How to Move Squarespace to WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

A Step-by-Step Guide to Migrate Your Squarespace Website to WordPress

Many small business owners and startups rely on website builders to get their business off the ground. Squarespace is a popular builder that makes this process quick and easy for the average person. However, as your business grows and matures it will quickly outgrow the Squarespace site and you will find that you need a much more robust, custom website to power your digital marketing.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is a website builder and content management system (CMS) that powers more than one-third of all websites on the internet because it’s easy to use and extremely customizable.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

People are often confused or unaware of the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. For the purpose of this article, we are referring exclusively to WordPress.org.

Using WordPress to Build Your Website

WordPress is free. However, you’ll need your own web hosting and domain name to begin using it.

The Advantages of WordPress

There are numerous advantages to using WordPress as your CMS.

Squarespace vs WordPress

Both Squarespace and WordPress are viable website management platforms, but to understand the difference between them it’s important to compare and contrast their features and capabilities.

Cost

WordPress itself is free to download and is an open-source platform with a GPL license. However, to build your site with WordPress, you’ll need a hosting plan to point your domain to the associated IP address.

The Learning Curve

WordPress is an intuitive platform but there is still a learning curve when starting a new WordPress site. There are terms you’ll need to know such as pages and posts, categories and tags. You’ll also need to learn how to install and activate the plugin you choose to add initially.

Interface Design

When it comes to website design, WordPress excels. You’ll have access to thousands of free and paid ‘themes’, to control the look of your site. These templates are usually customizable allowing you to change the colours, images and more. For business owners that prefer a custom-crafted website design, they’ll want to hire a professional web designer.

Integrations

What makes WordPress so versatile is its huge library of plugins. WordPress plugins allow you to add different features to your site. There are over 50,000 free and paid plugins available and more rolling out every day.

eCommerce

WordPress is a popular choice for eCommerce websites because it’s easy to integrate third-party payment processors such as PayPal, Moneris, Chase and Stripe. If you want to turn your website into an eCommerce marketplace, this can be done with the WordPress plugin called WooCommerce.

Why Move From Squarespace to WordPress?

Starting off with a Squarespace website makes sense for new businesses that have little need for a fully customized website. Squarespace offers a simple, affordable solution to many businesses’ website needs.

How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

Now that you understand the limits of Squarespace and how powerful and flexible WordPress is, you need to know how to migrate your Squarespace website to WordPress.

1. Web Hosting Account

First, purchase a hosting plan. Your web host is where you’ll install the WordPress platform and begin constructing your new website. Most web hosts offer a one-click WordPress install to make this step as simple as possible.

2. Domain Transfer

If you were using a custom Squarespace domain name, then you should consider transferring it to your new hosting provider. Domains can be transferred away from Squarespace if it’s been at least 60 days since it was registered. The entire domain migration process can take up to 7 business days.

3. Install WordPress

Once you’ve chosen a web host, signed up for an account and transferred over your domain, you are ready to install WordPress. The platform is famously quick and easy to install and most hosts offer a one-click installation.

4. Export Your Content From Squarespace

Exporting Squarespace content is relatively easy. By following a few simple steps, their system will generate an XML file that you’ll use to import into your new WordPress site.

  • Product pages
  • Custom CSS style changes
  • Album and Event pages

5. Import Content to WordPress

You should now have your XML file containing the content from your Squarespace site saved locally on your computer. Now you need to import this into WordPress.

6. Import Images to WordPress

The WordPress importer will not import your images from Squarespace but don’t worry, there is another way to do this.

7. Adjust Your Permalinks and URL Structure

One of the most crucial steps when migrating a website to WordPress is fixing your permalinks or URL structure.

8. How to Import Other Content From Squarespace to WordPress

eCommerce features like products, along with video and audio files have to be manually imported over to WordPress. This process can take time to complete, depending on how much content there is to move.

9. Get Started With WordPress

Now your site has been successfully migrated from Squarespace to WordPress. The final step is to start learning about the WordPress platform so you can customize and improve your website.

Improve Your Business With WordPress

There you have it! The ultimate guide on transitioning from Squarespace to WordPress.

Parachute Design Group Inc. is a boutique Toronto web design agency specializing in beautiful hand-made website design, custom logo design and branding.

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