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The Definitive Guide to Setting Up WordPress in 2024: A Bristol Freelance Web Developer’s Essential Setup

18.Apr.2024 | , , , ,

The Definitive Guide to Setting Up WordPress in 2024: A Bristol Freelance Web Developer’s Essential Setup

In the ever-evolving landscape of website development, staying ahead of the curve is essential. As a freelance web developer based in Bristol, I understand the importance of starting with a solid foundation when building custom WordPress websites. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the essential steps to set up WordPress on your server using WHM (Web Host Manager), along with the must-have plugins for optimal performance and security in 2024. Let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to a flawless WordPress setup that’s primed for success.

Step 1: Installing WordPress via WHM

Setting up WordPress on your server via WHM is a straightforward process that begins with accessing your hosting account. You can either look for a WordPress installer on your server, or install WordPress Manually. You will need a web hosting server running WHM / cPanel and a domain pointing to the server ready to go.

Installing WordPress Manually

Once you have access to your hosting account you will need to setup a new account using the URL for your website. Then you will need to create a SQL database in phpMyAdmin using the phpMyAdmin Wizard. Save your DB Name, DB Username, and DP Password for later.

Download the latest version of WordPress and unzip. Make a copy of wp-config-sample.php and rename to wp-config.php. Add in the SQL details you kept from earlier and save the file:


Connect to your new host server via FTP using FileZilla and upload the core WordPress files into the root folder – including your updated wp-config file.

WordPress files

Go to the web address and after confirming the details, click on the “Install” button to initiate the installation process. Within minutes, WordPress will be installed on your server, ready for customisation and content creation.

Step 2: Minimum PHP Specification 8.1

With WordPress embracing the latest technologies, ensuring your server meets the minimum PHP specification of 8.1 is crucial. This not only guarantees compatibility with the latest WordPress features but also enhances performance and security.

To check your server’s PHP version, log in to WHM and navigate to the “Software” section. Select “MultiPHP Manager” and locate your domain in the list of accounts. From here, you can upgrade the PHP version to 8.1 if it’s not already enabled, ensuring seamless integration with WordPress.

Step 3: Essential Plugins for Peak Performance

No WordPress setup is complete without the right plugins to enhance functionality, security, and performance. In 2024, the following plugins are indispensable for any custom-built website:

  1. ACF Pro (Advanced Custom Fields): Empower yourself with unparalleled flexibility and control over your website’s content structure. ACF Pro allows you to create custom fields, meta boxes, and more, turning your WordPress site into a dynamic, content-rich powerhouse.
  2. WordFence Security: Safeguard your website against threats with the industry-leading security plugin, WordFence. With advanced firewall protection, malware scanning, and real-time threat defence, WordFence ensures peace of mind for both you and your visitors.
  3. W3 Total Cache: Boost your website’s speed and performance with W3 Total Cache, the ultimate caching solution for WordPress. By caching static assets and optimizing server performance, W3 Total Cache delivers lightning-fast page load times and a superior user experience.
  4. Contact Form 7: Streamline communication with your audience by adding customisable contact forms to your website. Contact Form 7 is a versatile plugin that simplifies the process of creating and managing contact forms, making it easy for visitors to get in touch.
  5. Yoast SEO: Elevate your website’s search engine optimisation with Yoast SEO, the leading WordPress SEO plugin. Yoast SEO provides valuable insights and tools to optimise your content, meta tags, and site structure, helping you rank higher in search engine results and attract more organic traffic.

Step 4: Optimising for SEO and Ranking

Elevating your website’s visibility in search engine results is paramount to reaching your target audience effectively. With the right SEO strategy, your WordPress setup can soar to the top of search engine rankings, attracting organic traffic and increasing your online presence.

One of the most powerful tools in your SEO arsenal is Yoast SEO. This comprehensive WordPress plugin offers invaluable insights and features to optimise your website for search engines. From analysing content readability to providing real-time suggestions for improving keyword placement, Yoast SEO empowers you to fine-tune every aspect of your website for maximum impact.

In addition to leveraging Yoast SEO, there are several key areas to focus on when optimising your WordPress setup for SEO:

  1. Targeted Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords strategically throughout your website’s content, meta tags, titles, and descriptions to improve its visibility for relevant search queries.
  2. Optimised Meta Tags: Craft compelling meta titles and descriptions that accurately reflect the content of each page and entice users to click through to your website.
  3. Schema Markup: Implement schema markup to provide search engines with structured data about your content, helping them understand its context and relevance.
  4. XML Sitemap: Create an XML sitemap to ensure that search engines can easily discover and index all of your website’s pages, improving its visibility in search results.
  5. Site Speed Optimisation: Optimise your website’s loading speed by leveraging tools like W3 Total Cache and optimising images and other media files. A faster website not only enhances user experience but also earns favour with search engines, leading to higher rankings.

By incorporating these strategies and harnessing the power of Yoast SEO, you can supercharge your WordPress setup for SEO success. From attracting organic traffic to increasing conversions, optimising your website for search engines is key to unlocking its full potential in the digital landscape.

Step 5: Conclusion

In conclusion, the year 2024 brings new opportunities and challenges for WordPress developers. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set up a custom WordPress website that’s optimised for performance, security, and SEO. From installing WordPress via WHM to selecting essential plugins, each step plays a crucial role in shaping the success of your website.

As a freelance web developer serving Bristol and beyond, I specialise in creating bespoke WordPress solutions that elevate brands and drive results. Whether you’re launching a new website or revamping an existing one, I’m here to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of web development. Let’s collaborate to build a WordPress website that exceeds your expectations and delivers tangible results for your business.

Freelance web developer Bristol | Web designer Bristol | Web developer Bristol | WordPress developer Bristol | Freelance WordPress developer | Web design Bristol

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  • html5
  • css3
  • sass
  • php
  • WordPress
  • WooCommerce