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Pro WordPress tips and 11 great plugins

When I first started with website design, options were limited. For the most part we coded it by hand. We either did this in a simple text editor or an IDE, like Dreamweaver.

Nowadays, things are easier. Ok, maybe easier isn't the correct word, but you get the idea – just about anyone can create a website, and you don't need to be a developer to do so.

So what are your options?

Well, you can still code it by hand, if you want. Or, you can use one of the big three site creation tools:

Another option is Octopress. Are there others? Absolutely. But, these are the big players in my book. But the rest of this post will focus on WordPress because it's what I use on 90 per cent of the sites I manage.

WordPress Themes

There are almost as many themes as there are grains of sand on the beach. Ok, maybe not that many, but there are a lot! My recommendation is to find a theme you like before adding any real content to your site.

Usually my process goes something like this:

  1. Install WordPress
  2. Add some dummy content
  3. Search for a nice theme until one is found
  4. Delete site
  5. Reinstall WordPress (clean copy)
  6. Install theme that was found in step 3
  7. Add plugins and content (see below for help with that)

Why do I install WordPress twice? Simple. I like a nice clean database. Some of these themes can muck around with things. I don't like having things I don't use just laying around (if I were divorced, this would make for a good joke!). Is this a necessary step? Not at all. It's just something I do and have always felt like the extra time was worth it. Up next... plugins!

Next page: 11 awesome WordPress plugins