Oftentimes, I get asked “Is it difficult to redesign my existing website with WordPress?”
The simple answer to this question is no.
It is possible to redesign pretty much any type of website using WordPress. Whether you have an informational website, e-commerce website, membership website, lead capture website, real estate website, or even a more customized database driven content management system – it is possible to convert your website to WordPress.
Now with that being said, there are processes and procedures you will want to follow in order to make the switch effective and as seamless as possible.
First of all, you will want to design your new WordPress website on a test server. This can be on a special server set up on your local machine or a sub-domain setup on your hosting account or perhaps you may even want to move your existing site to a new domain name (which can be done as well). Some of the latest software releases like Dreamweaver 2o11 have built-in WordPress specific design enhancements. Like code hinting. For non-programmers what this cool new feature offers is similar to an auto-complete tool. Where you start typing something in the coding side and the system will prompt you to auto-complete the rest of the code.
Next, once your design is complete and you are ready to start the switch you will want to ensure the database on your existing website is backed up. Web-hosting solutions such as Bluehost (♥) make this process pretty easy. Although most web-hosting companies will automatically be backing up your site on a regular basis, it may be a heck of a process to actually retrieve the data from them in the advent something goes wrong.
If you have a high trafficked website, then you will want to start this process at a non-peak period time usually, late at night. Also, it’s good to inform your regular visitors that they may experience some down time during the transition.
One of the key factors to consider in every website redesign project is your existing site structure, meta tags, page-rank and how your site is currently being indexed by search engines. Google, for instance will have your current site indexed based on your current content, meta tags, how your site is designed, the relevant backlinks linking back to your site, the age of your domain, and your current link (URL) structure just to name a few.
Therefore, you will want to mimic your existing site design as closely as possible.
Do you have any questions in regards to redesigning your site with WordPress?