How to Restart Your WordPress Website (and PHP)

If you’re reading this, it means you’re new to WordPress or you’re in need of some help. Maybe you’ve even tried to install WordPress on your own server and ended up with a few problems. Hopefully, these blog posts will help guide you through the process efficiently without too much hassle. So sit back, relax, and get ready to be amazed by what a few lines of code can do.

Why Are You Redesigning Your Website?

Every website begins its life as something beautiful. It could be a simple blog featuring images of stunning sunsets and perfectly crafted blog posts that draw in visitors and encourage them to subscribe to your content. However, somewhere down the line, things change and the beautiful symmetry of the initial design begins to fade. The code that made the website work starts to bog it down and there’s always that one element that just refuses to cooperate. In these cases, it’s time to restructure and start from scratch.

If you’re fortunate, you’ll encounter this situation when still in the beta phase. However, with constant changes to the way WordPress itself functions and evolves, you’ll find yourself in this situation regardless of the version you choose. So what happens? You start to see more and more websites going through this phase of redevelopment and evolution, creating a more of a Frankenstein-like situation where bits and pieces of code from different versions are combined into one.

What WordPress Version Are You Using?

Although WordPress is incredibly flexible and robust enough to work with pretty much any configuration you can think of, there are a few ‘recipes’ that make it more convenient to use. One of the most popular ones is the Twenty Eleven theme. If you go this route, you’ll end up with a functional and clean design that looks incredibly sophisticated while also fitting perfectly on any type of device.

Another option is the Twenty One theme. This one is a bit more ‘traditional’ in design and layout, but still maintains all the versatility of WordPress and its themes. If you decide on this one, make sure you have a lot of experience in running a website of this nature. Also, if you’re looking for a way to get started relatively quickly, this is the perfect choice. Regardless, you’ll end up with a functional and polished finished product that will make a lasting impression on your visitors.

How Do You Want To Restructure Your Website?

The perfect way to begin any redesign project is by situating yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What do they want, how does the current structure of your website impede their experience, and what can you do to make things better? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can map out the perfect plan to bring your website to its full potential.

If you take a step back and analyze your own answers, you’ll realize that you want to restructure your website around three pillars: content, design, and functionality. Let’s examine each one:

  • Content: The content on your site is what you’ll use to attract and retain visitors. In simple terms, content is everything from the text on your pages to the images you use in your posts. Ideally, you’ll want to have more unique and insightful content that will keep your visitors coming back for more. Fresh content is also beneficial for search engine optimization (SEO) – the better your content, the better your SEO.
  • Design: Your website’s design is how you structure your content to present it to your audience. When we think about a website’s design, often the first thing that comes to mind is the look and feel of the site. However, this is just a small piece of the puzzle. When properly structured, your content can take on a life of its own and influence the way your website looks. For example, if you have a fashion blog, you might want to consider an e-commerce site design with multiple product categories to showcase your designs. This is just one example of how content can influence design.
  • Functionality: Last but not least, we have functionality. This is all the ‘behind the scenes’ code that allows your site to function the way it’s supposed to. If you want your site to perform a certain function, you’ll need to examine the functionality of each part of it and determine what needs to be changed to make the function work. For example, if you want to add products to your online store, you’ll have to change a few lines of code to make this happen. This is a task that usually requires a developer.

What’s Your Budget For This Project?

The budget is always one of the most important considerations when investing in a business or a project. Just like with any other business decision, you’ll want to set a budget and stick to it. If you can, set a budget and stick to it strictly. Sometimes, you’ll find that certain features or options that were once available for free become so expensive that they’re no longer a feasible option. In these cases, it’s time to choose another route.

Deciding on a budget can be tricky, especially if you’re not used to operating within a budget. If you find that you’re consistently over or under spending, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your spending habits and develop a new budget. For example, if you’re spending a lot of money on hosting and domain names but aren’t generating significant revenue, it might be time to consider other options such as free blogs hosted on or a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) website builder such as Wix or SquareSpace.

How Long Do You Expect This Project To Take?

As we’ve established, spending money is one thing, committing resources is another. Just like with any other business decision, you’ll want to be realistic about how long this project will take. Sometimes, these things take a lot longer than you think they will. As a general rule of thumb, plan for a least three to four months of full-time work – more if it’s a complex project. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate and your timeline might vary.

The reason being is that even though you have a clear idea of what you want your website to look like and how you want it to operate, there are still a lot of details to be worked out. During this time, you’ll need to consult with a developer to make sure all the functionality is there and that the design is coherent and functional. Also, you’ll need to look into purchasing a quality domain name and setting it up with a WordPress installation – all of which take time.

To give you some real-world perspective on the length of time these projects take, let’s examine two contrasting examples. To start with, we have the Hotel Chocolat. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Hotel Chocolat website had been online for over fourteen years! Since the inception of the site, the world has changed. Back in 2001, the only way to discover the Hotel Chocolat was through their website. So if you wanted to book a stay at one of their luxury hotels, you’d have gone to their website and looked for the best deal. The best part? They still offer the same service as they did fourteen years ago. So if you still want to book a stay at one of their beautiful hotels, you can! The only difference is that now you have to contact them directly.

On the other hand, take a look at the Dansk Supermarked. As the name suggests, this is a Danish supermarket chain with over 120 locations in twenty countries across Europe. Let’s take a trip back in time to 2014 when I wrote this blog post. At the time, the website had only been online for two years. However, what struck me as odd was the fact that they had two completely different websites for the Danish and the European markets. The European website was a beautifully crafted and designed version of the classic ‘Dansk Supermarked’ brand featuring prominently on the homepage a selection of beautiful and innovative Danish products that are impossible to find in other supermarkets. This, in turn, made the site much more appealing to Danish tourists who might want to venture into the rest of Europe for a nice selection of Danish products.

Do You Have The Right People On-Hook?

Whether you’re building a new company or you’re part of an established and successful one, people are essential to any success story. In our case, people are the key to the evolution of Evolve Digital. We’re fortunate to have a dedicated and talented team of people on-hand that understand and embrace what we’re trying to achieve. In these cases, people can be the difference between success and failure – they can either make or break a business. Just like with any other business, establishing and maintaining healthy working relationships with your people is of paramount importance.