How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Looking to switch from Wix to WordPress? Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that lets you create a simple website. However, many Wix users soon realize that their options are limited, and adding extra features can become quite expensive. If you want more features and… Read More »

The post How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Looking to switch from Wix to WordPress? Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that lets you create a simple website. However, many Wix users soon realize that their options are limited, and adding extra features can become quite expensive. If you want more features and flexibility without the high costs, then switching to self-hosted WordPress is the best choice. In this article, we will show you how to properly move from Wix to WordPress.

wix to wordpress migration

There are various ways to switch from Wix to WordPress. After reviewing all the methods for transferring your site from Wix to WordPress, we believe the easiest way is by importing your blog posts via RSS.

In this step by step guide, we will walk you through the process of transferring your Wix website to WordPress. Depending on how many pages you have on your Wix site, the migration can take up to an hour.

Here are the steps to migrate from Wix to WordPress:

  1. Sign up for WordPress web hosting
  2. Setup your new WordPress site
  3. Customize your site’s style and appearance
  4. Import your blog posts via RSS
  5. Convert your Wix pages to WordPress
  6. Create your main navigational menu
  7. Redirect Wix to WordPress

Ready to transfer Wix to WordPress? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Sign Up for WordPress Web Hosting

To start a WordPress blog, the first thing you’ll need is a web hosting account for your website. Web hosting is your website’s home on the internet. This is where all of your files and data is stored.

You will also need a domain name (such as www.yoursite.com). This is your website’s address on the internet.

When you use Wix, they host your website for you which is also the reason why it’s quite limited. On the other hand, WordPress is a free software, so you’ll need a place to install it. That’s why you need to purchase web hosting and a domain name.

We highly recommend that you use Bluehost because they are an official WordPress.org recommended hosting provider. They have also agreed to give our users a free domain and over 60% off discount on web hosting (special Bluehost coupon for WPBeginner users).

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

If you want to look at more options, then we have a list of the best WordPress hosting providers that you can choose from. Some other companies that we recommend are SiteGround and HostGator.

In this tutorial, we’ll use Bluehost for screenshot and examples.

If you’ve already registered a domain name with Wix, that’s no problem. When signing up with Bluehost, you can enter your existing domain under the “I have a domain name” option.

Enter your existing Wix domain name on the right

Later on in this guide, we’ll walk you through how to transfer your domain when your new WordPress site is ready.

Step 2: Setup Your New WordPress Site

After purchasing your new hosting plan, you’ll need to install WordPress. Bluehost offers an easy 1-click installation tool for WordPress inside the cPanel.

Simply login to your account and scroll down the website section where you will see the WordPress icon.

Install WordPress icon in Bluehost's cPanel dashboard

Click on the install WordPress button and follow the onscreen instructions. For detailed instructions, see our step by step tutorial on how to install WordPress.

Once you have installed WordPress, it’s a good idea to set your WordPress permalinks.

Your permalink settings will determine the address of each blog post. For example, instead of publishing a blog post to:

www.yourblog.com/2017/10/blog-post-title

You can publish it to:

www.yourblog.com/blog-post-title.

You can change your permalink settings by navigating to Settings » Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard. Once you have selected the structure you want, click on the Save Changes button at the bottom.

Set your WordPress permalinks before importing Wix

For more details about permalinks, you can check out our post on SEO-friendly URL structures in WordPress.

Step 3: Customize Your Site’s Design

Next, you can customize the appearance of your website. It’s easy to do that using WordPress themes. WordPress themes are used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website, just like Wix templates.

There are hundreds of themes available for WordPress, both free and paid. Some themes are very basic and minimalist, while others will add lots of new features to your site.

As a WordPress beginner, you may want to start with a simple theme that’s easy to use. We have a list of recommended simple WordPress themes you can take a look at to get started.

Wondering how to decide on a theme? You can check out our article on selecting the perfect WordPress theme for tips and advice.

If you just want to get started quickly, we recommend Sydney, a very popular free multipurpose theme. There’s also a premium version available with more features called Sydney Pro.

Sydney

Remember, you can easily change your theme in the future, so it’s important that you don’t spend too much time on this step. You can even use the default WordPress theme and start with the migration process. Because the most important part is moving all of your content from Wix to WordPress.

Step 4: Import Your Wix Blog Posts to WordPress

In this step, we’ll transfer your Wix blog posts over to your new WordPress site.

Wix is a closed platform, and they don’t provide an easy way for users to migrate their content away from Wix. But we can still automate the process by importing your Wix RSS feed, instead of recreating each blog post manually.

To get started, you’ll need to download your Wix RSS file.

