In my ongoing online re-organization work, one of many projects is to reduce the number of domains and minor websites I manage in order to use more time and energy on a few high-priority websites. Several of my sites are non-public and used only for specific purposes, such as developing and testing free WordPress themes or showcase a custom template, theme or marketing idea for a client. It is useful to have a separate development site for WordPress themes, but impractical to have six such sites because of all the extra maintenance work it takes to keep the sites up to date.
I also have a couple of small and public sites that don’t have any actual purpose. One such site was andreasviklund.se where I made an attempt at writing a Swedish blog some time ago, only to give up on that plan after a few days. Instead, I ended up using the site to promote a couple of Swedish WordPress themes and a free MP3 album with 12 short and instrumental songs that could be used as ringtones on mobile phones.
My .se site had about 50 visitors per day in average over the last 6 months, despite the lack of updates. The themes (which are hosted by the official Swedish WordPress portal WP-Support.se) were downloaded in 1.800 copies in the same period, while the ringtones were downloaded in approximately 7.000 copies. Those are actually surprisingly high numbers. But compared to the stats of this website and the amount of maintenance that every WordPress-based website needs over time, it was a lot of work for a very limited effect.
With the Swedish blog idea abandoned, the Swedish themes hosted successfully by WP-Support and the ringtones soon being included in a big music collection I am planning to release, I could not come up with any good reason to keep the WordPress site online. I decided to take it down and replace it with a single template-based website with contact information and links to my high-priority websites. I decided to go with my andreas07 template.
The process was really simple. I used andreas07 in its original form, changed the language to Swedish, removed everything that I wouldn’t need (including the navigation menu) and added my own content. I also changed the default link color from red to blue, and added a photo in the left sidebar. It took me only 10 minutes to create the page from the template. I know it doesn’t look very pretty, but it will definitely do the job for now. I can always improve the design at some later point.
Adjusting the new site to work with the history of the old site took a little bit longer since I wanted to do it in a proper way. Before I deleted the WordPress site, I made sure to copy the generated XML sitemap. I created a custom .htaccess file where I made manual 301 redirects for the URLs in the sitemap to make sure that people who try to reach the deleted pages of the WordPress site are automatically redirected to index.html instead of seeing an error message. I also created a separate “Error 404″ file which I made into the default 404 document in the .htaccess file. And finally I added a rewrite feature that removes the “www.” from the address if a visitor has entered it.
With the template-based site and the .htaccess adjustments ready, I uploaded the new site and tested it live. It worked as intended and validated without any errors, and after saving a last backup copy of the WordPress site I deleted it. The new andreasviklund.se is now live. Feel free to take a look and comment on my first own andreas07-based website!
The re-organization continues tonight with an upgrade of andreasviklund.com and the two Swedish humor blogs Tjuvlyssnat and Tjuvtittat to WordPress v2.7. There is still a lot of work left to do, but I’m on it and it feels very good since it has been needed for quite some time now…
This article was written by Andreas Viklund
Web designer, writer and the creative engine behind this website. Author of most of the free website templates, along with some of the WordPress themes.