Leah asked me to implement a simple redesign she had cooked up. She was tired of the heavy and dense site she had, and I am responsible for turning her new design into a clean, purely WordPress driven site. It seems to work well so far. See Leahpeah: flawed but authentic.
I moved a fair amount of stuff around. One thing of note is that I changed her former blog url structure, which included the
post_id as part of it. The way we worked this site was she began to input prior pieces of her site, then I would do selective imports of her posts and pages. Some pages did not make the cut.
Unfortunately the impact of that was that all her old urls were then off. Primary database keys are great if you’re going to stick with the original database. If you import it in chunks, the impact is catastrophic for the permanence of links. So last night I made a list of all the former links using a backup of the site, then did the same thing with the new url scheme. This worked great, and now permanent redirects are in place for all 1115 of her old posts (since 2002!).
It was a lot of work, but so far so good. Her blog is the most trafficked part of her site, and that area is slightly different in terms of including footer blog chrome:
Leah is about to get a bit more attention as she’s now appearing on the Showtime website, and fairly soon will be appearing on Showtime itself. A critical piece of being able to handle the possibility (it is not guaranteed) of high traffic is wp-super-cache, which I have active and ready. We’ll see if a) any traffic comes and b) if her WordPress install holds up. Now keep in mind, Leah’s site has withstood a dooce-ing or two.
Oh, and by the way, for the uninformed: doocing is analogous to slashdotting. Or, wait, actually, what is the best metaphor for “a high amount of traffic from one source all of a sudden because of a mention” — digging? fireballing?
One of the things that made this project go so fast was the fact that we did wireframes of the new Leahpeah.com before we started one bit of code. This helped immensely with the process, and aided greatly through the use of Balsamiq Mockups is really a great tool for rapidly putting together a site and getting to an understanding of what pieces and parts will and won’t be necessary.