page to present.
The page is the home page and is commonly named index.html or index.htm. When you configure a web server you can supply a list of possible names and their preference. See Understanding web page names and also this video that illustrates how the default home page works:
Q- Should I enable comments on WordPress?
A- For most small business websites comments aren’t really necessary. If someone needs to contact you they can use the contact form. However if you do enable comments you will need to check them and manage them, See Managing WordPress comments
Q- How do I know how many visitors my website gets?
A- Most hosting providers provide access to server logs. However server logs are difficult to understand and so most webmasters use some form of website analytics. Google analytics is the most common and it is free.
Q- Can You build a website offline?
A- Yes you can create your own web server on Windows or Linux using XAMPP See Installing and setting up Xampp on Windows.
Hosting and Domain Names- Questions and Answer
Q- How much does website Hosting Cost ?
A- Typically around $10 per month for a standard shared Hosting package.
Q- Many hosting provider offer lots of different packages. Which one should I choose?
A- Generally most small business and personal websites will use a shared hosting package. If you take a look at my bluehost review I go into the packages in a bit more detail.
Q- I live in the UK. Can I still use a web hosting provider like Bluehost which is based in USA.
A- Yes you can. It doesn’t matter where the provider is based or where you are based from a legal perspective. However it is usually a good idea to try to use a provider that is based in the country of your target audience if possible.
Q- What is Domain Parking?
A- Many hosting companies give you the option to ‘park’ your domain name without actually having your Web site up and running.
Because you either don’t have a Web site yet or you haven’t told your domain name registrar what to do with you domain name they will give you a temporary Web site with a default Under Construction notice Web page .
Most Domain Name registrars provide this facility as part of the registration fee.
Q – Do Domain Names Expire?
A- Yes-You usually have the domain name for a year and after which it needs to be renewed. Most providers provide an auto renew service so that you don’t forget to renew it by mistake.
Q- I don’t have a company can I still Register a .com domain name?
A- Yes you can there is no requirement that you own a company to register a .com domain name or a .co.uk domain name.
Q- Which Domain Extension should I choose?
A – Generally a .com domain name is preferred for internationally focused sites/businesses. Country specific businesses/sites tend to use a country specific domain name extension like .uk for UK sites. See choosing a domain name
Q- Can I Use my domain name for my website, and for my email?
A- Yes you can, and this is standard practice. See Setting Up Email Accounts on 1and1
Q- Can I host multiple websites on my hosting package?
A- Because i have used them for over 10 years and I am satisfied with them There are other good hosts around but as I haven’t used them personally so I can’t recommend them.
Q- Do I need an SSL certificate?
A- Currently you don’t, but I think eventually every site will be encrypted. However I think there will need to be a change to make them much cheaper and easier to install an manage before that happens. To lean more about certificates see- SSL certificates explained.
Q- Do I need to pay for extended PHP support?
A- Answer almost certainly not see how to cancel extended PHP support
Q- Does 1and1 backup my website automatically?
A- No but it does allow you to configure automatic monthly WordPress backups through the App center on managed contracts.
Q- How Many Subdomains do I need?
A- Usually you don’t need any. I only ever us them for testing. Big companies like google will use them for different areas of their business. See Understanding Sub domains.
WordPress- Questions and Answers
Q- What is WordPress?
A- WordPress is a website building system originally designed for building web blogs.
However by making simple control panel changes WordPress can be setup as either:
- A standard blog
- A standard website
- A website plus blog combination
It can be used for creating professional business, personal, and even ecommerce websites and blogs.
WordPress offers many advantages when compared to the traditional HTML templates. Such as:
- It is Open Source (free)
- It is easy to Use- Ideal for beginners and the not so
- Has it’s own Built in Easy To Use Visual Editor
- Has Hundreds of free professional themes (Templates)
- Themes are easily customised
- The Content and Layout are completely separated.
- Content creation and management done using a web browser
- The Look and feel easy to change.
- It is easy to add extra functionality like voting, contact forms, sitemaps using plugins.
- It uses PHP and MYSQL which are supported on almost all web hosts.
Q- Who Uses WordPress?
Q-What is WordPress.com?
A- WordPress.com provides a free hosted version of WordPress which is a popular choice for free personal websites.
If you choose this option then you don’t need to get a domain name or a hosting provider, as you will use the hosting at WordPress.com, and also the WordPress.com domain name.
However you can upgrade to a paid plan and use your own domain name.
Because it uses WordPress Multisite you cannot add your own plugins or themes.
Q- How do I login to WordPress Admin?
A- Go to the WordPress Admin login url. This is normally located at http://yourdomainname/wp-admin.php. You may also find a login link in the sidebar.
Q- Where does WordPress Store pages and posts?
A– Pages and Posts are stored in the MQSQL database.
Q- Where does WordPress Store Images and other Media that I upload?
A- Media that you upload is stored in a directory called uploads which is a sub-directory or wp_contents. Depending on your media settings it may also contain other sub folders based on date. See The WordPress media management and storage tutorial
Q- How Do I add Google Analytics to my Website.
A- They are several ways of doing this. I used to use the file upload method, but the All in one SEO plugin lets you do it easily and so I now use that. See Monitoring websites using Google Analytics and webmaster tools
Q- How do I get rid of “proudly powered by wordpress” on a theme?
