Assignment 1: Set up your website

The following steps should be completed prior to class on 1/30:

  • Go to Reclaim Hosting.
  • Click where it says “Sign Up”.
  • Click on “Personal”.
  • Register a domain.
    • NOTE: this is the public address of your website, so you want to think about it and pick something that will be clear, easy to find and remember, and professional-sounding. Also, as a default the site offers “.com” as the top-level domain, but you can click on the drop-down menu to register a different top-level domain, like “.org” or “.info”.
  • Click “Checkout” and pay for your new website via credit card or PayPal. The cost should be $30.
    • NOTE: You will create a password for Reclaim Hosting when you go to check out Don’t forget your password!
  • Go to This is the site that manages web security for CCSU.
  • Enter your website’s URL. Click the “I’m not a robot” checkbox and click “Search”.
  • It will probably say that it thinks your website is a risk. This is because the site is brand new. click where it says “Request Change”, then click “Add Category”.
  • Select “Personal Sites and Blogs”.
  • Under comment, write, “This is a website for a class project”.
  • Enter your email, click the “I’m not a robot” checkbox, and click “Submit”. Doing this will enable you to access your website on campus computers.

Everything above should be completed prior to class on 1/30. We will begin to work on the following steps in class on 1/30, and you can continue to work on them until the assignment is due on 2/2:

  • Go to Reclaim Hosting.
  • Click on the upper right where it says “Client Area Login”.
  • Log in with your email and the password you created when you paid for the site. This takes you to your Client Area.
  • Click on “cPanel”.
  • Under where it says “Applications”, click on “WordPress”.
  • On the right, click where it says “+ install this application”.
  • Read through the installation information, but you shouldn’t have to change anything. Note: the installer will automatically generate log in information for your WordPress administrative page — BE SURE TO SAVE THIS. After you’ve done that, scroll to the bottom and click on “+ Install” at the bottom right.
  • Once WordPress is installed on your site, you can click on the link to your site’s administrative page, which is your site’s URL with “/wp-admin/” after it. This will take you to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Go to “Appearance” –> “Theme” to select a theme for your site.
  • Go to “Pages” and “Add New” to create a new page.
    • You need to create four pages: “Home”, “Blog”, “Gallery”, “Paper”
  • Go to “Appearance” –> “Customize” –> “Homepage settings”, make your homepage a static page, and set your homepage to “Home” and your posts page to “Blog”
  • Go to “Appearance” –> “Customize” –> “Menus” to create a menu that will allow visitors to navigate to the four pages you’ve created
  • After you’ve done all that, continue to experiment with customizing the design and layout of the site, keeping in mind the design principles we discussed when we read Anne Francis Wysocki’s “The Multiple Media of Texts” last week.
  • In a new browser tab, go to Wikimedia Commons and search for an image that is related to the topic you might want to research. Download the image.
  • In your WordPress dashboard, click on “Media” and upload the image that you downloaded from Wikimedia Commons.
  • Click on “Pages” and click on your homepage, and make that image your featured image.
  • Write a short welcome message on your home page.

Once you’ve done all that, submit your website’s URL on this Google form.

To earn full credit, your site must have four pages (Home, Blog, Gallery, Paper) and a menu listing those pages, and it must have a featured image and welcome message on the home page.

One more note: If you are interested in doing any special customized design, you can do that by installing Plugins on your WordPress dashboard. We’ll be talking more about that in the future, but don’t hesitate to experiment. If you have ideas for features you’d like your site to include, you’re encouraged to run ideas by me or Google “How to ___________ in WordPress” — you’re likely to encounter instructions for how to do all kinds of cool things. The site WPBeginner has a lot of useful guides for how to do things in WordPress.

If you prefer a video tutorial, you can watch this screencast to follow along as I walk through the steps of this assignment.

One thing I forgot to mention: When you install WordPress, it will have some dummy content, like a homepage that says “Hello World!” Delete that dummy content and set up your own pages.