Why (and How) to Switch From Squarespace to WordPress

Are you thinking of switching to WordPress?

According to research, WordPress currently powers 39.7% of all existing websites. It is also the largest CMS.

There is a reason why so many sites use WordPress. And several reasons why someone would want to switch from Squarespace to WordPress.

Unfortunately, the migration process can be a little involved, as Squarespace’s export functionality isn’t the best. This leaves many wondering, “should I switch from Squarespace to WordPress? Is it worth the effort?”

The good news is that once you know the steps to take, you can successfully migrate from Squarespace to WordPress.

Are you ready to make the move to WordPress, the most popular CMS on the planet? Stay with us as we walk you through the steps involved in migrating from Squarespace to WordPress.

Should I Switch From Squarespace to WordPress?

Before we dive into the process of moving from Squarespace to WordPress—let’s take a look at whether it’s worthwhile.

If you’ve been asking yourself, “should I switch from Squarespace to WordPress,” the answer is probably yes. Here’s why.

Squarespace Lacks Customization Options

One of the primary reasons people want to migrate from Squarespace to WordPress is a lack of customization options.

Squarespace is very beginner-friendly, and you can design a Squarespace site with a minimum of technical know-how.

However, if you start needing more customization for your site, Squarespace can be quite limiting. Thanks to this, a lot of site owners “grow out” of Squarespace.

WordPress Has More Capabilities

As we just mentioned, Squarespace’s customization options only go so far.

WordPress, on the other hand, offers users vast customization capabilities. Between the thousands of free and paid themes (and theme builders), CSS styles, and the sheer power and flexibility of the CMS, you can get almost limitless customization.

WordPress Has a Plugin for Every Problem

Another thing that WordPress has which Squarespace doesn’t is plugins. There is a saying that as soon as you have a problem that’s gonna require a lot of time and manual work—look for a plugin first.

This is because there is literally a plugin for almost any WordPress problem. Plugins can solve issues from loading speed to mobile optimization, broken links, and more.

WordPress currently has over 54,000 free plugins.

Its vast array of free and paid plugins also make third-party integrations very easy.

Another benefit of moving from Squarespace to WordPress is that WordPress sites can be more SEO-friendly.

According to the former head of Google’s webspam team, “sites built with WordPress are capable of ranking higher in search results because the CMS takes care of 80-90% of Google’s crawling issues.”

Besides this, WordPress’s customization capabilities and optimization plugins can also facilitate in-depth SEO.

WordPress Is Better for Ecommerce and International Traffic

WordPress also provides broader e-commerce functions and integrations. Although Squarespace does have a convenient built-in e-commerce function, it does have some limitations.

For one, Squarespace’s commerce function does not allow for multi-currency payments. It also does not support Google Pay, and automated tax rate conversion only applies in the US.

In contrast, WordPress has none of these issues and integrates with numerous dedicated e-commerce systems, including Shopify and Bigcommerce.

Besides this, WordPress is also better optimized for international traffic. Through translation plugins, you can make your site available in almost all languages of the world.

Squarespace is only fully translated into six languages and has far fewer localization options.

You Can Increase Your Site Speed With WordPress

Another valuable advantage you get when moving from Squarespace to WordPress is that you can increase your site speed through better managed WordPress hosting.

With Squarespace, you aren’t in control of your hosting. This means that you can only optimize onsite factors that affect load time, such as image sizes.

With WordPress, you have the option to choose a hosting provider that will supercharge your site.

According to findings from Google, site abandonment increases by 32% with every extra second of load time. Therefore, being able to increase site speed through premium hosting services is key.

How to Migrate Your Site From Squarespace to WordPress

As you can see, there are a number of reasons to migrate from Squarespace to WordPress.

If Squarespace’s capabilities can no longer keep up with your needs, it’s time to make the switch. Here are the steps involved in shifting your site from Squarespace to WordPress.

Step 1: Sign up for Hosting

The first step you’ll need to take when migrating from Squarespace to WordPress is to find a hosting provider.

We recommend that you take your time over this step, as there are numerous providers out there, and not all of them are created equal.

