Moving your old static site to blog platform

As some legacy web services on are being run down, sites for differen student organisations, associations and research projects hosted there will need to find themselves a new home.

Blog service is one viable option for this. While the old sites might have been built in many ways, coded by hand or by desktop software, the sites on all run WordPress content management system. This means the sites can’t be moved as a replica of the original and basically need to be built again.

Luckily this isn’t as hard it sounds. There isn’t any one way to do this, but generally the process goes more or less like this:

  • If you’ve never used the before, login to the service with your university credentials. This links your username to the service.

  • Order a new blog. The new site will be set up usually within a day.

  • Choose a theme for your blog from “Appearance” > “Themes“. Note that the selection is somewhat limited, but might improve in the future. You may change the theme at any time without affecting the content. Your site will look different than the old site, but depending on the theme you may adjust the appearance from “Customize“. Setting you own header image goes a long way in defining the identity of the site. For sites directly associated with the University, the HelsinkiUni 2017 theme is the current best option.

  • Upload all the media (pictures, PDF-docs, all the files other than HTML-pages) on your old site to the Media Library of the new site.

  • In your new site create a new page for each of the pages on your old site. Copy the content from the old pages to new ones. Some cleaning up of the HTML code might be necessary. Make sure the image files and links to files refer to the ones in the Media Library.

  • By default new blog site in the front pages displays a list of latest blog posts instead of a static page. You can override this and choose your own front page from “Settings” > “Reading“.

  • While you are here, might as well change the default tagline and the site language (if necessary) from “Settings” > “General“.

  • Build the main menu at “Appearance” > “Menus” and mark it as the main menu.

  • Define the sidebars and footer from “Appearance” > “Widgets“. Note that the themes differ in number and types of sidebars available and their positioning and along which kinds of content (eg. pages or blogs posts) the sidebars are visible.