Making the Switch to Squarespace

Change can be scary. What if it's messy? What if it doesn't go as planned? What if no one likes it? However, change is incredibly necessary in order for us to mature – including our businesses.

A common change for my clients is the jump from Wordpress to Squarespace. When reaching out to me to begin a branding project, one of their very first questions is usually, "What happens when I switch my blog to Squarespace?" Considering Wordpress and Squarespace are very different platforms, it makes sense that people are often afraid of what will happen if they make the jump.

Thankfully, Squarespace makes it easy. (Really easy.)

In this blog post, I'll walk you through the simple steps it takes to move your blog to Squarespace from Wordpress. Whether you've just been curious or have wanted to switch but are downright terrified, this post is for you!

So what's going on here?

What you're going to do is a simple export of your Wordpress site, then import that content into your Squarespace site. It will not overwrite any design or style you've created on your Squarespace, and will also not delete any pages you've created in Squarespace. It's going to add the Wordpress pages you had to your Squarespace site, and the content of those pages will be converted into the Squarespace template and style you've chosen.

Before getting started...

  • You'll need to make sure you have WordPress 3.2 or higher to import your content. Don't have 3.2? You can visit Wordpress's FAQ to learn how to update your WordPress site
  • You'll also need to disable any Wordpress plugins (they could interfere with the import).
  • This is a one-time import. Any updates to your WordPress blog after this process will not automatically sync to your Squarespace site.

Wait, so what imports from my WordPress site?

Squarespace will import all of your:

  • Posts and their authors
  • Pages
  • Images
  • Comments (yay!)
  • And Attachments

Squarespace won't import any other content, which includes:

  • Content from plugins (you should have these turned off)
  • And any style or CSS you applied to your WordPress site. (In case you're wondering how to design your Squarespac site, you select a template and then edit it using the Style Editor.)

Step 1 - Go to the Import / Export panel

In the Home Menu, click Settings, click Advanced, and then click Import / Export.

Step 2 - Import WordPress content

Click Import.

In the Import Site window, click WordPress.

You'll want to import your WordPress content using the WordPress Import file.

To get this file, log into your WordPress site. From your Reader page, click My Site.

Click WP Admin to open your dashboard in a new page.

In your dashboard, click Tools and then click Export. Under Export Option, click Export.

Select the WordPress content you want to export and click Download Export File to export the WordPress .xml file to your computer.

In the Advanced tab of the Import from WordPress window, drag your .xml file into the XML Export Upload box. Click Begin Import to import your WordPress content. 

A progress bar will appear so that you can see that your WordPress content is importing. A Success (!) message will appear once the import is complete. This part may take a long time... just warning you. But another thing I love? You can close out of this page and come back to it later and it will still import. Yay, Squarespace!

Step 3 - Enable your imported content

Now that you've imported, you're probably wondering where you imported content went, right? Squarespace sets up your imported content as disabled pages in the Not Linked section. To display your imported WordPress content, enable all of your imported pages. 

In the Pages panel, hover over the page title, and click the Settings icon next to the title to open Page Settings.

  • Side note: With my clients, the only things I usually need to keep from their Wordpress import is their blog content. I go ahead and build all of the other pages they need from scratch in Squarespace, manually copying over any text or details they want to incorporate from their Wordpress site. Once their Wordpress content is imported, I delete everything imported and only keep the blog page. I will set up their new, re-branded sidebar on this imported blog page and make it their official, new-and-improved blog – with all of their past content. 

Check Enabled and then click Save. Now your important content will show up on your Squarespace site!

Step 4 - Move content (optional)

If you want your WordPress pages to show up in your main navigation, drag and drop your pages from the Not Linked section to the Navigation section.

Step 5 - Connecting your domain

The last step is to switch over your domain (www[dot]yourdomainname[dot]com) from your Wordpress site to your new Squarespace site. This varies depending on where you purchased your domain name, but is just as easy to do as the blog import! I'll be covering this information in a later post. 

And that's it – not too bad! Squarespace has made it really easy for bloggers and business owners of all types to make the move to their platform without losing any of the past content they've worked so hard to create. 

Have more questions? Thinking you might want to take the leap and move? Feel free to give me a shout!