move from squarespace to wordpress

Introduction

Have you decided to move from squarespace to wordpress because it’s a more flexible platform ?

Many webmasters initially start their projects using squarespace platform since it’s a great tool for creating a beautiful site.However, while Squarespace is great platform for basic sites, it has a few limitations when compared with wordpress :

  • Very limited e-commerce integration
  • Hard to extend functionality
  • Limited themes and customization

Fortunately,migration to WordPress from Squarespace is easy.In this tutorial, you will learn how to migrate your website from Squarespace to WordPress with 301 permanent redirection.

Note : This tutorial helps you to move your site to self-hosted WordPress platform (wordpress.org).The Steps mentioned below are not applicable if your site is hosted on WordPress.com.

What you’ll need ?

Before you begin make sure you have the following :

Step 1 — Exporting Squarespace content

First of all, you need to export your website data from Squarespace. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to export everything you have automatically. This means you will have to copy/paste some parts of your website to WordPress manually. List of content which cannot be exported:

  • Index, event, album and product pages
  • Folders
  • Audio, video and products blocks
  • Style changes and custom CSS

What can be exported:

  • Blog (only one blog)
  • Basic and gallery pages
  • Text and image blocks
  • Text in embedded blocks

Move From Squarespace To WordPress

Follow these steps to start the export procedure:

Log into your Squarespace account.

In the menu on the left click Settings.

Squarespace settings

 

Under Website click on Advanced.

Squarespace Advanced settings

 

Now click on Import / Export.

Import / Export option

 

Since you want to export the website, click on Export button.

Squarespace website export

In the dialog box which opens, you can select the platform to which you want to export your website. The only option now is WordPress, but that’s exactly what you need so click on it.

Exporting Squarespace to WordPress platform

 

Once the export download file is created, a new option Download will appear. To download it to your computer, click the button.

Downloading the export file

 

Once the download is complete proceed to the next step.

Step 2 – Pointing Squarespace Domain to WordPress

If you have been using a custom domain name (yourdomain.com) with your Squarespace website and want to continue using it with new WordPress site, you will need to change DNS details.

The process of changing DNS depends on where your domain name is registered. If your domain name registrar is Squarespace, DNS details must be changed at their control panel. See this page for step by step guide. If the domain name is registered with a different company, for example, GoDaddy, DNS details can be changed in their system. The process is similar on most registrars and we have a great guide you can follow here.

IMPORTANT: It can take up to 48 hours for DNS to fully propagate worldwide. During propagation, you may not be able to access your website.

Step 3 — Importing Content From Squarespace to WordPress

At this step you will import content to WordPress. Follow below steps to proceed:

Log into your WordPress admin area.

Go to Tools > Import. In the list of platforms, you will not see Squarespace as it exports content in a WordPress compatible XML file format. Due to this, you should click Install under WordPress. Once the installation is complete press Activate button.

Importing website

 

Select your export file (Choose File) and click Upload file and import button.

Selecting the file to import

 

Once the file has uploaded, you will see a screen where you can choose whether to import the author, create a new user, or assign an existing user. You can select any option suitable for you. Also, you can choose whether to import files and attachments or not. Press Submit button once you are ready.

Selecting users

 

IMPORTANT : If import times out or returns errors, try deselecting ” Download file and import file attachments “ option. Depending on the size of your Squarespace account and your hosting server configuration this option may prevent import to complete successfully.

After the import is complete, you will see a green success message. Now you can review your WordPress website and make sure all needed content has been imported successfully.

Step 4 — Importing Images from Squarespace into WordPress

If you checked your websites, you might have noticed that some images are still hosted on Squarespace. This is normal. Sometimes WordPress importer fails to import images automatically from Squarespace. This means you will have to add them manually or use Import External Images plugin:

Install and activate the Import External Images plugin in WordPress. In case you do not know how to install WordPress plugins, you can check [this tutorial](/tutorials/wordpress/how-to-install-wordpress-plugins.

