Recap: Mastering Your Website 101

On Tuesday, October 20, I had the pleasure of attending STC’s webinar, Mastering Your Website 101, presented by Timothy Esposito. This webinar was for those looking to set up websites for the first time or those wanting to learn WordPress and cPanel basics. Mr. Esposito is self taught in HTML and earned a paid internship in 1996 as a webmaster. He has worked progressively in the field ever since, including as a webmaster for STC.

To begin, you need to establish a domain for your website. A domain is a defined URL (such as www.something.com) and can be registered with any one of various website domain registration companies. You will need to pay to register as well as renew the domain so that your site is not purchased by someone else. Next you will need to host your website. The host company can be the same as the domain company but it does not have to be and Mr. Esposito recommends shopping around. Web sites can be unhosted, which is a free option, however, the information you are able to deliver on such a site is very limited and the sites can look unprofessional. Hosted sites were discussed in the webinar. Hosted, particularly in the case of WordPress, means that the content is housed on a SQL server, and when requested, is retrieved from said server and presented.

Once you have established and registered your domain, identified your host, and installed WordPress, it will be time to log in and create content. When creating a WordPress login, Mr. Esposito cautions against making your login “admin” as that is likely to be hacked. Once inside WordPress, the first page is the dashboard which has a large menu panel along the left side. This panel allows you to create, customize, and control content on your site with options such as posts, visuals such as media, setting static items, themes and code. When organizing content URLs, keep them orderly and in a pattern that makes topical sense. This organization will make it easier for you to find information and for future webmasters as they continue managing the site. WordPress also has plugins for security and cache, but use only the ones you need.

There are 5 user types within WordPress:

  • Admin- someone who has access to all admin features in a single website.
  • Editor- someone who can publish and manage posts, including the posts of other users.
  • Author- someone who can publish and manage their own posts.
  • Contributor- someone who can write and manage their own posts, but cannot publish them.
  • Subscriber- someone who can only manage their profile.

You will manage your website’s background details on cPanel. This has its own separate login controlled by the hosting site. You will want to keep this information separate from your WordPress login information. The cPanel gives you backend management such as email forwarding management which is not a separate email address itself, just a monitoring service for the site. You are also able to set backups for your site, for portions or in full.

Mr. Esposito has a 201 class that he offers where he expounds on the concepts presented here and gives other information as well. Tackling code and computer programming can seem daunting, but I found Mr. Esposito’s webinar to be very comprehensive and detailed which was much appreciated for the subject matter.