Convert HTML to WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

Published on September 25, 2023 by Simon Wright

Do you have a simple HTML website but wish you had the additional flexibility and customization options offered by a content management system such as WordPress? If you answered “yes” to that question, you’ll be glad to know that converting HTML to WordPress is totally possible.

In this article, we’ll show you how to convert your HTML website into a fully functional WordPress theme. By taking a few easy steps, you may use WordPress’ powerful features while maintaining the integrity of all your HTML elements, enabling you to alter any of them quickly.

So let’s dive into the process of converting your simple HTML site to a fully-featured WordPress theme.

Why is Converting HTML to WordPress a Good Idea?

There are plenty of benefits to changing a static HTML website into a WordPress theme.

For example, being a user-friendly content management system, WordPress greatly simplifies content updates and additions, enabling website owners to maintain their sites without technical expertise. Plus, your site will always be up-to-date and engaging if you switch from static HTML to a dynamic platform where users can easily manage content.

A massive selection of themes and plugins is available for WordPress, which makes it the most extendable and customizable platform available. Therefore, simply by switching from HTML to WordPress, you’ll have immediate access to mind-blowing possibilities for customizing your site’s look, feel, and functionality.

Additionally, should you run into problems, WordPress is incredibly well supported thanks to extensive documentation and numerous support groups, online tutorials, books, etc., so help is always available.

Converting HTML to WordPress in 10 Steps

Before we show you the process of converting HTML to WordPress, we must highlight that this tutorial assumes you have at least a basic knowledge of both technologies. Therefore, if you’re new to either of them, we strongly recommend practicing the conversion process on a dummy website using a local development environment like XAMPP before doing it on a live site. However, if you are comfortable working with them, here are the conversion steps to follow:

1: Install WordPress

Before starting the conversion process, you should ensure you have WordPress installed in your local development environment. If you haven’t installed it yet, you can refer to this detailed guide on installing WordPress locally.

2: Create a Folder for the Theme and Add the PHP Files

Once you have finished installing WordPress, locate the themes folder in your WordPress installation directory. In that, create a new folder and give it an appropriate name for your theme – this is where all the necessary files for your WordPress theme will live.

You’ll need to create several PHP files in that folder to make your theme functional. The essential files you’ll need are as follows:

  • style.css (contains theme details and CSS styles)
  • index.php (serves as the main content file if other optional files are not present)
  • header.php (holds the header elements of your theme)
  • footer.php (includes the footer elements of your theme)
  • functions.php (contains the custom functions specific to your theme)

Open your preferred code editor and create these files within the theme folder you created.

3: Copy CSS, Images, and JavaScript Files

Next, you’ll need to copy the CSS, images, and JavaScript files from your HTML theme to your newly created WordPress theme folder. Locate the assets folder in your HTML theme and copy it to your WordPress theme folder. All the CSS, images, and JavaScript files necessary for your theme’s functionality are contained in this folder.

4: Activate the WordPress Theme

After copying the necessary files, it’s time to activate your WordPress theme. Access your WordPress site’s dashboard, navigate to “Appearance,” and click “Themes” – you should see yours listed there. Click “Activate” to turn it on.

5: Convert HTML Code into Header, Index, and Footer

To convert your HTML code into the respective WordPress files, you’ll need to extract the header, main body, and footer elements from your HTML theme and place them in the appropriate PHP files.

In your HTML theme’s index.html file, locate the header code and copy it into the header.php file within your WordPress theme folder. Similarly, copy the footer code from your HTML theme’s index.html file into the footer.php file.

For the main body code, copy the relevant HTML code from your HTML theme’s index.html file into the index.php file within your WordPress theme folder. Remember to include the WordPress function get_header() at the top of the index.php file and get_footer() at the end.

6: CSS Configuration

To ensure that your CSS styles are applied to your WordPress theme, you’ll need to configure the CSS files. Open your header.php file and locate the CSS stylesheet link. Remove any unnecessary stylesheets and register the actual CSS stylesheet using WordPress functions.

