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The Perfect WordPress Setup?

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Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.25.51

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Do I build my own theme, or purchase one? Which prototype framework should I use? What are the best plugins? There are many questions that come into play when creating a WordPress site. Then again, there are many answers as well! With so many different options, it can be difficult to decide which one fits. The questions remains: is there a perfect WordPress setup?

Not exactly, but, with a little research, you can make right decision that works for your target audience and/or fits your needs. Let’s start with theme development.

Themes

 

What is a ‘prototyping framework?
Simply put, a ‘prototyping framework’ is a set of files and folders that have predefined HTML, CSS, Javascript code and rules to make building sites easier. Some frameworks even include SASS or LESS. Some developers prefer to build their own theme from scratch; in other words, they refuse to use a protatyping framework. Another school of thought is to use a child theme and learn/build another theme
from it.

Which one should I use?
Each framework has it’s unique characteristics. For example, Foundation by ZURB is built for mobile devices first; on the other hand, Skeleton is a bare-bones prototyping framework. There are even frameworks that cater to WordPress installs. Some frameworks implement CSS preprocessors such as SASS and LESS. Other options include: Twitter Bootstrap, HTML5 Boilerplate and Underscores.

Foundation:

http://foundation.zurb.com/

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Skeleton:

http://www.getskeleton.com/

skeleton

Can I use more than one ‘prototyping framework’?

Certainly! The recently released Bootstrap Foundation Five will work just fine. This recent addition to the framework family provides every version of Bootstrap and Foundation available. Could not decide whether you wanted to use either Foundation or Bootstrap to use? Now you can use both at any time. Have a look at the documentation to get started: http://bootstrapfoundationfive.github.io/documentation.html

Plugins

Plugins are powerful additions to WordPress. With over 30,000 plugins available, it can be intimidating to sort out which ones you should use. Don’t worry! You can find several recommendations below:

Akismet by Automattic

You will want to download and install. That is, unless you like spam.

Jetpack by Automattic

Jetpack includes many ‘modules’ or tools, in its arsenal. The plugin uses the power of WordPress.com, including, but not limited to: Photon (Image CDN), Publicize (Automatic Post Sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Google+), among other functions.

WordPress SEO by YOAST

This plugin is essential for WordPress sites, and there is a good reason why. Yoast, the author of the plugin, is highly regarded by the WordPress community as THE SEO expert.

W3 Total Cache

Needed to speed up your site. Please use this after development is finished. It can be a nightmare otherwise.

WordFence

WordPress security plugin, that’s about it.

In short, there is no ‘perfect’ WordPress, but the power of WordPress is in its flexibility. If you ever wanted to create a website, it’s a great time to start, especially with WordPress 4.0 around the corner.

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