iPage features software to customize your website, including forum, photo gallery, and Content Management System (CMS), and blog software through Simple Scripts, featuring one-click installation. Unsurprisingly, the wildly popular WordPress blogging software is included among the iPage blog choices. As of the time I checked, in March 2015, SimpleScripts was installing WordPress 4.1, which is the current version.
History of WordPress
WordPress is free open-source software that grew out of b2/cafelog and got its start in 2003. The WordPress requirements for PHP, MySQL hosting, and Apache are met by iPage. After you install WordPress in your iPage hosting account, you can customize it by making choices on the WordPress dashboard as well as by using some of the 13,438 plugins and/or 1,334 free themes available for download from the WordPress.org website. You can also purchase themes and plug-ins, and purchased extensions may be more likely to have dedicated staff, regular updates, and extensive support.
As you search through and consider plug-in extensions, you can read through the description, find installation instructions, read FAQs, see screenshots and other notes, consult the changelog, and review stats showing the download history, as well as consult several useful features:
- User ratings that not only tell you how the extension is ranked, but how many people ranked it
- Versioning information and the date of the most recent version release
- Plugin search organized by relevance to your keywords, most recently released new plugins, most recently updated plugins, most popular plugins, or highest rated plugins
- A compatibility rating that lets you know what users are saying about whether your chosen version of the plugin works with your chosen version of WordPress. This is useful when you have the newest WordPress and want to choose a new plugin or when you have an older version and you’re trying to determine whether upgrading will break your plugins.
- Besides being used to create blogs, WordPress can also be used to design and layout an entire site. The administration dashboard allows for designing pages visually or using HTML and/or PHP.
Two Ways to Get iPage WordPress Blogging
If you go to the iPage site homepage the first thing you will see is a description of shared Linux hosting for $2/month. Although it doesn’t say it on this page, what you are seeing is a description of iPage Essentials website. This is the all-in-one type of website where you have a lot of choices and can adapt it to your purposes. But there’s another approach available if what you’re after is iPage WordPress hosting. If you go to the iPage blog plan page – you’ll find a blogging-focused hosting plan that still gives you a choice of blogging software (and a photo gallery), but is cheaper than the essentials plan. In fact, if you sign up for two years, it will cost you less for 24 months than you’d pay for 10 months of the Essentials plan. You also get a free domain name for the first year and 10 email accounts.
iPage WordPress Installation
The steps for your first iPage WordPress Software installation are simple:
- Log-in to iPage and go to your hosting control panel.
- On the panel find ‘Website,’ and select ‘SimpleScripts.’
- The scripts list will appear. It has three columns, with categories of scripts arranged in alphabetical order, beginning at the top of the 1st column, where you will find ‘Backups.’ Immediately under ‘Backups’ is ‘Blogs,’ where you will find WordPress. Click on it.
- You will now see an ‘Install WordPress’ dialog. This includes links to the official WordPress.org site, which is at wordpress.org In the lower left is an ‘Install’ button. Click on it.
- Installation preferences appear, giving you a choice of version, which you select from a drop-down menu. You should always select the latest version (in this case, 3.1) unless there is some compelling reason to do otherwise.
- You are given an option of where to install WordPress, so choose the domain and the directory you prefer, or—if you give a domain, but leave the directory selection blank—your entire website will be the blog.
Find more information about the fine points of installing in the iPage WordPress article “Using WordPress for your blog engine” in the knowledgebase, while a detailed SimpleScripts article, “Using Simple Scripts,” is found at the iPage knowledgebase.
Support on the WordPress.org site can mainly be found at the wordpress codex and includes:
- Installation help
- Upgrade help
- An introduction to posting
- WordPress for Beginners
- WordPress Lessons
- WordPress FAQ
- WordPress Feature List
- WordPress Support Forums
- WordPress information on specific Design and Layout issues, Advanced Topics, and Troubleshooting.