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I've used WordPress before but only through the website. This is the first time I've actually installed WP and I'm loving all of the customization options that are available to me now.

I'm a bit confused about how to actually make my blog accessible to the public though. I'm working through MAMP on Mac OS. Under wp-admin, the WordPress Address and Site Address are both set to http://localhost/wordpress. I'm aware of this link but I'm not sure I'm following.

Should I leave the Site Address at localhost/wordpress and only change the WordPress Address? Also, if I want to create the url http://test_site.wordpress.com, for example, do I have to make an account with wordpress.com for that URL first? And does the username and password I created when installing WordPress come into play at all?

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2 Answers 2

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In order for the site to be publicly accessible you need to host the site on a server that is publicly accessible. Your local MAMP server is almost certainly not public. There are hacks and workarounds that would let you host the site from there, but don't. Lease a server and install your site there. You can try one of these.

You don't technically have to have a domain name to host a site. You can host directly from an IP address, but you probably want to lease a name as well.

Your site has nothing to do with wordpress.com. Your password, your domain name, all different.

As far as the Site Address setting, 'localhost' means "this computer". That setting only works if the browser accessing the site is on the same machine as the server, which works for your test environment I suppose. It won't work for a hosted site, nor will it work if you want to visit the site from another of your own computers-- we all about six or seven right? :) When you get a public server and a domain name, use that domain name-- http://mygreatsite.com/wordpress

Work locally using your MAMP install, FTP the PHP/CSS/Javascript to the hosted site. Add actual content on the hosted site or you have an issue with having to convert URLs when you move the site.

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Thanks. Is there any way that I could host from a wordpress domain itself? Like for example, http://mygreatsite.wordpress.com –  user1799323 Jul 2 '13 at 13:39
    
To host from *.wordpress.com-- that is, from a subdomain of wordpress.com-- you have to control wordpress.com which you don't. WordPress.com might have some kind of arrangement that allows what you are asking but I don't know for sure and you would have to go through them to do it. –  s_ha_dum Jul 2 '13 at 13:43

First of all, WordPress.com stuff has almost nothing to do with WordPress.org stuff. And on that note, we're not really here to talk about WordPress.com stuff at all. It's its own beast altogether.

As for MAMP being public, that's something that would require having some funky DNS stuff going on with your local server, to broadcast it to the public. Which generally is not the best idea. Web hosting is pretty cheap these days, and comes with a fair amount of security.

Many developers start out local when building sites, but then ultimately host their projects online. When you transition to a live server, you'll need to update the database using phpmyadmin. There are several good writeups on how to do that, such as this one: Moving WordPress « WordPress Codex.

I even wrote a little script that will generate the necessary SQL given a before and after URL. You can find that here: Find & Replace | Tools (put the before and after URLS without trailing slashes: http://example.com).

Let me know if this clears things up.

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