So you’re convinced (or were convinced!) to use Canvas. But you like your existing theme or layout or design. Hmm, what to do? Introducing Canvas Conversion. It’s your design (or close to it) but now in the all-powerful Canvas theme.
You’re convinced you want Canvas, but you already have a design that you kinda like. Aha, we get it.
[box type=”alert”]Please note: if you somehow got to this page and this note is here, it’s pretty much Under Construction. Check back to see if this note goes away and then we’ll convert you. [/box]
Here’s probably why you’re here: you like your current site but your web designer or developer says that your theme is so old (or bad or broken or whatever) that to implement the design or function changes you’d like, you’re probably better off just starting from scratch. But you like your layout! You like your logo and your colors! That’s OK, we can keep that, but we’re going to gut it.
The Ever-Present House Analogy: A Fixer Upper or a Tear Down?
You love (or at least really like) your house, but you’d like to move the kitchen from one side of the house to the other. Or maybe you want radiant heating (under the floors). Or you’d like to add a new story above the roof. OK, maybe just a roof deck. Yes, when you think of houses, these all sound drastic. If you think websites, you might have only asked to make the header full width (instead of content width) or you really would just like an easier-to-use blog layout.
Back to the house. The contractor is going to say, “Well, with enough money and time, we can do anything of course.” Yeah, not what you want to hear. “But you see, if we move your kitchen, we have to tear up the plumbing. Knowing this house, if we only upgrade the plumbing in the kitchen, it might give us some trouble in the downstairs bathrooms.” He goes on and on telling you of all of the possible nightmare scenarios. You nod and shrug and wince. Then he says, “Or we could just rebuild your house.” Now you mostly freak out because all you see are dollar signs like some cartoon animal.
But starting a website from scratch is easier than starting a house from scratch.
That’s where the analogy ends. Building a new house to look kinda like the old house can be difficult, time consuming and costly. But building a brand new website from scratch to look like the old website can be easier, faster, and, gasp, more cost effective than jack hammering that clunky old site. If your old site is in WordPress, it’s all even easier. The content stays put and we bring a (digital) crane in and pull off the old theme and then we lower in the new one. Yes, we have to build that new one, but it’s often easier than tinkering with the old one.
This post has already gone on too long. The point is that in some cases, it’s easier and just plain “better” to build the site from scratch. The beauty of WordPress and themes is that it doesn’t have to be that painful–or necessarily costly. A lot of it is going to come down to how much you “need” the new site to look like the old site. Roughly like the old one? Like you might recognize it? Similar? You’d put them side by side and could say, “Yeah, that used to be this.” Or exact where you put them side by side and can probably not tell the difference. It’s a big difference in time spent (and cost), but it’s usually all possible.
New house? Hey, let’s finally get solar on the roof!
If you’re going to be rebuilding the whole thing anyway, it’s a good to think of what you really want to do with it. You don’t have to go this route, but it’s worth debating. That said, you can also choose to make it “roughly” like the old one, get it done, live, and happy and then talk changes. Because at that point, you have a new place that’s much easier to work with. That was the point, wasn’t it?