I built the first Notch Hostel website years ago, so giving the site a face lift was a real treat.
The first step was to duplicate the site so we could upgrade the look on top of the existing content while keeping the existing site live. NotchHostel is hosted on SiteGround, and the one-click “Staging” tool took care of that step with almost no effort.
Serena and Philip picked out 3 themes they liked the look of. All three were fairly similar. The first one I applied sucked! Most of “the look” of the pages were created using a page builder, not the WordPress. This means the client has to be a good web designer when they want to add new content. That’s too much work.
The second theme I tried “Customizable Blogily” by ThemeEverest. It’s great. I made a customized version to dial-in the look we wanted. The code for this theme is beautiful. It was super easy to modify it, and it seems very very fast.
The site very visual with heavy use of photographs, so I added a few plugins help out with that. The Insanity plugin downsizes the original image as it is uploaded so we don’t waist a lot of file space storing super large source files. The Easy FancyBox plugin is great at turning standard Gutenberg photo galleries into beautiful intuitive slideshows.
We also use Advanced Recent Posts and Recent Posts Widget Extended plugins to automate the content we want shows, and improve the look.