After installation is complete, click on Media > Import Images.

Importing images

 

Under Process all posts list of your website pictures appears. Click on Import Images Now.

Once the import is complete, visit your WordPress website again and re-check posts with images.

Step 5 — Fixing Permalinks and Creating Redirects

Fixing Permalinks on WordPress

This step is vital if you don’t want to lose your search engine rankings and incoming traffic.

Squarespace uses a different link structure than WordPress. Migrating from to WordPress without changing permalinks will result in your visitors hitting 404 error pages. Let’s say blog post URL on your Squarespace website looked like this:

http://www.yourname.squarespace.com/superblog/2017/1/2/post-about-kittens

Or this of you were using a custom domain name:

http://wwww.yourdomain.com/superblog/2017/1/2/post-about-kitten

In this step you will learn how to make WordPress link structure the same you had on Squarespace:

Go to Settings > Permalinks and select Day and name option as this option is the most similar to Squarespace URL structure.

You will notice that value in Custom Structure field has changed.

Add your blog prefix in front of it so it would look like this:

/superblog/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/

Hit Save Changes button at the bottom.

Change WordPress Permalinks to Match Squarespace

 

Creating Redirects at Squarespace

Unlike custom domain name, you cannot point Squarespace subdomain (http://www.yourname.squarespace.com) to WordPress. Without a proper redirect, all incoming traffic and links pointing to the subdomain would be lost. Squarespace has a great tool named URL Mappings for this. By using URL Mappings you can create 301 and 302 redirects and drive all your traffic from http://www.yourname.squarespace.com to your new WordPress website. A 301 redirect means that URL has been moved permanently, while a 302 redirect is a temporary change of URL. In general, it’s better to use 301 redirects because they pass SEO value better than 302.

Access Squarespace administrator dashboard and navigate to Settings -> Advanced -> Url Mappings section.

Squarespace URL Mappings section

 

Squarespace allows creating redirects easily. For example, if you want to redirect all your blog posts to WordPress use the following syntax:

/blog/[name] -> http://yourdomain.com/ 301

[name] variable allows redirecting multiple pages with just one line of the code.

This way all traffic coming to http://www.yourname.squarespace.com/blog/post-name will be redirected to your new WordPress domain. You can use the same syntax to create redirects for your product and events pages. If you want to create a redirect for a single page, use this syntax:

/yourpage -> http://yourdomain.com/yourpage 301

[name] variable was not used here because we wanted to redirect only one page.

Once you are done creating redirects, press Save button at the top of the page.

Squarespace URL Mapping Save Button

 

This step ensures your visitors and search engine crawlers will be able to access your blog posts on WordPress. However, if you had a lot of custom pages on your Squarespace, you would want to take even further and install All 404 Redirect to Homepage plugin. Once the installation is complete, navigate to Settings -> All 404 Redirect to Homepage page and press Update Options button.

WordPress 404 Redirect to Homepage

 

Now all your users who hit 404 not found page will be redirected to your home page.

Step 6 – Getting Started with WordPress

Now when your Squarespace content has been migrated to WordPress you can start changing the look of your website. WordPress has thousands of different themes to choose from. Both free and paid themes can be easily installed on WordPress.

Once you found the right theme, you can customize it even further by changing colors, menus, background, etc. It can be done on Appearance -> Customize section.

WordPress has a big community ready to answer any questions you have on WordPress. Moreover, there are thousands of in-depth guides and tutorials created just for this CMS.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you have learned how to fully move from Squarespace to WordPress. Also, you have learned how to edit WordPress permalinks structure and redirect Squarespace subdomain to WordPress.

As mentioned before, not all content from Squarespace can be imported automatically. Your video and audio files, eCommerce products and pages should be imported manually. Depending on the size of your Squarespace website it can take a lot of time. But it’s still worth it as WordPress is a powerful and more flexible platform.

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