The decision to consider WordPress as a platform for the entire new site came almost as a no brainer. It’s the most popular blogging platform on the web and quickly becoming the #1 choice for websites. If you are not that familiar with WorPress here are the strong points you should be aware of:
- You can’t beat it for SEO
- Super easy to set up, configure and customize
- Built in CMS (content management system) which makes it easy for non technical people to work with the site content.
- It has a huge community of developers writing useful “plugins”
- Hundreds of free themes to choose from for design, look and feel
- It’s free!
Of course the fact that this blog is built on a WordPress platform was part of the final decision in trying to keep the project as painless as possible. Decision made! WordPress it is.
Finding a theme/layout
The next thing we did is set out to find a “theme” for our new site. Since adding new content and updating our old content was part of the plan we wanted to finalize a layout for the new site 1st thing so we could get our team working on writing and moving content. We were looking for a theme that would work well as a website and a blog. NOT an easy feat! We searched through all the WordPress.org free themes as well as a number of paid themes until finally finding iThemes.com. Believe it or not they had a Real Estate theme we felt was a perfect fit : http://realestatethemes.com/irealestate/ It has a non flash based fading main image powered by as many images as you want and we loved the sidebar “tabber” feature. It also has a very “website looking” home page and the integrated blog we were looking for as well as a lot of flexibility for customization. A great bargain at $79.00.
Before making the purchase we had the staff look at that theme and several others. It was the unanimous winner so we made the purchase and installed it on the already in progress new site.
We need a plan
In order to pull this off effectively we needed a step by step plan to work off of. We have to make sure all details are covered and things are done in the correct order or disaster could occur. We wrote down each step and assigned one of three categories based on at what stage that step will occur. (Pre, Move, Post) “Pre” is the prep stage before the new site goes live and includes anything that will not affect either verticalmeasures.com or linkbuildingbestpractices.com. “Move” includes steps that will occur once all “Pre” work is finished and we are taking the new site live. “Post” is steps that will occur in the frantic moments after the new site is live and we are seeing everything we didn’t think of! (hopefully not)
In our next post we will talk more about actual action items we indentified, where we are at in the process and some major decisions we have made as far as content and functionality. Be sure to tune in!
As always your questions and comments are encouraged.