Now that we have some space on a website, we need to install software that will allow us to easily write new pages and posts. The software I use is called WordPress, so that’s what I’ll cover installing. WordPress is free, so it fits with our theme of getting a website up and running at no cost.

WordPress stores pages in something called a database. If you’re not familiar with the term, just think of it like a big filing cabinet where all your website’s pages and posts live. Before we can install WordPress, we need to create a database for it to use.

So go to, and type your user name and password into the appropriate spots (circled below) and click Go.

You’ll get to this page, which is your control panel at  From here you can modify aspects of your site.

Click on the icon labeled “Create/delete MySQL database”. You’ll go to a page where you can perform the six most common tasks dealing with databases.  We’ll be doing three of the six.

To start with, we want option one, “Create Database”. You’ll need to name your database. Choose any name you want. Note that your username is in front of the box where you’ll type the database name. That means that whatever name you type in isn’t actually the database name.  The database name will be your username plus the name you type in. So if I type in blogdb and my username is jshaffstall2, then my actual database name is jshaffstall2_blogdb. Type in a database name and click the “Create Database” button. You should see a message saying the requested operation completed successfully, and then it’ll take you back to the database options page.

The next step is to create a user who will use the database we just created. Go to option two, and type a username and a password for the database user. You can pick any username you want, but I’d recommend something different from your username. Again, your username is prepended to what you type in to create the actual user name. So type in a user name, and then the same password in both password boxes, and click the “Create User” button.

Remember the password! We will need it later, and there’s no way to recover it if your forget it.  If you do forget it, just delete that user and create a new one.

Now it’s time for option three. This is where we say that the user we just created can do whatever they want with the database we created earlier. The user we just created should already be showing in the Username menu, and the database we created earlier should be showing in the Database.Table menu. Leave all the boxes checked, and just click the “Assign Privileges” button.

And that’s it for the database.

Click on the Control Panel link across the top of the page to go back to the control panel. In part 3, we’ll see how to install WordPress. If you’re not comfortable with creating databases and users, paying for web hosting will get you access to a program called Fantastico, which installs WordPress and creates databases and users automatically. As I mentioned in the last post, I recommend Site5 and Midphase for paid hosting.

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