From Regular Website To WordPress Website – Article 1

This article is in a series of articles about migrating from a regular website to a WordPress website…

Like many things on the web, whether you a 100% techie or 100% marketing or somewhere in between the day comes when you have to improve, change or modify your website. I am about 50% techie and 50% marketing, at least that is my perspective. When you are a techie, you build your website (your personal site) once and never touch it again. When you are a marketing guy, you are adding so much to it that it looks like a target ad special. But overall when it is your personal site, like is my personal site, how it works, what it says and what it does, is really important if you want to impress upon your clients, your com-padres or your parents, that you know something about the web.

For techies the concept of using wordpress is sacrilegious, and that is why I am using kid gloves in this first article, explaining why I am switching to to a WordPress site. It has been a long time coming, and I am switching it over in stages. These stages will be discussed in this series of wordpress blog articles that cover the why, the how and the little details in between. Now that we are down the road a bit on this WordPress critical mass that has been occurring, I bet a lot of techie and marketing types out there would like to switch to WordPress, and best of all to be able to do it yourself, and not lose a step along the way.

That is why I am documenting this process. One for those out there who care, and two for myself, to learn. Whenever I teach something I learn, and trust me the migration of a old fashion html website to WordPress is a learning process.

So, before the next article, let’s cover the difference between a regular website and a WordPress site. First off, there are so many answers to what is a regular website, so let’s limit this to two categories, the old fashioned HTML website and the programmed language website. The basic HTML website is a series of tags in a page that you run through a web server and the more advanced programmed website does a bit more with a database, forms, reports, interactive actions and anything imaginable. Now my original site was and still is an HTML site (until I finish up this process). By HTML, you can sometimes check this out by seeing index.html or index.htm or directories like /services/ at the end of the URL. This is still somewhat misleading, because in the web world any URL can look like any URL if you use redirection and other techniques… The more advanced “programmatic” site can become a wordpress site, but this gets into the more difficult integration and creation of plugins. We will get into that last, and then it becomes a question or whether or not the wordpress migration is worth it. (It is if you are starting from scratch, but if you have already made an investment in .net, Cold Fusion, python or any of the other languages out there not a freely distributable or not available on all flavors of websites, you may want to hold onto your pocketbook and stay put).

So the final part of this article will try to explain why I think most people would benefit from WordPress instead of their regular sites (unless you don’t want to be found on the web and manage a website, but then you wouldn’t be building a website unless you did not want to be found). Here are the reasons:

1. WordPress is opensource and free.
2. WordPress has many of the nice SEO features you can’t get so easily on your own. SEO means Search Engine Optimization and you needed to know that, this is perfect for you.
3. WordPRess is gaining critical mass and like Microsoft DOS, you don’t want to manage CPM.
4. WordPress has an easy to use CMS, while if you had a regular html site you would not have a CMS. By CMS I mean Content Management System.
5. WordPress has easy to upgrade path and new version every month or 2 if you want new features.
6. Literally thousands of plugins out there on the market and if you need something it will be free or cheap.
7. Tens of Thousands of support articles like this one.
8. WordPress not only can run on any hosting plan on the market from Linux to Windows, but many hosters have it already ready for you.
9. Tons of free and cheap themes out there to choose from and easy to switch theme.
10. Probably a hundred other reasons out there and too many to think of.

So, there you have it… Check back on this article as I go through the process of converting from a regular HTML site to a WordPress site.