The Perplexing Challenge of Redesigning a Website with WordPress
Have you ever faced the daunting task of redesigning a website? If so, you know it can be a challenging process. However, if you’re using WordPress, it can actually be a fun experience. But wait, before you jump in and start redesigning, it’s crucial to understand why you’re doing it in the first place. Is your website outdated? Does it have a poor user interface? Or perhaps, it’s irrelevant to your target audience? Whatever the reason may be, redesigning your website will not only enhance the user experience but also boost your search engine ranking, resulting in more traffic and higher conversion rates.
Step 1: Planning the Redesign
Before you begin the redesign process, it’s essential to plan it out. First, identify the areas that need improvement, such as your logo, color scheme or content. Next, create a redesign checklist that details all of the items you need to address. You’ll also need to develop a design concept, including the website layout, color scheme, and typography. You can use the web design tool Canva to create a design mock-up that will guide the redesign process. Lastly, identify the essential features your website must have, such as a newsletter, social media links, search functionality, and contact forms.
Step 2: Backing Up the Current Website
To protect your current website, you must first back it up before starting the redesign process. Use a backup plugin like UpdraftPlus to create a full backup of your website, including the database, plugins, and media library.
Step 3: Installing a Maintenance Mode Plugin
Installing a maintenance mode plugin is essential when redesigning your website. This plugin will enable you to display a maintenance page that informs visitors that the website is undergoing maintenance. This will prevent visitors from accessing a broken or unfinished website while you redesign it. There are several free maintenance mode plugins available in the WordPress plugin repository, such as WP Maintenance Mode and Ultimate Coming Soon Page.
Step 4: Installing a Staging Site
A staging site is a duplicate of the current website created for testing purposes. It enables you to test the redesign and make changes before making it live. To install a staging site, create a subdomain or subdirectory on your web host. You can also use a staging plugin like WP Stagecoach or WP Staging to create a staging site.
Step 5: Redesigning the WordPress Theme
Once you’ve created a staging site, you can start redesigning the WordPress theme. This involves selecting a new theme or modifying the existing one. There are several free and premium WordPress themes to choose from, with premium themes offering more customization options and quality support, while free themes are ideal for small businesses with a tight budget. Additionally, you can use a page builder plugin like Elementor or Beaver Builder to create custom page layouts.
Step 6: Testing the Redesigned Website
After redesigning the website, it’s essential to test it on the staging site before making it live. Test every page to ensure that it works as intended. Check to see if the layout is responsive, if the media files are loading correctly, and if the functionality is working as expected. You can also check for broken links, navigation issues, and page errors. Once you’ve tested the website and made any necessary changes, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Step 7: Launching the Redesigned Website
The final step is to launch the redesigned website. This involves taking the website out of maintenance mode and making it live. Before doing so, delete any unnecessary files and plugins to optimize the website’s performance. You can also use an image optimizer plugin like Smush or ShortPixel to optimize images and reduce page loading time. Once the website is live, test it again to ensure that it’s functioning correctly.
In conclusion, redesigning a website in WordPress requires you to plan carefully and execute properly. Before starting, identify what needs improvement, create a checklist and back up your website. Install a maintenance mode plugin, create a staging site, and redesign the WordPress theme. Test the redesigned website, launch it, and optimize it for performance. By following these steps, you can redesign your website efficiently and effectively in WordPress.