After having a meeting to plan out all of the important aspects discussed in the previous post we had a good idea of what our site needed to look like and what information was most important for our clients.
Using whiteboards during the brainstorming session was a great way to visualize not only the content, but also the layout. With this in hand we started the process of updating the site. This begins with preparing all of the information, content, and media we would need to make sure the site was usable. When changing your site you want to avoid down-time as much as possible. Once we had created all of the content, images, and prepared some code we were able to take the next step.
Installing the new theme: WordPress makes it easy to install a new theme and make it live, but not all themes are created equal and not all themes play nicely. So, any time you are changing your theme be ready for issues; you may lose some or even most of your site’s functionality. This is why we do our preparation. By researching the theme and getting a solid understanding of its capabilities and how it works before installing it you can can save a lot of time and frustration. For exaple, our new theme uses Shortcodes to add different content and interactive properties. While in the preparation step, I gathered as much of that code as possible to minimize the amount of time the site was not usable for our clients. While the site could have been built “offline”, it is my personal preference to build a site live. If you have done your homework the downtime will be negligible.