The default MVC 5 template sets things up very nicely and takes care of a lot of details like bundling/minimization, user data and authorization, etc. But it doesn't do everything, and obviously can't set configurations for a specific context. So I was trying to make checklist of what needs to be configured just to get the basic site up before I start 'filling it in'.
In response to your post, I guess the topic I'm interested in is making sure I have a checklist to go from the template to a production site. Here's what I came up with:
Install ELMAH to the project
<customErrors> to handle unhandled exceptions
<mailSettings> to send exception notification & general messaging
<sectionGroup name="elmah"> to record exceptions
<connectionStrings> to change the database connections for production
Run SQL scripts on hosting server to create databases and transfer necessary data (not much)
Setup the website publishing dialogue in Visual Studio
Other assorted details like tracing off, etc.
That was my first take after reviewing your book's Ch 18-19. I was concerned that maybe I missed something in the 'more advanced' books, but it just wasn't there, so that's why I came back to the 'beginning' book, which in this case is actually more 'advanced'.
If you have any comments or suggestions they are most welcome.