This Web Site Is Undergoing Major Changes
All web sites need to get updated now and then. Styles change, content gets old, and the current site may no longer serve the direction a business is taking. Not to mention that old design and development techniques may be holding back the site’s potential.
For all of those reasons and more, a few months ago I began a process which will radically transform this web site. This site I’m overhauling – and which you may be familiar with – was largely made about 3 to 4 years ago. It was built on the back of a Genesis theme, Elevate, which has been so dramatically changed it would be unrecognizable to Elevate’s creators.
In the ensuing years, WordPress itself has made a revolutionary change. It introduced Gutenberg, the block editor which is now the default method by which web pages are made. While Gutenberg is very much WP’s present and future, I stayed with the Classic Editor for the life of this site.
I chose to go a different direction. I made the game-changing decision to use Elementor, the leading WordPress page builder which is better thought of as a web design system. I had first seen Elementor at its birth five years ago, and did a few client projects with it back then. Fast forward to where I found myself using it on a large project, all the while thinking, "Hey, why not use Elementor for a new Joy of WP site?" To be sure, the choice was not easy. Yes, I could make a mixed site using Gutenberg for some pages and Elementor for others, but I didn't want to go that way.
I started to realize that Elementor was in graduate school while Gutenberg was in first grade, meaning the former was a full feature system while the latter is very much undergoing growing pains. I needed a polished page builder and not an aspiring one. I believe WP will get there, but its feature set is several years behind where Elementor's is now.
And What About A Theme?
The choice of a theme is not nearly as important as it once was. That's one of the beauties of Elementor (and eventually Gutenberg). That's because, as I mentioned, Elementor is a web design system. Within it, I can set the typical design elements of my site - layout, color, fonts - regardless of the theme.
For the record, I am using GeneratePress, a wonderful, multi-purpose theme which can easily step aside and let Elementor take over and work perfectly well with Gutenberg.
What This Means For You
During renovation, some of my pages are going to look a mess. Hopefully, this will not last long and you'll at least have access to the videos and other content during the rebuild. Remember, this is a HUGE rebuild. There are likely to be some broken links, broken images, broken anything, as I work through this.
You may be thinking, "Why not just take the site offline and work on it?" Oh, if only it were that easy. The problem is that this is an active site. The user data (people enrolling for the free content or making comments) changes all the time. If I take the site offline to re-build and then, in a few weeks replace the site, that means all the user data created in those ensuing weeks will be lost. I don't want that to happen.
And As For Me?
Once the rebuild is finished, I will be able to rapidly create new content and efficiently manage this site. I'll have far fewer plugins because many of the plugins I'm using now are actually built-in features of Elementor.
That's enough from me. Time to get back to remaking Joy of WP.