WordPress Setup Tasks Before Installing the UUA Theme for Congregations
WordPress Setup Tasks Before Installing the UUA Theme
Communication, Websites

So, you’ve downloaded and installed WordPress (or are maybe reviewing the setup that already exists). Now what?

(If you haven’t yet set up WordPress, see What You Need  to Know.)

Configure WordPress Before Installing the Theme

Before installing the theme and the plugins and importing content, there are a few things you should do. Then you’ll be ready to install the UUA Theme.

  1. Add your site title and tagline under Settings > General.
  2. Set your timezone (this is important for the services especially, so they know when things have expired or need to go live).
  3. Change the permalink structure on your site. WordPress defaults to a pretty ugly URL structure, so go to Settings > Permalinks and choose a different one (we recommend just using ‘post name’).
  4. Create a page called Home and make it your front page on Settings > Reading.
  5. Add your site icon, or favicon, the little image that shows on the tabs in your browser. Find this under Appearance > Customize. You’ll need a 512px square image to upload.
  6. Choose your settings for comments (whether they are on or off by default, require administrative approval, etc.) under Settings > Discussion. Under “Default article settings” you can uncheck “Allow people to post comments on new articles” if you don’t want to enable people to post comments about your news posts. (You can override this setting for individual new posts.)

Create User Accounts

For a New WordPress Site

Right now you are probably logged in as the Admin user that WordPress created on installation. Make a careful note of the password, and then plan never to use it again! Instead, each person who maintains the site should log in with their own account, so you know who has done what and can assign different permissions for different people.

Create an account for yourself by choosing Users > Add New. Enter a username (how about your first initial and last name?) and a password. Make yourself an administrator. In future, log in with your own account, not as Admin. (Hint: Install KeePass on your congregation’s office computer, store all your congregation’s passwords in it, and keep a backup.)

If you plan to import the sample content from the demo.uuatheme.org site, you’ll need to have created an account other than Admin to be the owner of the imported pages.

For an Existing WordPress Site

If you are applying the UUA Theme to an existing site, the existing accounts will still be there.

For Everyone

When adding users, try to give people the fewest permissions possible; don’t make someone an Administrator unless they need to be able to edit everything on the site. People will be more comfortable working on the site if they know they can’t break it. Most of your content-providing members can be either Authors or Editors (basically Authors can write and edit their own content, while Editors can write and edit their own content plus the content of others).

For more information about user roles, read WP Business Tips’ article Understanding User Roles and Capabilities in WordPress.

If you want more fine-grained control over your user roles, install Justin Tadlock’s Members plugin. It will give you control over role capabilities as well as creating the ability for you to make some content on your site visible only to logged in users. You can create a members-only page for example, or have the registration form for a program visible to logged-in users.

Set Up Backups

It is vital that you make regular backups of your site, including:

  • the WordPress program files (including the theme and plugins)
  • the database in which WordPress stores all the text content of your site, along with your WordPress configuration settings
  • the images, PDFs, DOCs, and other files on the site

Check with your web hosting company that they make regular (daily) backups of these three things.

A number of WordPress plugins do backups.

Return to the checklist to install the UUA theme.

For more information contact outreach@uua.org.

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