The default theme is okay for now. You may or may not want to change it before you finish. You need to add some specific plugins and then configure those plugins.
The original uploads directory for media files won’t exist on your static site. You have to change the location by adding a line to your wp-config.php file, just below the other “define” lines. The line is like this:
You can use anything in place of the second “uploads”. I use “ifiles” on my sites. From the root directory, create your new uploads directory. You’ll need to add it the same way at your online web server.
In the “General” WordPress settings, enter your site title and use the local domain name URL for both the WordPress address and the site address (without trailing slashes). Even though your e-mail address isn’t going to be used for anything, you still have to enter it.
In the “Writing” WordPress settings, remove anything in the “Update Services” block. You’ll be using the Pingshot service provided by FeedBurner, which I’ll explain in a later article.
Before you continue, you need at least one page (not post). Create one if one doesn’t exist. Give it any title (“front page” is a good idea). Then, in the “Reading” WordPress settings, select it as the static page your home page displays.
In the “Discussion” WordPress settings, make sure every check box is unchecked. You won’t be notifying other blogs and you can’t receive link notifications. You won’t be using the WordPress comment system at all.
In the “Media” WordPress settings, make sure the check boxes are unchecked. That’s they way they should be by default but aren’t.
In the “Permalinks” WordPress settings, click on the radio button for “Post name”. Then, click on the radio button for “Custom Structure”. Finally, remove the trailing slash in that input box. The input box should contain /%postname% only. You’ll understand why later on.
Your WordPress static site generator only needs a few plugins. Some of them could probably be eliminated by custom functions in the theme’s functions.php file but it isn’t worth the effort. These are the plugins needed, at a bare minimum:
If you’re concerned about social media and search engine optimization, you also need:
I personally recommend these:
I’ll go over the configuration options for all these plugins in the next article. Even the ones I merely recommend.