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Moneymagpie web redevelopment

Thursday 2nd April 2009, 12:59am

Bold Media’s first major project – the redevelopment of Moneymagpie.com.

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It would be an understatement to say that a steep learning curve was involved in this redevelopment.

The project broadly involved three distinct stages:

1. Initial groundwork and migration of content

This meant setting up a new WordPress installation on a subdomain of Moneymagpie (http://new.moneymagpie.com/). Once this was done, the laborious task of moving all of the content from the spaghetti-like 130-odd tables of the old database to the wonderfully neat and tidy 10-table WordPress configuration had to be done.

Astonishingly, the information relating to some of the articles was spread across six different tables! The solution here was to create a PHP script that collated and compiled the data on the old database so that it was ready to be inserted into the new WordPress database (with an archive of some 500 articles using several different layout formats, this was no easy task). Therefore, the “Transfer Script” was born.

After a few days of fiddling and tweaking, we had a new WordPress installation populated with all of Moneymagpie’s articles and static pages. So now it was time to begin work on step 2.

2. The creation of a heavily customised ‘Moneymagpie’ theme for WordPress

Fortunately the concept design of the new site was carried out by highly respected London creative consultants Lisa Tse Ltd.

Although previously experienced in tweaking WordPress themes, this was Bold Media’s first outing creating a new theme from scratch for a client. Thankfully, the wonderfully crafted WordPress system makes it relatively painless to carry out this task. For the new site to have all the functions required, we needed to employ a number of WordPress plugins and widgets, some of which we had to create ourselves.

With the completion of the theme, the new Moneymagpie.com really began to take shape.

3. The transition

There were certainly some lessons learnt here. The change over from old to new mainly involved changing the files over on the FTP server and making final tweaks to the WordPress configuration. Of course, with the transfer taking place over a weekend, it was also required that a final synchronisation take place.

With this done, the new Moneymagpie.com was, in essence, live. What was then necessary in the following weeks was the ironing out of many creases and of course the addition of many plugins and tweaks to embellish WordPress and make it more suitable for the easy upkeep of Moneymagpie.

Since the redevelopment and using Google Analytics, Moneymagpie has seen its bounce rate drop by around 30%, user time spent on the site has almost doubled, Google’s PageRank has gone from 4 to 5 and the pages per visit have also almost doubled. So all in all, a great redevelopment – if a bit turbulent along the way!

Posted by Jack on 2nd April 2009 in Clients, Web Design

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