In your functions.php file, add the following code to register and enqueue your CSS stylesheet:

function add_css() {

    wp_register_style('custom-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '', array(), '1.0', 'all');



add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'add_css');

With this code, your CSS stylesheet will be properly registered and enqueued in your WordPress theme.

7: JavaScript Configuration

If your HTML theme uses JavaScript, you’ll also need to configure the JavaScript files in your WordPress theme. Open your footer.php file and locate the JavaScript script tags. Copy the JavaScript code and register/enqueue the scripts using the following code in your functions.php file:

function add_scripts() {

    wp_register_script('custom-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '', array('jquery'), '1.0', true);



add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'add_scripts');

Remember to replace ‘custom-script‘ and ‘custom.js‘ with the appropriate names for your JavaScript file.

8: Images Configuration

You’ll need to update the image paths in your HTML code to ensure your images are displayed correctly in your WordPress theme.

Open your index.php file and locate the image tags (<img src=””>). Update the src attribute of each image tag to point to the correct image path within your WordPress theme folder.

9: Enable Custom Title in WordPress

WordPress uses the site title set in the WordPress admin panel by default. However, you can use the WordPress bloginfo() function to enable custom titles for your theme. Edit your header.php file and add the following code between the <title></title> tags:

<title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?></title>

This will dynamically display the site title set in the WordPress admin panel as the title of your theme.

10: Add a WordPress Navigation Menu to the Theme

In order to add a navigation menu to your WordPress theme, you must register a menu location in your functions.php file and then call the menu in your header.php file.

To do this, add the following code to your functions.php file to register a menu location:

function register_custom_menu() {

    register_nav_menu('primary', 'Primary Menu');


add_action('init', 'register_custom_menu');

Next, in your header.php file, add the following code where you want to display the navigation menu:


    <?php wp_nav_menu(array('theme_location' => 'primary')); ?>


Doing this creates a primary navigation menu for your WordPress theme.

Congratulations! You have now converted your HTML site to a WordPress theme. However, we strongly recommend testing everything works as expected before setting it live.

Other Options for Converting HTML to WordPress 

If you find the process of converting your HTML website to WordPress overwhelming or time-consuming, you can consider hiring WordPress developers or specialized services to handle the task for you.

For example, companies like Codeable and RipplePop specialize in WordPress development services specifically tailored to your needs. Alternatively, services like HTML Burger can convert your HTML website into a custom WordPress theme, ensuring a seamless transition.

For further information on companies that can help you convert HTML to WordPress, please take a look at these two WP Bolt articles:

Why You Need Top-Notch WordPress Hosting

A website is only as good as the domain company that hosts it.

Even though shared hosting is cheap, it is notoriously unreliable and insecure. This is because your website shares the same server space and resources as hundreds or thousands of other websites. As a result, it only takes one neighboring website to suffer a security breach or technical issue to bring the entire server down, along with all other websites on it.

The safest solution is private hosting, but that is only within the realm of giant corporations with massive operating budgets. Fortunately for the rest of us, there is an excellent alternative – virtual private server (VPS) hosting. This provides you with your own dedicated server space and resources, so your website is never at the mercy of trashy neighbors making life hell for everyone else in the vicinity.

WP Bolt specializes in VPS hosting. They offer a range of WordPress hosting packages to suit every budget, each offering flawless, secure performance.

Final Thoughts on Converting HTML to WordPress

You have now learned to convert a static HTML website to a dynamic WordPress theme.

By diligently following the steps we have outlined — from setting up WordPress and creating a dedicated theme folder to seamlessly integrating CSS, JavaScript, and images — you will leverage the power of WordPress while preserving the original integrity of your website’s design.

Irrespective of whether you choose to go the DIY route or hire professional services to do the conversion for you, converting HTML to WordPress will open up so many new possibilities for personalization, scalability, and user engagement.

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