Taking On Someone Else's WordPress Mess

Taking on Someone Else's Wordpress Mess.jpg


You just took on a new position and you couldn’t be more excited. New office, new co-workers, new perspective. It’s perfect! And then you see it, the Wordpress website that was set up by someone else that you are now responsible for “managing” aka fixing. It’s a hot mess and you are immediately overwhelmed. What do you do now?

Step 1: Take a Breath

Step 2: See If Anyone Else on the Team Has Ever Worked on The Site

                If yes, download as much information as you can.

                If no, let’s take a trip to the backend of the site in Step 3.

Step 3: Investigate the Backend

                Within the Dashboard you’ll be able to view navigation to edit your site. If this was created by someone else, they most likely have customized a theme in WordPress. Take a look at the “Pages” tab, “Appearance” tab, and “Widgets.” What looks like it can be updated or changed?

(Last month I took on helping a client update a website (holy hot mess batman!) there were widgets and custom plug ins littered through the existing pages that made editing it a nightmare. After 12 hours of wrestling with the site using my basic level html knowledge, I uncovered it.)

Step 4: Make a Priority List of What Needs to Be Changed                                             

Next to each item, highlight what you can do easily, with further research or completely out of your scope.

Once you’ve worked through your priorities, start with the low hanging fruit to prevent full frustration burnout and then move on to the more challenging items.

If it’s beyond your scope, check with your budget and reach out to sites like Upwork.com to see if a developer can help you.

Step 5: Assess if it Can Be Saved or Redone

Depending on the age and disrepair of the site, it may be easier for you to start fresh with a new site. Think about how much time and money needed to fix the site v. the time and cost to create a new site. Be careful to save all files, navigation and copy before starting on a new site.