Case Examine: Transferring a Web site from HTML to WordPress

It will get difficult

WIWA is a German firm and main producer of airless spray portray items, plus fluid dealing with, materials extrusion, and injection programs. WIWA USA is a North American Grasp WIWA distributor working in america, Canada, and Mexico.

They’ve been a consumer for only a few years shy of a decade now, and their web site has modified fairly a bit through the years.

On this article, I’ll be going over the numerous adjustments concerned with shifting their website from static HTML to WordPress — a dynamic interactive software for use by their distributors and folks concerned about WIWA merchandise in North America.

Transferring an HTML website to WordPress will get fairly concerned, however we’ll cowl the method finish to finish.

Scoping out the redesign

When the chance to work on the WIWA web site was offered to me, they had been primarily concerned about a redesign to deliver the look of the web site into the then present period of net design. Being that it was a static HTML web site, ideally it could be transformed to a CMS platform.

I felt WordPress, which had beforehand been a extremely revered running a blog platform, had proved itself as an incredible full-on CMS.Moving HTML to WordPress Hub Signup

That being mentioned, WIWA USA was overpaying fairly a bit for his or her internet hosting and growth providers. The web site was moved to a GoDaddy internet hosting plan, which actually helped to hurry issues up on their web site. The web site’s area on the time was additionally moved to GoDaddy servers the place it sits to at the present time.

Having some expertise in search engine optimisation and web site optimization typically supplied the perception wanted to transform a static HTML website to a dynamic CMS platform — WordPress on this case. It wasn’t sufficient to only copy the previous pages to newly created pages on WordPress, since this website was already listed and getting visitors.

Not solely did every web page have to be created in WordPress, however every of the previous pages wanted a 301 everlasting redirect to their WordPress variations. It was a little bit of a grind, however we acquired it completed and the WIWA USA web site was and is prepared for future net growth.

A brand new look & extra performance

Having the web site transformed from HTML to WordPress unlocked a ton of highly effective options. We didn’t simply replace the design however added highly effective performance as nicely. One of many first duties on the checklist after the preliminary conversion was language translation. Being WIWA is a multinational firm, they wanted a approach for guests to simply translate the English model of the location into their very own language.

HTML to WordPress Archive
A go to to Wayback Machine reveals shifting the location from HTML to WordPress was the precise transfer.

I can’t actually take credit score for this because it was a easy plugin, and one they’re utilizing to at the present time. All I needed to do was set it up, nevertheless it was one of many first main adjustments that wanted to be handled. It actually was set it and neglect it.

Having ready-to-install plugins obtainable at a whim to reinforce an internet site’s performance is without doubt one of the causes I selected WordPress, and I feel the interpretation plugin is a good illustration in apply.

There have been different challenges alongside the best way, some proper from the beginning and others years later. I’ll go over the wants and options of among the most notable options that reworked this once-static HTML website into a robust product and help portal for WIWA distributors in North America.

Digital product catalog

WooCommerce was a key characteristic used to remodel static product pages right into a full-on digital catalog. Whereas they might begin promoting their merchandise from a catalog, they like to easily showcase merchandise at this level.

Making a digital catalog was fairly easy. If we simply depart off the value, there may be nothing so as to add to the cart, so no button for that operate is created. Nonetheless, different options of WooCommerce can be found — corresponding to product search, filters, classes, tags, attributes, and absolutely anything else you’ll sometimes want for an internet retailer.

There’s simply no precise promoting.

This technique can be considerably future proof since in the event that they determined to start out promoting the whole lot is already in place apart from value and some transport particulars.

HTML to WordPress Catalog
Dialing within the catalog was an necessary a part of shifting the location from HTML to WordPress.

Search is a vital characteristic for the WIWA USA web site. A components seek for tech help was carried out early on, adopted by a distributor map with search. After a more moderen redesign (the second since I began engaged on it) we transformed their coaching movies, brochures, manuals, and product movies right into a searchable format.

