Those who are just starting with owning a website often choose Squarespace because it’s easy to use as a builder and it’s a convenient solution if you don’t want to struggle with maintenance.
Squarespace takes care of hosting, domains, security, and other aspects that are time-consuming and difficult to follow up. Squarespace is indeed a good option for basic websites, but it’s limited in terms of:
Thus, the main reason most users want to perform a Squarespace to WordPress migration has to do with the amount of control they have over the website. Fortunately, the migration is not as complicated as people believe.
The process of a Squarespace to WordPress migration is lengthy, but it’s not difficult and anyone can do it regardless of their tech background. If you closely follow the steps included in this article, you’ll migrate your content in no time.
Here’s what you need to know:
Before Moving on to the Actual Squarespace to WordPress Migration…
To start using WordPress, you’ll need to find a web hosting plan and register a domain name for your website if you haven’t got one yet. If you want to keep your existing custom domain from Squarespace, you can simply transfer it to your new host.
During the domain transfer, your website remains accessible through the built-in Squarespace subdomain (yourdomain.squarespace.com).
Even so, your URL structure is very likely to go through some structural changes (regarding permalinks) when the Squarespace to WordPress process is finished. Don’t worry about that now—you will later optimize all aspects of your site after migrating it to the new CMS.
Redirecting your pages to the new addresses is a must to avoid losing traffic. You’ll have to do that immediately alongside the migration, but luckily there are plugins that can help you with this once WordPress is installed and your content is imported.
Now that you know what a Squarespace to WordPress migration implies in terms of URLs, you need to move on to installing WordPress. Through the years, WordPress has greatly improved its installation process, and it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
To install the product, you’ll only need to make a few clicks from your hosting dashboard. Isn’t that convenient? After installing WordPress, log in with your account and you’re set for the rest of the steps required for a Squarespace to WordPress migration.
Now let’s move on to exporting your content from Squarespace to WordPress. Squarespace is quite limited in terms of exporting functionality, which means that you won’t be able to get all your content back in its entirety.
Some content will be stuck on your built-in Squarespace domain, and the only way to migrate it to WordPress would be through copying and pasting it by hand.
The content that you can export using Squarespace includes:
The content that you’ll have to export manually includes:
To import your content from Squarespace to WordPress, follow these steps:
Some images will remain hosted on your Squarespace site. The WordPress Importer tends to fail to migrate images automatically, which forces you to upload them one by one, manually.
The better option is to use a plugin like Auto Upload Images. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do it:
WordPress is known for how expandable and flexible it is. You can build pages using drag and drop page builders and choose between thousands of themes. When choosing a theme, note how responsive it is, how many good reviews it has, and of course, how nice it looks.
One of the themes that people tend to choose more often is BeTheme, as you get an incredible amount of features and gorgeous design in one single product. You can customize it easily and it is multi-purpose, which means it suits all needs with only a bit of tweaking.
It is by far one of the top choices on the market, and it’s a great theme to use when moving from Squarespace to WordPress because it’s powerful and yet also very beginner-friendly.
Widgets are some bits of code that can be added to your site’s sidebar or the areas that are compatible with widgets. It’s easier to think of widgets as expansion modules that you can add to WordPress using a drag and drop interface.
Normally, WordPress comes with a set of widgets that you can use by default, but there are many more that can be added with the use of plugins.
Navigation menus are important for helping users navigate through your website easier, without getting lost amongst large quantities of content. Browsing through categories should be easy and efficient.
Menus are regularly placed in the header, but there are variations you may want to try as well. Some themes come with included menu builders or pre-made templates.
Keeping your permalinks intact is the only way to make sure that your traffic is maintained during the Squarespace to WordPress migration.
You can use WordPress to set up the permalinks structure according to different needs and preferences, which is a convenient feature that some other Content Management Systems don’t offer. Match your permalink structure to the one you used before with Squarespace.
To easily track how users interact with a website, you can add Google Analytics to your site.
It’s a useful tool that keeps you up to date with your marketing campaigns in the online environment. The stats are easy to read and you don’t need special knowledge to use the program.
WordPress gives you the chance to use no less than 55,000 plugins, all with different capabilities and features. Once you migrate from Squarespace to WordPress, personalization becomes a breeze with all the freedom available in the form of free and paid plugins.
You can use as many plugins as you want, as long as they don’t start slowing your website down.
Your Squarespace internal links might contain outdated or invalid URLs, so you’ll need to update those to drive traffic to the correct URLs on your new WordPress site.
To make this process easier, use a plugin like Broken Link Checker which will help you identify all the links that are now broken.
Squarespace allows you to use custom domains, and you can move yours to another hosting provider to use with your new CMS. Keeping your domain registered with Squarespace is not a must. See the Squarespace domain transfer guide to learn how to migrate it away.
If you think you’re done with your Squarespace to WordPress migration, give it another close look to make sure that everything is in place and working correctly.
Focus on navigation menus, media items, and links, as they are often the most problematic areas during migration.
Squarespace is convenient for many reasons, but after gaining some experience as a webmaster, it may become unnecessary and start to limit your ambitions. WordPress is a far more powerful alternative and contains all the same features along with many more.
Starting to migrate your website from Squarespace to WordPress is no easy deal, but you won’t have to go through the same process again any time soon, so it’s worth the trouble and it will pay off in the long run.
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