One of the best uses for WordPress is to do a website redesign quickly. I’m going to demonstrate that by taking a complex website like this one (Web Design WorkPlace), and I’m going to completely convert it to a new Theme in a timely manner. I’ll document it every step of the way to tell you all in a later post.
Why Redesign the Website In the First Place ?
After every 4 to 6 months, I take a look at how effectively a professional business website is meeting it’s goals. Sometimes based on statistics and the judgment of other SEOs, it’s time for a website redesign. That’s exactly what we decided to do with Web Design WorkPlace. I was getting almost 2,000 unique visitors a month. So at first you might think that’s great… but was it leading to sales? No. The traffic was mostly other WP Designers and other IT Professionals looking for tips on WordPress development. So the first reason for a redesign was that my real goal which was getting sales for WordPress Web Sites was not being reached by the website look and feel and the content. I was off course.
I took a Subliminal Vacation
Well – I just did what every WordPress Consultant does sometime during their career, and that is to take a break from blogging. I know it was a tad sinful to stay away from posting for 3 months but I’m ready for a blogging tear now and I’m letting it rip starting this weekend. The truth of the matter is that I’ve had so much work building WordPress and Studio Press Themes out that I did the old “Shoemakers children are the last to get new shoes” thing. This break from blogging gave me a chance to collect 4 months of data to get a solid picture of what the website was actually doing.
Redesigning a Big Site is Huge, Did I decide Alone?
I’ve taken a hard look at the traffic this site has generated and made some judgments. In addition to my analysis, I’ve had 3 friends whom I’ve worked with for more than 2 years to take a look at my stats as well. So we all put our heads together and decided 3 big things:
1.) I was getting lots of traffic – but from the wrong sources. The traffic was not the type of qualified buyers I should have been looking for, it was mostly web designers and SEO’s. I was #1 and #2 on Google for a number of very competitive phrases, but these phrases were not getting me sales. My PageRank was still very high at PR4 so there was an excellent chance I could reconfigure the entire site and quickly get on top of other phrases in terms of ranking.
2.) The look and feel was not creating the right call to action for the traffic I was getting that was qualified… so my conversion rate was way low. Although I was still getting prospects looking for what I was selling, the site did not get them to buy.
What is the Next Step in a Redesign Process After You Decide To Go For It?
I went to my favorite New Jersey Diner and sat down with my big design notebook and made 4 pages of written notes. Then I picked a WordPress Theme that would fit the requirements. I went with a Studio Press Genesis Framework because I think they are the best in the business right now. In terms of functionality, SEO effectiveness, and beauty. I picked the Metric Theme for my site becasue it had everything I wanted. Those are the steps… everything else is detail work and it’s the most time consuming. I’ll write a number of posts to describe what a website redesign entails as we go along.