Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Questions to ask yourself before beginning, part of WordPress: Workflows.
- Building your first WordPress site can be exciting or stressful, and often both. There's also often a sense of urgency in this process. You want to get the site up and running right away and start publishing content. Therefore, in this first workflow our goal is to get up and running right now. This is done in four quick steps. First, make some key decisions about how you want to proceed. Second, set up WordPress on a live host. Third, create and publish content.
And fourth, understand how to manage media items in WordPress. So let's get started at that first step, making some key decisions. Before you jump in head first, there are a few things you should consider so your jump start doesn't end up with a belly flop. First and foremost, are you ready to go live right away or do you want to experiment a bit first? If you want to experiment and get to know the application before taking the plunge on the live web, it might be a good idea to set up WordPress locally on your computer first.
Just remember, if you create content locally, you have to migrate it to the web later. To set up WordPress locally we have two courses I would recommend. Installing and Running WordPress WAMP for Windows users, and Installing and Running WordPress MAMP for Mac users. Both walk you through the same process. Setting up a web server on your computer, and then installing WordPress so you can run it locally in your own environment. If you choose to go this route, and you want to create content and then move it to a live site on the web later, you should also watch the course WordPress Plugins Moving WordPress with WP Migrate DB, which walks you through that process in detail.
If on the other hand you're ready to go live right now, we have several options, all of which will be covered in the next movie. The next question is are you comfortable using the basic functions of WordPress itself? Do you know how to create and publish posts and pages, and just as importantly, do you know how to unpublish them if you change your mind? And, are you familiar with themes, plugins, widgets, menus, and comments, and so on? The great thing about WordPress is you don't have to know anything about the application to get started.
But having a bit of help to make sense of all the features won't exactly hurt. If you want the security of knowing the application before you get started, I recommend watching WordPress Essential Training, hosted by yours truly right here in the lynda.com library. This course will walk you through all the parts of WordPress and get you up and running and comfortable with the application in just a few hours. If you're the more adventurous type and you want to explore the application on your own, you can do so as well. In that case I recommend going slowly and starting with the basics.
Publish a post, create an "about me" page, use the customizer to change the appearance of your site, and explore the different themes available in the WordPress theme directory. Finally, the last question is do you want your content to be publicly searchable or are you just posting content for yourself or your close friends and family? When you set up WordPress you can choose whether you want search engines to look through the site and index its content. In most cases that's something you want, but in some cases it's not.
If you want to keep your content off the radars of Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter, you can do so by dissuading search engines from indexing your site. You do it by going to your dashboard, going to Settings, and Reading, and here at the bottom you find Search Engine Visibility, and you can check this box to discourage search engines from indexing your site. Now, this doesn't hide your content from anyone who knows the URL to your site, it only dissuades search engines from indexing your site so you won't show up when people make searches.
If you want to completely hide your site, you can do so as well using different types of plugins, some of which we will cover later on in the course. So, as we get going find your answers to these three questions, and we'll roll on with the rest of the workflow.
- Setting up WordPress on a live host
- Setting up a local development environment
- Creating and publishing content
- Managing media
- Adding a new child theme
- Building custom sites for clients
- Syncing content between local and staging servers
- Making a site live