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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict
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    convert site to wordpress?

    Hi - I feel overwhelmed. I was going to ask Dan Schulz this question privately, and now I don't know who or where to ask.

    I've done a new css/xhtml template for my old site (that's in tables). All the marketing gurus say to switch to wordpress. I've got Tessa Blakeley Silver's book on WP Theme Design describing how to convert my template into WP.

    I don't know whether to make my entire site WP (which seems very complicated) or just some pages - the ones where I want readers to comment. I have 2 basic page types -

    (1) with outer columns: http://www.greensmoothie.com/test/main.php

    (2) no outer columns: http://www.greensmoothie.com/test/main-tbl.php

    Plus my index page which is totally different, maybe too weird -

    http://www.greensmoothie.com/test/index.php

    I was just reproducing the current <table>'s page at:

    http://www.greensmoothie.com/index.html

    I feel like the css is already so lengthy - 20 kb - and it'll be made so much longer with WP - that the pages will take forever to load, even with image optimization which I must still do.

    Most importantly, I don't want to lose my folders (\juice, \water, etc) but I gather with WP a category is equal to a folder.

    Ideally I don't want to lose my filenames either, so when it's all done + uploaded I can just do some kind of global redirect from *.html to *.php so, for example, my most popular page:

    http://www.greensmoothie.com/blend/green.html

    will automatically load as:

    http://www.greensmoothie.com/blend/green.php

    without a specific 301 redirect.

    This /green page I DO want as a blog page where readers can comment.

    Does anyone have any ideas whether I should convert the entire site into WP, or just some pages? I understand from Silver's book that WP has static pages, and can handle my 2 different templates. It's my worry that it'll take so long to load, and it'll take so much more work, if I go the entire-site-in-WP route.

    In fact, Silver's book looks overwhelming. If I get stuck in converting anything into wordpress, where can I find someone to do it for me?

    thanks for your help, Val

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    If you want soemone to do it for you, you can do a web search for "wordpress jobs" and it will give you a link to a site that lets you post your project. That's how I found my current wordpress guru.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for tip. Right now I would love advice on whether I should switch my entire site into wordpress or not. I guess there's no one to ask after Dan's passing... Is there any other wordpress guru at sitepoint?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Whether or not to use a CMS should be based on several factors:

    1) How much content you have to manage
    2) How often it changes
    3) Do you want non-technical people to be able to create new pages w/out getting developers involved.

    Don't blindly follow recommendations from people who say use a CMS like Wordpress (or Drupal or Joomla for that matter) to build sites just because... What you have now may work perfectly well for you.

    I will, however, tell you that you can build out your site in WP with the exact same folder structures you have today. You don't "have" to use WP in a blogging format with category pages. You can create static sites with static pages that live at static URLs just as you can using PHP. Getting it to look like your new design is another story.

    My favorite WP theme is Thesis. It's pretty SEO friendly out of the box compared to most. The design IMO is awesome... Unlike lots of free and premium WP themes, Thesis' CSS is awesome. And it's very customizable. Many of the big names in SEO use it for their blog platform.

    PS: I miss Dan as well. I conversed w/ him frequently on other forums.

  5. #5
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    Hi Canonical - thank you for your input. My answers are Yes to all 3 questions you ask. Does that mean yes to WP?

    I checked out Thesis. it would be really tough for me to customize its css because I hardly know what's going on! With my own css I understand every line because mostly the guys here at sitepoint did it for me.

    One scary thing are his words at http://diythemes.com/thesis/wordpress-281/: "I‘ve begun to notice that with each new release of WordPress, the marketplace echoes a palpable fear over compatibility, and rightly so! With so many plugins and themes floating around out there, upgrading WordPress has more or less become an exercise in “what will break next?”

    Ah well, if you say yes it means Yes, then I'll try merge my css with what Silver says to do in her book to turn it into WP.

    Your static tip is interesting, thank you!

    all the best, Val

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot
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    If you have lots of content that changes often and you want non-technical people to be able to create content/pages on your site the moving to a CMS is recommended. I'm not saying WP is what you need.

    There are lots of free CMS packages out there. I was looking at ModX for a bit then decided to setup a blog so I went w/ WP. WP "can" be used as a CMS for managing static pages if you configure it that way, but I think it excels more as a blogging platform.

    As far as the statement:

    I‘ve begun to notice that with each new release of WordPress, the marketplace echoes a palpable fear over compatibility, and rightly so! With so many plugins and themes floating around out there, upgrading WordPress has more or less become an exercise in “what will break next?
    He's refering to other people's code. Lots of people write widgets and plugins for WP without giving much thought to future releases of WP. I can tell you Thesis is well written. I use almost no 3rd party widgets on my site. I use one called Contact Form 7.

    Good luck whatever you do.

  7. #7
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    Thank you! Based on your feedback, it looks like it will be easier in the long run to change text in WP than in my dos text editor. My worry is that my css/xhtml will be a "theme" that will "break" when WP upgrades

    but not to worry... I'll worry about that when it happens!

    all the best, Val

  8. #8
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canonical View Post
    Whether or not to use a CMS should be based on several factors:

    1) How much content you have to manage
    2) How often it changes
    3) Do you want non-technical people to be able to create new pages w/out getting developers involved.

    Don't blindly follow recommendations from people who say use a CMS like Wordpress (or Drupal or Joomla for that matter) to build sites just because... What you have now may work perfectly well for you.

    I will, however, tell you that you can build out your site in WP with the exact same folder structures you have today. You don't "have" to use WP in a blogging format with category pages. You can create static sites with static pages that live at static URLs just as you can using PHP. Getting it to look like your new design is another story.

    My favorite WP theme is Thesis. It's pretty SEO friendly out of the box compared to most. The design IMO is awesome... Unlike lots of free and premium WP themes, Thesis' CSS is awesome. And it's very customizable. Many of the big names in SEO use it for their blog platform.

    PS: I miss Dan as well. I conversed w/ him frequently on other forums.
    Thanks for the Thesis suggestion.

    Alex
    Alex Stanford @alexstanford tumblog about.me in fb G+ K
    TechTalkin The Premier Community for Technology Enthusiasts and Professionals
    Full Ambit Media Zero Sacrifice Web Design & Development; Made in the USA @fullambit in fb G+ K


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