He sat there, staring at the recently downloaded package of Joomla. The client brief for a new web site. Freshly printed and laying on his desk. Contract signed.
Still, he dreaded the process ahead of him. He just wanted to get started building the site. But before that, he needed to do the dirty work. Install Joomla, configure it. Install a plethora of extensions, configure them. Install the basic template he always uses as a starting point for new sites. Configure it.
As his gaze drifted out the window and over the calm waters below, he wondered what it would be like to be out there. Fishing, perhaps... A seagull screamed and yanked him out of his daydreaming.
Then he decided: No more... He decided to build something else this time. Not that particular site the client had asked for. But a starting point. A fresh start for every site he would later build.
As he fired up his FTP client, he had a satisfied smile on his lips. Taking a sip of his coffee, he wondered why he never thought of this before. There was no looking back. He just had to get this done, and he was free.
How many times have you received a new project, eager to build the site's functions, implement the design and fill it with content? Only to be stuck with a lot of tedious, repeating work installing Joomla and the components, languages, templates and more that you always use?
I have - every time I start a new project. And I feel I'm wasting my time. My time is precious, and I hate wasting it on repetitive tasks. That's partly why I outsource. And I'm a bit lazy. That's very much why I outsource ;)
A starting point
Anyway, what I've started doing is to maintain a baseline site for new projects. Basically, this is a basic Joomla 1.6 install that I keep up to date. Also, I keep all of my most commonly used extensions and templates installed and updated on this installation. Some of them include:
I've also configured the site and administrator like I want all (or most) of my sites to be configured. The Joomla configuration. The language files. The .htaccess file. The robots.txt file. All of these are adjusted the way I like to have them, once and for all.
I also keep a couple of templates from YooTheme and Joomla Bamboo in this installation. That way, I can use the one most fitting for my project. Or I'll simply install a new one.
Keeping it updated
As mentioned, I keep this baseline site updated at all times. So whenever I need to build a new site, all I have to do is do a full backup of the site with Akeeba Backup. This creates a copy of the site files, as well as the database tables. Now, I can create a new site on my server. Then I add a new database on the mySQL server. And finally, install the site there using the kickstart functions of Akeeba.
When installing the site, I choose the newly created database and user name/password, and the site is ready.
This is done in less than 10 minutes. It also helps secure that I always have the sites correctly configured.
And most importantly, it saves loads of time!