This is a service that converts HTML files to WordPress sites. It works both for websites that are currently online, and with websites that you want to restore from archive.org. It works especially well if the original website was also created with WordPress or anoter modern CMS, such as Joomla or Drupal.
The process is only partially automatic, which is why the price is higher than the regular HTML solution.
There is currently no fully automatic method to convert html to WordPress. There are some tools and services that make the process a bit easier (good services are: psdtowordpressexpert.com and Pinegrow) but they are more expensive and more difficult to use.
We wrote a script specifically for our scraping results from the WayBack Machine, which is why we can offer it at such a low price.
Keep in mind though that a restored WordPress version has limited capabilities. The database is not backed up, so we have to reverse-engineer a database, based on the HTML files. We build our own theme for every site that looks 100% identical to the archived version. However, it will not be as good as a WordPress site that was built from scratch, with a 'real' theme.
For example, there will be no theme options to change the colors or widget areas. Sidebars, footers and headers will usually only be editable in a PHP file. Any feature that connects to the backend (such as a contact form) won't work without additional manual fixing. For the majority of websites, it will also be impossible to change the theme, without severely disrupting the layout of the pages. Also, all posts and pages are recovered as pages. A category page (with multiple posts) will be restored as one page.
However, the recovered website will have pages that you can edit in the visual editor. It also features a menu integration, which means you can add or remove menu-items. You will also be able to add plugins in the WordPress dashboard, and edit the header and footer (in php)
So the solution is not perfect, but it is still the best service you can get for this price.
Some customers only want the content of a website. They plan to make significant changes to the layout, such as changing the WordPress theme or adding sidebar widgets.
For them we have developed a second option which only scrapes the text and images from the posts and pages. The design will not look the same; it will be a default WordPress theme
This is a good option for those who (1) need to rebuild a website from the Wayback Machine (2) need to make significant changes such as changing themes or adding widgets and (3) who don't care about preserving the original design. And (4), who hate the idea of manually copy-pasting all the content. It is only cost-effective for large sites with at least a few hundred pages.
Pricing is in the range of $300-$1000 depending on the website. Please contact us for a quote for your website.
All internet sites are HTML sites. WordPress consists of PHP code that creates HTML files as their output. As a website visitor, you cannot see the PHP code. You can only see the HTML code, that your browser translates into visually appealing pages.
We can recover the HTML files. However, the original WordPress installation and dashboard, which you can access via /wp-admin/ is part of the backend. By definition, website visitors and webscrapers cannot see the backend.
Our WordPress version is a reverse-engineered HTML-to-WordPress conversion, based on our HTML version.
If a site was originally built with WordPress, then you do not necessarily need to order the HTML-to-WordPress conversion. You can simply use only the HTML output of the original WP installation. However, if you want to edit the pages with the visual editor in the WordPress dashboard, then you need the HTML-to-WordPress conversion.
The time of delivery depends of the number of pages of the website. A small website is scraped in less than an hour and a large website might take up to a few days. After the scraping has been done, our developer usually delivers the WordPress conversion within 24h-48h.
PHP is a server side scripting language, that normally generates html files.
This means you need access to the backend (=server side) to download PHP files. The Internet archive never had access to the server/backend of a website, so it does not have these PHP files.
The only thing that the archive has is the html output, that was generated by the PHP file. We can restore this under the old .PHP URL, but it is technically an HTML file.
WordPress is also written in PHP, so – for the WordPress integration - we reverse engineer the PHP pages. These pages will not always function exactly like in the original website, but they will look the same.
WordPess also uses a MySQL database, which we also reverse engineer, in case you order the WordPress conversion.
**The above is a short answer. We also recommend reading our blog post about the differences between frontend and backend.**
A web scraper basically has the same limitations as a normal visitor. It has no access to the backend of a website. Neither does it have access to a part of the website that is protected by a login process, such as domain.com/wp-login.php.
The Wayback Machine also uses a web scraper to create the archive of websites on archive.org. The Wayback Machine therefore also has never had access to the backend of any site. And if a file is not on archive.org, then we obviously cannot recover it either.
This also means that any functionality of your website that connects to the backend, will not function correctly anymore. For example, a contact form needs to connect to the database (=backend) to save data. Maybe it also uses other backend files to send automatic emails. The result is that a contact form on a recovered website looks the same as before, but it won't work anymore.
Some URLs end in .PHP or .ASP. This doesn't mean that a website user can see those files. It can only see the response that was created by those files. This response is normally an HTML file - even though the URL ends with . PHP/ASP. The result is that that we cannot recover the original PHP/ASP files and their functionality. We only recover the layout/looks of those pages.
If you order our WordPress conversion, then we reverse engineer a new "backend". We then create a new WordPress dashboard which you can access on domain.com/wp-login.php. This few dashboard doesn't have all the theme options (to change colors and widgets etc) but it does allow you to edit the current content in a visual WYSIWYG editor.
For the WordPress conversion, we also reverse-engineer a new MySQL database. However, it's not perfect. For example, your old contact forms will look the same, but won't work anymore. We can fix contact forms for an additional price or you can manually do this yourself.
We do not offer an unlimited subscription for WordPress conversion, because it takes our developer 1-2 hours per domain.The process is only partially automatic, which is why the price is higher than the regular HTML solution. Customers who subscribe to the monthly HTML scraper don't pay the HTML fee, and receive a discount on the HTML-to-WP conversion ($38 vs $45)
Please note that the HTML scraper can still recover websites that were originally made with WordPress. They will look exactly the same as the original website. You just won't be able to use the WordPress dashboard (unless you opt for the WordPress conversion)
If your website is extraordinarily large (2000 pages or more) then make sure to read this section. There is no problem for the HTML version, but from our experience, this causes problems with the WordPress conversion. With the WordPress conversion, we have to reverse engineer the theme and database. Especially the database causes performance issues, since a reverse-engineered database tends to be bigger and slower.
For large websites, we can either refund the WordPress part of your order ($45) or create a hybrid solution. In this case, the front page and all the pages that are two click away from the front page will be integrated into WordPress. The remaining pages will work normally as static HTML pages. Those pages will look the same for visitors, but you will only be able to edit them as HTML files. If you don't opt for the refund within the next 24 hours, our developer will assume you want the hybrid solution, and send you the WordPress installation within 2-3 days.
For a Joomla site, we scrape the HTML output from the Joomla installation. Then - if you order the WordPress conversion - we convert the HTML pages into a WordPress installation. This does come with some limitations, which you can read about on https://www.waybackmachinedownloader.com/en/wordpress-conversion/
The same process is applicable to sites built with CMS platforms such as Drupal, Shopify and Magento. Please note that due to the limitations as described on the URL above, a site with a lot of custom backend code - such as Magento or Shopify - won't give good results. Ecommerce website will look the same as on archive.org, but it won't function the same because many objects rely heavily on backend code.
In general, our HTML to WordPress conversion is useful for sites with a lot of content, but with little interaction with the visitor. Good examples are magazines, news sites, blogs etc.