I'm not entirely sure where I can even ask this question as it pertains to both HTML and WP.

Anyways, our old intranet solution basically held a bunch of .htm documents that we made in Word and then turned into .htm.

We have switched to a WP solution and have begun uploading these .htm docs as media as it is the easiest solution for the 1700 docs we have. The issue is, these .htm docs contain hyperlinks inside of them that link to other .htm docs on our old website. This means that once we decommission our old server, all of those hyperlinks will be dead. I'm talking about thousands of useless links inside of the .htm docs.

How can I solve this problem? Ideally, we don't want to individually edit each .htm doc and change the links inside of them. We have also tried the html to post converter plugin but it makes the formatting all wonky. We don't want to, but should we just keep the old server as a file server of sorts so the links still work?

URL structure

OLD: http://websrv04/DIL%20Manuals/Employee%20Manual/Drayden%20Core%20Values.htm NEW: droogle.dil/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Core-Values.htm

href example from an old .htm doc


</span></span><span lang=EN-CA style='font-family:
"Arial","sans-serif";color:green;mso-ansi-language:EN-CA'>Refer to </span><a
lang=EN-CA style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";mso-ansi-language:EN-CA'>Policy
Works Accessing Policy Works</span></a><span lang=EN-CA style='font-family:

Final product

Refer to Policy Works Accessing Policy Works


2 Answers 2


If the old htm files have a commonality in the links that you need to convert (as in www.oldsite.com/page100.htm needs to convert to www.newsite.com/page100.htm ), then you could load the site into an editor and do a mass search/replace of 'oldsite.com' to 'newsite.com'. (I would use my copy of Dreamweaver, which as a search/replace across files in a folder.)

But that would require putting the page100.htm in a non-WP location.

You could create a template that did a 'list files' of a folder and convert those to HREFs. But that would only get those HTMLs on the site.

If you need to get the old HTML content into WP, you could write a manual conversion program that reads each HTML file and creates a post with that content. That doesn't take care of links in the content though. For that, you'd need to write a 404-not-found process that would help the user find the content via a search function ("We didn't find that page, but here are some pages with similar content").

I suspect a lot of custom programming and labor to do this. Although more details of the problem (with a few examples) might be helpful. Interesting question, though, since I face a possible similar problem on a site that I manage, so look forward to other's thoughts.

  • Hey, thanks for this excellent write-up. I'm going to be reviewing this with my team and see what option we can explore. with the 404 redirect with search, how could I set that up after a users clicks on one of the dead links? DNS zone with the old web server that just redirects to new servers IP? Still a bit novice, but I do know a bit of PHP and the wordpress structure. Sep 27, 2017 at 19:00
  • The basic thing with a 'smart' 404 redirect is to have code that will look at the referring page URL (which is the page they were trying to get to) and use that URL as a basis for showing a search result relating to that URL. Helps if your URL has something in it that helps with the search parameters. Like a 'dead' URL Of www.mysite.com/how-to-make-bolts.html would use the 'how-to-make-bolts' text as the search parameters. Sep 29, 2017 at 6:21

With out examples of the doc's in question it would be hard to understand fully the consequences, for example do these doc's currently have a good standing in search engines, are indexed or referenced by other sites ?

If so then your next move is an important one so it needs to be right to retain any standing you have.

When you say a HTML to post converter makes it wonky....is the wonkyness a particular patten that could be search and replaced or ragex replaced out ? If so it could be easier doing that than many other options .

  • Like I said, theses are both intranet sites so there is no indexing or referencing from other sites. Only users on our network have access. Heres an example of one of the old link's HTML: pastebin.com/6sBP1PBC Sep 27, 2017 at 22:18

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