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How to Convert a Static HTML Website to WordPress

how to convert a static html website to wordpress

The ties of websites built with 100% HTML are passing away. That was a long hard road out of the web building origins. It has turned into trials and errors for millions of web design enthusiasts from around the globe. It does not mean static HTML pages are about to vanish once and for all. HTML5 markup language is still one of the most powerful today letting users build websites without content management systems behind them. However…

Web design has evolved over the years moving to a higher level of web presence turning into a more engaging and interactive online environment. Moreover, users are no longer forced to deal with coding and programming on their own thanks to automated CMS platforms that do practically all the work them. At the same time, we should take into account a rapid growth of WordPress market share reaching 60.7% in 2019. In other words, the platform is becoming the dominating force among other CMS platforms.

Following the latest web design trends is vital to stay onboard. For website owners, it means an inevitable move from static HTML to WordPress. The procedure might look daunting. This article is to highlight the main ways of converting the website as well as benefits and other crucial issues to consider before moving to WordPress.

Reasons to Convert a Static HTML Website to WordPress

Converting your static HTML to WP is not simply about web design trends or WordPress growing popularity. It is mainly about functionality and enormously rich feature set you to get with such move. CMS is might be a perfect solution not only for text-based sites and blogs but also for other different types of online projects ranging from eCommerce, small business websites, landing pages, etc.

Moreover, we should also take into account several fundamental WordPress benefits:

Factsheet:
• Live WordPress websites: – 27,165,799;
• Number of themes – 10,000+;
• Free plugins – yes;
• Full customization – yes.
  • Dynamic Pages. WP is a dynamic CMS, which means no lines of coding and tons of separate heavy-load pages with actually the same design and typical layout with no chance to stand out. On the other hand, WordPress makes it easier for users to create new pages, categories, and blog posts as well as manage and customize each of them with ease.
  • Easy to Use. You do not have to do much of the development work with WordPress. The system delivers an enormous selection of plugins out of the box while the content management tools are pretty intuitive. If you are still involved in the website coding, the process will become simpler with no in-depth technical knowledge required.
  • Optimization and Customization. WordPress was initially designed as the blogging platform. It means the software was originally created to build SEO-friendly websites. Moreover, WordPress offers various instruments to boost website performance, page load speed, and performance. Those features are also important for your site search engine ranks. The platform provides enough freedom to customize the page layout as well as the overall site design. The procedure looks quite easier fi compared to marking up the HTML page. You still have the access to the website’s CSS/HTML while the customization is not so daunting.
  • Growing WordPress Community. With the growing CMS popularity, the community grows as well. Users may come across hundreds of forums, groups, and sites that bring together all WordPress users to discuss different issues. The topics range from technical threads to plugin overviews, website integration guides, etc. In other words, you will never be left along with your new WordPress site.

Now that it is clear why you actually need to convert your static HTML website to WordPress, you would probably rush to find the best way to do that. Well, stop for a minute and consider the following before you launch the converting process.

Things to Take into Account before Converting

Before you finally move to WP, make sure to look out for the following:

  1. Make sure your hosting meets all the requirements of your new website. The requirements for HTML and WP site might be different.
  2. Prepare to use a code editor. It might be necessary for one of the converting options, as there is a need for tweaking the code. Atom or Notepad++ would be enough.
  3. Reserve enough time and patience, as the moving process will require some stamina.

Pros and Cons of Converting a Static HTML Website to WordPress

You are actually ready to move on. Do not hesitate, as you are doing the right thing. But first, we need to be frank with you and highlight all the pros and cons of converting your static HTML website to WordPress.

Pros:
Cons:
Powerful CMS – you will hardly face problems when extending your WP website using available plugins and integration capabilities. Users will find everything from simple contact forms and anti-spam protection to SEO and security plugins, pop-up forms, analytic tools, etc.
Fast Site Updates – updating site pages is very easy. Simply enter the dashboard and edit content. There is no need to hire developers or web designers every time you need to update the site.
Stylish Themes – thousands of ready-to-use layouts and templates are available free. They were developed by web designers from across the world. If you crave for something unique or exclusive, the premium paid themes will certainly do the trick.
Education Curve. That’s right, you still need to learn how to use the new platform. However, even beginners with no technical skills get used to its fast. If you work with HTML sites for a long time, you will never find it difficult to work with WP. Moreover, tons of articles, guides, tutorials and videos on the web will come in handy.
Maintenance and Support. You are the only one responsible for your website performance and support. Users need to keep an eye on the plugin and CMS updates, hosting expiring dates, domain renewals, etc.

