This applies to any website, and my Foundations guidelines will help any webmaster.
The purpose of this section is to provide you with the information you need to prepare, install, and configure your WordPress website.
Preparation is vital.
WordPress is easy to install and configure, as are many other web business hosting platforms. However, if you leap into setting up a website without a proper plan, you will soon come unstuck.
Web Hosting Preparation
The Foundation Of Foundations.
Without a proper site plan you cannot properly install a website.
There will be people who claim that you can, and some that have even managed to make a success of a site without a plan. Anyone who has achieved success this way will tell you that it is more by luck than judgement. Most will admit that success would have been faster, easier and stronger if they had started with a plan.
The plan is your guide for developing the website, and whilst it is best for the webmaster to be involved in it’s preparation, it is largely a management, rather than technical, project. For many of us as self-employed web business owners, this is just a matter of switching hats. For others, as technicians in an IT department, or a professional website development company, it is vital that you have a plan as part of your terms of reference.
The absolute minimum that your plan must contain is:
- Purpose – the purpose of the web business and the purpose of every individual who will work on the project. You can see an example of a web business purpose on my About page.
- Keywords – the list of specific topics that your web business will cover. These will be used as tags and slugs. Examples for this site include hosting, wordpress-download, wordpress-category, and wordpress-install.
- Categories – groups of keywords, which will give the site it’s structure. Some sites have more than one grouping structure, but this is usually a complexity that should be avoided. Categories are usually based around high demand keywords, but will often have a short form as well. Each category should have a purpose – i.e. when browsing articles in a given category, what do you expect your visitor to gain? An example for this site is this Foundation category which could have a slug of hosting, but I like to keep them short, and host is just as good.
Your plan will also normally include the expected outcomes. The format will differ according to purpose, but typical expected outcomes include revenue per month, traffic per week, number of members and these will normally have time constraints. These goals are excellent for helping you prioritize tasks.
This is either signing up at WordPress.com for a free site or installing the code from WordPress.org on your own, or a hired web server. This is not usually technically challenging, but if you have any technical questions, opinions or theories regarding WordPress installation, then the Hosting Foundation forum is a good place to discuss them.
Please see the WordPress Installation page for more information.
Settings for WordPress can have a profound effect on the performance of your website. I explain the effects of the options in the foundation category. This does not include plugins (Function category) or themes (Form category).
Next Hosting Foundation Steps
As I mentioned earlier, installing WordPress is extremely straightforward. However, there is a massive difference between a working WordPress installation and a working web business installation. Do not start posting anything until you have completed the WordPRess Web Business Installation routine.
Further reading on WordPress Hosting Foundations.