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How to Migrate a Static HTML Website into WordPress

If you presently have a static HTML site then it is possible to change this website to WordPress without causing your current site.

With a migration, we need to,

  • Preserve the existing website until the new website is ready and tested.
  • Develop the new website and copy the content from the old website and test.
  • Change from old site to new site.
  • In case of problems Switchback.

Migrations are a complex process and include a good knowledge of:

  • WordPress
  • HTML
  • FTP
  • Links and Link Types

If you are not strong technical and do not have the required basic knowledge.

Prepare for Migration

You required enabling a backup of the existing website before you start. The simplest method is to use FTP to copy the files from your web host to your desktop/laptop.

If you have built the site using FrontPage/Dreamweaver and uploaded them to the hosting space then have a local copy of the files.

WordPress Install Attentions

The first thing you require to decide is where to place your WP files.

  • Use the existing hosting space and install WordPress in the same directory as the existing website.
  • Use the already existing hosting space and install WordPress in a subdirectory of the existing website.
  • Use the existing hosting space and install into a new directory then redirect the domain name when done.

The approach believes in homepage selection and being able to shift the default homepage.

Before you start you require to do some tests to ensure that you can use this approach.

What you require to do is to find out the present priority order for the default home page.

Present your homepage will be index.html or index.htm.

You require to develop an index.php file and put it in the root directory of your site with the present home page.

Access the website by using the domain name.

If the present page is there then you are clear to install WP because it won't cause your present site.

Insert the following in the .htaccess file

DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm index.php

The index.php put, in the end, is mandatory because it means that it'll only get into use if the other 2 files do not exist./p>

Manually you can install the WordPress.

Copy Pages to New Website

Now, you log in to your WordPress website by entering the following address into your web browser.

Yourwebsitedomainname/wp-admin.php

Now, you are required to copy the old HTML web pages.

You can do this by opening the old webpage in the browser and copy the text in your web browser.

Open a new WordPress webpage and paste it when in Visual Mode.

You will need to open the old HTML webpage in the source to view the meta tags and copy these into notepad and then to WordPress.

Note

The "All in One SEO" plugin must be installed to do this

You also require copying the web content of the webpage title, keywords, and description.

Redirecting URLs

Finally, you will require redirecting the old webpage names to the new page name.

So, when users trying to visit your old page oldpage.html will automatically go to new webpage

Observe the WordPress webpage names do not use webpage name extensions.

Need to install the Redirection plugin to do this and you will do 301 redirects.

Add Analytics

If you are using Google analytics then ensure that you add analytics to the WP website. The simple and easy method is via "All in one SEO plugin".

Test The New Site

You must test the new website always by looking the few web pages and also it is very important to test the redirects. So

test.sitename.com/oldwebpage.html should redirect to test.sitename.com/newwebpage

Switch to New Site

Change to the new website all you are require to do is rename the present homepage to somename like "sitename.html"

Now, when you try to access your website using

http://yoursitedomain

then you see your WordPress website.

If this works method works well then you are required to move/rename all of the old html files.

The simplest approach to do this is to develop a sub-folder and shift them there.

You should not delete them at this phase because you may need them in future.

Migrating The Old Template

The migration included moving the web content but not the old website design.

Changing the website design is more complex and comprises developing themes and is best done by a skilled WordPress designer.

Anyhow, most website owners will be more than happy to use an existing WordPress theme and make design changes such as changing the logo color, changing the font.

Website Checks

  • Visit each page on the new site and check that the images are there and that the links work.
  • Make sure all redirects work.
  • Keep an eye on your site stats over the next month and look for any major changes that could indicate problems.

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