Now, you are totally ready to move on and convert your static HTML website to WordPress. Let’s have a look at some available options to choose the right way.

Three Ways to Convert a Static HTML Website to WordPress

The main idea of converting HTML to WordPress is actually to change the site’s design. In other words, you let the WordPress theme adopt your HTML design while the CMS delivers its functionality and features.

Users will have to choose from three major options to switch between platforms. Each path is different in terms of difficulty and steps to take. The choice will depend on several factors including the user’s technical background, time, preferences, etc.

1. Manual Converting

This is one is probably the most time-consuming and challenging, as it requires maximum technical skills. If you chose this path, prepare to do lots of coding. The procedure will not be a hassle for users with the good technical and coding background. All you need is a bit of CSS, PHP and HTML knowledge, of course.

The process includes the following steps:

  1. First of all, you need to create basic files (style.css, index.php, etc.) and put them in a new theme folder.
  2. The next stage is to bring your existing site’s CSS on the WordPress worksheet.
  3. Now you need to divide an existing HTML website into several pieces, WordPress mainly uses PHP to pull out the necessary data. In other words, you need to create several PHP copies of your HTML files letting WordPress put them together.
  4. The next and probably the easiest step is to change the header format making it compatible with WordPress.
  5. Upload the theme and start using your new WordPress website.

The main drawback of this particular method it at you won’t be able to take advantage of the full WP functionality. You will get access to baseline CMS capabilities while the plugin area is not available. Moreover, you cannot modify the menu from the WP backend.

Have no worries. The next method will solve the problem letting take you the fullest from WordPress functionality.

2. Building the Child Theme

The path is probably the easiest and fastest way to convert your static HTML website to WordPress if you need to save the look and style of the initial site version. The key advantage is that you may work with a ready-to-use WP theme instead of working with the initial HTML code to kickoff. The idea is to use two themes built on top of each other (parent and child themes).

The steps are as follows:

  1. Select a WordPress theme you like. Make sure it refers to the initial site topic so that you would not have to modify it later.
  2. Put the flesh of the child theme to a new folder (the same as in method #1).
  3. Get a style sheet for the new theme and set it up. You may actually activate the new theme even at this point. However, you still need to do some styling.
  4. At this stage, parent styling and Functions.php need to be inherited. Then you will need to adjust the design.
  5. Activate the theme and get a WP-based website that looks exactly like the original one.

3. Content Import via Plugins

This method is the best bet for those who do not actually care about the initial look and design of their HTML website. For this reason, the path is even faster and simpler if compared to previous ones. The process is as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Do the site setup.
  2. Install a new WP theme.
  3. Install a special transfer plugin.
  4. Import HTML content to your WordPress.

Once you have completed the process, we recommend checking current imported pages and posts’ URLs to make sure they are SEO friendly.

The Bottom Line

You have learned how to convert a static HTML website to WordPress using three different methods. Chose the one that meets your needs and preferences. The process is not as hard as it may seem. On the other hand, you will get a more functional, easier to use and customize the website with advanced CMS technologies.

Switching to a WP-based site is better due to several reasons. First of all, users will appreciate flexibility delivered by WordPress plugins and content editor. Secondly, you will have a website with all competitive advantages in the pack to take the challenge of the competitive online business. Not only WordPress lets you grow the current niche but also extend your digital business.

Howard

About the Author

I'm Howard Steele, the founder and editor-in-chief of this website. With over 10 years of web building I know how complicated and tiresome this task can be for a non-IT person.

Can’t decide which service to choose? Feel free to ask me for advice. Just describe your website needs, and I’ll gladly help you.

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