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HTML to WordPress

This site contains posts about converting/importing static HTML pages into WordPress (or other CMS type solutions.)  If you find that the task is too daunting or simply need someone to assist in the heavy lifting then I do offer static HTML migration services.  There are many approaches to moving static HTML pages – an outline of a typical approach follows.**

Phase I – Web Page Analysis and Link Design

  1. analysis of current web pages (how many pages, links, resources will be included in the migration)
  2. establish which pages will require ‘manual editing’ (there are always at least a few)
  3. establish which pages/resources will need to be renamed (removing problematic file name special-characters like: !@#$%^&*(){}|\[]<>;'”?, embedded ‘control codes’,etc.; replacing spaces and ‘_’ with dashes (-), using all lower-case letters, etc.)
  4. establish which pages will be migrated as WordPress pages
  5. establish page ‘relationships’ (parent/child)
  6. establish which pages will be migrated as WordPress posts
  7. establish which web page components need to be ‘migrated’ (extract pure ‘content’ from the original pages (remove repeated components like:  navigation, ads, non-content links, headers, footers, etc.)
  8. establish the new link (perma-link) structure (if any) OR retain existing canonical page links (best approach for SEO purposes)
  9. establish the new storage approach for any resource media files (i.e. images)
  10. establish appropriate WordPress Categories, Tags or other desired WordPress options
  11. a simple WordPress theme is selected for use during the migration – usually a theme that mimics the source site
  12. client review/confirmation for next step

Phase II – Structure Migration

  1. via import tools establish the new WordPress site using the base page structure
  2. import the media based on the approach established in Phase I
  3. include some actual page content for a sub-set of pages (i.e. main ‘menu’ links for a site)
  4. test the new migration-test-site
  5. client review/confirmation for next step

Phase III – Migrate All Required HTML Pages/Media

  1. via import tools pull in all site content (HTML page ‘content’) with resource links pointing to new media locations (HTML pages are scrubbed/update with new resource links)
  2. test for unresolved links/resources
  3. complete migration of pages requiring manual editing
  4. test/review
  5. client review/confirmation for next step

Phase IV – Install new site on Client server

  1. client’s server must support current versions of WordPress and Mysql
  2. migration is scheduled for a specific date/time
  3. client authorizes and provides production server access information to consultant OR client opts to complete a self-install based on directions provided by the consultant
  4. consultant installs new WordPress instance and tests
  5. client review/confirmation of project completion

Phase V – Custom WordPress Themes & Plugins

Theme selection/custom theme design is a separate process.  There are thousands of free/commercial themes.  Commercial theme prices ranging from $30+.  A typical custom theme will start at $1500+.

  1. The client must approve a ‘look & feel’ for the new site.  This can be a ‘standard’ or customized ‘look’
  2. A typical process may include the use of third party ‘web designer’ and/or a ‘design firm’ (to assist in establishing your ‘branding’.)
  3. Once the design is approved then a custom theme is created (usually based on a standard ‘framework theme’) which includes the design components selected by the client.


WordPress Migration FAQs

The amount of content and the complexity of the page relationships determines the time required – which affects the cost, hence the use of Phases.  For sites with 1000 or fewer web pages, Phase one starts at $500.   The subsequent phase costs are estimated from the results from Phase I.  Fees for each Phase are specified/agreed to prior to the start of each phase.  Provided no changes are requested by the client then the cost is fixed at the completion of Phase I.

Some clients may prefer an hourly consulting arrangement where guidance is provided for small to medium migrations.

Note that for a simple, small site (less than ~50  static HTML pages/posts) it is usually more cost-effect for the client to simply copy & paste page content into WordPress pages/posts..

A projected timeline is established in Phase I.  Factors that can affect the final delivery include how quickly can you review/approve each Phase and whether or not changes are requested during the process.


** All migration work is completed using a local server.  Testing/reviews are done on a restricted access test server available via the Internet.  The process usually begins with downloading an entire web site from the Internet OR the client provides copies of all static HTML and resource/media files from the original site.

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