I have established a specific sequence of tasks whenever I create a new WordPress website. This sequence evolved over the years and continues to evolve but the basic premise is the same – work from the outside in. It has saved me numerous hours and at least 20 headaches, I’m sure. Here’s how it works…
I Create a Foundation
When I look at a brand new install of WordPress, it’s a very nice moment. Everything is almost as clean as it’s going to get (I’m looking at you Hello Dolly plugin!) and I can create anything I, or my client wants. It’s that same feeling I had when I started a new school year – full of excitement, hope and little tinge of anxiety.
I want to be sure I build my new creation on a firm foundation that I know will work regardless of the adaptations that are going to take place. I’m talking about my theme. I know that if I choose wisely, I will be rewarded with a pleasant and efficient experience. If I change my mind every 2 days, I’m asking for trouble.
I Put Up the Outside Walls
The plugins are next. I only install the basic plugins I know I will need and only activate the ones I will need to manipulate content or media. For example, I always install WP Super Cache but I leave it deactivated until right before the site is done since there is not point in worrying about caching if no one is browsing your site.
I Install Windows and Doors
Next, I create all of the pages I know I will need at that moment. There will likely be changes but I create the basic list of what I know now so I have somewhere to start. I don’t add content, I just create a page, add a title and click Publish. If I know the hierarchy of the pages, then I create the Parent/Child relationships as well.
Now that I have pages, I can create my primary and secondary menus. Once those are done, the top of my website is in good shape.
I Put Up a Mailbox and Address
Now comes the fun part – creating the content, making it look nice and giving the world something it has never seen before. I know it’s going to be fun because I did the not-so-fun work of building a strong foundation from the outside in. You should try it!