I recently decided to update my HTML website Nuance Bull Terriers and convert it to WordPress.
Our West Metro Detroit WordPress group organizer Deborah Edwards-Onoro suggested I try the WP Site Importer plugin and share my experience with our group.
My website had 24 pages, so I opted to use the personal version of the plugin which costs $2.75 and allowed me to import up to 100 pages.
There is also a free version for up to 20 pages with no technical support, and versions for 1,000 and unlimited pages as well.
The first step was to create a WordPress.org website to receive the content, then download and install the plugin on it.
When I purchased the plugin, I was given a key code so I could validate it after installation. Then I went to Site Importer on the admin panel to start importing my HTML site.
I ran into several problems, mostly because version 1.7.0 was designed to work with secure sites on hosts with up-to-date software.
I hadn’t activated SSL and my host had an old version of PHP when I started.
A few tickets and a couple of WP Site Importer versions later, I had updated my SSL and briefly granted Nick, who appears to be both a founder and tech support, admin privileges so he could troubleshoot an issue.
Then version 1.9.0 of the plugin did its magic.
Nick was corresponding with me on weekends from their headquarters in the Channel Islands, and he’d often resolve issues while I was sleeping.
The tech support was great, even if I did feel like I was recruited into the WP Site Importer QA team!
How WP Importer Works
Once the plugin was activated and working with my sites, the process was very easy.
I started by importing just one page as a test and then went on to import all the pages. The imports went rapidly.
After I got the pages imported, I used WP Site Importer’s other features to import the menus, link menus to content, update internal links and import the graphics and references to them.
In the new WordPress site, every page is represented, links are working, all the graphics were put in the image gallery, and a couple of menus were created using the old site as a guide.
Once I was confident all the content was in the new WordPress.org site, I exported it to WordPress.com, and I’m doing further editing there.
I’ve still got work to do before I point my URL there, but WP Site Importer saved me a lot of time and effort. I would recommend it to anyone thinking about converting an HTML site to WordPress.