Want your own website?
Posted by Gary Walker on
“I want my own website Dad” is not something I hear everyday. For noble reasons, my sons have started a club to help save the world from rubbish. So now they want a website for their friends to be able to read more ways to help the planet. Not wanting to stop their enthusiasm but also trying not to make work for myself on what could be a short lived phase. I tried to stall them saying things about costs, efforts and time. This all did not work. They have been on my case for weeks. The more i thought about it, the more I was thinking about the costs for a domain name, then a hosting server and that is before you start the website.
What do I really need?
Wait, let me find my start-up hat. Ok hat is on. Let us reverse this process. Let us first test the concept to see if a website is what we need/want. This should be done before we pay for a domain, hosting fees and the like. Now I have played with various websites and servers over the years. In recent times WordPress is my go to. This is because it is open source (so no licence fees), has lots of useful features and plugins. You can either run simple information sites, blogs or whole shops with interactive forms if you want.
All of this starts with the same base and you just add in the bits you want/need. Perfect I think.
So a quick look on the trusty Raspberry Pi Projects sites and hey presto. https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/projects/lamp-web-server-with-wordpress/ I followed these instructions and it took me no time at all. This was starting from scratch including making a new Raspberry Pi SD operating system. The instructions worked perfectly except one, which it notes you may have to change. When you go to download WordPress the instructions say to type the following: “sudo wget http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz” But I found you had to type this: “sudo wget https://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz” notice the https rather than http. Both should work, but it didn’t for me. Not a big deal.
Every other command worked perfectly. Do not worry if you do not understand the above. The instructions are step by step and explain what you are doing. You do not need to understand them to get it to work. Hey Presto - finished it and have a working website.
Final Steps for another day
Now this website is only available on my home network. To get it to work in the big World Wide Web (WWW bit) a few other steps need to happen. There are two ways of doing it, one is to host with a company that has lots of servers etc, but you can transfer from one Wordpress site to another with ease. So you could have your website created and tested and then launch. The other would be to setup Dynamic DNS or have a static IP and “host” the Pi at your house for the world to see. This can be a bit network techie for those not used to doing network things. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but that will be a discussion for another day. For now I have two boys happy that they can make a website in a safe place (off the internet for now) and work out what they want to say and how they want it to look. We will see if I need to move to the next phase
Stay happy and techie - Graham.