I came from a traditional html, static-page background, knowing little code (simple stuff like inserting pictures, bold text, etc).
I maintained a business site for 5 years, so I came in with it running, messed up and tearing out half may hair...but I "sort of" understood it.
Several users & developers said my new company's site should use WordPress and told me to download at wwww.wordpress.org. I'd already established the domain and host.
And here's where 14 days of "a coma would have been more productive" went:
After much struggle, I FINALLY got it installed...on my computer. I read 2 books and hundreds of Codex pages, but (keep this in your mind - you'll need it in a minute) the "Famous 5-minute Install" was 10 days and counting.
The last 4 days I spent creating an "under construction" page that AT LEAST had contact info, as customers have the URL.
Found a cool Template, got the page looking OK, used Filezilla to ftp the stuff to the server...
...and I got the same generic "under development" page.
So I nuked everything but pre-exisiting server directories, ALL my WordPress stuff (I'm sure it was so fouled that it was useless) and was going to just go back to NVU, Kompozer or even iWeb.
You know - create a site, get all the kinks out on your computer - THEN upload it.
What I COMPLETELY MISSED (partially my fault for not doing enough detailed research; partly, IMO, WP's fault for nto explaining in SIMPLE TERMS that the "5-minute installation" is the FIRST step.
With WP you don't create a site and upload it. You upload, it, then create a site.
That makes a HUGE difference. It might work the other way, but only if "code" is your second language.
Nowhere did I see this information pointed out as absolutely critical, even in other sites' comparison charts between WP and other site-creation software.
So now I have installed WP on my host. DO NOT do what I did - I used the "normal" method of creating a site.
WP is NOT "normal"; unless things get horribly screwed up I'll use it for the flexibility and features.
But lesson learned - WordPress installation has to be performed/uploaded/whatever (some hosts use different terms, but most good ones offer a simple WP installation on the host) in a way that runs counter to everything I ever learned about creating a website.
So if you are comfortable with the traditional method of using Dreamweaver, NVU, iWeb or whatever to create your site on your machine BEFORE any other procedure, then uploading it, images, and other necessary files all at once DO NOT DO IT. Lose your preconceived notions of the process or you are in for one big headache.
Unless you are an expert in all the xhtml, css, template editing and other coding (html knowledge alone won't cut it) you will drive yourself nuts trying to figure out what's going on.
I had ton of advice from well-meaning forum members - but not this.
Hope it helps.