Recently I completed building my WordPress web site and while my memory is still fresh. I want to share my process of creating this web site.
When I first started creating this web site, I had no idea about how it will look or what functionality I wanted. There were two things I had on my mind at the start of this site. One, the site will in WordPress because it is easy to update and it is good with SEO. Second, I wanted a dark or black web site with a touch of vivid colors here and there.
Next, I went out and looked for a WordPress theme that is simple to modify and has all the functionality I needed. I would download different themes, look at the php files page.php, single.php, index.php, search.php and other php files to see if they are clean. I had modified many themes before and I can say that some themes are extremely complicated which make it very hard to modify. By picking a simple theme with all the right functions you need, you will save a lot of time and headache.
I finally settle with a theme called TAKTEEK01. I downloaded the theme, activated and used this theme as my base design. This theme comes 100% Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional over at w3c. Which mean it will be view correctly on different browsers.
Obviously I did a major redesign on my WordPress theme and it look nothing like the original. I modify the HTML,CSS to get the look and feel that I want. I also added many of my own stuff, like moving both left and right side bars to the right side. I added a better top navigation system with drop downs.
Once all the HTML, CSS , all the sidebars and navigation system are working the way I wanted. It was time to go ahead and add all the plugins. Here is the full list of the WordPress plugins I used on this web site:
Akismet – This plugin comes with WordPress. You need to activate it if you want to block spam comments on your pages and posts.
All in One SEO Pack – This is a must have if you are interested in search engine and getting high ranking on search engines.
Auto Thinkbox – I use this mainly on my Past Wok 3D Modeling page. I pick this because it is light and fast. The other great thing about this plugin is that it resize the pop up which contain your images to fit the resolution of the users’ screen and it is integrated with WordPress image uploader.
Breadcrumb NavXT – I used this breadcrumb on my header, just below my top navigation.
Comment Rating – If you go to one of my posts with comments you will see the green and red thumbs in each comment box. This gives your visitors the option vote if they find the particular comment to be useful or not.
Contact Form 7 – This is the contact form on my contact page.
Disable WordPress Core Update – The name explain everything. I like to disable my WordPress update because I always get the urge to upgrade when I see a link to upgrade in my admin area. Sometime when I upgrade it mess things up and sometime it work perfectly. I just don’t want to take the chance if I click to upgrade and things mess up without backing up all of my files and database. I like to wait at least a few months until I upgrade, that way I know many bugs are fix.
Disable WordPress Plugin Updates – Same idea as Disable WordPress Core Update, only on plugins.
Exec-PHP – This plugin make it possible to write php ocde in your pages, posts, and widgets. I use some php includes, so this comes in handle.
Google XML Sitemaps – This automatically generate your sitemap.xml each time you add new pages or posts to your web site. Here is what I have. Don’t forget to submit your sitemap.xml to Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Multi-level Navigation Plugin – This is a high quality WordPress plugin. I use it for my top navigation with some CSS modification to match my theme.
Pierre’s Wordspew – This is a live chat box on my side bar.
Revision Control – Without this plugin you will have endless amount of revisions on your posts and pages. It is great to have revision, but each time you update your posts and pages it generate additional line in your database. If you have hundreds of posts or pages and each time you update. It will add more lines to your database, which mean bigger file size. This can get very large, enough to slow down your server performance. With this plugin you can the ability to tell WordPress you only want 1 or 10 reversions and not 100′s.
SexyBookmarks – This is a social media bookmark. I love the animation effects and the large icons.
Smooth Slider – You see this sliding effect on my homepage. It gives you the option to select which post of page you want to be included to the slider and you can have as many sliders on different pages.
Subscribe To Comments – This give the user the option to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry.
Top 10 – I use this to fill up some space at my footer under “Today Most Popular Posts”.
WP-PageNavi – More advance paging navigational system.
WP-Syntax – This highlight the syntax and support different languages (coding). I might need to use this from time to time to display or highlight my html and css codes.
WP Limit Posts Automatically – I love this plugin. It let you select how many words or letters on your posts and it will automatically insert the <!–more–> tag according to the amount of words or letters you selected. You no longer have to manually place the tag each time you post something.
WP To Top – you can see this in action when you scroll down to the bottom of any of my pages. You will see the button that says Back to top.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – This is on every single post I have. It displays the most related post from the current post to the rest of the site and displays it anywhere. I notice Matt Mullenweg wrote a nice testimonial about this plugin, so I tried it.
That’s all the WordPress plugins I am currently using on this site.
Ok, this post is getting a bit long. I think I will have to stop it here and write more about how I built my WordPress web site on the next post.