Rebuild of CampervanLife.com – day 5 – Import of data and Pre-go Live

Newsletter

I decided to get a newsletter subscribe form active right from the start.  Previously I had used a Drupal module to collect emails and to send the emails.  This worked out OK.

For smaller projects I use MailChimp.  I love the user interface and simplicity of MailChimp.  The website has about 1,800 subscribers, which is close to MailChimps free account limit of 2,000 subscribers.  At this point I’m keen to keep costs down, and until I actually send a newsletter I’m really just collecting email addresses.  I installed the Newsletter plugin, and configured it in the footer.

Homepage?

Page structure

I decided to re-structure the site slightly.

URLs

During the import of the content from Drupal some of the URLs were changed.  I went through each of the major pages, checking the URL matched that of the Drupal site, adding 301 redirects where necessary.

During the import

Im surprised by how many plugins I’ve needed to install to replicate the features I was using on the Drupal site.

 

SSL

I activated the free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate in SiteGround.  Then used the interconnectit.com search and replace script to change all occurrences of http://www.campervanlife.com to https:/www.campervanlife.com.

 

Rebuild of CampervanLife.com – day 4 – Pre-import checks and theme selection

This is the first post in a multi-part series where I document the rebuilding and promotion of an existing website. Find out more

Pre-import

The pre-import went pretty well.  I had to add author and comments to several of the post types to preserve the data from the Drupal site.  All of the posts and comments imported straight into the new site.

There are a few broken posts types, such as the old photo gallery, and extra fields for member profiles.  I’ve established that I can get to this data in the old Drupal database, and will fix that when I add those features to the website.

Themes

Hmm, now I have to select a theme.  There’s a lot to consider.

Let’s run through some popular features, and see how I feel about them (roughly top to bottom):

  • Header – Important to have an advertising banner in the header.  A sticky header would also be good.

First, let’s look at the logo, as this will help to give context to the design

 

Campervan Life logo, in blue

 

I’ll run through the options

AlleycatThemes

The premium theme company that I ran.  Surely I would dog-food my own themes?  Nope.  Those themes were amazing at building pages, brochure websites.  They had lots of options, and custom page builder (Visual Composer) components.  There was a lot of code, much of which needed re-writing.  Too bloated.

Something from ThemeForest – Nope.  Too bloated.  I am sure there are some great themes on ThemeForest, but I just don’t have the confidence to use one.

Homepage


https://demo.tagdiv.com/newsmag/ – Feels narrow and cluttered.  Some good features.

Homepage


http://demos.cubellthemes.com/?product=wp15zine

ElmaStudio – http://www.elmastudio.de/en/themes/

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