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How to Convert a Static HTML Site to Thesis

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Part 1 – Introduction

In this case study we go through the process of converting a Static HTML site, in this case specifically a Windows asp.net site, into a WordPress and Thesis website. As part of this process, we setup a subdomain on the development server, install WordPress on the development server, install the plugins, add all the images and create the site structure. Next we transfer all of the site’s HTML, java script and flash content. Once the site is complete, we go through the process of cloning that development site and moving it to the real server.  Finally we create the 301 redirects to redirect the old page URLs to the new.

Video Transcript

The case study that we’ll be starting tonight is how to convert a static HTML site into a WordPress Thesis site while preserving the same appearance and structure. We’ll be on this case study for a couple of weeks, I believe.

This is the site, biltmoreetc.com. This is a static HTML site. Actually, it’s not a static HTML site, it’s actually a Windows ASPX site or Windows asp.net site. Regardless of that, this person is not able to customize the site on his own because it’s not WordPress. The only way he can customize this thing is either have his web designer to come in and change text or open up his own code editor and figure out how to write the code. Obviously, it’s not nearly as convenient or as flexible as WordPress.

What we’re going to do is take this exact site because he likes this exact site. So we’re going to take this exact site and we’re going to convert it into a WordPress and Thesis website. When we do that, the first thing to take a look at here is the way this is all laid out. We have this homepage and then if we move in a bit, we have these other pages.

It had this very horrible quality of having a fixed height and you have to scroll through like this which is awful. We’re not going to be doing that. Then he’s also got some built-in multiple listing stuff, MLS stuff that goes into this and actually, inserting this kind of code into the site is very, very easy. That’s going to be the easiest part of this.

The typical page is really just this header with this menu and then a content area and then another footer. Now it looks like if we go back to his homepage, he’s got a simpler footer and just got this flash thing on the front. We’ll go ahead and emulate this flash thing but I’m guessing he’s going to put some content in this as well, once we get finished with it.

And otherwise, he’s just got this regular pages that I guess have just a standard footer. It must be down here at the bottom of the content. No, that was a special page. I guess that was only a single page that had some special footer there.

It’s not a complicated site and we’re going to take this step by step from beginning to end to convert this site to Thesis, including setting up a subdomain on the development server, installing WordPress on the development server and installing the plugins then adding all the images, creating the structure and all the rest of that stuff.

Once we have the site 100% complete, we’re going to go through the process of cloning that development site and moving it to the real server and we’ll have one good example of taking the static site and converting it into a WordPress and Thesis site.

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