How I build WordPress websites

In this blog article, I want to describe my proven process for developing WordPress websites, from conception to implementation and maintenance.


  1. Concept phase
  2. Technical Implementation:
  3. Handover & Go-Live
  4. Maintenance
  5. Conclusion

Concept phase

In many agency projects, I am involved early on, during the conception phase. Here, I can contribute my experience in terms of strategy, page structure, and scope.


The design usually comes from the agency or an external screen designer. For this, I have a detailed checklist of the required data:

  • Basic styles and components (buttons, text styles, colors, …)
  • Assets needed (e.g., favicon, OG-image, fonts, photos)
  • Format of the screen design (Adobe XD, Figma, Sketch)
  • Screen sizes required for responsive styles
  • Design of different states (hover states, forms, filters, …)

If I’m not involved from the beginning of the conception, I receive the final design and concept as the basis for estimating costs.

During the design phase, I often coordinate with the screen designer to clarify technical feasibility and effort.

Cost Estimation

Based on the conception or briefing, I can provide an initial cost estimate for the technical implementation. My cost estimates are very detailed and include a side letter outlining the planned scope, requested features, provided services, and information about the quality of the result: How technical SEO will be done, which accessibility standards (A11y) are essential, which browsers are supported, possible data privacy issues, costs of third-party plugins, etc.

With the final design approved by the client, there might be an updated cost estimate from me.

Technical Conception

While the design is being developed, I work on the technical conception. For each project, I focus on adapting the technical implementation to the requirements. Although I mainly work with WordPress, it’s not always the best choice. Therefore, questions arise like:

  • Is WordPress the best choice for the application?
  • Does it make sense to integrate a second system for a specific part (e.g., Shopify)?
  • How should external systems be connected (e.g., merchandise management, APIs)?
  • Should the data be available in applications – does a REST-based/headless variant make sense?

And when using WordPress:

  • Is it beneficial to make everything editable with the block editor?
  • Is a page builder (e.g., Elementor) a better choice for the client?
  • Which shop software (WooCommerce, Shopify, EDD) is suitable?
  • Which functions will be solved through third-party plugins, and which ones will I develop myself?
  • How does the architecture and data model for custom developed functionality look?
  • Which hosting provider makes sense (e.g., server location + CDN connection important for international companies)?

Technical Implementation:

Only after the design is approved, I start with the technical implementation, which is divided into several steps:

  • CMS setup + basic configuration
  • Theme setup & basic design
  • Implementation of templates/content modules (blocks)
  • Implementation of specific functionalities (e.g., forms, multilingual support, shop, …)
  • Testing: cross-browser compatibility, accessibility, performance

For more extensive projects, I sometimes begin with a static frontend (HTML + CSS + JS) or have another developer deliver it. Only after that, it is integrated into editable, dynamic content modules (using custom blocks).

I try to utilize the WordPress Block Editor (“Gutenberg”) as much as possible, adapting via core blocks and styles/variations rather than building custom blocks.

Depending on the requirements, I rely on plugins or develop custom functionalities. I use as few well-programmed and tested plugins as possible. All functions are put into a “Core Functionality” plugin.

For the theme, I have my own boilerplates: My _g Theme and a variation of it as a GeneratePress Child Theme.

I place great emphasis on a good “Editor Experience,” meaning editors should be able to edit content easily. I want the client to be able to manage the website themselves, including any code I write, which I document and comment on thoroughly, so the client/agency is not tied to me.

Handover & Go-Live

The first test version is sent to the agency or screen designer. If the client wants to handle content loading themselves, I provide training. I show how WordPress and the block editor work, how to edit content, and how to use special features. I also provide a detailed manual with screenshots for documentation purposes.

The client can then fill the content themselves. After the initial content loading, I retest all pages and modules.

In the case of a website relaunch, I provide the client with a checklist, including necessary DNS changes, required access for Search Console/hosting, and a timetable for the transition to avoid downtime. Additionally, a redirection list is created.

After the go-live, I monitor the site for a few weeks and provide support for the client.


Once the go-live is completed, and the website is operational, my work is essentially done. However, I offer all my clients a “maintenance contract.” This includes ongoing monitoring of the site for errors, uptime and security monitoring, backups, updates, and support. Additionally, I offer technical changes or more comprehensive support (e.g. for content changes).


My process, from conception to maintenance, ensures that I can develop high-quality websites that meet the needs of my clients. By using proven tools, plugins, and libraries, I am able to create websites that are technically robust, visually appealing, and easy to maintain.