I’ll clarify how and why we did that in additional element later on this article.

Built-in components search

Elements search was one other necessary characteristic that wanted to be carried out. This got here with a novel set of challenges, and to be sincere it took a couple of tries to get this one proper. One downside is part quantity wanted to be matched up with a PDF diagram.

There have been lots of of PDF recordsdata that wanted to be uploaded to the internet hosting account then made searchable. A static web page itemizing the entire recordsdata simply wasn’t going to work right here. The concept of somebody wanting by a listing of lots of of recordsdata was merely impractical.

Search was the one answer.

My first thought was to make use of a plugin. I attempted a number of, however every had their very own terminable shortcomings. As typically occurs in net growth when an answer doesn’t exist already, it’s as much as you to create one.

So, as a substitute of utilizing and configuring a plugin I needed to roll up my sleeves, perform a little analysis and begin scripting.

As an apart, I don’t suppose most net builders merely know the way to write a selected script willy-nilly off the highest of their heads to resolve an issue until it’s “hi there world,” or one thing of that nature.

I feel the principle power of being net developer isn’t essentially simply realizing the whole lot instantaneously. It’s realizing the way to ask the query, and the way to implement the reply.

Now, a programmer would possibly have the ability to rapidly whip a script into existence since that’s nearly all of what they do. Internet builders however are a type of jack of all trades. We do design, coding/scripting, databasing, and extra.

Few individuals simply “know” all these things.

The purpose is that this: Don’t let not realizing a factor cease you. Our job as net builders is just to uncover and implement the precise answer. We would not all the time get it proper on the primary attempt, however persistence is how we evolve to grow to be nice at what we do in any facet of life.

What I settled on on this case was a customized search devoted to looking by PDF recordsdata hosted on the server. It was difficult, as a result of WordPress doesn’t search outdoors of the database by default.

For the reason that PDF recordsdata had been merely uploaded and never hooked up to pages or posts they weren’t referenced within the database. To compound the problem, as soon as I had the customized search working, the outcomes weren’t displayed throughout the WordPress templating system.

This meant I needed to create one other script that known as the WordPress templating system for the outcomes web page.

As soon as completed, this labored nicely for a number of years. Finally, somebody developed a plugin that allowed recordsdata to be uploaded then listed by the database — which is how the components search works at the moment. This additionally allowed for components to now be searched utilizing the principle WordPress search operate with simply a few minor tweaks.

HTML to WordPress Search
As we moved the location from HTML to WordPress, search was a operate that wanted to be preserved.

Transferring the distributor map from HTML to WordPress

Being that WIWA USA is a grasp distributor, it is smart that they might checklist the opposite distributors on their web site. WIWA USA at the moment sits at primary in a Google seek for the model title “WIWA,” even above their guardian firm.

At the least for US-based searches. That is necessary to say, as a result of the distributor map makes it doable for contractors to search out their closest WIWA gear distributor.

When researching the easiest way to implement this characteristic, I rapidly discovered no plugins existed particularly for this sort of implementation. I did, nonetheless, discover a plugin that may do most of what we would have liked. With only a few minor workarounds I used to be capable of bend the need of this plugin to do my bidding.

To be truthful, the plugin used was a paid plugin, and the developer has since added the performance that may have made this work “out of the field.”

Whereas this plugin met the necessity for a couple of years, the listings weren’t searchable from the principle WordPress search. An individual needed to truly click on the hyperlink to the distributor map and use quite a lot of filters to search out their closest distributor.

This was good, however for completeness the characteristic was up to date utilizing a distinct plugin — one that’s able to retrieving one’s location with the press of a button and displaying a map with markers and their listings inside a specified radius.

This was completed by creating customized put up varieties then geotagging the put up.

Making a put up for every distributor meant they every acquired their very own web page as a substitute of simply inclusion in a listing. Since they’re customized put up varieties it additionally means they are often included in the principle WordPress search features. If a contractor is aware of the title of a distributor they will simply kind the title in the principle search to search out that itemizing.

