Website Redesign: A Tale of Three Websites

A client running an historic bed and breakfast inn contacted me because he wasn’t sure where he was at with his website and he hired me to take a look at what was going on. He told me that he had hired a web designer that was working on a new website for him, but he wasn’t happy with the way his website was turning out.

Once I got access to the web server, I found out that he actually had three different websites all working on the same domain name. One of these was an existing WordPress website that was built several years ago in the root directory. The second website was a separate WordPress blog that the previous owners had started on a subdomain. The third website was the new one that the web designer was building in the root directory. It was built on a different CMS platform, (one that I was not familiar with) and the client said it was very clunky and hard to work with. His web game was a mess.

The other problem with this, was that he had three different websites (subdomains and root URLs) showing up in Google from one domain name, which was hindering his search engine optimization efforts.

After I figured out what was going on with all of this, I told him that I could merge all three websites into one for him. So I took the existing previous WordPress website updated it and imported the old WordPress blog posts from the previous owner’s blog on the subdomain into it. Finally, I merged the content from the third website, the one that the new web designer had been working on for him into that single updated WordPress install.

He told me he wanted to preserve the look and feel of the new website the web designer was building for him because he liked the way it looked. I used a highly customizable responsive design WordPress theme which enabled me to quickly replicate the look and feel he wanted. The responsive theme made it so his website would work great on all different mobile devices. Having a mobile-friendly website is important to him because his customers are travelers that are using their phones and tablets while on the go.

I also had to straighten out the search engine indexing issues by redirecting all the old the URLs to their new locations on the final website. This was done with both .htaccess file redirects and a WordPress plugin.

The turnaround time on this project was two days start to finish. The client was left with one easy to manage mobile-friendly website that included all the content from all three of the previous websites.

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