Updated on Jun 14, 2023
People often choose Squarespace because of its ease of use. With the platform, you can easily create a whole new website, pages, and posts and upload different media types, such as images, videos, and audio files. While Squarespace is beginner-friendly, there are limits to its functionality, which may be an issue in the long run.
WordPress, on the other hand, is a much more flexible platform, allowing you to build almost any type of website. In this post, we will guide you on how to move your Squarespace site to self-hosted WordPress effectively.
This post includes:
With its drag-and-drop interface, Squarespace makes it easy to create a website. Additionally, there are more than enough templates and customizable features which will help you accomplish a unique look for your website. Squarespace also has an intuitive interface, which makes it stand out from the competition.
However, when you have a growing website, it's bound to need additional features. Features that Squarespace cannot offer. That's when you will have to choose a more comprehensive platform - one like WordPress.
Some of the Squarespace limitations include:
With its countless themes and plugins, WordPress will allow you to build almost any website. In addition to customizing your website as you wish, you can extend its functionalities with the correct usage of plugins.
Yes, you can! However, not all elements from Squarespace can be migrated to WordPress automatically. There are some things that you need to do manually.
Squarespace lets you easily export your blog content and your regular pages. However, the platform will not allow you to export your:
Regarding your blog content and all basic pages, you can use an automated tool to export them from Squarespace and import them to WordPress. You may be missing a few blocks, but most of your content should come through automatically.
For content such as product or event pages, you must manually move them over to WordPress.
As for your template and index page, you will have to choose a WordPress theme that's closest to your Squarespace template. Another option would be using a page builder and mimicking the Squarespace template with its help.
Doing these few things before migrating from Squarespace to WordPress would be best.
Your URL structure (or permalinks) may change once you move to WordPress. You will optimize your new site entirely, so you want to use short, concise URLs.
If your Squarespace site receives decent traffic, redirecting your old page and posting URLs to their new equivalents may be a good idea.
Go through your site and copy all the URLs for every page and post. Then, paste them as a list in a document. Also, take screenshots of each page or post and put them under each URL in your document. This way, you can easily match up everything once you've created pages and posts on your WordPress site.
If your site on Squarespace received very little traffic, don't even worry about creating a list of your old URLs. Instead, you can focus on growing the traffic to your shiny new WordPress site.
Picking a reliable web host is essential. In fact, your best solution is Managed WordPress hosting, which you can find with FastComet. We are available to help you and answer all your hosting-related questions 24/7.
With FastComet, it's easy to register your new domain name. Make sure you pick a good one because it will be vital to the success of your business. Choosing a domain name that is short and easy to memorize is always a good choice. If you already have a domain name, though, you can use it and transfer it to our services if you would like.
After signing up with a web host, the next step is to install WordPress. As the most popular CMS in the world, WordPress needs only a couple of minutes to install. With cPanel's Softaculous or WP Toolkit, you can install WordPress with a single click.
Once you have installed the CMS, you can log in to your WordPress Admin dashboard. That will be necessary after you export the content of your Squarespace website.
To export your content from Squarespace, follow the steps below;
That should download a file named Squarespace-WordPress-Export-DATE.xml. Keep this file handy because you will need it in the following steps.
If you're using a custom domain at Squarespace and you want to use the same domain name at your WordPress site, you will have to change that domain to point to your WordPress site instead of your Squarespace site.
Remember that doing this means all your visitors will see your as-yet-unfinished WordPress site for now. If you have a busy Squarespace site, it's best to use a WordPress staging site or temporary domain name to get things ready before making the switch. You can ask our technical support for some help on that matter. All you have to do is open a new support ticket.
However, if you don't have a problem with cutting public access to your website, you can immediately make the switch. For that, you will have to change your domain's nameservers to point to your host instead of your Squarespace site.
You can follow their article if you got your domain name through Squarespace. If you got your domain name from a third-party registrar, you must go to them and change the domain's settings.
Now, you can use that .xml file you downloaded from Squarespace in step one to import your content to WordPress.
To verify your content was imported, go to your WordPress dashboard's Posts and Pages sections.
While your posts and pages should all transfer over, there's a chance that you might be missing some content from a page. For example, Squarespace doesn't export certain blocks, like audio or video blocks.
If you have any pages that use audio or video blocks, you'll want to manually edit those pages and re-add your audio/video content. WordPress' editor uses a similar block system, so you can add another video or audio block at the right spot.
Unfortunately, the WordPress importer cannot import images from a Squarespace website. You will have to import them manually, but there is an easy way to do it via a plugin.
The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Auto Upload Images plugin. Upon activating the plugin, you must edit all posts and pages containing images. When you save a post type, the plugin will trigger the image import process.
Luckily, WordPress allows you to bulk update content, so you can do it with just a few clicks instead of manually doing it one by one:
Remember not to change anything in the box. Just click the Update button. Doing this will trigger the plugin and import external images from your Squarespace website. It will store them in your WordPress media library as well.
Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, Squarespace will not export your entire content. For example, you could be missing product, event, or album pages. If that is the case, you have to copy and paste everything that was not automatically migrated manually. It's not too hard — you can create new pages in WordPress and copy and paste the content over.
You can use the regular WordPress block editor if your pages are simple enough. However, if you wish for a more visual design experience, you can install the Elementor page builder plugin.
Additionally, if you were selling products at Squarespace, you could use a plugin like WooCommerce to add eCommerce functionality to your WordPress site.
If you want a seamless transition when switching from Squarespace to WordPress, you'll need to create the same URL structure your Squarespace site used. That ensures that any links from other sites will still take people to the right spot on your site.
By default, Squarespace uses the following structure for your blog post URLs: example.com/BLOG-PAGE-NAME/BLOG-POST-TITLE
You can use the WordPress permalinks feature to recreate this on your WordPress site. To do that go to Settings → Permalinks. Use the Custom Structure option to create your structure. For example: /blog/%postname%/. That will dynamically insert the post title after blog.
At this point, you should have all of your Squarespace content on your WordPress site. However, the design of your website still needs to be fixed. It is entirely different, and you don't have the index page from your Squarespace site.
Unfortunately, there are no ways for you to get the same design as your Squarespace site because all available templates are unique to Squarespace.
That said, there are more than enough WordPress themes to choose from; thus, you can find something similar to your Squarespace template.
Beyond the WordPress theme you choose, you can also use a WP Page Builder plugin to help you design your content.
WordPress is a powerful platform with incredible flexibility. There are thousands of professionally designed free and premium WordPress themes that you can use on your site. The real power of WordPress comes from the thousands of plugins you can use. These plugins add more features to your WordPress site.
After transferring your Squarespace site to WordPress, the next thing to do is follow WordPress's best practices and keep your website secure while growing your audience.
We have compiled some examples of good practices for you:
Moving a website from one platform to another can be a daunting task. Hopefully, with our guide, we have provided the help you need when migrating from Squarespace to WordPress. The CMS is powerful and flexible and will surely cover all your needs as a website owner.
We hope you find this article useful. Discover more about FastCloud - the top-rated Hosting Solutions for personal and small business websites in four consecutive years by the HostAdvice Community!