Embedding WordPress into Your Existing Website (originally published Feb 4)

So Monday night, I actually went to a Las Vegas WordPress meet up. I didn’t know how powerful WordPress was. Every time you make a blog entry, WordPress sends information about your blog to all the search engines. Coupled with a powerful plug-in called the All-in-one-SEO-Pack, WordPress can make your website very visible on the internet. But guess what? My website existed on http://www.wordpress.com and was not embedded in my site. The members of the WordPress group were very adamant about using WordPress to program your entire site. (I felt like a Mac User fallen among a nest of PC Users…that’s how fervently passionate these people were about their WordPress!) There are free templates called “Themes” and if you are lucky to find one to fit your website, you can modify it with a little CSS. You have thousands upon thousands of templates to choose from on WordPress.org. If you don’t find what you want, you can go to themeforest.com and buy something better suited for your needs. I recently coded my site and was in no hurry to propagate it over to WordPress (which I anticipate would cause me a bunch of headaches).

The leader of the WordPress group said if I embed the blog into my website, I can make use of all the powerful SEO features offered by WordPress. But how? I am no expert at html or webprogramming. First you have to go to wordpress.org and download the wordpress folder. You have to put it up on your site so it can run on your server. You have to have databases set up and able to run php. I have godaddy, so it wasn’t too difficult to follow the instructions and set up a database. Then you have to go to the wp-admin file in the wordpress folder that now exists on your website and run it. Entering your database info and presto! WordPress runs on your site. Here is step by step information on godaddy.

Now comes the confusing part…embedding wordpress (a frustrating process for me). I had to download a default theme (template) and modify the header.php, footer.php, index.php and the single.php files. Basically, I had to remove code, put in parts of my html code from my existing website and replace php code. Here is a website that documents the process in a step by step fashion:

http://www.burnseo.com/blog/2009/10/23/integrate-wordpress-into-existing-website-tutorial/

But guess what! There are syntax errors in three places in the replacement code! In the index.php code and in the single.php code. Having NO knowledge of php made it difficult to figure out what it was. The errors are with the single quote. In one area, he uses two different single quotes in the same line of code. The php parser could not recognize the second single quote. In another place, he uses a double quote, which is in actuality, two single quotes. I figured this out after looking at similar code on the internet. I tried to type the correct php here, but WordPress fonts misprinted the single quotes as well.

You’ll see the errors when you edit the files in Dreamweaver. Anyway, I finally got my website inserted into the wordpress template…but more problems arose! Because of my website’s CSS, I lost all the WordPress CSS formatting on the blog. I would have to redo all the CSS to make my blog look readable! At this point, I am pulling out my hair because I’ve already spent hours trying to figure this out…remember, I’m an artist, not a programmer. I’m throwing a tantrum! Attracted by my howls of pain and frustration, my husband looks over my shoulder in my office (which is in the dining room…I like open spaces) and he goes…why are you going through all this trouble? Why don’t you just embed the wordpress url in an iFrame?

AAARRRGGGGHHHHH! So all I need to do was make a div that is the width and height of my WordPress blog. Make iFrame the width and height of my blog, set the frameborder to zero and scrolling to yes. Put my url in the src and I’m done! Now I don’t know about iFrames and which browsers they don’t work in, but I tested it on an iPhone, and the blog shows up great. Granted you have to go to the WordPress themes to find one that fits in your iFrame and design of your website. But this is a lot simpler!

So I hope this is helpful for all those people that are more artist types who are struggling with their blogs!

One more bit of interesting info. According to members of the meet up, part of SEO includes how fast your website loads. Mine has a lot of graphics so it may be slower than other sites. There are sites that will cache your whole website for free for faster load times! Check out Cloudflare.com

So, in parting, I will show you the double-sided pendants I made. They are 22mm in diameter and glass. The middle one I actually found 22-inch lace edged bezels and I glued them together. They ended up being more popular than the pre-made double-sided pendants I bought (and cheaper to make). Sorry about the bad photos. I took them with my phone. I reached for my camera and realized they were out of batteries!

Double-sided 22mm Glass pendants

Double-sided 22mm Glass pendants

Here is the other side of the pendants

Other side of the pendants...

Other side of the pendants…

Here are some bottle cap rings I made. The band is stretchy and incredibly comfortable. It doubles as a martial arts weapon and as a ring. I’ve actually had a customer put one on each finger and form a fist. It was pretty formidable! Ha ha.

Bottle cap rings with stretchy bands

Bottle cap rings with stretchy bands

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About banzaichicks

Illustrator, graphic designer and martial artist. Loves creating art in Corel Painter, Photoshop and Illustrator.
This entry was posted in Helpful Hints for Artist Branding. Bookmark the permalink.

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