Maple Lodge, Wanaka: This long established HTML site was due for a redesign. The owners had prior experience of operating a WordPress.org blog and agreed to a rebuild in a WordPress content management system, using the Genesis child theme “Driskill”as the base.
Preservation of existing rankings was important. The content got both revision and expansion;
- a lot of new pages were added through out the redesign process
- in addition, the old WordPress blog was imported into the main website as the redesign progressed
The owner’s were very involved in the redesign in terms of providing additional images, text and revisions, suggesting element refinements, as well as checking links, features and functions as the rebuid process unfolded.
New elements in the rebuilt site include;
- search-engine-friendly navigation / menu system
- 18 sliders spread across main pages
- new “package” and “wedding” portfolios based on Ajax Grid plugin
- integrated “Testimonials” plugin, with random testimonials in sidebars
- automated Site Maps for both users and search engines
- SEO plugin/s to maximise efficiency
- WP Super Cache for fastest load time
- Wordfence security to minimise risk of hacking efforts
- BackupBuddy plugin for full, and automated monthly backups
Once the redesign was at the point of acceptance, it was loaded into a managed WordPress hosting account on my server and the DNS records switched over. The following procedures were undertaken;
- application of individual 301 Redirection from all old pages to all new pages using the WordPress “Quick Redirect” plugin
- monitoring the WordPress Link Checker plugin for errors to identify residual link errors
- using Search & Replace to fixed the URL-based broken links within page / post copntent
- monitoring 404 Page Not Found errors in WordFence “Live Traffic” reporter and fixing those as they appeared
- uploaded some missing images that pointed to the old /pics/ and /tours/ directory
- ensured that both HTML and XML sitemaps were present, and that the Google XML sitemap was correctly referenced in the robots.tx file
By monitoring 404’s through out the first day, it was possible to eliminate pretty much all such errors. This ensures the Google et al have an easy time finding every page.