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How I Converted My Web Site into a WordPress Blog

As some of you may know I’m somewhat new to this blogging arena. Yes I had started up a blogspot blog quite some time ago but was never serious about it. I was old-fashioned and believed that the way to make money on the Internet was to have a static website. Don’t get me wrong; static websites are fine if it suits your venue. For instance, if you have a large database and are selling products you probably do better with a website than a blog. The blog should be supplemental in driving traffic to your main website.

I my case, however, I realized that my subject matter would do much better as a blog rather than a static website. Most of my sites basically contain information and articles. Except for a few affiliate links and a few ads, I don’t sell a particular product. I don’t have a need for an inventory database or back end shopping cart or anything complicated.

The more I thought about it, the more I got the sinking feeling that I should convert my websites to a blogging format. It not only allows for more interactivity with my readers, it is also much easier to add and maintain new content.

After making the decision, I decided to convert my entire No Job for Mom (NJFM) website into a WordPress blog. Originally I had the NJFM blog in a subdirectory of the main domain. I needed to transfer the blog from the subdirectory into the root directory and convert all of the .html pages to blog entries.

It may sound complicated, but it’s not. Here’s what I did:

Transferred the NJFM blog to the root directory of my website:

  1. Downloaded all of my existing WordPress files to my local hard driveNJFM Blog
  2. Signed into my WordPress account and modified the Blog location and URL (you do this by accessing the Settings page of the Design tab). After changing the blog location URL and the blog’s URL, WordPress automatically booted me out of the admin section.
  3. Uploaded the WordPress files from my local hard drive into the root directory.
  4. Signed into the admin section of my newly located blog and poked around to make sure everything transferred over properly.
  5. Did quite a bit of cleanup. I had to make sure that the links were all valid. (See my earlier post for how to validate links).

Word of Caution: Be sure to change the blog’s URL location before you begin transferring WordPress files. I don’t know what happens if you do it the other way around, but according to WordPress.org, you should change the URL first, so I did and it went smoothly.

Transferred the Web Pages to Blog Entries

Next I had to take each of my web pages and make them blog posts. It wasn’t hard to do, just tedious and time consuming. The biggest concern I had was maintaining the proper post entry date.

Being somewhat anal retentive about my website, I kept track of when I added new content by date. Therefore maintaining the correct date for posts was rather simple. All I had to do was copy and paste the pages into the blog. I had to be careful, however to double check each of my links to ensure they pointed to the right page. I used a relative linking structure rather than an absolute linking structure on my website. In transferring the website into a blog, I decided to use absolute links to ensure that the links worked properly.

Redirecting the TrafficTraffic

Once I was satisfied that all of the posts were properly transferred and that the links and images all displayed properly, I created a rather extensive 301 redirect in my .htaccess file.

Again, being somewhat anal retentive with my sites/blogs, I listed each of the original .html pages and redirected them to their blogging counterpart. I also redirected the traffic from my original blog location (which was a subdirectory of the domain), to the root directory.

New Site Map

I then created a new sitemap and uploaded it to my Google Webmaster account. I checked back every so often to see if there are any warnings or 404 File Not Found errors.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Jen Brister September 10, 2008, 9:51 pm

    I have a somewhat technical question for you. I use wordpress as well and I was wondering how you get your logo to show up in the web address bar at the top of the screen. Any hints? Thanks!

    Jen Bristers last blog post..Dancing with Myself….

  • Felicia September 11, 2008, 6:52 am

    Hi Jen,

    Getting your icon to show up in the URL bar isn’t too difficult.

    First upload the image to your domain. Then access your WordPress file (usually the header.php file), insert the following code on a line beneath one of the ‘meta’ tags:

    Of Course you’ve got to insert the location of your image. I use the absolute location such as “http://www.domain.com/image.gif”

    I hope this helps. If it doesn’t make sense to you, let me know. I’ll e-mail better instructions.


  • Jen Brister September 11, 2008, 10:17 am

    Thanks! I’ll give it a go!

  • mark October 29, 2010, 10:50 am

    Ive been studying this for a while, and your article is clearly written and draws together some of the other info I didn’t understand. Wanted to take time and jot you a quick note of thanks. Ive come to the same conclusion as you that a blog would be of better use for a couple of my info sites.

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