Where to Begin Upleveling an Old WordPress Website?
Daze Lisenkoff, owner of the hypnoplace.com, asked me to update the prices on her website. When I logged into her WordPress website, the first thing I noticed was she needed over 13 updates, including WordPress itself.
Before I could update WordPress I saw a prompt warning me that WordPress could NOT be updated because the PHP code needed to be updated, first.
To do that I needed to contact Daze’s website hosting company, because PHP is handled by your host.
[BTW, if you are not sure who is hosting your website, whoishostingthis.com will tell you!]
It would take me a few hours to…
- Update her PHP
- Her prices
- Her PayPal buttons
- Her website
Was that going to help her attract more business?
For starters, her website was over 5 years old, and her navigation menu had too many tabs. Some tabs had dropped down menus. The entire user experience was overwhelming.
So, our first step was to create a cleaner, less cluttered navigation menu, on a new cleaner looking theme, but…
I did not start by downloading a new WordPress theme to replace the old one. Instead I created a spreadsheet with 7 pages:
A navigation menu with 7 pages is getting to be a large website, but it was a lot more manageable than her old navigation menu with 23 (!!!) items.
I then clicked on each tab on her home page and asked:
- Is this a Post (blog post) or a Page?
- If it’s a Page does it belong in ABOUT, HYPNOSIS, FAQ, or TESTIMONIALS?
As you will see in the spreadsheet, we didn’t lose any pages. We just organized them into main pages and subpages.
The other exciting thing was now Daze had a Blog. If she creates a new blog post once or twice a month it will help her SEO.
It took about 90 minutes to go through Daze’s old website and create a new navigation menu on a spreadsheet. The next step was to set up a test site.
Setting up a test site
Test sites make updating an old site so much easier because…
- You copy and paste your text into a clean, new website, rather than trying bring order to chaos on an existing site.
- You can quickly create a navigation menu because you know which pages belong in the main navigation menu and which should show up as dropdown item.
If you don’t know how to set up a test site, contact your web host and ask them to do it for you. Be sure to tell them what site your test site will eventually replace.
Now create your new menu
WordPress makes it super easy to create menus
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance —> Customize —> Menus.
- Enter your page names in the Add Page field.
Because I created a spreadsheet first, it took less than 5 minutes to create Daze’s new menu in WordPress Twenty Nineteen.
Before & After
To uplevel Daze’s site I will:
- Copy and paste her text from her old site into the appropriate page
- Add new photographs
- Add new PayPal buttons, and
- Optimize her pages for SEO
When the test site is completed I will contact HostGator and ask them to replace the old site with the test site.
If you would like receive 10-Minute Monday content in your email inbox, signup below. You’ll also receive my favorite resources for FREE images plus tips on how to find Free images fast.
Many thanks for stopping by.