I just converted my How To Take Better Photos site to WordPress.
Originally, I created the site in Dreamweaver.
It was a bit of a chore learning how to do it. Additionally, whenever I wanted to add content, it took a lot of time.
This is what it used to look like.
Clicking on the image will take you to the new page.
With a static site, adding a page has some extra work to it.
Once you write the content, you add it to a page template. Then, you must change the links on the rest of the pages on the site to point to it. For me, this is enough to make me not add much in the way of content since the site was built.
The conversion from static site to WordPress took a while to accomplish.
The first task was to enter the content into the blog. I created a WordPress blog offline on my computer to do this. I used some free software called XAMMPLite to create the server to run WordPress.
The trick was to keep the content and pages with the same addresses they had in the static site.
You do not want to lose any links your site has built up already. You want to take advantage of any traffic you are already getting.
I used the permalinks feature in WordPress to reproduce the link structure of the original site.
One problem I had was I used subfolders for the various articles originally.
This was a problem. I was able to create a permalink structure that gave nearly every page the same URL as it had before. At least I think so. There are a few pages I was not able to keep with the same URL. These pages are not important anyway and should not have any links to them.
Once I had entered the content, it was time to convert the site.
I used the WordPress export feature to export the content and categories to a file.
I deleted the original site on the host.
I created the MYSQL database for WordPress. I edited the wp_config file to show the database, user, and password before I uploaded. I then uploaded the WordPress files to the server. I am using the Semiologic Pro for the theme and content manager on the site, so I had all the files I needed.
Only two major steps left
First, recreate the permalink structure I has used offline. Next, import the content file I had exported. All the pages were there in the right categories. Just a little fine tuning to do.
A few things needed to be fixed.
Links in the content from the static site no longer worked. I needed to find these and point them to the right pages. For a photography site, I have had (still have) very few images, but they needed to be uploaded to WordPress and replaced. Also, I needed to put the ads back on the site.
Semiologic has an ad managing system.
I want to take advantage of this so I did not keep the ads that were on the original pages. The next version of Semiologic has even better ad management that I think will be an asset, not only to me, but to regular readers.
I will be able to show AdSense to search engine traffic and new viewers and show fewer or different ads to regular readers.
I will be updating this site to Semiologic Pro soon also. I think my regular readers here will really appreciate it also. I should be making the switch within the next couple weeks.
In all, I have managed to keep much of the original look of the site.
I now have a 3 column layout. Right now, I have a mostly white theme where it was white and grey. I am planning to change this later.
Most importantly, it is now fast and easy to add content.
I am hoping to get an article up tonight. It will be about ghosts in pictures.
I hope you will check my photography site at http://www.photographybyjet.com.