Unless you're hosting your WordPress site on your own hardware servers using a downloaded install from WordPress.org (or a RackSpace virtual hoster...), most of you are using hosting companies that all have similar one-click installs available. For me, at this time, I use WP Engine for my WordPress blogs.
The WordPress site I'll be using for this tutorial
For my test site, I'm blogging how I'll re-launch my fan-crush site, SportsNight.org, the tribute site to the Aaron Sorkin TV Show, "Sports Night."
This way, no waiting for client decisions on content, design, and marketing. It'll let me stay on schedule, experiment, and break shit.
Table of Contents
1) Initial Setup & Settings
This is where we set up the WordPress site and set up the initial bits of information including the admin password, name and tagline, setting the site so it doesn't initially index in search engines before it's ready, and decide on what balance of speed vs security we go with.
2) Plugins & Optimization
The ones I use that you should use. The ones I use you probably don't need to use. And the ones you should use that I don't use. We'll also discuss how to make sure your site has the SEO Optimization I like for plugins, and for the site as a whole.
3) Content: Primary & Essential Pages
This is is more than your products, services, and blogs. Search Engines and, anymore, agencies want to make sure you discuss how you use your website visitor's data. Search engines will want to know your website a tangible, viable entity as well and not some spammer.
"But couldn't the spammers just use that?"
Sure, but with these privacy & security notifications, search engines can track them down. If the notifications aren't there, the website won't be treated with the same level of trust.
We'll also talk about how to optimize your content for search engines. We'll consider how to best name pages, images, metadata, linking...Start proper from page one.
4) Design: Themes, layouts, articles, page, categories, and the all-important home page
The essential groundwork has been laid. Your new WordPress site should have some good bones with which to grow. Now, it's time to make it look pretty.
"Why wait until near the end to set the design?"
It's a tough call. Some folks do and some folks down. There's no true right or wrong way. But, if it's a new site and you're still sorting out what content you'll want to display, then once we get the purpose & content sorted out, the site purpose and content will tell us the direction and purpose of the design.
We'll also talk about QC/ QA (Quality Control / Quality Assurance), making sure the website pages look good on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices through multiple browsers.
5) Testing. Testing. And Testing.
We'll take the writing processes, content processes, and other things we've discussed and put them through practice tests to make sure they're ready to go before your new WordPress website goes live to the world.
6) Tracking & Analytics.
This is the time to put in your analytics and tracking for the website.
7) Domain Point.
If you've made it this far, your domain is ready to be pointed over to the website. We'll work through the settings that go into it.
8) Go Live. Get Feedback.
And away we go. We start to talk about measuring performance and how to improve upon it.
Have questions? Did I do something wrong? Let me know.
For as long as I've been in the digital marketing game, I'm still learning as I go. Hell, I'm a digital marketer, not a developer. But, well, things you learn along the way.
And I will be updating as I go.
Also, my latest thoughts on WordPress are below...