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How to Migrate an Existing Website to WordPress

November 15, 2013 by Mainak Biswas under Digital Marketing Marketing351 views
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When one talks about WordPress, the general notion is that it is a platform primarily designed for blogs. While this is true to an extent, it should be noted that blogs are websites too and websites based on these designs do not lose their appeal in any way. But the other way round, blogs-inspired designs enhance a website’s appeal by giving it a professional-writing feel.

Features of WordPress and Getting On board

He mentioned that the secret of his success solely lied on the quality and features on WordPress. He had signed up for a premium package on this blogging site and thus his blog was promoted on a number of platforms far and wide- thousands of them to be exact. His interactive and engaging talks with his followers too played a part. The fact that he was consistent with a theme also helped him to gain prominence.

In short, one could surmise that all the favorable features on WordPress helped him to a great extent. Blogs are in no way awkward and have a systematically managed content that is readily available in the form of hash tags and permalinks. Moreover, WordPress comes preloaded with its brainchild Akismet that thwarts off a number of malicious attempts by hackers to mar the image of the website. Such quality spam-deterring software is very hard to find on other platforms.

This reduces the yoke on the shoulders of the website owners or more precisely, on the finances by not causing them to shell out extra money for fancy captchas. These captchas do not serve the purpose effectively and have caused many websites to meet an unceremonious end. This downfall is mainly due to the illegible nature of the popular text captchas widely used in a lot of website that have a professional feel.

Akismet on WordPress

The use of Akismet also negates the need for user input to keep the site free from the attack of bots. These malicious programs are kept at bay automatically. Such classy protection is needed and the websites using this need not worry about manually scavenging the spam comments. This is because all the malicious comments are directed to the spam box.

Manual scavenging otherwise can prove daunting given the huge number of people visiting the website. Moderating is only prompted to be done for genuine comments that are not categorized to be bots. This feature of WordPress sets it apart from other peers in the website business. Such effective disposal of spam comments is found very rarely among other website platforms.

Method of migration to WordPress from other platforms

Websites that involve huge amount of data can be migrated to WordPress, but this needs to be done systematically. Whereas websites involving small amount of content to migrate can be done without the help of any tools. For the former type, haphazard migration can only result in crossed lines and unwelcome bugs. A methodical approach can solve a lot of these issues.

Migration to WordPress can be done in a few steps that are enumerated below:

1. Evaluate website

Do a careful recce regarding the website and sift through the whole content for certain important ones such as standard pages, photo galleries, resource pages and the like. Ask yourself a few of these questions.

a. Does the website use any third party services such as data collection, reservations and the like?

b. Is there a need for forms to be migrated such as contact forms, application forms and others?

c. Are there any pages that are inaccessible to some and are open to members-only?

d. Does the website sell any digital or physical products?

e. Do any administrative tools need to be carried over such as CMS functionality?

2. Set up WordPress and get ready to import

After carefully sizing out the features and content mentioned above, chalk out a plan and be ready to import.

3. Import content

Organize your content and be ready to import via a tool that is very much needed for a website with a large content. Chalk out a plan along these points:

a. What amount of content needs to be imported as in number of pages, images and the like?

b. Is the volume small enough to be imported manually or is large and requires the help of a tool?

c. Does the tool you need already exists?

d. Is the content feasible enough to be categorized into standard posts and pages or requires custom-styled pages?

e. Does extra content needs to be stored for certain pages like custom fields, taxonomies and the like?

f. Will the URL structure change? If yes, will the old URLs need to be directed?

4. Migrate design

Make a really well-thought-of effort from the heart to look into the minutiae that goes into the design concerning your existing website. Leave no stone unturned and carefully incorporate these features of the existing website into a customized WordPress theme. This can be as close as it can get to your previous website.

5. Review website and let it go live

Review the import in detail and make necessary adjustments wherever needed. Set up any URL redirects and then go live.

A struggling writer, Mr. GH tried many blogging platforms in his quest for gaining a larger audience for his blog. All his attempts to garner a considerable following proved futile until he used WordPress

The moment he opened an account on WordPress, he realized how quickly posts get shared and how visitors increase with each passing day. He kept his blog posts consistent with a theme in order to target a certain category of people who might be interested in these kind of posts. Soon his posts got a number of likes from a meager 4 or 5 to 70 and 80. He systematically managed them via the use of hash tags and permalinks. Even his archived posts were likeable to a number of followers because of this.

Week by week he got a number of follows to the tune of 50 and 60. He managed to garner follows consistently and got into the rhythm of it. Soon, getting a hang of it he got to know a lot about the mechanism of the ‘likes’ and ‘follows’. He took cognizance of the fact that the use of a few tags and keywords drew a huge following and encouraged others to do the same in a lot of ebooks he published.

Within a span of 3 months, he managed a following of 15,000 people and became a prominent blogger in WordPress circles. He was aware of the fact that if he posted daily and kept his followers entertained, a lot of other followers would come by. Though not connected to his PC, he remained glued to the internet through other portable devices in the market in order to build a good rapport with his followers.

Through the rich experience he had with his own profile that fetched him tremendous likeability he managed to earn a modest amount by helping aspiring bloggers. The reason for the success of his blog was because he decided to migrate to WordPress. This case study highlights the fact that moving to WordPress is not difficult and that when you do, it has a lot of advantages in the long term. Moreover, WordPress is free to use and a dedicated programmer could be hired in order to make changes to the website while migrating to WordPress as your main CMS.

Conclusion

Write in a professional and consistent manner, and use WordPress if you possibly can. Even if you do not want a blog and are only looking for hosting a website, WordPress can be a good CMS that outpaces traditional web software programs. When you decide to migrate from an existing website to a WordPress-hosted one, follow the guidelines provided in this article with great attention and ask yourself various questions that might crop up in your mind while you migrate your existing website to WordPress.

A bit of foresight is also needed to understand the fragility involved in this migration wherein a lot of interconnected factors come into play. A disciplined effort can help you make the WordPress website very close in similarity to the previous one. If you find it difficult to migrate your existing website to a WordPress platform, do not worry. There are several professionals to whom your tasks can be outsourced to.

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