You can locate the file by adding /feed.xml to your Wix website URL. If you don’t have a custom domain with Wix, then you can find your RSS feed at username.wixsite.com/blogname/feed.xml, where “username” is your Wix username and “blogname” is the name of your blog.

If you have a custom domain such as www.yourwixblog.com, then you can find your RSS feed at www.yourwixblog.com/feed.xml.

After navigating to the proper URL, you should see a page full of code. Go ahead and right click anywhere on the page and click Save As to save the file in your computer.

Wix RSS feed

Now that you have your RSS file, you can log in to your WordPress dashboard and click on Tools » Import.

Next, click the Install Now link under the RSS heading.

wix to wordpress migration using RSS

After a few seconds, you’ll see a link at the top of the page to Run Importer. Go ahead and click the link.

Run the RSS importer to export wix to wordpress

Now click the Choose File button and select the feed.xml file you just saved to your computer. Then you can click the Upload file and import button.

Click the upload button to transfer wix to wordpress

If you have a lot of blog posts to import, then it may take a few moments to import them all. When it’s done, you’ll see a confirmation message.

Your Wix blog posts have been transferred to WordPress

To check on your blog posts and make sure they were exported from Wix correctly, you can navigate to Posts » All Posts and click View underneath each post.

View each post to double check your wix to wordpress migration for errors

At this point, the content of your blog posts has been transferred, but there’s one problem: any images in your post are still hosted with Wix.

You can see this for yourself if you edit a post and click on the Text tab to view the code.

blog post images are still hosted with Wix

Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix this and move your images over to WordPress. All you need to do is install and activate Import External Images plugin.

Plugins are like apps for WordPress that allow you to add new features. We have a step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After installing and activating the plugin, you can navigate to Media » Import Images and click the Import Images Now button to get started.

import images from wix to wordpress

Depending on how many images you need to import, the process may take a few moments. When it’s finished, you’ll see a confirmation message that says “Import Complete.”

Step 5: Import Your Wix Pages to WordPress

After you have imported your blog post, next we’ll need to transfer your Wix pages over to your WordPress site.

Wix doesn’t provide any automated way to do this, so we’ll have to recreate each page in WordPress one by one.

First you can navigate to the Wix page you want to transfer to WordPress. Highlight all the content (except for the page title). Then you can right click and click on Copy.

Copying wix to wordpress

After that, you need to login to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Pages » Add New to recreate the page. At the top of the page, you can type in the page title. Then you can right click and and click on Paste as plain text to recreate the content.

Paste content from Wix to WordPress

Using Paste as plain text instead of just Paste will keep any unnecessary junk code from cluttering up your site. But it also strips all the formatting. This means you’ll need to recreate any links, colors, and styles.

For help with styling your pages, you can check out our article on tips for mastering the WordPress visual editor.

When you’re finished styling your page, you can click the Publish button to publish your page on your new WordPress site.

Publish your new WordPress page

Now that you’ve converted all your content, it’s a good idea to carefully review your posts and pages to make sure everything is working right and looks the way it’s supposed to. If you have a lot of content, you might want to speed up the process by using Broken Link Checker to fix any broken links.

Step 6: Create Your Main Navigational Menu

Next you’ll want to make sure your visitors can easily navigate through your new website using your primary menu.

You can create a navigational menu by going to Appearance » Menus. Type in a name for your menu, and click one of the Create Menu buttons.

Creating the main menu in WordPress

Now you can select whichever pages you want to add to your main menu, and click the Add to Menu button. When you’ve added all the pages you want, click the blue Save Menu button on the right.

Adding pages to your WordPress menu

Now your menu has been created, but you still need to place it on your site. To do that, click the Manage Locations tab.

The locations shown will be different depending on your WordPress theme. In the default WordPress theme Twenty Seventeen, the Top Menu location is the main menu that displays at the top of the page. In other themes, it might be called a different name such as “Main Menu” or “Header Menu.”

To place your new menu in the Top Menu location, click the dropdown field and select the name of your menu. Then click the blue Save Changes button.

Adding the new menu to your site

Step 7: Redirect Wix to WordPress

Now your new WordPress site is complete, and you’re ready to let your readers know about your move.

It’s important to not only announce your move to your readers, but also set up proper redirection. You want any visitors to your old site to land on exactly the same page on the new site. This will also let search engines know that your old site has moved to a new location.

Note: You can only redirect users to your new WordPress site if you had a custom domain on Wix. Unfortunately, if you were using a wixsite subdomain, then you cannot redirect users to your WordPress site.

