WordPress is an amazing product, and Fantastico Deluxe helps with the install, but there are some issues and best practices.
When installing WP using Fantastico, make sure the permissions are secure after installation. Fantastico usually sets permissions on the public_html directory to an incorrect “755”. Make sure they are “750.”
Make sure the wp-config.php file permissions are set to “400.”
I’ve had two sites hacked into soon after installation so this is not just an academic exercise.
- Definitely change the permalinks. I don’t know why they default it with a URL (?p=123) format. You want smart names for your links. If you are going to add lots of posts, you may want to select the “Month and name” format. If not, go to custom Structure and put in /%postname%/
- Under media, you will likely want to uncheck the “Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders”, unless you will have messloads of images you’ll be uploading. Definitely check the settings for sizes of images in medium and large. You will likely want to reduce the large to something like 800 px max.
- Reading — Unless this is a straight blog, you’ll probably want to create a page called “home” and one called “blog” and then go to the reading panel and set the front page display to static and set the home and blog pages.
Here are some must-have plugins:
- BackupBuddy — Premium (not free) plugin is the best in class to back up and migrate your site or just back up to the cloud or anywhere.
- Gravity Forms — Another best in class premium plugin for building forms.
- Scribe — This is a premium plugin, and not cheap, but is unique in that it builds SEO tools into the site so on each page/post, it rates and helps the editor create content that will rank well.
- Premise — Premium plugin that manages landing pages, ecommerce for electronic content and files.
- Advanced Custom Fields — Excellent to create and manage custom fields
- WP-Filebase — Great way to organize files and set up downloads.
- Facebook Page Publish — Will push posting to your FB page.
- WP to Twitter — Will push posting to your Twitter feed.
- Google XML Sitemaps — Will keep your sitemaps xml file up to date
- WP Better Emails — Changes the default “WordPress” email address and name to a nice HTML template with custom name and graphics
- WP Show IDs — This replaces “Reveal IDs for WP Admin” because it shows ids for custom post types also
- Theme My Login — Creates a nice login page based on the active theme.
- NextGen Gallery — The best in managing pic galleries
- Regenerate Thumbnails — In case you change the thumbnail sizes, this will recut them all.
- List category posts — Useful if post categories are used as a taxonomy, and you want to get a list of specific categories.
- Custom Post Type UI — This takes advantage of WP 2.9+ custom post types.
- Members — This plugin allow the admin to manage roles for different levels of users.
- White Label CMS –This customized the admin section. You can minimize to the items you want the user to see.
- CMS Tree Page View — This will insert a new menu item under page which gives a tree view of the pages. For sites with lots of pages and subpages, this is a better way to navigate pages in the admin section.
- Google Analyticator— There are several Google Analytics plugins, but this seems the best, which includes a nice dashboard widget/panel to view analytics from WordPress.
- Simple CMS — This is a basic plugin that simplifies the admin page for Editors and below. There is no way to change the settings, but it is a quick way to reduce the clutter for clients.