Are you thinking of migrating your HTML or a Static website to the WordPress platform? There is no doubt over the tremendous benefits of moving your site to the WordPress, which unquestionably is one of the most dynamic Content Management System in the present times and therefore, become the choice of millions. There are many reasons for such an upswing in the acceptance of the WordPress. One of the most key reasons is the ultimate advancement of the websites, it offers through the countless and indefinite benefits such as: user friendly interface, dynamic themes, responsive plugins and most importantly, expansive range of technical support, so that, you can never face any issue or difficulty in handling your website. In addition to this, you can easily update your website or blog post content as well as tweak minor or major settings by yourself only. This way you do not even need to understand troublesome coding, thus saving a lot of cost that you have to pay to Website developers for even tiny updates.
All these loaded benefits that come along with the WordPress might instantaneously make you rush to jump into the luxury of migrating your existing Website to this dynamic Content management System. However, you also must be aware that though it is achievable task, but if not done carefully, you might lose your current data, design codes and furthermore, your hard earned SEO rankings that you have acquired over a long period. This guide will give you the comprehensive details on what all steps you should take in order to successfully migrate your html website to a WordPress CMS.
1. Accurate Planning
It is the first and foremost step, while starting with the process of your website transformation. Without a appropriate plan, you might easily make some common mistakes, which definitely in the long term would lead to ineffective or a buggy site. And finally, could give you intense headaches and unnecessary expenditures. Therefore, it is always wise to make an advance action plan and strictly adhere to it during the whole process. Furthermore, you should also analyze few other factors while building an action plan for an efficient migration. Below is list of few standard evaluation points:
- What section (e-commerce, informational, local business etc.) your website deals in? By analyzing this, you will get an idea of how much volume of data you may want to transfer as small volume might be manually transferred, but for high volume of data, you must need commercial tools to achieve an error-free migration.
- Do you want to stick to your current host provider or want to switch it? Similarly, Whether you would like to stay with your current domain name or not?
- What all content you need to transfer to the fresh WordPress site? In this list, you should analyze and add the list of the critical data such as posts, pages, images, scripts , etc.
- Comprehensive evaluation of URL structure redevelopment and redirecting link steps.
- Does your existing website include any external services such as data collection, third party registration or reservation tools , etc.?
- Do you want to retain your existing administrative setup such as present e-mail ids, application and contact set ups?
2. Installation of the WordPress
You need to install the WordPress prior to the importation of all your content and data scripts. Whether you have decided to stay with your existing host or a new host, you don’t need to worry, as almost every host provider delivers you an easy one-click installation process of installing the WordPress CMS. This should be an easy step for you, however you if faced any unfamiliar issue or a bug, you can always take the assistance from the technical support team of your hosting company. You can also contact us anytime and we will be more than happy to assist you with any difficulty.
One critical factor you need to keep in mind is, you must uphold your existing html website live, till the time you are in the process of WordPress development. This is because; you might lose your regular traffic or audience, which will significantly drop your conversions and thus, daunt your credibility. To avoid those issues, you must install the WordPress in a separate directory and progressively when you are through with the migration process, can direct your domain to the directory. Always make sure to not index the setup directory in the search engines during the building process.
You can easily do it by going to Settings > Reading in your WordPress dashboard screen and click the checkbox “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” in the Search Engine Visibility section.
3. Configuration of the essential WordPress Settings
While switching to WordPress, you may need to tweak the basic settings. Let’s go through the list of primary settings:
- Go to the General settings and set your website title along with the description as these are required by the search engines.
- Configure the URL structure through the easy permalink setup provided by the WordPress. By doing this, you will get the control to set up the format of your links to web pages: so that, they are easily readable to users like: page name.
- After configuring the URL settings, you may wish to pre-install all the necessary plugins on the basis of your website niche’ and WordPress recommendations both. Some of the highly recommended pre-installed WordPress plug-ins are Akismet (for the Spam protection), WordPress SEO by Yoast (for search engine optimization), Social integration plugins (Facebook, Twitter and all).
- After you are over with configuring the WordPress settings, you can preview it in a separate browser to know that whether it is successfully installed. After this, the next critical step is to import all your existing data.
3. Data Importation
It is a very critical step; therefore you must be very careful to avoid any mistake to prevent forthcoming errors. Method of importing all the content depends on two chief factors, which are:
- If your existing HTML website operates through any content management system. If this is the case, then you can easily create the directory of all your existing files through the C-panel and further transfer them through various FTP tools available in the market. It is a very simple procedure and you don’t need to be too much concerned over any data loss or damage.
- In case, your current website doesn’t run on any CMS, then you have no options, but to save the content on all the individual pages manually and subsequently copy paste it to the fresh WordPress website. Furthermore, you have to test the overall functionality of website like all the links are working or is all content is previewed properly or not.
4. Designing the Website layout
After configuring all the content to your website, you can now start revamping your website. Designing is not at all difficult in the WordPress through the dynamic interface of the WordPress which is filled up with a variety of clean, responsive and automated themes. You might also consider purchasing any of the premium themes, available on the web. The major benefit of going for the premium themes is they come with the complete technical support and supplementary features.
After that, you can install all the mentioned plugins necessary for the full functionality of your chosen theme in addition to all the pre-installed plugins that I mentioned earlier.
Alert-please avoid using unnecessary plugins as there are thousands of free plugins available on the WordPress may confuse you. Always install the plug-in built by authentic developers to avoid unnecessary bugs you’re your website. You may consider reading the reviews before deciding on what to install.
5. Website Testing
Now, as all the major tasks are over, you must test the overall functionality and responsiveness of your website. You should test the functionality of all the links, once again to fix any issue related to the broken connections. For that, you may either consider installing, re-direct plug-ins or can also manually edit the links by editing a .htaaccess file. You might also consider taking the assistance from the WordPress official community forums, if you are unable to fix any sort of bug.
6. Update the Domain directory
You are almost done with the website and now is the time to take a relaxed breath and point the domain to the fresh site you just built. You should not be much hassled about it as you just need to contact your hosting company and they will update the DNS records for you.
7. Time to Go Live!
Now you need to index the fresh WordPress website to the search engines. This is the moment to pat on your back with a smile as you are done with the overall website migration.