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Getting Your Site Ready For Trellis

Everything you need to prepare before you take the plunge!

Palmer Zona avatar
Written by Palmer Zona
Updated over a week ago

We're so excited to have you on board as a new Trellis Framework user!

No doubt, this change comes after much deliberation and anticipation, but it also brings you a lot more than just a new look and feel - Trellis is an entirely new WordPress framework, not just a theme. This means that from the ground up, you want to set yourself up for success.

To get everything off on the right foot, this guide will walk you through all of the important details that you need to confirm before you officially make the switch.

1. WordPress Version

First things first - check to confirm that you are running WordPress version 5.2 or higher to be compatible with Trellis. Learn how to check which version of WordPress you are using here.

2. Touch Base With Your Host

Contact your host ASAP about the following:

  • Your PHP version should be updated to version 7.2. We don't currently support PHP version 8.0.

  • You should have a recent backup of your website. This is always a good practice whenever you switch to a different theme, a different host, or make any major changes to your site.

  • Your hosting plan needs to be adequate for the amount of traffic on your site. Plan on a small increase in server space to accommodate optimized files for critical CSS and .WebP images. If you're currently at 80% capacity, you'll want to upgrade. Check your hosting plan, or ask your host if you're not sure.

    • By default, WordPress creates 7 different image sizes for each image you upload. However these 7 image sizes aren't enough for Google PageSpeed Insights' standards, so Trellis will also create 8-9 additional image sizes. Lastly, if you use Trellis Images, then each of your image sizes will get a webp version to meet modern web standards and optimization.

3. Have an Eye on Your Plugins

You likely do a periodical plugin audit anyway, but we highly recommend evaluating what you currently have before switching over to Trellis. You will want to take stock of your plugins and remove anything that is deactivated, out of date, or redundant.

The best performing Trellis sites keep a lean and focused suite of plugins activated on the site - usually no more than 10-15 plugins are necessary.

To do an audit, here are some things to keep in mind as you objectively evaluate your site:

  • Lazy Loading Plugins - Trellis supplements and improves built-in WordPress lazy loading with a solution that also lazy loads comments and iframes. If you have an active plugin just for lazy loading images, comments, or your YouTube embeds, you will want to ditch it.

  • Image Optimization and .WebP Plugins - Trellis Images (a plugin included with your Trellis license) will use your existing images to non-destructively generate .WebP versions and serve them in supporting browsers. Keeping in mind that Trellis natively lazy loads images as well, you don't need to run any additional plugins for image lazy loading or .WebP generation. If you're running an image optimization plugin for other concerns, you can keep it but turn off redundant features.

  • Font Plugins - Trellis has a selection of web-safe and Google Web Fonts built-in, that you can choose from in the Display tab of the Trellis settings. Any font available from Google Web Fonts can easily be added to your Trellis theme as a custom font as well. Keep in mind, though, that web-safe fonts are recommended for performance and Core Web Vitals, and these are already included with Trellis. All of this means that any additional font plugins you are running should no longer be needed.

  • Performance Plugins - Because of Trellis's built-in optimizations, most optimization plugins such as Autoptimize, Nitropack, or other similar plugins are redundant. These can also potentially break some of Trellis's functionality and/or cause display issues. Simplify your life by disabling conflicting optimization settings in third-party plugins, or ditch them altogether, and let Trellis do the rest. All you should need is a basic caching plugin. Check out our Conflicts and Compatibilities article for more detailed help.

  • Page Builders - Trellis is not built to be compatible with third-party builders such as Elementor, Divi Builder, etc. Trellis is made for speed, but that performance can be quickly sabotaged by heavy page builder tools that drastically change your markup, add a lot of unnecessary CSS, and make ad placements difficult. If you absolutely need a heavier page builder tool than Gutenberg, Trellis might not be a good fit. We recommend moving away from third party page builders prior to installing Trellis. In lieu of page builders, Trellis users have found success with Gutenberg Add-On plugins (just be sure you use only ONE of these plugins). These are also great for customizing a static homepage without sacrificing speed.

  • Theme-Specific Plugins - Genesis and most theme-specific plugins aren't currently compatible with the Trellis theme, so those can be deleted.

  • Code-Inserting Plugins - If you’re currently using Genesis Hooks, Insert Headers & Footers, Ad Inserter, or another plugin to insert JavaScript, Shortcode, or HTML into your site, you can move those code snippets over to the Trellis Hooks section instead. Note: Trellis Hooks does NOT support PHP code.

  • Google Analytics Plugins - If you're using a third-party plugin to insert your Google Analytics ID, or inserting this using a code-inserting plugin, you can remove that implementation and use the Trellis Advanced settings to do this work for you instead.

4. Prepare Important Odds and Ends

Before you install Trellis, you'll want to gather up the below codes and pieces of info, copy them, and paste them into a note for safekeeping.

Google Analytics Tags

Grab your Google Analytics tag(s) by opening up your profile and clicking on All Website Data. As shown in the screenshots below, this is where you can find your UA tag, as well as your GA4 tag if you have that set up.

Google Site Verification Tag

The Google Site Verification Tag is different than your Google Analytics tag, and it's used to verify ownership of your site for Google Search Console.

There are a few ways to add this to your site. The most common methods are to upload an HTML file to your website or add a meta tag through a code widget or a plugin like Yoast.

If you currently have this added to your site by uploading an HTML file or with a plugin, it should transfer over just fine. However, if it’s been added to one of your theme template files, you’ll want to copy it from there. Then after Trellis is installed, you can add it to one of the Trellis hooks.

Pinterest Verification Code

The Pinterest Verification Code is used to confirm ownership of your site for your Pinterest account.

Similar to the Google Site Verification, the most common implementation we see is to add the meta tag to a code widget or a plugin like Yoast, so it should come over fine. If it’s been added to one of your theme template files, though, copy it from there. Then after Trellis is installed, you can add it to one of the Trellis hooks.

Your Site Logo

This should be an easy enough thing to find in the media library of your site, but double-check that you can find it easily because you’ll need to re-add it to the theme customizer during the switch.

This help article can help you add your site logo to Trellis during installation.

A Square Site Icon

You probably already have one of these, but if not, you’ll want this icon to be a square image, preferably at least 512px high and wide.

You can then add this icon either to the Site Identity tab in the WordPress customizer or to the Progressive Web App tab in the Trellis Settings UI.

This icon will be used as the favicon image for your site, as well as the PWA icon for diehard users who want to view your blog as a progressive web app on their desktop or mobile device.

Primary and Secondary color hex codes

You'll want to have your brand colors ready to go, or pick two colors from your current theme and save the hex codes for easy access. Trellis has Primary and Secondary color pickers built-in, so you can add these colors in after installation.

Code in Genesis Hooks

If you’re currently using a Genesis child theme, check for any code or scripts in your Genesis Hooks, like third-party scripts or embeds that might need to migrate over.

This might be where you currently keep your Google Analytics tag, your opt-in form scripts, or Google or Pinterest Verification Codes.

Genesis Hooks won’t work outside of a Genesis theme, but we’ve provided a place for each of the most common use cases.

Reviewing your Genesis Hooks is also a good time to audit your third-party scripts. Those scripts are most likely slowing down your site, so if they’re not essential to your business, let them go.

5. Know Where to Get Help

Be sure to bookmark our Trellis Help Center right away, and save to your address book in case you need to contact our team. We are always happy to assist you!

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