There are many folks out there who still have an older HTML website. Then there are those who are stuck using an antiquated content management system (CMS) to run their site. They may want to make the switch to a more modern and well-supported platform for their online offerings, such as WordPress. But, how can that be accomplished?
It’s not as hard as one might think. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the process:
Step 1: Evaluate the Current Website
- Is the look and layout sufficient, or should the site’s look be rebuilt from the ground up?
- The content must undergo a detailed review. We must determine what’s good, what’s bad and what’s missing.
- Are there any features or functionality that must be kept/recreated?
Step 2: Determine the Needs for the New, WordPress-based, Website
- What is the desired look and layout?
- Since WordPress is a dynamic, database-driven platform, it’s a good idea to look at ways to use that to your advantage. For example, with WordPress, you can easily create news feeds, interactive calendars and membership-based functions for your new site. What features and functions make sense for your organization?
- How do any new features fit within your budget?
- Will all of your previous content need to be imported into WordPress? This is particularly important when considering things like press releases, newsletters and blog posts that may have years worth of archives.
- It’s very important to develop a content strategy. Larger websites would benefit from creating a hierarchy of how content will be created and accessed AHEAD OF TIME.
- Will your organization handle maintenance and updates?
Step 3: Putting it All Together
- A preliminary design is created and reviewed. Any necessary revisions are made.
- The content hierarchy is built. Content is now starting to be placed onto the website.
- Any adjustments? The good news here is that WordPress is very flexible, so changing content structure, etc. can be accomplished. It’s preferable we figure out any necessary adjustments as early in the process as possible.
- Features and functions are setup and go through a review process to make sure they serve users in the most efficient way.
Step 4: Review, Testing and Launch
- It’s time to ensure that the site:
a) Looks the way it should
b) Has the content and structure it needs
c) Works properly
- Test the site on a variety of platforms (including mobile) and make revisions, if necessary.
- Once all parties are satisfied, the site is released to the public.
Of course, after the site is launched, adjustments may need to be made. It’s a best practice to find out how users are actually using the site. The goal is to make things as easy as possible for them, which in turn benefits your organization.
Have questions? Please feel free to contact me.