One project that I recently completed was the relaunching of MovieComment. This is a website that I started in 2006 and which I let languish for over a year. The original intent was for me to provide the space for friends to write movie reviews, but for some reason, I could never persuade anyone to write anything down. Eventually I started to neglect the site as WebKeyDesign took most of my time and I also have a regular job that keeps me quite busy these days. Over the last couple of weeks, I took some time out and retrofitted the site with a new WordPress theme, added some content, made some minor improvements, and did a security audit to make sure the site was secure.
For the theme, I went with a theme called dsantuary. The theme had a nice layout and built-in advertisement placement, but I did not like the navigation bar at all. I ended up changing the navigation bar to something I came up myself. Other than this there were a few theme changes, here and there to make the site work. For example the graphic for the sidebar was not tall enough to accommodate a long enough sidebar. I had to create a new graphic for the sidebar. Once I got rid the navigation bar, I had to find a place for the Search form, since the original had it built into the navigation bar. Search was moved into the sidebar.
While I will not list all the plugins that are setup on the site, the following plugins were added and configured for specific reasons and are worthy of consideration for most WordPress sites:
Since MovieComment was being relaunched, I needed to make sure that the content was going to be indexed properly and that it will show up correct on search engine sites. To start with good content needs meta tags. WordPress on its own does not really do a good job of providing this. For this you can try a plugin like All in One SEO Pack that tries to setup meta tags correctly for each page of your site. Once your content is meta tagged properly you will need to let search engines know your content is out there. The best way to do this is via a sitemap. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin does a good job of creating a sitemap automatically for you. Once you have Google XML Sitemaps setup go to Google Webmaster Tools to verify that Google has no problems reading your sitemap.
Security is important and I too have made the mistake of letting things slide and have paid the price for not keeping focused on security. Luckily now there are some good plugins to help with this. By installing Login LockDown and, WP Security Scan your WordPress site will be a little bit more secure and being more secure always helps webmasters sleep better.