Goal: To set up the basic WordPress foundations that any WordPress website should have.

Prerequisites or requirements: You need to have a WordPress blog already running, and you’ll need administrator access to it. 

Why this is important: The steps covered in this recipe will allow you to grow your business sustainably, increasing your traffic, allowing you to install more tools, recover from security issues, and keeping your site fast as it grows.

When this is done: Only once per WordPress installation. 
Who does this: Your webmaster, or the person responsible for web development.

Step 1 – Set up an SEO-friendly WordPress configuration

Outcome: Your WordPress website is set up, with Yoast installed and configured, and your website is using the ideal permalink and homepage structure.

Step 2 – Add Google Tag Manager to your Site

  1. Sign Up/Log In to GTM 🌐
  2. Create a New Account & Container 📦
    • Click on “Create Account”.
    • Name your account (usually your business name).
    • Create a container (typically your website name).
    • Choose “Web” as the target platform.
  3. Get GTM Code 📜
    • Once the container is created, you’ll be given two pieces of code: one for the <head> and one for the <body> of your site.
  4. Install a GTM Plugin on WordPress 🛠️
    • Go to your WordPress dashboard.
    • Navigate to Plugins > Add New.
    • Search for “Google Tag Manager” or “GTM”.
    • Install and activate a reputable GTM plugin (e.g., “DuracellTomi’s Google Tag Manager for WordPress”).
  5. Configure the Plugin ⚙️
    • Go to the plugin settings (usually under Settings > Google Tag Manager).
    • Enter your GTM Container ID (it looks like GTM-XXXXXXX).
  6. Verify Installation ✅
    • Return to your GTM dashboard.
    • Click on “Preview” mode.
    • Visit your WordPress site. You should see a GTM debug pane at the bottom, confirming that GTM is working.
  7. Add Tags in GTM 🏷️
    • Now, you can start adding tags, triggers, and variables in your GTM dashboard as needed.
  8. Publish Changes 🚀
    • Once you’ve set up your tags, click on “Submit” in GTM to make your tags live.

Outcome: Google Tag Manager is installed on your website.

Step 3 – Implement a backup solution

UpdraftPlus is one of the best freemium solutions for backing up your WordPress website.

Outcome: Simply install the plugin from UpdraftPlus.com on your WordPress site and start generating automated/scheduled backups (or even backup on demand).

Step 4 – Speed Up your WordPress Website

Check your website’s performance on the following three sites, making sure to check both mobile and desktop scores. In addition to the list below, these websites will give you actionable tasks to improve your site’s speed.

  1. Choose a Solid Host: Go for a reputable hosting provider.
  2. Use a Lightweight Theme: Pick themes optimized for speed.
  3. Optimize Images: Compress and resize images before uploading.
  4. Limit Plugins: Only use essential plugins and keep them updated.
  5. Use a Caching Plugin: Implement caching to speed up load times.
  6. Optimize Database: Regularly clean up your database.
  7. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): Distribute site content efficiently.
  8. Minify CSS and JavaScript: Reduce the size of code files.
  9. Implement Lazy Loading: Load images only when they’re in view.
  10. Limit Post Revisions: Set a cap on the number of stored revisions.
  11. Optimize Comments: Break comments into pages or use a third-party system.
  12. Avoid External Scripts: Limit the use of external scripts like ads or font loaders.

Outcome: You have gone through all the steps and you have optimized every aspect of your WordPress website.

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