How to Move Your Blog from WordPress to Squarespace

This post is an excerpt from The Squarespace Course, which is available for pre-sale April 14th. 

One of the things I hear about Squarespace a lot is that it's a pain in the arse to transfer your WordPress content into it if you already have a functioning website. Y'all... this just isn't true. 

Somebody in a Facebook comment the other day described it as a nightmare of copying and pasting. Which makes me sad, because that hasn't at all been my experience, and I'm sure they scared that poor person away for good when they probably would have thrived on Squarespace. 

I thought the best way to address this was to put up a quick walk through on how easy it actually is to move your content from one platform to the other. While writing this I even logged into a client's Wordpress site and copied all of their content over to a fresh Squarespace trial, just to have it fresh on my mind while walking you through it. The transfer went flawlessly by the way.

So if you're thinking about switching platforms, read on to learn how to quickly get your content from one place to the other. And be careful taking advice in Facebook groups. ;) 

If you have an existing website on WordPress you can transfer your content into your new Squarespace site by importing it. This will bring over your pages, posts, authors, images, comments, attachments, categories and tags. The only things it won’t transfer are content from your plugins - like photo galleries for example; or any styles or themes. 

Note: If it’s possible for you to deactivate the plugins on your WordPress site without doing any harm it’s helpful to do that before you export a file. Squarespace can’t read the plugin data but has to try to process it anyway, so it will slow down your import and potentially cause things to go wonky.

Once you've done that, there are a few ways you can import content. If you log into your Squarespace site and go to Settings -> Advanced -> Import/Export you’ll see buttons to import from WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Shopify, and Big Cartel. If your site doesn’t have a lot of content you can try to import this way by clicking WordPress and entering your login information. This might be all you need. If so, congratulations, go grab a hot chocolate!

The preferred way to import WordPress content takes a few more steps, so let’s go through those. 

First, you’ll need to log into your WordPress site. Then find Tools on the menu bar on the left-hand side. Hover over that and click Export. Here you can choose which content will be exported, or you can choose to export all your content. This is up to you. Click to download the export file and save it to your desktop or another folder you can easily find.

Switch back to your Squarespace site and go to the Import/Export panel again. This time click WordPress and then click the Advanced tab in the popup box. Click in the file upload area, navigate to where you saved your WordPress file, select it then click Begin Import.

The process may take a few minutes depending on how large your site is. A success message will show up when the import is complete.

Your imported content will show up in the Pages area under the Not Linked section. If you don’t see it at first you might need to refresh the page. Your imported content will be disabled automatically, so you'll need to check it and enable it before it will be visible on the site, and any pages that should show up in the main menu will need to be moved from Not Linked to Main Navigation.

You can now open up each page and do a quick check to make sure your images and videos show up correctly, or replace them with new content blocks if not, then click Enable Page on the notification at the bottom of the screen. If you don’t see the notification you can check to see if a page is enabled by hovering over the page title, clicking the gear icon to open the page settings, and making sure the Enabled option is checked.

Because they are totally different platforms you may find some quirks in your content when you move it over, mostly related to content that was being created by plugins on the WordPress site, or how the two platforms handle images and videos differently, which is to be expected. The bulk of your content should transfer over without a hitch though.

One thing to keep in mind is that once you’ve transferred your content it won’t continually update. This is a one time transfer and each site is updated independently of the other. If you make future changes to the WordPress site and need to transfer content again you’ll have to start from scratch, so it’s best to make the transfer when you’re ready to move from WordPress to Squarespace for sure.

That's it! You should be done and ready to start customizing your Squarespace template! I was able to move my client's entire website, blog and all, in about 30 minutes, part of which was just checking the pages to make sure they looked okay. 

This post is an excerpt from The Squarespace Course, which launches tomorrow. If you're working on DIYing your website, or planning to, let me save you some serious time and frustration and walk you through it step by step!