Make sure that you have about 30 Mb space on your hosting plan available for a WordPress installation.
- In your cPanel, select Software > Softaculous Apps Installer > WordPress > Install.
- Install WordPress into a subdirectory or folder, e.g. /wp.
- Login to www.yourdomain/wp/wp-admin
- Under Appearance, choose a theme which is responsive (most now are). The theme Weaver Xtreme is an example of one with many options.
- In that theme’s admin, choose colours and layouts to suit, e.g. width of site, height of header, number of columns or sidebars.
- Customise by loading a suitable header image to suit the width of the site and height of the header.
- In Settings, Discussion, untick the option allowing comments
- In Settings, Permalinks, set Custom as /%Post Title%
- In Settings, Reading, set option to static site. You will need to nominate the home page title here.
- Create blank pages with titles from the webpages on your main website and with Order set to the order you want them on the menu.
- Trash the Sample page
- Make sub-pages as dropdowns by making their parent a main page.
- Edit the pages and copy the text and images from your main site’s pages to the corresponding WordPress pages.
- You can load images using the Media icon on the page editing screen but just copying the whole page will copy the images too. These will have an address like http://www.yourdomain.com/images and this address will work on the wordPress site.
If you have an ecommerce website which is not responsive, then in wordpress there are a number of ecommerce plugins. The most popular is Woocommerce, downloaded seven million times. This has a plugin to import up to 10,000 products at a time from a csv spreadsheet. It also has plugins to calculate shipping costs by weight and destination, or other criteria, and other useful plugins
Because WordPress relies on reading from a MySQL database to produce web pages, it’s speed can be helped by installing a cache plugin. WP Super Cache is good.
There are other useful plugins for SEO (SEO Ultimate, Yoast, etc.), security, forms, galleries, slideshows and almost anything you want.
To avoid old pages being found by Google delete them all and install a wordpress plugin to redirect Not Found page searches to a new page, say the new home page. Look for 404 301.
Once your wordpress test website is workng well for you, it’s time to make it your main site.
Briefly, the easiest way is to:
- In cpanel, Databases, PhpMyAdmin, Database, Export to SQL file with Replace option
- In cpanel, Software services, Softaculous, Install WordPress in main directory (public_html)
- Edit the SQL file (usually in Downloads folder) to globally replace yourdomain.com/wp with yourdomain.com and edit the database name on line 20 to the new database name for the wordpress just installed in the main directory. Any plain text editor can do this.
- In cpanel, Databases, PhpMyAdmin, Database, import the SQL file.
- After testing, remove the test site from /wp.