How to Move from WordPress to Squarespace: The Complete Guide

Having hesitations about making the change from WordPress to Squarespace? Follow your gut and go for it because we’ve got you covered with this step by step tutorial including how to import your content, transfer your domain, and setup redirects to keep all that precious SEO goodness you’ve worked so heard to establish.

Go ahead and grab a fresh cup of coffee, and then let’s get started.

1. Setup Squarespace

Go to Squarespace.com and click “Get Started” to begin setting up your new Squarespace site. It’s super simple to do – just follow the on screen prompts and you’ll have a basic site in a few minutes flat.

While you can transfer your WordPress content, you can’t transfer your design. No worries though, we’ve got you covered with our Squarekits (Squarespace Design Kits). They not only make your site dreamy but include video tutorials that show you the ins-and-outs of managing your own Squarespace website – it’s like a theme and a mini course all in one!

2. Import WordPress Content

After you’ve setup and logged in to your new Squarespace site, you can start transferring your content. From your Home menu go to Settings > Advanced > Import / Export > Import > WordPress.

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In the window that pops up, you’ll be presented with the basic WordPress importer that will ask for your WordPress login credentials. If your WordPress site doesn’t have a lot of content you can try importing your content here with the basic importer, however we suggest using the advanced importer – in our experience it provides a more reliable import process. Click on the Advanced tab to access the advanced WordPress importer.

In another window, open your WordPress site and from the dashboard go to Tools > Export. Under the export options, click Export. Select the content you want to export and click Download Export File to export the .xml file to your computer.

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On Squarespace, in your Advanced tab drag your .xml file into the XML Export Upload box and click Begin Import. A progress bar will open and a success message will appear once complete.

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3. Enable Imported Pages

Now that you’ve imported your content, you’ll need to enable your imported pages. Navigate back to Home Menu > Pages to manage your pages.

You’ll see your freshly imported pages under the Not Linked section in your menu. To enable them, hover over the page and click the gear icon then Enabled > Save. You can now drag these pages to your navigation menu and arrange them however you like.

4. Transfer Your Custom Domain to Squarespace

If you want to use the domain currently used on your WordPress site, you will need to access your host so you can map the domain to your Squarespace site. Go to Settings > Domains > Connect a Third-Party Domain. Enter your domain name, find your host provider and click Connect Domain. A new panel will open with records you need to enter in your host’s account – keep this panel open, you’ll need these records for the next step.

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You will need to add these records to your host’s DNS settings. Squarespace has tutorials for individual hosting providers like Bluehost, HostGator, Namecheap and more. From there, your domain should start redirecting within 24 hours. You can check its status in Settings > Domain. A red line indicates it hasn’t gone through, a yellow line if it’s almost finished, and a green line when it’s done.

5. Configure Content Redirects

Now you will want to make sure any of your old links redirect to your new site – this is important for so many reasons:

  1. You likely have lots of existing content online such as Pinterest pins, social media posts, and backlinks from other websites. It’s important that people can still find the content by clicking on those existing links.
  2. Just like human people, search engines have indexed your content at the existing urls. A redirect lets a search engine know that the content has moved, and where to find it.
  3. All of this also allows you to keep all that sweet sweet SEO link juice you’ve worked hard to build – don’t let it go to waste!

We’ll be creating what are called 301 redirects – these are permanent redirects, meaning the content has moved for good. You could also create temporary redirects called 302 redirects, but 301 redirects are better for this situation. 

In Squarespace, go to Settings > Advanced > URL Mappings to enter in your URL mappings. URL mapping looks like this:

/old-url -> /new-url 301

There are four parts to URL mapping:

  1. the old URL is the page that no longer exists
  2. the arrow (->)
  3. the new URL to the page you are redirecting too, and
  4. the redirect type (301 or 302)

While your pages will likely have the same URL, Squarespace URLs for blog posts are different than WordPress’. Your old WordPress url might look like this:

http://your-domain.com/super-awesome-blog-post

The equivalent Squarespace URL will look like this:

http://your-domain.com/blog/super-awesome-blog-post

Since your domain name is the same, you only need to include the post name. The URL remapping for this post would then become:

/super-awesome-blog-post -> /blog/super-awesome-blog-post 301

If you don’t redirect your posts, a visitor coming from Pinterest for example will land on your 404 error page instead of the content they are looking for – not good! Redirecting everything might be time consuming, so we recommend starting with your most popular posts, then working through the rest. Once you’re finished just click Save. You can find more info on URL mapping with Squarespace here.

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Ready to get started?

If you’re thinking of making the switch from WordPress to Squarespace, hopefully we’ve shown you that it’s really nothing to get stressed about. The all-in-one platform they provide, combined with their powerful drag and drop interface offers an incredibly flexible and user-friendly option for bloggers and business owners.

Don’t forget that while you can transfer your content from WordPress to Squarespace, you can’t transfer your design. If you’d like to find a new design, check out our Squarekits; they’ll give you that classic Station Seven look, optimized exclusively for Squarespace!

Are you thinking of making the switch from WordPress to Squarespace? Have you made the switch already? Share your experience in the comments below, and show off your new site!

Author: Alex Austin

Alex is Station Seven’s right-hand gal hailing from the friendly Midwest and now living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A strategizer at heart and social media wiz, Alex has a passion for engaging with creatives and empowering them to accomplish big things in biz and blogging. When she’s not busy being awesome online, Alex loves to spend time traveling, watching films at her local theater, and slow walks around her neighborhood. She’s also a talented creative herself and the maker behind Midland Candle Co.!

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    • No problem! You can setup a new domain with Squarespace when signing up with them or create a different domain with your current host. The nice thing about setting up a domain with Squarespace is that your hosting, website, and domain are all in one spot! :)

  • When I redirect my links to keep my pinterest images working, do I have to keep hosting for WordPress? Will the redirect work even if Im not paying to host the wordpress site? Thanks!

    • Great question, Brandi! As long as you are using the same domain, you do not have to keep paying for your hosting to have the links redirected. BUT! You’ll still need to pay for your domain name which may (or may not) be through your old hosting provider. So to summarize what you need to keep paying for – hosting no, domain yes. Hope that helps!

  • Hi. Thanks for a helpful article. I wondered how do I redirect links from my old site to my new site once I move my domain name from WordPress to Squarespace? Wouldn’t my WordPress site be gone and I would not have access to my content any longer to get the links? You suggest moving more important posts first, but again, how do I access my old site if the domain is moved to Squarespace? Thanks for your time, I look forward to your response.

    • Hi Zia, I’m glad you found the article helpful! Check out the section in the post about URL Mappings, this shows you everything you need to know about redirects. You’ll want to set up your redirects and finish the migration before you take down your old WordPress site or cancel any hosting plans you have.

      If you’re worried about being able to find the old urls, you can begin drafting your redirects while the old site is live, then copy/pasting the list into Squarespace once you’re ready to make the switch. Hope that helps!

  • This is so helpful! Thank you. Question though – do you know what this means for google analytics and the code that was inputted when collecting data from wordpress site? Is this still captured under redirects or does one have to change their analytics data? Thanks