How to Make Your Own Website for Free, Part 4

I know that this should have been the first of a series of posts on search engine optimization. That’ll come next. Someone asked me when the promised post about WordPress customization on would come, so I thought I’d go ahead and put it up.

Part 3 of the series on and WordPress stopped just after getting WordPress installed and the admin password changed. Since the biggest reason to use and WordPress as opposed to is the ability to use plugins, I wanted to cover how to install WordPress plugins on

The first step is to pick a plugin to install. There are a multitude of plugins available for WordPress. Do a Google search on “best WordPress plugins” to get half a dozen ten best lists. I’ll use as my example the Redirect plugin. This plugin will make sure that and are treated as the same place by the search engines. This is important for search engine optimization purposes.  The plugin is available at

Download the plugin zip file. You need a zip utility to unzip the file you just downloaded. If you don’t have one, go to and download and install 7-zip. Then unzip the plugin zip. You should end up with a single file named www-redirect.php. Different plugins will result in different files or even whole directories.

The basic idea with any plugin is to transfer the files that were inside the zip to the proper place on So go logon to your control panel, and click the File Manager icon along the left. You should see something like this:

The directory named “blog” will be whatever you named your directory when you installed WordPress. Click on the name of that directory to go into it. This is the main directory of your blog. Click on the wp-content directory to go into it, and then the plugins directory to go into it. You should now be at a screen like this:

WordPress comes installed with three plugins by default, which are the two files and one directory you see here. We want to get our plugin files into this directory so WordPress can use them. If your plugin came in a directory structure, you generally want to recreate the same directory structure here. When in doubt read the README.TXT file that came with the plugin.

The Redirect plugin just has a single file we need to put into the plugins directory. So click on the “Upload Files” link. You’ll get three browse buttons. Click the top one and find www-redirect.php, and then click “Upload”. You should now see something like this:

The plugin is now installed. Log onto your WordPress blog as Admin and click on the “Plugins” link on the dashboard. You should see this:


Click on the “Activate” link on the far right of “WWW Redirect”. That whole line should now be green, indicating that the plugin is activated. Other plugins are installed and activated the same way. Some will have options under the Options item on the dashboard after they’re activated.

The trickiest part about installing plugins is installing the ones that have entire directory structures. You’ll have to use the “New Directory” link in the file manager to recreate the directory structure, and then upload files three at a time to the right spots (if you know how to use an FTP client, you can do this more quickly, but then you’re probably not still reading this if you do).

This concludes the series on WordPress and If you have problems getting plugins installed, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to help.

15 Replies to “How to Make Your Own Website for Free, Part 4”

  1. I am having a little bit of trouble. I was wondering if you could help me out. I can’t seem to get the file for the http://www.redirect to appear on my plugins. I can see it at justfree. com but not at wordpress. I was wondering if you could help me to figure out why it is not showing up. I also wanted to know exactly what the redirect file does for it. Please help me.

  2. Hi Rosa! If it doesn’t show up in WordPress’ plugins section, the chances are that you’ve got it in the wrong place or uploaded the wrong file. It should go into your blog’s wp-content/plugins directory. In that directory you should see www-redirect.php, not

    What the redirect plugin does is makes URLs like and the same. This helps with search engines since they don’t have both versions of the URL in their index.

    If it looks like you have it in the right place, and the right file, there’s something else wrong but it’s hard to say just what without looking at your setup. If you feel comfortable doing so, you could use the contact link across the top of the blog to send me your blog’s URL, and admin password, and I’ll take a look.

  3. I added this comment in here because it was more relevant to the post. I also sent you an email but I figured that you check your comment more than you do your email so just ignore the email.

    Here is my problem.I set up the account with wordpress and justfree but I was wondering what I need to add to the index.php because I added my domain name but when you type it in it goes straight to a page about I want it to be able to show the blog. The page that comes up says something like, if you see this page you have set up your account correctly this page is called index.html you can now edit this page.

    How do I edit it so that it shows the front page of my blog like yours does?

  4. I just got done reading this series. I have to “job well done”. I want my own host & domain but am freaked out by all the database and index stuff. You explained well and I think I could actually do it. Of course, there are still questions but I feel like I can manage it better having this “tutorial”. I’m an avid of reader of your site Jay…keep it coming!

  5. Just jump in there and it’ll all work out, Lori. The tutorial covers the basics, and there will be questions you’ll have, but you can always post here and I’ll see about directing you to an answer. Good luck!

  6. I just wanted to know.. When you use justfree.. can’t you get “” instead of “” as the blog url? Why do give anew domain name in the registration form?

  7. Hi Mary, you can get instead, but you’ll have to buy your domain name somewhere else. Then you point it to’s name servers, and put your domain name into the right spot in your control panel.

    If you can’t figure it out, let me know and I’ll put together some more detailed instructions.

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