Steps to recreate your Wordpress site on Squarespace, transfer your domain, and maintain your site’s SEO.
If you have a WordPress website and want to move it to Squarespace, follow this guide for help getting started. Using these steps ensures switching to Squarespace will be a seamless experience for your visitors. During this process, you’ll pick a template, import content, set up your new design, and move your domain.
If you have questions before you begin or during the process, you can always contact us for help.
Tip: For hands-on help migrating your site, hire a Squarespace Expert. Click Get Matched to answer a few questions about what you need, and ensure you select Site Migration as your project type.
When to cancel your old site
We recommend keeping your old site online with its current host until your new site is complete. This ensures your visitors have a live site to visit, and you can refer to your old content while you complete the transition. When you’re ready to make the switch, you can close your old site.
While working on your new Squarespace site, you can avoid having two live sites at once by keeping your in-progress site private. Create an Under Construction page or add a site password to prevent it appearing in search results. When your new site is complete, you can transfer or connect your domain to transition visitors over, then cancel service with your previous provider.
How switching affects SEO
Squarespace is well-regarded for our built-in search optimized design, with no need to install third-party plugins. However, switching content management systems can cause your site's search ranking to dip, at least at first. This is true no matter what platform you choose, Squarespace or otherwise.
However, by following these tips, you can reduce this effect on search results and potentially increase your search performance in the long run.
Step 1 - Start a trial
Every Squarespace site begins with a 14-day free trial. Trials include full access to Squarespace features and are a great way to decide if our platform meets your needs.
Note: You can extend your trial if needed.
Select a template
To start a trial, you’ll select a template. These designs use demo content to show key features and highlight different possibilities, but you can create a beautiful site for a small business, portfolio, restaurant, wedding, and more, no matter what design you choose as your starting point.
Step 2 - Get to know Squarespace
Before building your site, we recommend taking a moment to explore Squarespace and learn how the platform works.
If you have a specific question, you can search this Help Center to find guides on any Squarespace feature. For an overview, our Getting Started page links to popular guides.
Step 3 - Add your branding
To make your new site feel more like your own right away, complete these first steps:
- Add a site title
- Add a site logo if you have one
- Connect your social media accounts and display social icons
Step 4 - Import old content
You can import the following content from WordPress:
- Blog pages, blog posts, and authors
- Individual images
- Site pages
It isn't possible to import:
- Content from plugins
- Gallery images
- Image captions
- Images saved in your Media Library, but not attached to any posts or pages, won't import. We recommend downloading all images in your Media Library so you have them as a backup.
- Style or CSS. To customize your Squarespace site's design, use the Site styles panel.
Recreate content that won’t import
To recreate content you can't import, follow these tips:
- When copying and pasting text, remove text formatting to avoid importing stray HTML tags. These can interfere with your site's style settings.
- Format your images for display on the web so they look great on different screen sizes.
Step 5 - Add more content
You might want to keep your navigation menus, pages, and words as similar as possible to your old site, or you can take this move as an opportunity to refresh your content and structure.
In the Pages panel, you can use a variety of pages to create your site's content, ranging from multi-purpose layout pages to pages with specific functions, like blog pages. Here are the available page types:
- Page - Add a blank layout page to build your own page layout, or choose from pre-built page layouts.
- Blog - Create a blog and populate it with posts.
- Store - Create and sell products by connecting a payment processor and setting up Squarespace Commerce.
- Portfolio - Portfolio pages organize multiple sub-pages into unique layouts, great for showcasing different projects.
- Events - Add a calendar or list of events to your site.
- Folder - Create drop-down menus in your navigation.
- Link - Add additional links directly to your navigation.
Step 6 - Style your site
You can make style changes in the Site styles panel. Style changes are edits to the look of your site, like fonts, colors, backgrounds, spacing, and other specific elements.
These settings work with your site’s features and overall design to help you create a balanced, well-designed site.
Step 7 - Upgrade to paid service
Your 14-day free trial provides a chance to explore Squarespace and see if our platform will meet your needs. When you’ve explored the platform and decided to build your new site with Squarespace, you’ll want to upgrade to paid service.
