The process of starting off a new website build can be relatively infrequent, and as a result, when you’re faced with trying to remember the technical setup steps for a new WordPress Website build you find yourself dredging the memory banks. So here’s the step by step on one of our installations including which standard plugins to install. Techie article, but a necessary checklist!
Step by Step Technical Setup For a New WordPress Website
Step 1 – Install WordPress CMS on the domain
Specific instructions will be unique to hosting provider. Bluehost has an almost 1-click install.
Step 2 – Delete plugins and themes to de-clutter
The standard installation of WordPress will have a bunch of rubbish automatically installed. Delete and start over.
Step 3 – Delete Pages and Posts
The standard example pages and posts just need to be deleted.
Step 4 – Install & Activate Theme & Child Theme (If available)
Install the theme you’ve selected, and if available, install the child theme too.
Step 5 – Install & Activate must-have list of plugins
Here’s our list of essential plugins for WordPress:
- iThemes Security – Security
- WP-Optimize – Database de-clutter
- WP Smush – Image Compression
- Hummingbird – Page & Browser Caching
- Yoast SEO – SEO
- Insert Headers and Footers – Insert Tracking codes & Scripts
- Contact Form 7 – Contact Forms
- WP Rollback – allows rollback of updates
- WP Maintenance Mode – Holding Page Plugin
- Duplicate Page – Allows duplication of page designs in a click
- Jetpack – for the Image Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Akismet – if a non-commercial site, for spam monitoring and control
- GDPR Cookie Consent Banner – for a hovering popup style cookie consent prompt (not a boring bar)
- GeoIP Detection (Update) – allows you to limit appearance of Cookie Bar by location
- WP Mail SMTP – to replace WordPress PHP mailer
- My Custom Functions – to make Functions.php modifications permanent
- Hustle by WPMU DEV – call to action pop ups and embeds with or without email capture
- Bloom by Elegant Themes – call to action pop ups and embeds with email capture
- Monarch by Elegant Themes – social sharing widgets and embeds
- Classic Editor – to enable classic editor instead of Gutenberg
Each plugin will need to be setup in it’s own little way. Most are intuitive, if there are any areas of clarity required, just head on over to the plugin websites and seek out their documentation.
Other Plugins to Consider
- Media File Renamer Auto – allows you to rename media files to something more SEO friendly even after upload
- AMP – for implementing accelerated Mobile Pages
- Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP – helps Yoast work with AMP
Step 6 – Install SSL Certificate
Back to your hosting account, many provide a free SSL, in which case figure out how to install it and do just that. Bluehost has free SSL Certs for WordPress sites. Just find SSL in the cPanel and install the SSL on your selected domain.
Step 7 – Update WordPress Settings
As a minimum do the following;
- Change site address & WordPress address to include https://
- Change the permalink structure to “Post name” type
Step 8 – Select Design Customisation Settings
Do whatever font and colour customisation is necessary for your site.
Step 9 – Force SSL on the site
404 pages don’t get SSL forced based on what you’ve done so far
Step 10 – Setup With Google Search Console & Verify Site
Follow the Search Console Instructions after clicking “Add New Property”