Q- How to add a copyright notice to WordPress?
Q- How can I copy a WordPress theme that someone is using on their WordPress blog?
A- You need to view the source code of the web page this you can do by right clicking anywhere on the page to get the view source code option.
If it is a free or commercial theme then you can locate it using a Google search.
Q- How do a add a contact form to my website?
A- Use a contact form plugin like the very simple contact form plugin. See the Adding a contact form to WordPress tutorial.
Q- How do I disable Comments on posts and pages?
A- You can disable comments on all posts and pages by going to Settings -> Discussion and untick “Allow people to post comments on new articles”.
This setting can be overridden on a per post/page basis. See managing WordPress comments
Q- What are Responsive Themes?
A- A responsive theme adjusts itself to the screen size that is being used by the visitor to view the page.
This means that you have a single theme regardless of the device being used to access the page.
Responsive themes make your site mobile friendly which is becoming increasing more important.
Tip: – You can easily test how a web page appears in different screen sizes by making your browser Window smaller.
Q- Is WordPress SEO friendly by default?
A- No ! –Not really you need to make some basic but important changes to the default configuration See SEO your WordPress Website
Q- I want to add a table to my post, but there is no table icon in the WordPress editor. How do I do it?
A- The WordPress editor is very basic, and if you need advanced editing then usually you use an external editor, and then paste the HTML into your page. However tables can be created in Word or another Word Processor and pasted into a WordPress page see this video
Q- Can I change a Post to a Page or a Page to a Post?
A- Yes you can do this easily using the page post type switcher plugin.
Search Engines and Website Promotion
Q -Will My Site Automatically Appear in Google?
A- No it wont. You will need to get a link from another site that Google already knows about before Google will find your website and index it. See Getting Your website listed in Google, Yahoo and Bing
Q- Is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Really Difficult?
A- No not for small business websites. It is just a case of following some very simple guidelines. see SEO your WordPress Website
Q- What are Meta Tags?
A- Meta tags are invisible to the visitor but are used by search engines and the web browser See Understanding Meta Tags.
Q- What are keywords?
A- Keywords are the words and phrases that describe your page/post or site and are used by searchers to search for your site on the search engines.
Q- How do I get email on my domain name name?
A- If you have a standard web hosting package with your domain name then email is also almost always included. You will need to create new email accounts so that you can use it. See Setting up email on your own domain name.
Q– What is FTP?
A- FTP stands for File transfer protocol. and it was the primary method of transferring files between your PC and the web server. It isn’t used so often today as most files transfers use the web browser and HTTP -Often called Web FTP.
However i think it is a good idea that you learn how to use it as it may come in useful one day.See Uploading Web Pages using FTP –
Q- How do I upload pages to my 1and1 hosting space?
A- Normally you would use ftp or the web ftp file manager in 1&1 control panel. See Uploading Web Pages using FTP .However you may also be able to use the upload media option in WordPress if you are using WordPress.
Q- Should I build a website or a blog?
A– Many people are confused by the terms websites and blog. A blog is a website. The term blog refers simply to how the website content is organised.
Blogs organise content by date whereas standard websites organise content by subject or theme. See this video website vs blog on YouTube.
Q- What is the difference between WORDPRESS.COM and WORDPRESS.ORG.
A- WordPress.Com allows you to create a free site hosted on the WordPress.Com domain name. WordPress.org allows you to download the WordPress software to install on you own host and domain name.
Q- What is the tagline in WordPress?
A- The tagline is a short punchy description of the site and it was common to display the tagline and site title on each web page.
For WordPress sites the default tagline is just another WordPress Website.
Most modern themes let you remove the title and tagline from the web page and it is good SEO practice. See WordPress SEO basics.
You can and should edit the title and tagline in the WordPress settings as they are used on your RSS feeds
Q- – Do I need to Learn HTML?
A- They are both scripting languages and used on most websites including WordPress websites. See Beginners guide to web scripting.
Q- How do I hide My Website Email Address from Spambots?
A- Don’t use the mailto link for the contact email address. Instead use a graphic if you need it on every page or use a contact form.
Q- What are one page websites?
A- One page website are simple websites with all of the content contained on the home page. They are very popular for small business websites. For WordPress website there are a number of free and commercial one page themes you can use. Just do a search for one page themes in the theme directory. Here is one to start with. Here is one page theme review
Q- Should I use The new .uk or the .co.uk domain name for my UK website?
Ecommerce- Questions and Answers
Q- What is a merchant account?
A-A merchant account is an account with a payment provider like a bank that lets you accept credit cards for online payments. See Merchant accounts explained.
Q- Do I need a merchant account to accept credit cards?
No you can use PayPal which accepts credit cards.
Q- Can I sell items from my WordPress website without a shopping cart plugin?
Q- How do I add a Shopping Cart to an existing Website?
A- You can use several methods but the easiest is to use an HTML shopping cart using Paypal.
Q- How do I find out what PHP version my Website is using?
A- You should be able to find out by looking at the settings in your hosting control panel. However a more general way is to create a simple php file on your site with the following:
<?php phpversion(); ??
Open the file in a web browser and you should see something like this:
Q- How do I create a WordPress test site?