How to Set-Up a Killer Learning Journal on Your Computer Part I

I told you yesterday that I’m a lazy slacker. Well, to make up for that, I’m going to be starting a new series in the TechSavvy category. I’m really excited about this one, because I’m all for new technology. So what is it? I’m going to be teaching you how to set up a blog, using PyroCMS, on your own computer (not on the internet), that you can use for a Learning Journal [link to post]. We’ll take it slowly, and you can definitely contact me using the form if you need some help. I’ll try to be as clear as possible, but I can’t guarantee anything.

First of all, we need to set up XAMPP on your computer. This is pretty much a web server, but it’s not connected to the web. It will allow PyroCMS to run. But wait, what’s a CMS? A Content-Management System pretty much allows you to publish a website without writing a single-piece of code. However, for this you need a database, and a server-side programming language. You won’t need to worry about any of these. Just know that you need them, and XAMPP provides them. Let’s get started then.

Navigate to the XAMPP homepage and scroll down till you find your system (Mac, Windows, Linux). Then download the installer from the page it links to. It’s a really simple download, I’m sure you’ll be able to complete it.  If you need help, there are instructions on the download page, or contact me using the form. Or Google search.

XAMPP Home Page

Once it’s installed, you’ll be able to open something like this up. It’s the XAMPP Control Panel, and will be wherever your other applications are.  All you need  to do is start Apache and MySQL. Once again, don’t worry about what these are. If at any time you can’t open your web page, make sure that these are both running.

Just to make sure everything is working, type http://localhost into your browsers address bar. Leave out the www. and the .com, otherwise it will get confused. If everything has run correctly, you should see the following page:

Next, you need somewhere to store your data on your website. Navigate to http://localhost/phymyadmin . On the home page, you’ll see this. Input something like learning_journal_db , and leave everything else. Also, make sure to take note of this for later.

Now, we need to create a user, in the privileges section (top bar). Simply add a new user. Input the data as so, and check all the global privileges. The rest of the settings can remain as they are. Hit go, and you’re done. Make sure to save your username and password as well. That’s all for the database stuff. Now you can install PyroCMS.

Open up and hit the huge download button. Save the zip file anywhere. Unzip it to the following location: C:\xampp\htdocs\pyrocms (Create the last folder). Give it time to load, then zoom on over to http://localhost/pyrocms. This will take your through the install process.

Use the settings from before for step 1, easy.

Step 2 just tells you what you do and don’t have. As long as the mandatory requirements are there, you don’t need to sweat.

Step 3 is just making sure it can make changes, and it’s usually already done. If not, access the folders stated here, and using right-click> properties, set the folders to writable.
The first section of step 4 is from before (learning_journal_db), and the second bit is just like any other normal sign up form.

Easy as pie, right? If you want, you can go to the control panel, or the website, and get familiar, but we’ll be going over that in the next post. I’ll also show you how to install a theme, and give you one that I’ve designed specifically for you guys. Oops, I think I said too much. Oh well, the cat’s out of the bag now.

I hope you’ve learnt something new, see you next week,



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About Katie Walker

Hey, I'm a student. I'm into web development, so currently I'm working on my blog, a few Tumblr themes, and a few web apps for various purposes. It's exciting stuff.

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