As is my custom for a Tuesday morning, I ordered my cup of coffee from the counter at some local coffee shop. Every week is different depending on where the wind takes me. This week, in particular, it was at a place that sold Stumptown Coffee. It’s a favorite in the Pacific NW.
So there I am with the laptop in hand, well with the laptop on my lap and one of the other customers comes over to me as if to ask a question. He did not disappoint, he did just that.
The man lets me know he was a local pastor of a small church and needed help with a new website.
I have no idea why he thought I may have known of such things. Maybe it was my vintage 2012 MacBook Pro. I only say vintage now since it’s 8 years old this month. Before this beauty, I worked on an Apple MacBook Pro 2nd Generation for 5 years and before that an Apple Titanium Powerbook G4 for 4 years. As you can tell I am the type of person who likes longevity and stability. I’ve been married to my wife for 27 years and have only owned 2 houses during that time. I am Mr. Stable.
Maybe that is the vibe I was throwing off that day in the coffee shop when the pastor approached me. I proceeded to ask how I can help. He let me know that he felt like he needed to change his church website from Wix over to WordPress (the .org not the .com). In my experience, the reasons vary based on the situation, but this is a common question I hear. Whether it is a Weebly site or any other website builder solution, many want to move to WordPress.
The next 15 minutes was me asking questions about his current site and future vision for the site. I then let him know I could help him. We agreed on a price for his 7-page site with the ability to stream his sermons and a way for members to log in and see private information. Pretty basic. What I would like to do is to outline the steps I took to make this happen.
10 Steps to Create a WordPress site
Ideally, I would have before and after pictures, but this blog post was a total afterthought. This is the process I followed to accomplish this and it is the same process I use for every project.
Step 1: Secure WordPress Hosting. Luckily I offer that service so that is a no-brainer for me.
Step 2: Set up a development site on the new hosting platform and set up WordPress on it.
Step 3: Create a page in your favorite editor for each page on the site. I use TextWrangler as it integrates with my FTP client, Cyberduck very well. This will be your overall notes of what you are seeing on the old site. On this page, you may have the menu names, you may have different plugins you may need or specs on the template style.
Step 4: Create a new page and name it the title of the site page and begin to take notes based on what I see on the current Wixtype site.
Name of File: About Us
About: Give a description of what you see. For example, you may write,
I see a header with an image of the church and below it, there are 2 columns. On the left side, you have the content and the right is a 150-pixel wide sidebar with the following in it…
Content: Here you will simply copy and paste the text content of the site.
Image descriptions and placement: You will then write what you see regarding images.
Save this file into a new folder structure on your computer. Here is what I usually do.
Folder: New site name
The folder inside names: Content
Save this file into the Content folder.
Step 5: Save all images from the site. You can automate this with a tool like Blue Crab, but I prefer to do it manually and add to my notes page as I do it. I like to save the images related to the page inside the Content folder with a new folder named Images.
After all the pages on the old site have this kind of detailed notes about the page, it’s time to start building your new WordPress site.
Step 6: Choose a template that best relates to the old site. That is, of course, they want a new look. My favorite is Avada because it has so many different options for design.
Step 7: Create a new page using the notes you created on the old site. Add the images to the page, create the content just by copy and pasting. Do this for each page.
Step 8: Create your menu. Choose your placement and then create your menu with the content you just created.
Step 9: If a google map is included on the Contact Us page, you will need to create a Google Maps API key and paste the key into the appropriate place for the map to show up.
Step 10: Test the site to ensure it is what you want it to look like and act like.
Well, that’s it and this is what I did for this young pastor. He feels like he has more control with the WordPress site and does not have file limitations when it comes to his audio sermon files. As always if you get stuck, feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to help walk you through the process.