As I work more and more with WordPress, I began to see the need for an installation checklist, or all of those tasks that need to be completed for a new WordPress installation. Part of my rationale in creating this checklist is to make it easy for my assistant to set up a new WordPress install.
I actually have several installation checklists set up, depending on the nature of the site. I divide my sites into the following categories:
After determining the use of the site, I then determine if I will need a squeeze page, and if so, whether it should be placed as the home page of the site or as an internal page. My installation checklist may vary slightly, depending on what type of site I’m creating. The primary differences are in the plugins that I install, as all sites don’t need all the normal plugins.
Here’s my 15-point WordPress installation checklist:
1. Nameservers. Change the nameservers of your domain name at your domain registrar to those of your hosting account.
2. Add domain. If you have a hosting account which hosts unlimited domains, you’ll need to add your domain to your account.
3. Install WordPress on domain. Many hosting accounts now offer a 1-click WordPress install using Simplescripts on cPanel. All this requires is for you to choose the domain on which to install WordPress, and the script program does the rest. Be sure and pick the most stable (no beta editions) of WordPress.
4. Add new user. I recommend that you create at least one other administrative user on your account and delete the Admin user. After you create the new administrative user, log out and log back in again to ensure that your new login information is accurate. Once you have confirmed this, delete the orginial admin account and record your new login credentials.
5. Install your theme. I’ve worked with a number of themes in the past few months, and I have my favorites. Install and activate your theme.
6. Install and activate any stand-alone paid plugins. I have found that it pays to install stand-alone plugins after your install the theme because if you do it in reverse, one or the other won’t show up in the dashboard. I don’t always need these, but I may install them depending on the type of site I am creating.
7. Update your Settings. Under Settings -> General, change your site title to your blog name, which should contain your primary keywords. In Site Description, include a short description also containing your keyword. Make sure your email address is in the Email field, and change the TimeZone to your timezone.
8. Update your permalinks. Under Settings —> Permalinks, change the permalinks to Custom Structure by entering either /%category%/%postname%/ or /%postname%/
9. Set your Discussion parameters. Under Settings —> Discussion, change it so an adminstrator must always approve a comment and that it will always email me. Do not allow pingbacks & trackbacks for discussion posts.
10. Update your Reading settings. Under Settings —> Reading, determine if posts or a static page will be your home page, and if your home page is a static page, what page will contain blog posts. Also pick how many blog posts to show on a page, and whether you want to show the full post or a summary.
11. Update your Categories. Under Posts —> Categories, change the default “Uncategorized” category to your main phrase for the site.
12. Blogroll. Remove all default Blogroll links from Dashboard.
13. Delete Hello Dolly plugin. I’m not sure why this plugin exists, as it drives me nuts, so I delete it from the list immediately.
14. Select and activate free plugins. I’ve written before about lists of plugins I use for WordPress. Rather than writing about them individually, I’m going to list the ones I commonly use by category. This list will change depending on the use I have determined for the site.
Audio and Video
Tracking and Measurement
15. Insert your content. Now that you have completed the setup stage, you will begin to create your pages and your posts.
Take Action Strategy
Create an installation checklist for each type of site that you create so that you or your team can easily install your new WordPress site and get it up and running. This will make your life so much easier!
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