First you need to open a plain text editor like Notepad and paste this code:

var hashesarr = { 
"#!about-us/c1it7":'/about/',
"#!contact/ce54":'/contact/',
"#!random-article/c1mz":'/random-article/'
 };

for (var hash in hashesarr) {
    var patt = new RegExp(hash);
    if (window.location.hash.match(patt) !== null) {
        window.location.href = hashesarr[hash];
    }
}

In this code we have added three example URLs in the following format:

"#!about-us/c1it7":'/about/',

The first part of the line looks for a string in the URL. This will be the URL your Wix users will be coming from. The second part in the line is the WordPress slug for the same page.

Unfortunately, you will have to manually add each URL in this format. Once you are finished, you need to save this file as redirects.js.

Now you need to upload this file to your WordPress theme’s /js/ directory using an FTP client.

If your theme does not have a /js/ directory, then you need to create one.

Now you need to edit your theme’s functions.php file and add this code at the bottom of the file:

function wpb_wixjs () { 
wp_enqueue_script( 'wixredirect', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/js/redirects.js', array(), '1.0.0', true);
} 
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'wpb_wixjs');

Don’t forget to save your changes.

That’s all, you can now try visiting a URL from your old Wix site to see the redirect in action.

Note: These redirects will not redirect search engines and are not very SEO friendly.

Lastly, don’t forget to inform your readers of your new address. You can do this by announcing your move on social media, writing a blog post about it, and sending out a notice to your email newsletter.

Step 8: Add Essential WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins allow you to add more features to your site. Plugins work like Wix apps. There are hundreds of plugins available, free and paid. You can check out our archive of articles about the best WordPress plugins if you’re not sure where to start.

We have a list of the must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

We also have a list of all the plugins we use on WPBeginner in our blueprint that you can check out. Lastly, don’t forget to check out premium WordPress plugins built by WPBeginner team.

That’s it! We hope this tutorial helped you switch from Wix to WordPress without a lot of hassle. We would like to welcome you to the WordPress community. To get started with WordPress, please take a look at our beginner’s guide section and our WordPress beginner videos.

If you have a friend still using Wix, then you can show them your new WordPress site and our comparison on WordPress vs Wix and convince them to switch over.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

How to Properly Move from Weebly to WordPress (Step by Step)

Do you want to switch from Weebly to WordPress? Yes it is possible to migrate all of your Weebly content to WordPress without hiring a developer or knowing how to code. We built a free Weebly to WordPress importer tool that does it all for… Read More »

The post How to Properly Move from Weebly to WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to switch from Weebly to WordPress? Yes it is possible to migrate all of your Weebly content to WordPress without hiring a developer or knowing how to code. We built a free Weebly to WordPress importer tool that does it all for you. In this article, we will show you how to properly move from Weebly to WordPress (step by step).

Weebly to WordPress

From our experience, most folks don’t choose the best blogging platform when they’re first starting out. Instead you are more likely to go with one of the many hosted solutions like Weebly because you heard how easy it was and that it was free.

Once you get more into blogging, and you learn about SEO, monetization, customization, etc, then you have that oops moment because you realize that you made the wrong choice.

And that’s when you start to panic because you don’t want your hard work to go to waste.

Don’t worry, it won’t. We have helped hundreds of people switch from Weebly to WordPress. No you don’t have to know any code. If you can follow directions and point-and-click, then you can move your Weebly site to WordPress.

Yes, it will take you about an hour to properly migrate from Weebly to WordPress, but it’s completely worth it.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Weebly to WordPress Video Tutorial

If you don’t like video tutorials or want to move at your own pace, then continue reading the instructions below.

Step 1. Getting Started

To start a WordPress blog, you need two things:

  • A domain name (this is the name of your blog i.e wpbeginner.com)
  • A web hosting account (this is where your website lives on the internet)

While WordPress itself is free, both domain and web hosting comes at a cost ($14.99 / year for domain and $7.99 / month for web hosting).

Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

If for some reason you want other options, then you can look at our list of the best WordPress hosting companies.

Once you have setup your domain and hosting, the next step is to install WordPress. We have step by step guide on how to install WordPress.

After you’re done installing WordPress, you’re ready to move to the next step which is to move your Weebly content to WordPress.

Step 2. Export Content From Your Weebly Website

In the past, it was way too difficult for users to move from Weebly to WordPress because there wasn’t an easy to export data from Weebly.

We decided to solve this problem and developed a free Weebly to WordPress Importer.

It is a free online tool that imports your content from Weebly and converts it into a WordPress compatible import format. It does not make any changes to your existing Weebly site, so it is perfectly safe to use.

Head over to Weebly to WordPress Importer website and enter your Weebly website URL.

Weebly to WordPress Importer

You will be asked to provide your name, email address, and to select an export format.

The default option is WXR format, and you should not change that unless you run into an issue later.

