Support » Fixing WordPress » Replacing a HTML site with a WP site

  • I am designing a new website using WordPress to replace an old side made with static HTML pages.

    I’d like to work on the WordPress site before replacing the old one so I have installed WordPress into the same folder as the HTML files.

    I’ve installed a theme and created some pages and pasted the text from the old pages into the new ones as a start.

    The thing is that I am unable to view the new WordPress pages unless the static index.html is removed to allow the index.php to kick in. Of course, when I do this it means that all the visitors to the website are seeing the WordPress site which is half made.

    So I am wondering what the most pain free process is.

    Is there some fancy plug in I can install that will allow me to work on the WordPress version so I can have both HTML files and WordPress installation in the same folder without have to move it?

    Or, should I move the WP installation into a subfolder, create the site inside that subfolder and then move it back to the root folder once its finished, deleting the HTML pages at the same time?

    Or is there another more simple process?


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • What happens if you stick index.php onto the URL? That should keep the server from sending you to index.html because it is higher up on the list of default pages. If that doesn’t work it might just be easier to move WordPress into a subfolder until you are ready to publish it. You just have to watch out for image URLs in your pages.

    Actually, I’ve had no problems setting up WordPress “behind” the HTML site. Log in at
    You can view you front page at and navigate to other pages/posts just clicking on the links.

    Caveat: HTML sites where I “hid” WP install behind untill official launching had directory folder names which were different from titles/slugs of pages or posts made in WP.

    I don’t know the answer to the original question, but, there is another plugin: Maintenance Mode, that might help. This lets you have WP active, but show a page like “this site is undergoing maintenance”

    I can stick index.php into the URL and it will show me the WordPress index page but that is all. If I click on the about page I am taken to the index.html. If I type “” I am taken to index.html. So the only WordPress page I am able to view is the index. I need to be able to view the whole WordPress site as I am building it.

    I did notice that when I clicked on the about page tab on my WordPress index page the resulting address was “” instead of “”. I also noticed that in WordPress 2.6 they have removed the ability to edit the page slug which means that I am no longer able to change the slug from “?page_id=2” to “about”.

    @dgold, I have used that plug in and its a good one but it is not appropriate for me this time I need to have the HTML pages live while I am building the WordPress site.

    Does anyone have any other ideas?

    First, the is default permalink.
    You need to run Pretty Permalinks at Settings > Permalinks to the configuration you want e.g.

    Second, to access a Page titled e.g. About, you do not type, but UNLESS in your HTML website you have a folder named ABOUT because the index.hmtl in the ABOUT folder of your HTML site will have precedence. So there’s a lot of planning involved when setting up WordPress behind an existing HTML site.

    Thanks mercime,

    I had forgotten about that permalink setting. I made a custom permalink setting using “/%postname%/”.

    Still, I cannot access any WordPress page other than the index. Typing ‘’ or ‘’ take me straight back to index.html.

    Does anyone know why WordPress removed the ability to change the page slug?

    Yes, there is a lot of planning involved. The difficulty is know what to plan for! It looks like the only way to achieve this is to move the WordPress files into a folder of their own and work on them in that folder. Then once I have the site working I can move them back into the main folder and delete the html files.

    Is that possible? Can I simply cut and paste the files into a folder of their own or is that likely to break my WordPress installation?

    All HTML sites where I was able to install and replace with WordPress hidden in the “background” at root were in different webhosting services like GoDaddy, Dreamhost, etc., not on local servers.

    As for how-to and where to change page-slugs Lorelle can explain this better.

    Yes, you can set up your WordPress install in different subdirectory/folder or subdomain and move it to root later. The Codex has great information re alternative ways to move your install. Good luck

    Thanks mercime,

    Lorelle’s explanation is out of date and refers to previous versions of WordPress. It is these earlier versions of WordPress that I am referring to when I say that WordPress USE TO allow you to edit the page slug. It is no longer an option in WordPress 2.6 it seems. I am using 2.3 on another blog and I can still edit the page slugs no problem….

    ..I found it. This option does still exist in Worpress 2.6 but they have moved it. Now the way to edit the page slug is by clicking on the link provided under the page title. Frustrating for old users who expect it to be in the old position but this new position might be easier for new users.

    I did move my WordPress installation using the second link you gave. It took a few minutes and is working perfectly.


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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