How to Transition from Wordpress to Squarespace the Easy Way
I had a great Skype chat yesterday with a new client. She told me:
“I’ve never gotten my website to the point at which I really really like it and I’ve gotten fed up with it. I want something that reflects me and what I do but I can’t seem to make that happen with my Wordpress site.”
And this isn’t the first time I’ve heard something like this. In Facebook groups and online programs, I constantly hear these sorts of comments. Wordpress is a HUGE PITA (that’s pain in the ass).
But, the real reason that so many people choose to keep struggling with Wordpress is fear. Does this sound like you?
- You’re worried that you’ve already invested so much time + money into WP and don’t want to have to start over.
- You’re unsure if Squarespace as a platform can do everything that you need (spoiler alert: it can)
- You don’t know what to expect during the transition or even where to start
Do not fear my friend! I’m going to walk you through, step-by-step, on how to transition your Wordpress website over to Squarespace (including some things that you probably didn’t know).
No time to read this whole post right now? Grab a FREE checklist for transitioning from Wordpress to Squarespace.
Now on to the steps:
1. Export Wordpress website content.
- In your dashboard, under Tools, select “Export”.
- Choose to export “All Content” and click “Download Export File”.
- Then save this in a special place for later.
2. Transition your email to Google Apps for Work
If you're not already using Google to power your biz email, you'll want to get on this. It's only $5 per month and makes everything so much easier. (Heads up, this is now part of Google's "G-suite" product family but the price is the same).
3. Transfer your domain name to Google Domains
Trust me on this one. It's going to make your life so much easier later on. You can read more about it over here.
4. Choose a Squarespace template and set up your trial account.
There are many other templates out there that you’re welcome to take a look at. But I recommend these three because they’re the most extensible that I’ve worked with. If you want to choose a different template, that’s awesome! Make sure that you choose one that has the functionality that you’re looking for rather than going for aesthetics.
5. Import your Wordpress content into your Squarespace site.
- Once you’re logged into your Squarespace site, you’ll see a menu bar on the left that says, “Pages, Design...” Click on Settings.
- From there, find the section header that says “Website” and click the last link of that section, “Advanced”.
- In the Advanced Settings, about midway down, you’ll see “Import / Export”. Click that and then choose “Import” from the popup window.
- Skip the first screen (this is for people transferring from Wordpress.com, which is a totally different thing). Click the "Advanced" tab in the top right corner of the popup window.
- Click the file upload button, select your exported Wordpress file, and click "Begin Import".
6. Start with your essential pages
That would be your home, about, work with me, blog, and contact pages.
7. Make sure that each page has 1 primary call to action.
- On your home page, you’ll want to focus on getting people on your email list.
- On the about page, you’ll probably insert a button that links to your services.
- And on your Work With Me page, the button will be to “book your spot”.
- The key being that each page has no more than 1 primary focus for the user and that your button copy specifies an action or benefit for your user.
8. Keep your navigation simple.
- You don’t need a “Home” link in your nav because your logo links back to your homepage and users have come to expect that.
- You don’t need a “Start Here” page because your Home page IS your Start page.
- So your navigation should be something like this “About | Work With Me | Blog | Contact”.
- If you have a free email course or challenge that you’re promoting, that can also go in your top navigation.
- You should never have more than 7 links up there and NEVER use drop downs. They’re bad news for user experience. (While we’re on the topic of bad news, NEVER use sliders with text on them, because the data doesn’t lie).
9. Give your homepage a bold, unique selling proposition
This is also known as a value proposition or positioning statement. This should be your main headline in the “hero” section of your website (aka the banner section directly under your navigation).
10. Chunk your content.
People don’t read websites anymore, they skim websites. So you need to make sure you're segmenting your content into readable blocks with the most important points being headers or bold.
11. Give your brand graphics a makeover.
Since you’re already in transition mode from WP to SS, why not give your brand graphics a refresh? You can do this easily in Canva or Adobe Illustrator, whatever your software of choice is. And, if you’d like an easy-to-follow post on how to DIY a kickass logo, you can read that over here.
12. Remember to cover your bum
To cut through the overwhelm, I’ve distilled this into a neat little checklist for you to reference while transitioning from Wordpress to Squarespace.