Redesigning a WordPress website can be a bit different from redesigning other kinds of websites. In a WordPress site, your content is separate from your design. The design is served up when visitors arrive and the content is called in.
Admittedly, this can be hard to imagine. I’m reminded of Dave Barry’s objection to the idea of digital content on the grounds that — no matter how closely you look at your TV — you cannot see ones and zeros.
It’s still true, though.
When we build a new WordPress site for a company that has not had a WordPress site before, we have to migrate, or move, the content. Sometimes we can import it and sometimes we have to copy it and paste it into its new home. When you’re redesigning your WordPress website, you’re really just changing your WordPress theme, so your content doesn’t have to be moved.
However, unless your old and new themes are extremely simple, you will not be able to just change the theme and do nothing more. Chances are good that your new theme will not call the content in the same way as your old one. For example, the screenshot here shows the new blog page at our redesigned website. Each picture for the blog is placed with a featured image tool. With our old theme, we placed the images ourselves. Featured images showed up on the homepage.
When the new theme calls the blog posts in, it will show all the featured images in the right spot, as you see below.
However, since it will also show the images we placed by hand, there will be two copies of the image in the post. We’ll have to fix this.
What’s more, many of the blog posts at this website predate our WordPress days. They don’t have featured images. This hasn’t been an issue with our current theme, since the Featured Images just show the latest posts on the homepage. Our new theme, however, uses Featured Images in some fancy new ways.
We have to make featured images for all those posts.
This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with either the old or the new theme — both are excellent. It just means that we have some extra work to do. This will often be true for a WordPress web design. Expecting the new theme to behave just like the old theme would be like redesigning your kitchen and moving the sink, but expecting the old plumbing to work properly.
When you have your WordPress website redesigned, you need to be aware of this possibility. Budget time or money or both to get these adjustments made.