Yesterday was the day I've been working towards for the past weeks; I finally launched the website redesign of WP Mastery.
It has been a massive change compared to the old layout, which is why I'm writing this blog post.
Not just the design of the WP Mastery site has changed. Also, the brand positioning and the monetization strategy has changed completely.
And I think these are the three most important areas when doing an entire website overhaul.
Before the redesign, I was using the Magazine Pro theme from StudioPress. It's just perfect if you're running a digital magazine, which was my initial plan for WP Mastery.
This is a screenshot of the old design:
That didn't work at all, due to various reasons. One being that I had to focus on a huge client project for the past six months and couldn't execute on all the plans I had for the site.
Now I'm using my favorite theme EVER, which is The Ken. It is super flexible, and you can customize it to a great detail.
Here's how WP Mastery looks to the time of publishing this article:
Instead of positioning WP Mastery as a digital magazine, I'm now using it as a brand I stand behind personally. I love the name, and I think it reflects what I do:
I help entrepreneurs master WordPress so that they can build amazing platforms for their online businesses.
That's why all the copy has changed on the WP Mastery website and is now more tailored to my person rather than the name "WP Mastery".
To learn from my mistake: if you want to build a multi-author blog or a digital magazine, make sure you've got a great concept and build a team of passionate writers and editors.
My time was too limited to bring that team together, even though I think my strategy (I even had a rewards system for engaged visitors in mind) could have worked out quite well. But, with the website redesign, I totally ditched that strategy.
As the last part of the new brand positioning, I'm going to put a huge focus on content creation again.
I've upped my game for the newsletter and gave my subscribers the option to receive daily, weekly, or monthly emails packed with content about leveraging WordPress for an online business.
A ton of those emails will be repurposed on the website and used for blog articles or new info products. Killing two birds with one stone here.
In the old design, I was all over the place. I had affiliate banners, ads, and my products as a monetization strategy. Since I didn't have much time for WP Mastery, I wasn't even selling my products. I was just generating leads and doing nothing with them.
As you might have noticed by now, I'm finally able to invest much more time into WP Mastery again. I'm creating much more free content, and I ditched the ads.
Now, my primary focus is to generate leads from the website. I still have a few affiliate banners here and there, but creating my products will become the essential income stream.
To pull off this redesign, there are a few tools and WordPress plugins that have been vital:
As I mentioned, lead generation will become the primary focus of the new design. To help with that, I've used the fantastic Thrive Leads plugin.The site now as a popup opt-in, opt-ins in the sidebar, and two-step opt-ins attached to buttons. All done with Thrive Leads.
I've mentioned Filament in one of my recent emails already. It's a free tool that gathers data about the visitor behavior on your website.I'll use Filament to, over time, see how my visitors use the new design and where I need to improve the design to get more button clicks, comments, general engagement, etc.
Selling digital products requires having a certain form of payment gateway and membership area on your website. I've used Wishlist Member to integrate the Stripe payment gateway and to build a membership area for my WP Handbook for Entrepreneurs (click here to learn more about that).
Wishlist also integrates with my Mailchimp account and took only 30 minutes to set up from scratch. Super easy!
Let me know what you think about the new design of WP Mastery in the comments below!