When i first started creating websites i used MS Publisher but quickly learned about the power of blogging and wanted to import the static content of my old website to WordPress.
Back then there wasn’t any tools or plugins to import html content to WordPress automatically so i had to copy and paste all my page content manually.
Now there’s a great plugin which will import all your old websites html content as pages and/or posts in WordPress. Saves massive amounts of time especially on large html sites and also imports linked images.
This plugin named HTML Import 2, is a complex plugin with many settings that you need to configure properly before you start importing your files.
Once installed, this plugin can import files, content, linked images, titles, posts, pages, products, categories, tags and taxonomies.
You’ll need to install WordPress first and then install the import plugin before you can start the process.
Caution: Take a full backup of your files & databases before you start.
Directory to import – Enter the absolute url of the directory you wish to import here. The plugin will normally show what your absolute path is from your web server, just make sure you have the correct directory. Example: /home/hostg/public_html/domain
Old site URL – This will be used only to generate accurate .htaccess redirects. The importer will not search for files here.
Default file – Its very important that you enter the name of the default file (index.html, default.htm) for directories on your old sites server. Example: index.html
File extensions to include – Enter the file extensions, without periods, separated by commas. Example: html,htm,shtml. All other file types will be ignored.
Directories to exclude – Enter directory names, without slashes, separated by commas. All files in these directories will be ignored. Example: images,includes,Templates.
Select content by – Select either HTML tag or Dreamweaver
Tag – The HTML tag, without brackets. Example: div
Attribute – Leave blank to use a tag without an attribute, or when the attributes don’t matter, such as <body> Example: id
=Value – Enter the attribute’s value (such as width, ID, or class name) without quotes Example: content
More content options
- Import linked images
- Update internal links
- Use meta description as excerpt (checked by default)
- Convert special characters (accents and symbols – checked by default)
- Clean up bad (Word, Frontpage) HTML
Select title by – HTML tag or Dreamweaver template region
Tag – The HTML tag, without brackets Example: title
Attribute – Leave blank to use a tag without an attribute, or when the attributes don’t matter, such as <title>
=Value – Enter the attribute’s value (such as width, ID, or class name) without quotes
Phrase to remove from page title: Any common title phrase (such as the site name, which most themes will print automatically)
Meta Data Settings
Import files as – Posts, Pages or Products
Set status to – Publish, draft, private or pending
Set timestamps to – Last time the file was published or now
Set author to – Add your author details to the Users > Profile settings in WordPress admin and select the author
Import pages as children of: None, leave as top level unless you have sub or child pages of a parent page
Template for imported pages: Choose a page template your theme offers or use the default page template
Categories, Tags & Taxonomies
Assign categories, tags, and custom taxonomy terms to your imported posts:
Here you can setup your categories, tags and taxonomies in WordPress and then assign them to your old HTML sites posts.
After you have completed the import you may find these tools useful if you have any problems with broken links and you need to change URL’s.
- Check for broken links
- Change WordPress URL’s
- Fix broken links with permalink finder plugin
- Redirect tool for changing permalink structure
- Create a 301 Permanent HTTP Redirect in htaccess
- Fix 404 page not found crawl errors
- URL redirect Checker
WordPress Seo Benefits
WordPress is well optimized for the search engines and also offers a huge range of seo plugins which can further enhance your rankings to bring in more organic traffic.
You won’t lose any search engine traffic as long as you don’t change your url permalink structure, page titles or internal links.
You’ll actually gain traffic after moving to the WordPress platform and find it easier to publish great looking content using a great looking theme that’s very popular and user friendly.
If your old HTML site has only 10 or 15 pages, it may be easier to simply copy and paste your content into your WordPress pages & posts rather than configure all the settings in the import plugin.
All you need to do is:
If you get stuck, there’s an enormous amount of support for WordPress users available at:
- Official WordPress.org forum
- Official WordPress Group on Linkedin
- List of WordPress Tutorials
Importing your old static html content to a new WordPress website or blog will be one of the best moves you can make for many reasons which you will discover after you move.