Knowing that we, Orange Noise Press (ONP), would by now be hosting WordPress sites for a modest fee and maximum customization, I began creating WordPress sites.

WordPress Background

“WordPress” belongs to two major contexts:

  1. WordPress.ORG represents the open-source content management system that utilizes MySQL and PHP. This is the context for this web log.
  2. represents the “blogging” platform that provides sites where people can author web logs. This site provides free, basic web logs and upgrades for a fee.
    • is owned by Automattic, a for-profit company that utilizes the open-source software that was originally developed, in part, by Automattic’s founder, Matt Mullenweg.

In other words, there is a genetic relation between both contexts, the free, open-source software and the commercial site that provides an instance of the software for registered users to build out their web logs.

Installation and Setting Up

While one can install WordPress manually, there are other options. Many sites, including ONP, install WordPress for

I used a script that comes with cPanel as part of the server space I rent. The script did all the work (created the database, the instance of PHP, installed the latest WordPress files).

The script gave me the opportunity to use a default theme (probably a “twenty-xx” theme), and it also provided a search box for all themes registered with WordPress.

I spent over an hour trying themes, getting very frustrated. Same as my experience with Tumblr. Perhaps I’m an outlier, but I look for clean themes that make the text column narrow and the images larger, while remaining in the text flow.

This theme (that I’m using as I compose), is one that suits my purposes. But it is imperfect. For example, it requires carriage returns between paragraphs (unless one wants all the paragraphs to merge). I address some of these issues in the next couple of posts.

As a side-note, I’ll end on avatars. Typically, authors of web logs want to be identified, and having an avatar for sight recognition is useful. By default, WordPress uses Gravatar, a globally recognized avatar, also owned by Automattic. A limitation of Gravatar—if one contributes to several WordPress sites and wants a unique appearance on each—is that one must register a unique email address for each image used (and tie that email address into the WordPress role that should use that image). There is at least one WordPress plugin that allows one to bypass the Gravatar system.

There is—and I’ll end with this—a plugin for almost anything one wants to do in WordPress.

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