Thinking of switching from Squarespace to WordPress? First question, what took you so long? Secondly, you’re making an amazing decision.
Let’s be honest, WordPress is the OG of creating websites and the features are unlimited. You can completely customize your entire website from the backend functions to the frontend design with ease. WordPress dominates over one-third of the web, and there’s a very good reason for that.
I wish I could say that the migration process will be as easy as 1,2,3 but it will require that you are a little more involved with the process. For the beginning part, you will have to use the functionality provided by Squarespace.
Wondering why you should switch From Squarespace to WordPress?
I’ll keep it simple, if you ever questioned if you should switch from Squarespace to WordPress, then, Yes! You’ve got your answer. In my personal opinion, you can’t do a lot with Squarespace. A lot of their designs seem to cater to photographers and you don’t have any control over coding/hosting. You may be thinking, ‘Shelique, I don’t care to code anything!‘ With my premade designs, you don’t have to know to code. However, with SquareSpace, no access to coding means a lack of additional functionality and very limited control of the design. This was my problem when designing on Squarespace, lack of control and that’s why I will always choose WordPress.
If you are beginner-friendly and need a quick website, Squarespace may help out in a pinch. However, as your business starts to grow, and you may need more functionality to customize your site, Squarespace will seem restricting.
WordPress is easy and customizable
If you missed it above, you can customize 99% of WordPress, and Squarespace has very limited customization features. Yes, Square does offer built-in features but again, what if you don’t like what they are offering? You have no choice but to be stuck with it. On the other hand, with WordPress, you download plugins and their features. You have control over what you like or don’t. You never have to be stuck using a plugin or feature that you don’t approve of.
WordPress offers hundreds, if not thousands of free and paid themes. Your options are almost limitless.
Whatever you need, WordPress has got it
Whatever you need, there’s a plugin for that feature. Plugins are gold in the world of WordPress, and that is because they help to resolve problems that may arise. Or add amazing features that you suddenly desire. You want to: create an online store, improve your SEO, photography site, boost performance, coupon site, podcast, and or blogger, the possibilities are endless.
Additionally, if you are looking to create an e-commerce site WordPress is amazing at the functions and integrations. Squarespace does provide an e-commerce function, but again, limitations. Poor payment options, when it comes to testing. Limited payment options; PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay are the only options. The shipping options are few.
WordPress on the other hand integrates with many e-commerce systems: Shopify and Bigcommerce.
All in all, when you start working with WordPress, it’s a well-known fact that there’s a plugin for literally anything that you need. Features are limitless.
WordPress currently has both free and premium plugins.
Migrate From Squarespace to WordPress:
1. Find a great web host
View my recommended list of web host. Especially if you are choosing one of my premade templates the web host matters. In the end, I recommend that you take your time and research to see what web host will be perfect for you.
You need to confirm that the provider can guarantee at least a 98% uptime rate and offers access to a good CDN. Also, make sure that they are amazing in customer support and formidable security.
2. Pointing Squarespace Domain to WordPress
When you are using a custom domain name, you may want to continue using it after migration. If that is the case, you will have to edit your DNS details.
Now, this process depends on where your domain name is registered. If the domain name was purchase through Squarespace, then the DNS information needs to be changed from their backend. Click here to view their tutorials.
If you registered the domain name with a different company, it’s not complicated but the DNS details will have to be changed on their backend.
Note: You can’t point a built-in Squarespace subdomain to any website or server.
3. Install WordPress
You have your host, great! Now we need to install WordPress on your site. It’ll take less than 5 minutes for the most part, but every web host is different. Most providers have a one-click install anyways.
4. Export from Squarespace to WordPress
When WordPress is installed, now you have to transfer your blog from Squarespace to WordPress. You are going to be using Squarespace’s export function and it will only allow you to automatically export:
Basic pages will become WordPress pages.
One blog page and this will appear as a WordPress blog page.
The other blog posts under that main blog page will be exported as WordPress posts.
Your gallery pages will be exported.
Text, Image, and Embed blocks will be exported
You can’t export:
Product pages, albums pages, and events.
Style changes and custom CSS
Video, audio, and product blocks
Folders and index pages
Secondary blog pages
Look at it like this, at least you’re leaving behind the shackles of despair and running into an abundance of freedom. Now that you have an understanding of what will happen during migration let’s begin the export.
Log in to your Squarespace account and go to Settings » Advanced » Import/ Export menu.
To export your content, navigate to Settings > Advanced > Import/ Export.
Once you are at the export settings, click Export. After this, a popup will give you the option to export pages to WordPress or download a CSV file. Choose the first option.
Once the export is complete, click Download. The export file will now be on your computer.
5. Import on WordPress
Log in WordPress > Admin dashboard > Tools > Import. From here, select the Install Now button below the WordPress option.
WordPress will install the importer for you. Once completed, click on “Run Importer.”
Click on “Upload file and import.”
Once uploaded and analyzed, it will display the import settings page. Click “Submit.”
When it is completed, you should be able to view your content on your WordPress site.
6. Import images to WordPress
I’m sorry to say, but the WordPress importer cannot import images from your Squarespace website. You will have to manually import those images, a silver lining, it’s automated.
WordPress Navigation > Plugins > Add New and search and install/activate the Auto Upload Images plugin. Need help installing a plugin?Click here.
When activated, edit all posts and pages containing images. When you save the edited post/pages will trigger the image importer. You have the option of bulk updating content, so you can easily accomplish this task with just a few clicks.
WordPress Navigation > Posts > All Posts and then click on the Screen Options button at the top. Your Squarespace images will not have imported, you will need to import them semi-manually.
To trigger the image import process, you will need to edit all the posts and content containing images from your Squarespace site.
WordPress allows you to bulk edit, so this can be done fairly quickly. Head to Posts and click on Screen Options at the top right-hand side of the posts list.
WordPress Navigation > Posts > All Posts
Head to the drop-down Bulk Actions menu and choose Edit and then Apply.
Once a new window pops out, don’t make any changes and simply click Update.
Now, all of the images from Squarespace should be uploaded to your WordPress server and updated in your posts automatically.
7. Fixing Internal Links
When you migrate over, your internal links will look different and not pretty. Also, keep in mind that any and all internal relinking will take visitors to an error page.
WordPress Navigation > Settings > Permalinks
Select: Post Name
Note: You will have to go through your pages and edit all your internal links to the new WordPress linking. You may miss a few pages, and links and that is okay. You can consider installing a 404 error plugin to balance out the 404 pages that may pop in the meantime.
WordPress is awesome and everyone should use it. Always make sure that you research your web host, but if I’m going to be honest I love Siteground and Bluehost. Remember cheap and free web hosting, will always and forever give you all kinds of problems.
If you don’t want to migrate your website, contact SDS and I will take care of it all.