You can keep your site private until the design is finished and you’re ready to add a domain.
Step 8 - Move your domain
After your site is built, you can complete your transition by moving or connecting a custom domain you already own.
Transfer your domain
You can transfer a custom domain registered with WordPress, or another provider, to Squarespace. This way, you can manage all aspects of your site from one service instead of two, and Squarespace can help with any issues with your domain directly.
If your domain doesn’t meet our transfer requirements, or if you have a complex registration setup, you can connect it instead.
Note: If you have a custom email address linked to your domain, before transferring your domain to Squarespace, we recommend contacting your current email provider to ensure that there won’t be any restrictions or issues by moving to Squarespace. We also recommend backing up any essential emails, contacts, or settings you may need.
Register a new domain
If you don't have a domain or want to register a new one, you can register a Squarespace domain. All Squarespace sites on an annual billing plan include one custom domain for a year. You can register more domains for $20 to $70 per year.
Step 9 - Set up 301 redirects (optional)
In some instances, Squarespace uses different URL formatting than WordPress. For example, the URL structure for individual blog posts is:
- WordPress: http://www.yourdomain.com/blog-post
- Squarespace: http://www.yourdomain.com/blog/blog-post
While your old site is still online, we recommend cataloging your site’s URL structure in a spreadsheet. Then, after your domain is connected, you can set up 301 redirects to forward visitors to your new site content. This prevents visitors from encountering 404 pages and may help preserve your site's search ranking.
Step 10 - Cancel service with WordPress
Squarespace provides website hosting and, if you transferred or registered a domain with us, domain hosting. After your Squarespace site is online, you've imported or recreated all essential content, and no longer need your old site, you can most likely cancel service with WordPress and any other hosts.
However, if you connected a domain that is still hosted by another provider (rather than transferring it), you'll need to maintain that domain subscription. If you're not sure, contact your previous provider to confirm what services you're paying for.
Is there a free version of Squarespace?
You can start every website with a free 14-day trial, but we don't offer a free version for ongoing sites.
Will my plugins work on Squarespace?
No, but our built-in features, including comment moderation, blocks, SEO-friendly site map, and SSL certificates, cover many popular plugins' functionality. For more customization, you can add third-party widgets through a code block.
Will I have to install new versions of Squarespace?
No. We always push updates automatically, and all content is supported for each update. There's no need to install new versions, and since we don't use plugins, there aren't issues with plugins breaking with an update.
Who will be my host when I move to Squarespace?
Squarespace is an all-in-one content management system (CMS) and domain host. All site content is hosted by Squarespace, and if you registered or transferred a domain with Squarespace, your domain is hosted by Squarespace as well. For more information, visit Web hosting vs. domain hosting.
If you connected, rather than transferred, a domain hosted by another provider, that provider will continue to be your domain host.
I can't find a design for my business.
Squarespace sites are flexible, so the template can be customized to create any number of site designs. We use demo content to show off key features, but starting with a design that uses restaurant demo content doesn't limit you to building a restaurant site.
Can I have a multiple people work on my site?
Yes. You can invite contributors to edit and manage your site. By setting different permissions, you can ensure your team has the level of access appropriate to their responsibilities.
Do I need to optimize my site for mobile?
No. We use built-in mobile styles to ensure your site looks great on any display size and have tools for previewing and customizing your mobile layout.
Can I remove "Made with Squarespace?"
Yes. This text is optional on every plan and template, and you’re welcome to remove it and replace it with other content.
Can I add code or CSS?
Squarespace helps you build a site without coding or design expertise. If you have coding knowledge and want to make custom changes, you can use code injection, CSS, and code blocks.
Please note, adding code to your site is an advanced modification that falls outside of the scope of Squarespace support. To learn more, visit Adding custom code to your site.
Can someone rebuild my site on Squarespace for me?
Yes. While Customer Support is available 24/7 to help you transition to Squarespace, you may decide that you need more extensive design or development help from a Squarespace Expert.
To learn more, visit Hiring a Squarespace Expert.
For more popular questions about moving to Squarespace, visit Getting started with your Squarespace website.