GOALS FOR THE NEW SITE
With the new design of the site several goals were set. It needed to be easily readable on all screen sizes (from desktops to cell phones), we needed a way to categorize past (and future) posts so readers could easily find them and we needed easy ways to connect with our readers. Add to those goals basics like having articles easily found in search engines and a back-end system that’s easy to use for all the contributors and I had plenty of work ahead of me.
All screen sizes welcome
Making the site work on all screen sizes came easily as many templates and designers are now using what’s called “responsive design.” This means the site will automatically resize itself as needed. I was mindful of this and made sure to add it to the design.
Since I make all my sites through WordPress this was a no-brainer. Some of our contributors had already used WordPress and the transition for others was easy. WordPress lends itself easily to multiple contributors and allows the administrator to set different permissions for each contributor based on the access they need. It also has one of the easiest back-ends to use relying on a visual and user-friendly set-up. If you’re tech savvy it’s easy to pick-up. If you’re not that tech savvy with a bit of training you’ll be off and running in no time.
Once deciding to use WordPress the issue of categorizing posts became simple. WordPress started as a blogging tool so using categories and tags is a built-in feature. I found a theme that could highlight categories and then utilized those features.
Focus on search engines
WordPress comes with great tools for optimizing a site for search engines. The use of categories and tags is especially helpful. I also used a plugin (which is like an app for your phone but one you use on a website) called Yoast which adds additional features to the site making it search engine friendly.
Connect with our users
Through using WordPress I added a variety of links and plugins featuring our Facebook feed and the option for readers to receive an email alert when a new article is posted. We also have sharing tools pop-up on the left sidebar. I can easily add more features or adjust the current ones as our needs demand.
Since we had years of content at Blogger I moved the content over as well as setup new hosting and switched the domain name. Luckily, it’s not the first time someone has wanted to do this, so I utilized already-built tools to make the process seamless.
Go check out thinkingthroughchristianity.com to see the final product!