Step 01 – Building A WordPress Site Using Bricks Builder

Updated : 04-Jul-2023

I have written a series of posts that describes that the things I do when setting up a new Bricks Builder website. Most of the steps are well-described elsewhere online, but not in the specific order in which I want do things. Where something is explained well elsewhere, I will refer to it with a link.

A Standard Approach To WordPress Builds

When constructing a WordPress site, there are a few basic settings to configure. The settings will normally be the same for every WordPress site you create. So rather than repeat this set-up task again and again, it makes sense to do the work once and save it in a special site that you can use as a starting point for all other new sites. You may want to consider doing that.

You will need to include a number of plugins and other tools of your own choosing. I’ll list the plugins I use later.

Develop All New Sites On Sub-Domains

I often build new sites on a development sub-domain instead of directly on the final destination domain. Sometimes, of course, this isn’t absolutely necessary. If the destination domain is brand-new and there is no existing site in place, you can build the new site directly on the intended domain. But even in this case, I would still build it out on a development sub-domain.

For this purpose, I bought a domain name similar to this one : I didn’t care that the domain was a .website and not a .com – in fact it could have had any TLD (top level domain). If you are going to go this route, just get yourself a cheap domain name with any TLD that suits you.

Build Seed Sites On Sub-Domains Too

I also build my seed sites on sub-domains. I built my Bricks Builder seed site on a subdomain similar to It will live there permanently. I set my Oxygen seed site up at domain similar to : The idea is these seed sites live on those sub-domains permanently.

Site Development Process Using A Seed Site

If the site I’m making for myself or a client, is a site promoting say, dog-related products, I would build that initially at something like,   If I’m developing the dog site in Bricks Builder then to do this, I would start off by copying the seed site at to At this point it would be ready to go with all the WordPress basics already set up.

To do the actual site copying I’d either use the fabulous All In One Migration plugin or my host, GridPane‘s built in cloning function. You can use whichever method you are familiar with.

Further, I would continue to develop the dog site in that sub-domain location until the finished design, complete with placeholder content is ready for review by the client, or if it’s my site, until I’m happy with it.

Once the dog site design containing placeholder content is signed off by the client, I would take a backup of it using the All In One Migration plugin, and then overwrite the placeholder content with the client’s planned, real content.

Once the real content is in, I’d migrate the site to its proper domain, say from, again, either using the All In One Migration plugin or GridPanes‘s cloning function.

Then I’d restore the backup I took of the development site at when it only contained placeholder content.

Maintain A Robust Web Design Portfolio

Web designers need website portfolios. But even when only working on your own sites it’s still worth building a website portfolio. Why? Because occasionally you’ll make extra money quickly by building a site of the type you typically build for yourself, for others. You’ll have more chance of winning unexpected business like that if you’ve a got an existing portfolio.

But if you’re in the full-time business of building sites for others you definitely need a portfolio.

Building out a portfolio, using subdomains can be a good way to reliably display your web design work

Potential Problems With Web Design Portfolios

Building up a website portfolio on your own sub-domains will help maintain a clean, evergreen portfolio enabling you to avoid embarrassing surprises.

When you handover a new site to a client, (assuming they’re managing it themselves), the site can quickly degrade. Clients may,

  • fail to update plugins
  • add poor quality plugins
  • do something that causes the site to be hacked
  • make additions to the site that look out of place
  • add content without the proper markup
  • add low-quality images or graphics and so on.
  • cause the site (for various reasons) to perform poorly
  • revamp the site using another web designer

They may have employed third parties to do SEO, add blog content, or add extra features to the site such as pop-ups, ad insertions or landing pages. The client could end up with a site that doesn’t present the design you originally conceived as intended, and/or performs poorly when put through a performance tester.

This means that people checking your portfolio could end up with a poor impression of the work you do. Also, in cases like this, the client’s site is now an amalgamation of your work and that of many others.

Some Client Sites In Your Portfolio Will Be Ruined

This is a problem when you want to display a portfolio. You may be too embarrassed to list a site on your portfolio if it has changed in bewildering ways since you handed it over.

The way around this is to build out a version of the site on your own subdomain complete with dummy content, as already explained above. The result is that you will always have a clean version of your design to show on your system of sub-domains. You can of course also refer to the live site in your portfolio. But you can simultaneously show potential clients how well-optimised your site was originally and ensure it looks exactly as intended.

The only downside of course is that you have to keep all your portfolio sites, thus preserved, updated with plugin and WordPress updates.

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