Ensure that the provider you choose can guarantee at least a 98% uptime rate and offers access to a good CDN. Also, make sure you vet for round-the-clock support and watertight security.

If you would like to know more about our hosting packages, you can check out our features and pricing here.

Once you have chosen a hosting provider, you may also need to transfer your domain to your web host. This only applies if your Squarespace site has its own domain name.

Step 2: Install WordPress

Next up, you will need to install WordPress on your site.

WordPress is famous for its 5-minute install, so this shouldn’t take too long. The process for installation will depend on your host.

However, with most hosting providers, you can do a one-click install from your hosting dashboard.

Step 3: Export Your Content From Squarespace

Once WordPress is installed, the next step is to transfer your blog from WordPress to Squarespace, as well as any other content.

Unfortunately, Squarespace’s export function is somewhat limited. Squarespace will only allow you to automatically export:

  • Your basic pages (which will become WordPress pages)
  • One blog page (this will appear as a WordPress blog page)
  • The blog posts under that one blog page
  • Text, embed, and image blocks
  • Your gallery pages

Here are the things Squarespace will not allow you to automatically export:

  • Product pages
  • Event pages
  • Album pages
  • Style changes and custom CSS
  • Video, audio, and product blocks
  • Folders and index pages
  • Secondary blog pages

Besides this, your Squarespace images also won’t be imported to WordPress. However, there is a workaround for this, which we’ll get to in a bit.

To export your content, navigate to Settings > Advanced > Import/ Export.

Once you are at the export settings, click Export.

After this, a popup will give you the option to export pages to WordPress or download a CSV file. Choose the first option.

Once the export is complete, click Download. The export file will now be on your computer.

Step 4: Import Your Content to WordPress

Now it’s time to learn how to import Squarespace to WordPress.

Start by logging in to your WordPress admin panel. Head to Tools > Import. From here, select the Install Now button below the WordPress option.

The reason you must select this option is that Squarespace exports your content in a WordPress compatible XML file.

WordPress will now install the importer for you. When this is done, you will need to click “Run Importer.”

Then click “Upload file and import.”

Once WordPress has uploaded and analyzed your file, it will display the import settings page. From here, click “Submit.”

Once this is done, you should be able to view your posts and content on your WordPress site.

Step 5: Import Your Images to WordPress

As your Squarespace images will not have imported, you will need to import them semi-manually.

One way to do this is by installing the Auto Upload Images plugin.

To trigger the image import process, you will need to edit all the posts and content containing images from your Squarespace site.

WordPress allows you to bulk edit, so this can be done fairly quickly. Head to Posts and click on Screen Options at the top right-hand side of the posts list.

Increase the number of items to 999 Numbers of items per page. Bulk select your posts, click Edit and then Apply.

After this, hit Update. WordPress will then update all your posts and automatically import your Squarespace images.

The last thing you’ll need to do is fix your internal links. As your permalinks will be different on WordPress, any internal linking you have done will take visitors to an error page.

Navigate to Settings > Permalinks. Here, select the link structure that best matches that of Squarespace, which is usually day and name.

Then run through the links and edit them by inserting /blog-1/ as a prefix to each link.

After this, you may still have some 404 errors, so it’s also best to also install a plugin that finds and fixes 404 errors for you.

Do You Need to Find Reliable and Powerful WordPress Hosting?

Thanks to WordPress’s enhanced capabilities, migrating from Squarespace to WordPress can be well worth the effort.

Remember, you will need somewhere to host your new WordPress site. Here at Pressable, we offer managed hosting that’s tailored to WordPress and created by the same minds behind WordPress.com and WooCommerce.

Our hosting yields outstanding website performance and speed, along with unrivaled security, round-the-clock support, and access to our industry-leading CDN.

Curious to know more? Schedule a demo today!

Zach Wiesman

Zach has 12+ years of experience with WordPress, from creating and maintaining client sites, to providing support and developing documentation. A knack for problem-solving and providing solutions led Zach to pursue a job with Automattic providing customer support in 2015 working with WooCommerce support, and now Zach has recently joined our team here at Pressable. Outside of work, Zach enjoys spending time with his family, playing and watching sports, and working on projects around the house.

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