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Convert a Static Site to Joomla 1.5

If you have a static website built in FrontPage or DreamWeaver for example, this tutorial will show you how to convert it to Joomla 1.5

How to convert a static website to Joomla 1.5

Managing a static website can be a challenging task. To change a simple text in a static website you may have to make the changes locally and then upload the new files to your hosting account. On the other hand, a Joomla based website has all the flexibility a CMS application provides. This is why many people consider converting their static websites to Joomla.

The conversion process can be divided into two parts - adding your actual data and recreating the design of your website.

You should begin with adding your data first because later it will be much easier to make your design with the real information on your pages.

Adding your data consists of two main steps - creating your pages and creating your menus.

Let's start with the creation of your Main Menu and a Home item that will show the content of your front page.

Step 1 Log in to your Joomla administrative area and click on the "Menu Manager" button to start the creation of your first menu.

Step 2 Click on the "New" button to create a new menu.

Step 3 On the next page set the title and description of your menu.

You have to specify a unique name for the menu. You will later use this name to assign modules to it.

Step 4 Now you have to add items to your menu.

Click on the "New" button at the top-right part of the page. For the purpose of this tutorial we will create a single item called "Home".

Step 5 In the next screen you will be asked to select the menu item's type.

Since this item will show your front page, expand the "Articles" category and click on the "Front Page Blog Layout" item type.

Step 6 Type "Home" in the title field.

This text will appear on the menu link that will be shown on your website. You can always come back to the Menu Manager and rename the menu item.

Step 7 Click on the "Save" button at the top-right part of the page.

Step 8 The next step is to set this menu item as default.

This means that when someone opens your website this will be the first page that will load. If you do not have a default item, Joomla will return a "404 Component not found" error. 

You have to click on the checkbox next to your menu item and then press the "Default" button.

Step 9 The creation of your menu is complete.

You should now add a module to your website that will display your menu. To do this ,go to Extensions -> Module Manager and press the "New" button at the top of the page.

Step 10 Choose "Menu" for module type and click "Next".

Step 11 On the next page select a name for the module and set it to "Enabled".

Step 12 Select the position where the module should be displayed.

For the purpose of this tutorial we'll create a horizontal menu right under the main header, so let's set "user3" as position. If the position is not available in the drop-down list, you can simply type it.

Step 13 Click on the "Save" button at the top-right part of the page.

You are now ready with the creation of your main menu and the first item in it. Once you have done that, you can add more items to your Main menu from the Menu Manager. You can check the different menu item types in order to see the differences in the way they visualize your content.

Step 14 You should now add your content to the new site.

You can look at each page of your static website as a Joomla article. For more information on that matter, check our tutorial on How to create articles in Joomla.

You can check the other Joomla 1.5 tutorials we have created in order to get more information on how to create different types of pages, add extensions, etc.

Once you have added your content to Joomla, you have to edit the design of your website. To do this you have to either install an already created template or make a new one. You can check our FREE Joomla 1.5 templates and see whether you find a suitable template. If you want to start creating your design from scratch, you can refer to our tutorial on How to create a simple Joomla 1.5 template.