Here is my formula for a blazing fast WordPress setup:

  1. Download a blank starter theme, I recommend Underscores.
  2. Pick out a nice prebuilt static template.
  3. Combine the purchased template + blank WordPress starter theme.
  4. Install ACF to easily update the custom themes content without unnecessary bloat.
  5. Install WP-Rocket, turn on every option. If it breaks the theme, dial back the settings.
  6. Setup all tracking codes using Google Tag Manager (GTM.)
  7. Optional: Setup Cloudflare WP APO.

How-to: Combine a static template with a blank WordPress theme

  1. Setup WordPress.
  2. Download Underscores.me theme (any blank starter theme will do), upload the files to your WordPress install.
  3. If you haven't already, pick a static template.
  4. Add the static template assets to underscores header.php and footer.php files. This includes merging the header and footer <code> integration.
  5. Upload the template assets to your theme's folder. If duplicate folder names exist, merge the folders. Avoid replacing files and folders.
  6. Link the assets to the folder path: echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); Screenshot below.
  7. Create a custom template for the homepage, easiest way to do this is by copying the structure of page.php, naming the file front-page.php will have WordPress pull it automatically as the homepage.
  8. Check all of your supporting pages to ensure proper styling (e.g., single.php, 404, Archive, Search, Categories, Tags.)
Link Assets
Custom Homepage