Totally Clueless

I just signed up for DreamHost today. I already had a WordPress blog and my own domain name. I was able to transfer the domain to DreamHost with no problem, but that’s about as far as I can get.

Here’s where I’m stuck:

  1. No idea how to find/install/use FTP.

  2. I used the easy installer to add WordPress and PhpBB, but don’t know where to find them to set them up, or how to get them “online”, or how/if I can import my existing WordPress template and posts to my DH website.

  3. How does one preview their site to see if things are working right? I tried going to my domain address, but all I get is the file index thing - with no files showing.

  4. If I can’t bring over my existing WordPress blog, that’s fine. But how do I access the new one to create new posts, moderate comments, etc?

  5. How does one add advertising to their site (ie: banners, buttons, AdSense, etc.) if you never actually see a WYSIWYG editor?

  6. The blog is going to be my main (ie: home) page. I need the forum for a small group of players of an online game I moderate, and although I want them to be able to access it, I don’t necessarily want it to appear in the menu for the website, or for them to be able to access the other pages on my site (including the blog). This is because a lot of the players are under 18 and some of my blog topics might not be approved of by their parents.

So, do I have to get a separate domain for the forum, or can I have both hosted under but have a different web address for the forum (that will actually bring them to the forum without giving them access to the rest of my website)?

Sorry I’m asking so many questions. I thought DreamHost was the best value, but it’s not very user-friendly to someone with my severely limited web skills.

For some of the things you’re wanting to do you’d probably be advised to install your own WP and forum rather than use the “easy installer”.

You can restore your entire WordPress as it was before if you have access to the database and files. You can google up “wordpress mysql backup” and such to find that kind of information.

I have to admit that I’m in the same boat as Maureen. I signed up for a domain/hosting plan through DreamHost, and while I was able to create an account, I have no idea what to do next. The Getting Started Wiki isn’t very useful, as it doesn’t explain how to create a web page or how to post it on my domain. To be honest, I don’t even know what ftp means, much less how to begin using this technology.

Does anyone know where some REALLY basic advice or step-by-step tutorials are?

Thanks for any help.


There are two parts to the recipe: Domain Registration, and Domain Hosting. It sounds like you already have a domain. You may even have hosting set up. Check the panel under Domains -> Manage Domains to see if it’s been set up:

If not, then I suggest you add your registered domain to the Hosting list:

A fun way to set up a site can be as simple as an Advanced One-Click install of WordPress. I’d avoid the Easy since there are several limitations.

If you opt to create your own website, you can use something like Dreamweaver or iWeb and develop it on your home computer and then use that software to upload it to your site.

The good news is that if you totally muck things up, you can wipe it out and start over.