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Moving from WordPress to Squarespace

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.

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. Once 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 need to select a template. Our templates use demo content to show key features and highlight different possibilities, but every template is versatile enough to create a beautiful site for a small business, portfolio, restaurant, wedding, and more. You can switch templates at any time.

Step 2 - Get to know Squarespace

Before building your site, we recommend taking a moment to explore Squarespace and learn how the platform works.

You can watch our Getting Started video series for an overview on creating a site. If you prefer written answers, our Getting Started page links to popular guides. And if you have a specific question, you can search this Knowledge Base to find guides on any Squarespace feature.

Step 3 - Add your branding

To make your new site feel more like your own right away, complete these first steps:

  1. Add a site title
  2. Add a site logo if you have one
  3. Connect your social media accounts and display social icons

Step 4 - Import old content

You can import the following content from WordPress:

  • Posts and their authors
  • Pages
  • Images
  • Comments
  • Attachments
  • Categories and tags

It isn't possible to import:

  • Image captions
  • Content from plugins
  • Any style or CSS you applied to your WordPress site. To customize your Squarespace site's design, select a template and edit it using the Style Editor.

Recreate content that won’t import

To recreate content you can't import, follow these tips:

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 Regular Pages to pages with specific functions, like Gallery Pages. Here are the available page types:

Step 6 - Style your site

You can make style changes using the Style Editor. Style changes are edits to the look of your site, like fonts, colors, backgrounds, and spacing.

Each template's Style Editor has different options. These work with the template’s features and overall design to help you create a balanced, well-designed site. You can search this Knowledge Base to find a guide on your template’s specific Style Editor settings.

Note: To use fonts from your previous site unavailable through Squarespace, add custom fonts with Typekit.

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. Once 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

Once 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, once 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. Once 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.

FAQ

Does Squarespace offer a free version?

Squarespace offers 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 moderationblocks, 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 template for my business.

Squarespace templates are flexible, so each template can be customized to create any number of site designs. We use demo content to show off key features, but a template with restaurant demo content isn't limited to restaurant sites.

Visit any template in our templates store to see the diversity of real customer sites built using a single template.

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. There's no need to design a mobile-specific version of your site.

Can I remove "Powered by 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. For experienced developers, we offer the Developer Platform, providing access to the underlying code of your site's template.

Please note, adding code to your site is an advanced modification that falls outside of the scope of Squarespace support. To learn more, visit Custom Code FAQ.

More answers

For more popular questions about moving to Squarespace, visit Starting with Squarespace FAQ.

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Moving from WordPress to Squarespace