Vidya Yoga & Fitness in East Tennessee is a fast-growing fitness studio owned by husband & wife team Nate & Ashley Davis. They came to Berry Interesting in early 2020 for WordPress support and email marketing management services.
What happens when your WordPress developer moves on
Their original site was built by one of their former instructors, who was also handling email newsletters and social posting. When she moved on, the Davises weren’t sure where to turn to make sure their website remained healthy and happy. That’s when they contacted Berry Interesting.
Luckily, they had retained ownership of their site and had all of the credentials they needed to transition to BIPi WordPress support services.
First, we moved them from BlueHost hosting to Kinsta, which immediately increased site speed. We maintained the original design of the site (which was built on Elementor), because their long-term plans involved a full site redesign to coincide with the opening of a second East Tennessee location.
Had the expansion not been a factor, we would have recommended a site redesign as soon as possible — Elementor was bogging down site speed (despite the improvement we saw when we moved the site to Kinsta), and the user experience & user flow was lacking.
By relying heavily on MindBody and their own internal management of social media, they’d been able to get away with somewhat confusing site architecture and small functionality breakages, but the site itself wasn’t doing a great job of representing their brand.
Click on any thumbnail above to view a gallery of screenshots from the original vidahotyoga.com
A new WordPress website to support multiple fitness studio locations
In a way, the 2020 coronavirus pandemic provided Vidya with a perfect opportunity — and plenty of time — to carefully plan their new site while also moving away from MindBody studio management services to Mariana Tek services.
Vidya made BIPi’s job incredibly easy; once we built out a solid sitemap, they provided us with all new photos (everything from instructor headshots to lifestyle shots from their classes and demonstrations of various asanas), newer, more in-depth copy (instructor bios, class descriptions, and conversion copy for their instructor trainings), and a shiny new branding package to support a slight name change (from Vida to Vidya).
Thanks to the new brand guide, the site design itself was a breeze. Sticking with silver and gold as the primary colors, the rest of the site relies on gradients and a greyscale palette that lets the new photos really shine.
Modifying website organization for a higher-quality user experience
The real challenge, however, was to organize content in a user-friendly way that drove class and training enrollments while accommodating the second location and the transition to Mariana Tek.
We consolidated information on the instructors and moved to each instructor having their own page while moving the more philosophical and practical “about” content onto a dedicated page. We separated out general FAQ information onto its own page (always helpful for SEO-related work), and added in some “parent”/”interstitial” pages for class descriptions and for trainings to help guide the user towards useful information even if they were new to Vidya. Since Vidya is still expanding and the two locations are very different from one another, we separated out pricing from class descriptions and schedules to allow users to find detailed class information without forcing them to attempt a booking.
Additionally, we added a page specifically for contact information that includes a contact form and google map integrations for both locations to make it as easy as possible for potential students to get answers to questions and find their preferred location.
Click on any thumbnail above to view a gallery of screenshots from the newly-rebuilt vidyayogaandfitness.com
Changing the primary domain of a WordPress site
As a part of the studio’s expansion and rebranding, the Davises chose a new name to differentiate their business from other existing studios (check out yogapedia’s definition of Vidya to learn more about the word’s meaning). This required more than just a new logo — the website’s domain name needed to be changed, along with everyone’s email addresses.
Changing a primary domain can be a daunting task; in the best of cases, it’s akin to whack-a-mole; in the worst, a site’s SEO can be harmed and site visitors left lost and confused.
We were triply lucky in Vidya’s case. First, since we were already doing an intentional site reorganization, much of what was required from the domain change was easily accommodated during the rebuild process. We paid close attention to redirects, and made sure to update and verify the new domain with Google’s Analytics and Search Console. We also took this opportunity to do a full scan of the site to identify any broken links, both internal and external, and correct those prior to launch.
Secondly, the Vidya team was already using Google Workspace, which made moving to a new primary domain for email a breeze. Adding a new domain to the account, demoting the old domain to alternate status, and ensuring that the old domain addresses would still make it into the right inboxes was a fast and painless process.
As a bonus, completing our luck hat trick, Vidya was already using Cloudflare for DNS management, so all the changes we had to make to domain settings, from website traffic to mail traffic, were able to be tested and verified immediately. The Vidya team took care of updating external listings of their domain name in external locations (like on social media accounts), and they were off to the races!
Integrating a WordPress site with Mariana Tek tools
The Mariana Tek integration proved incredibly easy — we’d recommend MT to any studio looking to move away from MindBody. After migrating to the new primary domain, the BIPi team set up the page infrastructure for the MT team and on launch day, the MT team tested out all pages with integrations to ensure proper functionality.
Going forward, however, it won’t be necessary to contact MT for additional integrations or changes to the website itself; their integration is based on standard code snippets from their knowledgebase/documentation that are easily modified to be location-specific. As long as Vidya’s MT account accurately reflects their locations, updating the WordPress site will be incredibly easy.
The Vidya Yoga & Fitness website was built using the Divi Builder from Elegant Themes. If you’re curious about how Berry Interesting Productions can help your team build — or rebuild — an outstanding website, we’re always happy to help! Drop us a line or book a consultation directly with our fearless leader, D’nelle. You can also sign up to get emails from Berry Interesting, and we’ll keep you in the loop.