I love Joomla and am not enamored with WordPress. But, to be fair, I had to try out WordPress. Here's how my first installation I went. I am a diehard Joomla user. I do not like WordPress. When I look at the backend of a Joomla site, it seems logical and well thought out to me. When I look at the backend of a WordPress site, it seems illogical and scattered. I know many people who think exactly the opposite.

To be fair, the extent of my WordPress usage at this point has been adding an article and image here and there. I have judiciously avoided anything else.

Why do some people swear by Joomla and others by WordPress? I don't know, but I decided to give WordPress a try, and I created a playground site. Other people might call this a sandbox. This site is not a working site and it is okay to play with it and even to destroy it. (I have a couple of Joomla sites like this also.)

Step 1: Where are you going to install the site?

I decided to install the site here:

http://wp-playground.shinynewts.com This is just a subdomain off my main site. I did not have to pay anyone any extra hosting fees and I did not need to register a new domain.

Step 2: Download WordPress

This was easy enough. I went to Google and typed in "download WordPress." I found the code at WordPress' site.

http://wordpress.org/download I downloaded the zip file, but the tar.gz file would have been just as easy.

Step 3: Copy the WordPress code over to your site

That was easy enough. I just opened up my ftp client and copied the file over.

Step 4: Uncompress the file

I opened up a shell, logged in, and unzipped the file. Everything was in a WordPress directory so I moved all the files up a directory. This leads me to believe that most people should unzip the file on their pc and just copy over the contents of the WordPress directory it creates.

Step 5: Install WordPress

My thoughts on installation went something like this. "If WordPress is as easy as Joomla, I should not have to read any documentation to install this. I should just be able to go to the domain name in a browser and follow some prompts."

I opened my browser and put in the URL to my playground site.


A page came up telling me I did not have a configuration file and needed to set that up. My initial reaction was "What?" but then I noticed that the screen had a button on it to "Create a Configuration File." I clicked it.

When you click on the button "Create a Configuration File," you get a page warning you that the next step involves giving up all the database information.

Step 6: Create a Database

I did not have a database set up, so I went and did that. I assumed it is a MySQL database, since it is open source and all that, and I did not want to read any documentation. The database name is shinynewtswp, the username is shinynewtswp, and the host is localhost. I also had to set up a password, but that is a secret.

To create a database, log into the control panel at your hosting company's website and create the database there.

Then I went back to my browser and back to WordPress to fill in the database information.

The database screen asked me for the name of my database, the username to log in, the password, the database host, and the table prefix. You should have received all the information besides table prefix when you created the database, and you can leave the table prefix with the default value of wp_. This particular screen does not blank out the password you type in, so be aware of that. The next screen called me sparky and I clicked on the button to run the install.

The next screen called me sparky and I clicked on the button labeled, "Run the Install."

This screen asked me for the site's title, so I gave it "Shiny Newts' Word Press Playground." It asked for a username. Most people probably put in admin, but I put in my traditional username of tamaragwen. It asked for the password for this admin account, so I gave it one. The password on this screen blanked out. It also wanted my email address.

At the bottom of the screen was a checkbox for allowing the site to show up in Google and Technorati. Most people want their site to show up in Google. This is a playground site, so there's no reason for that.

Clicking on "Log In" yields a login screen. Normally, you get to this login page by using the WordPress admin URL.

http://domainname.com/wp-admin So, I logged in and got the backend of the WordPress site.

Next, I checked out what the site looked like for users, and it looked a lot like a default Joomla installation.

My summary opinion

So, all in all, I have determined that it is just as easy to install a WordPress site as it is to install a Joomla site. I think my next step is to build myself a table. It will have three columns: Task, Joomla, and WordPress.

I have no plans to change my loyalty to WordPress, but I'm generally up for learning new toys.

If you'd like to play around with WordPress or Joomla on sites you can mess up, and it's okay, send me an email. I'd be happy to create tester accounts.