The distributor map is such an integral characteristic of the WIWA USA web site expertise that it’s search type is situated on the house web page. It options the flexibility to auto detect location, search inside a radius, and to filter outcomes to solely america, Canada or Mexico.

HTML to WordPress Distributor Map
The distributor map was a key operate after we moved the location from HTML to WordPress.

Particular person posts for one-off performance

Coaching movies, brochures, manuals, and product movies all shared a typical trait. For a number of years, every kind of documentation had its personal web page consisting of a grid of static content material. They had been mainly arrange similar to the unique HTML pages with some design adjustments.

Whereas they appeared nicer there have been a couple of shortcomings.

Within the early years this labored OK, however as extra content material was added over time it started to gradual the pages down. Whereas the pages themselves may very well be discovered through WordPress search, the person objects couldn’t be.

It turned clear that having every merchandise individually searchable can be of nice profit. For instance, there may be a single product that had a product catalogue itemizing, a brochure, a handbook or two, and several other coaching movies.

Wouldn’t or not it’s good if a person might merely kind within the product title or mannequin and be offered with the entire content material obtainable for that product?

Darn Skippy, it could!

Not solely would this make all of that content material simpler to search out, however pace up the archive pages as nicely.

HTML to WordPress Posts
Don’t overlook the performance of posts while you’re shifting a website from HTML to WordPress.

Top-of-the-line examples of that is the product movies which are literally hosted on YouTube. With out getting right into a ton of technical element, video snippets/embeds must load individually, which isn’t too dangerous whether it is only a single video.

Add a number of movies on a single web page and issues can begin getting just a little furry with load occasions.

The answer was to create particular person posts for every video. Some WordPress themes present put up codecs, and on this case a video put up would output a thumbnail for the video within the put up archives as a substitute of a video snippet.

This makes the put up archives and indexes load a lot sooner since we’re now working with pictures within the type of thumbnails as a substitute of video embeds.

HTML to WordPress Videos
As we moved the location from HTML to WordPress, utilizing posts yielded a lot sooner load occasions.

Equally the product brochures and manuals, that are all in PDF format, had a grid of pictures from the PDF recordsdata all organized in a grid, and all on a single web page. By changing every of these to their very own put up, we at the moment are coping with thumbnails for the archive pages as a substitute of standard sized pictures — which helps with load occasions.

There’s additionally the additional benefit of utilizing classes which all have their very own particular person archives as a substitute of cramming the whole lot right into a single web page. Once more, serving to with load occasions and total group.

Closing ideas on shifting a website from HTML to WordPress

This web site had a couple of different technical challenges, however what I’ve highlighted listed below are the bread and butter of the operation. Most of the concepts WIWA got here up with I wasn’t certain would truly be doable.

At the least for me, being a one-man operation.

What I’ve realized is “let me have a look” will get you off the hook while you’re unsure. You can’t let the worry of failure cease you from making an attempt on this business. In 2021, budding builders have it fairly good compared to after I began.

There may be simply an amazing quantity of knowledge and sources freely obtainable for net builders on-line nowadays.

To be sincere I hated WordPress within the early phases of their transformation right into a CMS. It allowed anybody who might write an e mail to construct an internet site, and that was reducing into my bread and butter. I spent all of this time studying to construct web sites with a textual content editor, FTP program, HTML, CSS, javascript, and PHP.

What I discovered after getting onboard with WordPress is that realizing this stuff simply made me a greater developer.

It helped me flip this static web site into one thing I feel, and I hope WIWA thinks is really nice. With the ability to one-click-install a WordPress website is one factor. With the ability to manipulate WordPress, plugins, types, themes, and features is a completely completely different beast.

Sure, anybody can do it, however with some persistence and ingenuity you’ll be able to flip web site into an incredible web site.

 

 

 

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