The Chinese proverb says, “Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still”. At the sight I saw this saying, the comparison of static HTML site and the one built on WordPress comes to my mind. And it’s so true!
Running your site on WP you may easily update and edit your content, conduct your site usability, and communicate with your site visitors. You know, running a website may be compared to the non-verbal communication – it’s a way that helps you keep in touch with the people of your interests; thus it’s essential to make it smoothly and flawlessly.
Moving on to the essence of the matter, the reasons why people change their static HTML sites to CMS-based ones are more than obvious:
- CMS requires less times for managing the site.
- CMS is more scalable – it allows you to create an extended website.
- CMS allows to make content updates easily and fast.
- CMS is a convenient utility whether you are a skilled practitioner or a non-techie.
- CMS eases up the dynamic development and growth of your web project.
So, if the issue whether to convert from static HTML to WordPress or not is not argued any more, it’s about time to decide on your great website data transfer. Before making the final decisions and picking up the plaster, let’s plan all the procedures properly and gradually.
HTML to WordPress Migration Checklist
Make Your Current HTML Site Analysis
Initially, before you start converting all data from a static HTML site to WordPress, look through the content of your current website. More probably, there are some out-of-date content, irrelevant posts, or other type of web pages that shouldn’t be necessarily migrated to your new CMS, so it’s a good chance to clean it up a bit.
Get to Know WordPress Better
Next, you should install WordPress, choose your hosting provider, and proceed with certain WP settings and configurations:
1. Plugin Installation
First of all, find and activate the plugins you want to for the new WordPress – some that are most important like SEO plugin, security one and others. Also, you may think about the plugin for image gallery, forum, or something else. There are plenty of addons available for free here (or, alternatively, you can search for them right from your WordPress dashboard).
2. SEO-friendly URLs Settings
Also, it’s highly recommended setting up the permalink settings in order to preserve your SEO URLs on the new WP site. Go to your Admin panel-> Settings-> Permalinks and select what predefined combination suits you best or pick your custom structure.
Backup Your HTML Site
You certainly know this – and you must be using this tip frequently, but forewarned is forearmed, so in order to exclude the risks of any trouble with data, you should make a backup of your website. You may save it on the hard drive, flash drive, on DVD or other devices or use the hosting backup service.
HTML to WordPress Conversion Itself
Being closer and closer to that sensitive migration issue, it’s necessary to specify that the conversion from static HTML to WordPress is basically divided into two parts:
- the conversion of your theme
- the transfer of your site content
Converting HTML Content to WordPress
Usually, the procedure of HTML content to WordPress conversion is similar to the migration of site data from one CMS to another:
- manually transfer all the data (Note. It’s not recommended if you have an massive site, for instance, more than 250 pages.)
- use automated content converter
(With CMS2CMS, for instance, the procedure takes 15 minutes on average and comprises the conversion of HTML pages and content images to WordPress.)
Conversion of HTML Theme to WordPress
While speaking about the design for your future WordPress website, there are two options:
- Get a New Design. You know that WordPress offers various themes for free and on a paying basis. Here’s the official theme repository. Also, you may use some third-party design solution.
- Keep Your Current Theme. In this case, you should convert it into WordPress theme, which is far from being easy.
Unlike the conversion of content from your HTML site to WordPress, theme transfer is a much more tedious procedure. Plus, there’s the possibility that you won’t be able to convert your static HTML theme to WordPress to the very code, as far as WP is based on PHP and MySQL. PHP is a server side scripting language that retrieves your WP stylesheets that are the controllers of your site appearance. While HTML is just a basis of your theme that can be ‘decorated” with the CSS (style language which denotes the layout of HTML site).
So, it would be much easier and less time consuming to just use the WP theme most appropriate to your site topic. In most cases, you’ll be able to install it by yourself with no other help.
HTML to WordPress Conversion is Done. Next?
OK, just a few finishing touches left to make you WordPress up:
- Now, when all the setting are activated correctly, you should check out whether there are any broken links (404 errors). You can use Google Webmaster Tools to monitor the site and fix them asap.
- Also, create the custom 404 error page to direct your visitors to important website sections if they can’t find the content they’re looking for.
- Also, you should do your best to get your SEO juice back – it’s recommended to set up 301 redirects from your old static HTML site URLs to WordPress ones – this will inform Google that your content just moved to the new address, and it will ascribe your previous rankings to the new pages. .
- Generate XML sitemap and submit it to Google– you may use any of the free WP plugins in its repository. This is to make sure your new site is indexed by Google bots as fast as possible.
Now, all the conversion procedures are the history and you may enjoy your new WordPress site management. Undoubtedly, you will evaluate all the user friendly possibilities of posting and editing your new flexible web project.
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