10
Jun

WordPress Site Development Process

Our processes for building a new WordPress site using an existing theme such as WooTheme Mystile. This is a work-in-progress and some of the later steps often need to be varied according to the unique needs of the project.

WordPress Site Development Master Process

The master process contains all steps for the entire build and references the subprocesses required as well as the conditional or optional steps that vary according to project requirements.

  1. Site Planning. Plan the key details of site and create the Site Development Plan that will be used to guide development throughout the project.
    1. Site Map. For a basic site map create an indented list of the site pages. If a more detailed or complex site map is required use a diagram.
  2. Domain Name Registration. Choose a domain name and register it. We use Name.com for our registrations now, formerly we used GoDaddy.
  3. Setup hosting using WHM. First edit the nameservers for the domain at Name.com. Use ns1.goldhat.ca and ns2.goldhat.ca. Then go the WHM login at goldhat.ca:2086 and create the new account.
  4. Install WordPress. Do the basic WordPress install using cPanel installer or manual install. If using cPanel, remove plugins added by the installer. Record the admin login details in the Google Doc Account Access or development log for the project.
  5. Install Required Plugins. Install standard plugins such as SEO by Yoast. If it’s an ecommerce site, install WooCommerce. Do only the bare minimum configuration of settings at this point.
  6. Theme Selection. View potential themes suitable to the project. Narrow the list of potential themes based on project criteria such as responsive, WooCommerce compatible. Make the selection.
  7. Install Theme. Install and activate the selected theme for the project.
  8. Add empty pages. Add all the top level pages for the site. Add subpages if practical, if the volume is high just add a few to help create the menu. Don’t add content to the pages at this point, just focus on the page name and permalink.
  9. Add custom menu. Add each custom menu starting with the site’s primary navigation. Add the pages created in the previous step. Assign the menus to the appropriate theme regions.
  10. Content Preparation. Prepare each type of content needed for the site starting with copy and images. Organize the content by type or by the page/section of the site where it will be included.
    1. Copy Preparation. This process outputs the finalized copy for each page of the site as it will read at launch subject only to final revisions. How the copy is written and delivered can vary. Generally we will have 1 of 2 processes of delivery. The prepared copy process is where copy is written in Google Docs or other format and delivered for entry into the site. The inline copy process is used when copy is entered directly into the site pages by the copywriter or their agent.
    2. Image Preparation. Images are collected, selected, prepared and transferred. Any preparation editing is completed such as cropping, scaling, refinishing.
    3. Video Preparation. Video is collected, selected, prepared and transferred.
  11. Add Feature Plugins. 
    1. Image Gallery.
  12. Customize 404 Pages. 
About Joel Milne
Lead developer at GoldHat Group.