Next, you need to choose whether you want to include pages in your export file. The default option is ‘Yes’, and you don’t need to change that either, unless you really don’t want to export Weebly pages.

After that, you need to click on ‘Export my Weebly Website’ button.

Weebly to WordPress Importer will now fetch content from your Weebly website and convert it into a WordPress compatible export file.

Download your Weebly export file

You will see a button to download your Weebly export file. You need to right click on it and select ‘Save link as’ from the menu.

This will download export.xml file to your computer.

Step 3. Import Weebly Content into WordPress

Now that you have your Weebly content in a WordPress compatible format, it is time to import it into WordPress.

Login to your admin area and head over to Tools » Import page.

You will see a list of importers available for different platforms. You need to scroll down to WordPress and then click on the ‘Install Now’ link.

Install WordPress importer

WordPress will now fetch the importer plugin and install it on your WordPress site without reloading the page. Once it is installed, you need to click on ‘Run Importer’ to launch it.

Run WordPress importer

This will bring you to the WordPress importer page. Go ahead and click on ‘Choose file’ button to select the export.xml file you downloaded earlier.

Next, click on ‘Upload file and import’ button to continue.

WordPress importer will now upload your export file and analyze it. On the next screen, it will ask you to assign authors.

Import authors and media attachments

You can import an author from your Weebly website, create a new author, or assign all content to your existing WordPress user.

Don’t forget to check the box next to ‘Download and import file attachments’ option. It will fetch images from your Weebly website into WordPress media library, so you can use them later.

You can now click on the Submit button to run the importer. WordPress will now import content from the export file to your WordPress database. It will also try to fetch images linked in your Weebly blog posts and pages.

Upon completion you will see a success message.

Successfully imported Weebly data into WordPress

Congratulations, you have successfully imported content from your Weebly blog to WordPress. You can now go to posts, pages, and categories in WordPress admin area to see if all your content is there. Also check the media library to see the images imported from your Weebly site.

If the import process fails in the middle, then you can always run it again. The importer is smart enough to detect duplicate content and skip it. It will only import the content that didn’t import successfully in previous attempt.

Step 4. Setting up Redirects

If you were using a custom domain on your Weebly site (like yoursite.com), then you need to point it to your WordPress hosting provider.

First you need to login to your Weebly account and go to the Domains page. Click on the domain name that you want to edit and then on domain settings page click on the change button next to nameservers option.

On the next screen you need to enter your new WordPress host’s nameservers. For Bluehost, these are ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com.

Changing name servers

Click on the save button to store your settings.

Nameserver changes may take a while to propagate across internet. Once the changes take affect visitors will start seeing your WordPress site.

If you were using a subdomain URL on your Weebly site (like http://example.weebly.com), then here is how you would setup redirect.

Login to your Weebly dashboard and edit your website. Next, you need to click on Settings and then SEO tab.

Subdomain redirect

Now, scroll down to header code option and add this line of code:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;url=http://www.yourdomain.com/">

Replace yourdomain.com with your new WordPress site’s domain name.

Don’t forget to click on the save and publish buttons to save your changes.

You can now visit your Weebly website, and it will refresh and redirect to your WordPress website.

Step 5. Setting up Permalinks

Your Weebly website may have a different URL structure for blog posts and pages. Typically it is something like this:

For blog posts: http://example.com/blog/your-post-title/
For pages: http://example.com/page-title.html

If you were using a custom domain on your Weebly site, then users visiting a post on your old Weebly blog will see 404 error.

Here is how you would make sure that users are redirected to correct post.

You will need to visit Settings » Permalinks page. Scroll down and select ‘Custom structure’ option and then add /blog/%postname% in the text field next to it.

Permalinks

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to update your permalinks.

Now you need to add .html at the end of URLs for your WordPress pages.

You will need to install and activate the Add Any Extension to Pages plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Add Any Extention to Pages. Simply enter .html in the plugin settings and click on ‘Update Settings’ button.

Add .html to pages in WordPress

Now you need to visit Settings » Permalinks page and click on the save changes button to update your permalink structure.

Step 6. Troubleshooting

Here are a few things that you may need after transferring your site from Weebly to WordPress.

1. Importing or replacing images

WordPress will try to import images from your Weebly website to WordPress during the import. However, if your images are not downloaded to media library then you will need to import them. See our guide on how to import external images in WordPress for detailed step by step instructions.

2. Fixing errors in WordPress

If you are seeing some errors on your WordPress site after the transfer, then head over to our ultimate guide on common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

3. Things to do After Installing WordPress

If everything goes well, you will be now ready to customize your new website and take advantage of the enormous flexibility of WordPress. See our list of important things to do after installing WordPress.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you properly move from Weebly to WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Properly Move from Weebly to WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.