Rafael Leitao – WordPress Website Redesign at a Reasonable Price

October 1, 2021



Rafael Leitao – a seven-time Brazilian chess champion and a grandmaster is our longstanding partner. Our relationship began many years ago when we created a logo and a brand design for the Rafael Leitao Academy.

At that time, Rafael already had a WordPress based website, that he managed by himself, but it was outdated and performed poorly. And we began to maintain that site, fixing bugs, errors and solving other issues – CLICK HERE.
However, off-the-shelf WordPress templates have their limitations, and it was decided to design a custom one, as the site had to be modern, responsive, and look professional.

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We aimed to make an up to date, attractive, speedy, and SEO-optimized bilingual website. We had to use existing brand elements and develop a web design that would correctly tie in with them. And, which is no less important, we had to fit the whole project in a rather tight budget.

Another part of the challenge was making it easily manageable by Rafael and let him focus on the content, not on the techniques to post it.


We planned to begin with building a theme, as we had ready designs and frontend coding provided by the client. Unfortunately, they didn’t correspond to each other, so the first thing we had to do was to make them fit each other and to make them responsive.

The site is bilingual, it has two versions – English and Portuguese – that differ slightly in their structure, and that was the only thing that made the site structure more complex.

When all the mockups were ready and turned into the responsive design, the time came to tackle the backend work. We made a copy of the old site to preserve it and began to work on the actual site, that became a dev site for the time being. First of all, we removed the old off-the-shelf theme and updated the WordPress version. Then we started to build a custom theme using our designs. The necessary plugins were installed. The site also had to have a well-organised admin panel, so that the client could easily add content at any time.

We found a budget and easy solution to transfer the greater part of the content from the old site. We optimized the old database, fixed errors and connected it to the new website. Then we only had to download some text content through the admin panel. When the main works had been finished, we invited our SEO expert to test the site, and implemented his recommendation to increase its potential further while maintaining the existing positions.

As a final step, we tested the website on all standard devices, squashed the bugs we found and changed the dev site domain name to that of the old site.

This process looks easy when described, but there was a lot of work and issues to be solved. Thanks to the prompt feedbacks of our client, the project went smoothly and successfully.


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Rafael’s dream website is now a reality, easy to maintain and update. There’s no more useless functions and features. It is easy to navigate, both for clients and for Rafael.

Rafael Leitao Image 1

He can easily add new content, publish news and chess games through a user-friendly admin panel. In the end, both our team and Rafael are happy with results and our long-term friendly and fruitful relationship.

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You can visit and judge our work HERE


Here’s what Rafael wrote about our work: “They matched all of my expectations and provided everything the new website needed. DesignRussia capably delivered a functional website that met all expectations. As a result, online traffic and leads have increased. The team is responsive and demonstrates a commitment to client success. A reliable vendor, DesignRussia never missed a deadline.”

Development team

Konstantin Davydov – UI design

Stepan Shakhrayuk – back-end development

Rustam Uteev – front-end / theme development

Sergey Pischanetskiy – hosting, security issues

Maria Tkachenko – project management

Yury Davydov – legal support

You can meet us at our site.


WordPress CMS

Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC

HTML5 / CSS3 / Javascript


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