Wordpress started its life as a blogging tool, but over the years it's evolved into a robust and popular content management system (CMS). Through the use of themes, plugins, and widgets, the platform can be used very effectively to run and manage your entire website. Wordpress is the blogging tool of choice on over 60 million websites, and it manages roughly 22% of the top ten million sites on the web. That's some rather impressive data.
But what if you already have a website, utilizing some other CMS? And suppose you want to add a Wordpress blog to the site...how do you do it? Well, there are several options for integrating a Wordpress blog into your website, ranging from quick and easy to not-so-quick-or easy.
1. Start over from scratch
OK, this option doesn't really integrate your Wordpress blog into your website at all. You might want to consider migrating to Wordpress completely. As a CMS, Wordpress powers the web. You can start using the free Wordpress.com (not so great for business or professional sites) hosting platform, or you can set up Wordpress as your overall management system. Just remember that you'll need your own domain name and hosting before you begin.
Depending on your current CMS, you should be able to export your site settings and content. Go through your dashboard looking for an “EXPORT” or “BACKUP” feature, and save the packet to your computer. Then, on your Wordpress dashboard, go to “TOOLS” and select “IMPORT”. Locate and click the packet you downloaded from your existing website. And viola! It may not look exactly the same, and it may require a bit of tweaking, but the Wordpress dashboard is incredibly user-friendly and intuitive. It shouldn't take too long.
2. Link to your WordPress blog
The fastest option involves creating a simple link on your website that will take visitors to your blog. You can create a tab on your homepage, a sidebar, or a hyperlink somewhere in the text. Your visitors will know they've gone to a new site, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's your call.
3. Embed your WordPress blog
This option comes with some controversy. Some people think using iframe and embedding objects is very bad for your website search engine optimization (SEO). Others feel it's fine. Do some research and decide for yourself. On the plus side, this option is straightforward and easy.
Embedding an object, like a YouTube video for example, involves pasting a snippet of information that you copy from the source. It begins with <iframe width and ends with </iframe>. You simply save it on the page you want to display the video (or blog, as they case may be) in your CMS editor. Make sure you're using the HTML editor (or equivalent). Copy. Paste. Save.
Wordpress user francescalpm posted this snippet for others to use when embedding their Wordpress blog:
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="WWW" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
The only change you need to make is replacing the WWW with your unique blog address. You can also tweak the height and width values as well.
4. Full integration
The last option is the most labour-intensive and tricky one, but if done correctly, gives you true integration. It involves a lot of tweaking and manipulating the code. If you're not comfortable with that, you'll have to reconsider options 1-3, or find/hire someone to do it for you.
Essentially, what you're going to do, is make your blog look like your website. You're going to create instructions and directives for your existing website to navigate to your Wordpress blog under certain circumstances. Your visitors will not know there is any difference between the two. They'll look and act the same.
To be honest, it's not easy. Not impossible, and you'll probably figure it all out eventually, but it can (and likely will) take some time, effort, and frustration. It's a long and drawn-out process. If you're feeling brave/adventurous/confident, click on one of the links below for a complete, step-by-step walkthrough. And good luck!
Wordpress is the undisputed champion of the web. It's ubiquitous, intuitive, and customizable. Using it for your blog (and ideally your entire website) is a no-brainer. Integrating your Wordpress blog into your existing website is well worth the time and effort. Original and frequently updated content is still one of the best ways to generate traffic and visitors to your site, and nothing makes that easier than Wordpress.
Photo by Nikolay Bachiyski
Creative Commons License