Research Guides

Digital Tools and Techniques


Wordpress, the world's most popular open source CMS is great for blogging and general website development. A tremendous community supplies themes and plugins to expand Wordpress's core functionality. 


The true power of a CMS, and especially Wordpress, is the ease and simplicity of changing the look and feel of your site without effecting the content. This is done when you select a theme. Check out the Wordpress theme repository for an array of free open source options. 

Guide to installing and using themes.

Child Themes

You might want to radically change the theme that you are using. If so, a Child Theme is a great shortcut. 

Getting started with Child Themes.


General Info

Wordpress Install

  1. Once XAMPP is installed:  c:\xampp\htdocs is the home of your content
  2. Download WordPress and unzip.
  3. Place in the c:\xampp\htdocs directory.  Note: you have the option to rename the WordPress directory.
  4. Click on the xampp-control.exe icon in:  C:\xampp
  5. Start Apache & MYSQL
  6. In your browser enter: http://localhost/
  7. Click on phpMyAdmin.
  8. The phpMyAdmin control board will appear.
  9. Click on Databases.
  10. Enter a name for your database (‘wordpress’ or use something other than WordPress).
  11. In your:  c:\xampp\htdocs\wordpress  directory, with your text editor (windows: notepad/notepad++ Mac: text wrangler). Open:  wp-config-sample.php  file and edit:


    ** The name of the database for WordPress */
    define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘wordpress’);
    /** MySQL database username */
    define(‘DB_USER’, ‘root’);
    /** MySQL database password */
    define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ”);
    /** MySQL hostname */

    define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’);
  12. Save file as wp-config.php
  13. Go to: http://localhost/wordpress/  will be redirected to: http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php
  14. Enter:
    • Site Title
    • Username
    • Password
    • Email Address

    Then click the <Install WordPress> button.

  15. Login.   The dashboard of your WordPress installation will appear.


Not a programmer, but want some special functionality that the core installation does not contain. Chances are that it may already exist as a plugin. Plugins extend Wordpress's core functionality. Before hacking the core and adding functions, see if the functionality already exists in a plugin that was developed by someone else by searching the plugin repository.

Other Settings

Creating Pages and Posts