A growing number of web developers are using WordPress as a go-to choice for website development. The PHP-based website development framework offers several advantages over others.
These include cost-effectiveness, SEO-friendly features, responsive design, and social media integration capabilities, among others.
But it's hard to use all of those benefits of WordPress if you don't use it strategically. This article is aimed at helping WordPress development enthusiasts to complete their web development projects more efficiently.
Read on to get 7 useful tips to smartly convert HTML to a WordPress website -
Analyze the HTML site's content & discuss with the client
It's always a wise first step to analyze the existing content on the HTML website. Do the analysis objectively to find out the data that will be migrated to the WordPress website. Also, figure out whether or not all the contents provide value for the new WordPress website.
This should not be difficult for you if you have understood what the client aims to achieve with the website. Once you have a clear understanding of the client's requirements and goals, you can easily point out what content is necessary and what is not. Share with the client the decision you made before taking the next step.
Make a timeline for the development process
A timeline for the project will help you to carry out the development process in an efficient way. The best way to do this is to divide the project into different milestone levels. Get a project manager assigned and ask him/her to keep track of every single step of progress. The manager should also address if and when the development process faces any challenge.
Regularly communicate with the client to inform them about the progress of the project. This will strengthen your relationship with the client while boosting your trustworthiness.
Create a sitemap of the new website
The next step would be to prepare a sitemap for the WordPress website. The sitemap will help you like a navigation guide for migrating data from the HTML site to the WordPress website. The creation of a sitemap is also beneficial in terms of search engine values. A sitemap tells the search engine which pages and files are important to your website.
Consider using a staging server
A staging server makes the development process more efficient and accurate by providing a platform to review the work. This further helps the developers to rectify any possible errors or bugs. Hence it also effectively contributes to the quality analysis process. Additionally, there's a possibility of sharing screenshots of the staging website with the client. The client would be more than happy to have a preview of how their website.
You can use the staging server as a platform to modify any architecture-related element of the website as well. Making such changes in a live environment could affect the site's performance. So it's better to do it on a staging server.
Plan how to migrate the existing media files
It's crucial to have an effective plan for moving images, videos, infographics and other media files to the new site. This plan should always be made in consultation with the client (the website owner). You should discuss this plan with the owner before taking any file transfer action. Do a thorough assessment to find out which files needed to be transferred. Share the data with the client and proceed for the next steps.
Redirect using the HTML site's URLs
The URLs of the existing site are valuable assets as they already have a specific number of visitors. If the site is popular, some visitors might have already saved those URLs on their devices. Hence using those URLs means making the user familiar with the new site. If you don't redirect the links, visitors may be disappointed while browsing the old site.
Update internal links of the HTML website
Working on the internal links of the old site is one of the most critical finishing steps. As mentioned above, redirection of old URLs solves most of the links-related problems. However, updating the internal links would connect the old site with the new host and permalinks. This will also make the interface of the new site faster. A faster site means better user experience and increased visits.
To summarize it all, you need to complete the HTML to WordPress development project in a step-by-step manner. You must have understood by now that every step in this development process is important. Start with an analysis of the site's content and data, decide a timeline, and use a staging server for testing.
I have repeatedly said this: maintain regular communication with the client and keep them updated. Finally, redirect old URLs and test rigorously before delivering the site. Try these tips in your next WordPress project and you will see the difference.