Creating a New Site from Scratch

I want to create a new site, but where do I start?

The first thing you need to keep in mind when creating a new site is what the functionality of this site will be: Will giving happen on this site? What kind of content should be available? Will it have a dashboard, too? What domain will be used on this new site? These are questions you should ask yourself before diving right in as this would define a clear path for you to take and possibly lessen the amount of steps needed to create your new site!

I have answered my questions, but now what?

That's great! Now it is time to start at the very beginning of the creation process. Log into your SiteStacker installation and head to the Sites Component. Type in the name of your Site and then click the 'Save & Close' button to have it added. Once that is completed, you will now need to add the Site Channel, which is where everything related to your Site will be living. After adding the Name, Title, Template (changes depending on if your original site had Base, custom, one or more templates that you can choose from), and Language, click 'Save & Close'. Right-click on your newly added Site Channel and select the 'Manage Domains' option. Here you can add a testing URL, for demo purposes, like, and making sure that it is the Primary domain if you have multiple domains being used on this Site. Click 'Save & Close' and you now have successfully created the first part of your Site! Next, we will be covering how to add Components, which is always the most tedious of the process!

Adding Your Site Components

Components are a huge part of making sure that content renders correctly, including data that will be pulled from this Site. Depending on the type of Site you stated this one would be, you have the option to choose from the following components:

  • Advocacy: If your Site will be containing Peer-to-Peer Giving and User Campaigns, then you will want to make sure that this component is living on this site.
  • Contributions: If your Site will be tracking giving of any sort, then this is a necessary component for all things related to giving. NOTE: You will need to choose a Donor Record Type and Organization Record Type so that your Contributions work!
  • Locations: This deals with our new Checkout page configuration, which will only be necessary if you are using the Contributions component and want new functionality.
  • Messages: This is a component that controls all messages within your Dashboard and Primary Sites (if you have both).
  • Motion: You shouldn't need to worry about this one unless you are a legacy user with any Motion forms on your site.
  • Newsletters: This component is used to link your Newsletter service with SiteStacker so that you can seamlessly sign-up people for your desired newsletters.
  • Payment Processors: Here is where you can now add giving functionality, as without a Payment Processor you wouldn't be able to capture gifts.
  • Prayers: If your Site will have a Prayer section then you can use this component to make sure it is rendering correctly
  • Search: This component should be added if you have any search functionality that will be used on your site including: Projects, Missionaries, Google Search, SiteStacker search, etc.
  • Social Networks: Used for linking Social Media to your SiteStacker installation.
  • System Messages: This component works in making sure that any System Messages needed to be sent to SiteStacker users get sent.
  • Users: Every Site needs this for Users to properly work.

Once you have added and configured each of these Components, you will then need to add those same exact ones to the Site Channel level! Note: You can copy settings from an existing Site by having each window's settings by having them side-by-side, or you can play with the settings to create something new with each of these Components at both levels!

Configuring SiteStacker Admin Components

Now that you have added each component that will make your Site's content display somewhat at a basic view, it is now time to add some extra configuration! You should check that the following steps are done to ensure that each component will work correctly:

  • Make sure that ALL components that you will need on your Site are created and working correctly so that you won't have any hiccups
  • Under the Processors component, make sure you Add a Payment Processor if you are looking to capture any transactions
  • On that same Processors component you will want to go to the Currencies tab to add your Site's primary currency so that your checkout page works
  • Make sure that your Template chosen is correct before we start adding content so that you know each of the Positions and Views available to you

Once all components have been configured and checked it is now onto the creation of content!

Creating & Configuring Your Site's Content

Components are the first half of making sure your site looks awesome, but the other half comes straight out of the Site Planner component! This is where you will be making sure that you have all of your needed Content Types with the correct fields and that creating content becomes second nature! First let's take a look at the Content Types:

  • Head into the Site Planner component where you would see the Content Explorer and Site Plan windows.
  • Focusing on the Content Explorer side, click the arrow to display all of your current sites in SiteStacker.
  • Find your new Site, right-click and choose 'Manage Content Types'
  • Depending on what you will be using your Site for, add the desired Content Types. Note:Wrappers, Static, Menu & Component Pages should always be added as Content Types to ensure that all base items are able to be created!
  • Once those have been added, right-click again on your Site and from there Add Folder button, add each of your Content Type folders. These are where each different part of your Site will be built!
  • For creating any content, simply right-click on a folder and choose 'Add Item'. This is now where you can create different content with varying settings that can then be published to your new Site!
  • Once you have added each content item, create pages by right-clicking on your Site in the Site Plan side and choose 'Add Folder', naming it all pages, and then then right-clicking on that folder and choosing 'Add Page' to keep things a bit more organized.
  • You should then be able to publish each item by dragging items from the Content Explorer onto your pages in Site Plan!

Help! What if something isn't working?

The first place to check when something isn't working is within the Settings of the item that may not be working. The most common problem is usually due to a misconfiguration! We all make mistakes sometimes and that is why we should double and triple-check our work to ensure it is working before sending it out to the public. If things are still not working after checking everywhere there could be a problem, then you can get in touch with our Support team by clicking on the chat bubble!

Modified on Thu, 14 Sep 2023 at 10:08 AM

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Make sure these features are added to your Site Stacker installation by learning how to run updates here!