So you want to redesign your site, aye?

[box type=”alert”]Rant alert: just spent much of the day doing something we shouldn’t have been doing. [/box]

This is what you don't want to be doing with your day.

This is what you don’t want to be doing with your day.

You have the old (live) site. You have the new design. You have some new pages. Maybe some new sections. How about a new navigation? You’d think, having migrated, redesigned, and redone hundreds of sites that I’d have a better handle on how to accomplish this glitch free. Yeah, you’d think.

What did we do?

  1. Old site: kept where it is.
  2. New site: built new theme, add some pages, menu structure, widgets, sliders, testimonials, etc. Did not bring over old content.
  3. Merge … now what? Old site has all old posts, pages, media, etc.

On quick review, here are two better options:

  1. Theme tester: Use a theme tester plugin: something like Theme Test Drive (maybe there are better ones out there) so that you keep your site, content, images, media, pages, posts, links, etc. all on the same domain, host, etc.
  2. Move it all: just copy the entire site to a development server, freeze updated content on old/live site, then replace everything when you put it back.

Neither of those options is without its challenges as well, but having spent the past several hours pretty much redoing work we had already done, there must be a better way. The main thing I want to get across to you, I mean, me, is to plan out the process in advance, weight the pros and cons, the time, the cost, the hassle, the potential for disaster and then stick to that plan.