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Using WordPress.org to Self_Host Your Blogs

The self-installed version from WordPress.org requires you to download the software from the WordPress website and install it on a web server. Unless you own your own web server, you need to lease one — or lease space on one.

Using a web server is typically referred to as web hosting, and unless you know someone who knows someone, hosting generally isn’t free. That being said, web hosting doesn’t cost a whole lot, either. You can usually obtain a good web-hosting service for anywhere from $5 to $10/month.

You need to make sure, however, that any web host you choose to work with has the required software installed on the web server. Currently, the minimum software requirements for WordPress include

  • PHP version 5.2.4 or greater

  • MySQL version 5.0 or greater

After you have WordPress installed on your web server, you can start using it to blog to your heart’s content. With the WordPress software, you can install several plugins that extend the functionality of the blogging system.

You also have full control of the core files and code that WordPress is built on. So if you have a knack for PHP and knowledge of MySQL, you can work within the code to make changes that you think would be good for you and your blog.

You don’t need design ability to make your blog look great. Members of the WordPress community have created more than 2,000 WordPress themes, and you can download them for free and install them on your WordPress blog. Additionally, if you’re creatively inclined, like to create designs on your own, and know CSS, you’ll be glad to know that you can create your own custom themes.

The self-hosted WordPress.org software lets you run an unlimited number of blogs on one installation of its software platform, on one domain. When you configure the Network options within WordPress to enable a multisite interface, you become administrator of a network of blogs.

All the options remain the same, but with the Network options configured, you can have additional blogs and domains and allow registered users of your website to host their own blog within your network, as well.

Some examples of sites that use the Network options within WordPress are

  • Blog networks can have more than 150 blogs. The popular electronics retail store, Best Buy, uses WordPress to power 1,050 local store blog.

  • Newspapers, magazines, and universities use WordPress to manage the blog sections of their websites. Check out The New York Times blog and Harvard Law School blog.

  • Niche-specific blog networks, such as Edublogs.org, use WordPress to manage their full networks of free blogs for teachers, educators, lecturers, librarians, and other education professionals.

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