Converting HTML Sites to WordPress Sites

This is in large part thanks to open source projects like WordPress. Which, over the last ten years or so, has succeeded in its core mission to democratize online publishing (and a lot more in the process) so that anyone with a WordPress install and the right theme/plugins can have a modern website with advanced design and functionality. No coding–not even HTML!–required. Granted, these site owners may have good reasons for not upgrading or converting. Maybe their site content never changes and the simple formatting and design already in place is serviceable? Or maybe it’s less of a hassle than worrying about keeping a WordPress site updated? Both are valid reasons (among others). Prime examples of, “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.”

 

However, I have a feeling that these might not be the primary reason some (perhaps many) haven’t made the leap. The most obvious one being that they simply don’t know how to convert their HTML site into a

 

WordPress site. Especially without losing content or needing to do excessive formatting on a page by page basis.

Your Options for Converting a Static HTML site to a WordPress site

How you choose to convert your static HTML site into a WordPress site will no doubt depend upon your personal preference, desired time/monetary investment, and skill level with code. You will have to be the one to decide which is best for you, but with the summaries below you should be able to decide quickly and skip straight to the most relevant information in this post for your specific situation.

There are three main options:

1. Manually create a WordPress theme based on your current static HTML site.

This will require you to get into your code. You will have to access your current site directory via FTP and use your existing code as a starting point. From there you will need to create the necessary files for a WordPress theme and copy bits of code from the WordPress codex. This is fairly simple and straight forward if you have some experience with HTML, CSS, and a bit of PHP.

2. Install a pre-made theme and simply migrate your content.

This is probably the best option at the intersection of simplicity and value. Assuming you already have hosting for your current website, you will only need to spend money if you choose to purchase a premium theme. The plugin we will use for importing content is freely available in the official WordPress Plugin Repository.

3. Paying to have an HTML to WordPress conversion service re-create your site.

This is the easiest solution, as it doesn’t require you to do much of anything. However it will not do much for familiarizing you with WordPress and the cost will vary depending on who you choose to hire. I won’t be covering this option in the sections below because if this is the route you are interested in, you can simply do a quick search for service providers and they will take care of the rest.