How to Migrate Your Wordpress Content to Squarespace

How to Migrate Your Wordpress Content to Squarespace
This step-by-step guide will walk you through transferring your website content from Wordpress to Squarespace.

Moving a website from one CMS (Content Management System) to another can be an intimidating task. Fortunately, in Squarespace it’s not nearly as difficult as it may appear at a first glance.

Step 1: Catalog What You’ve Got

Farther on in the process, you’ll need to have some fairly intimate knowledge of how your old Wordpress website was structured, so take a moment now to make a catalog of its architecture. Write down pages, sub-pages, and the URLs associated with them. If you’ve got blog posts, make a note of the pattern Wordpress has been using to give them addresses. Put it all in a spreadsheet or a Word document, and set it aside.

Step 2: Export Your Site from Wordpress

Go to your Dashboard by typing in your site’s address and adding “/admin.” You may be prompted to log in, if you aren’t already. Then, on the side bar, go to Tools>Export, select your settings, and click “Download.” If you’re not sure which settings to choose, “All content” is the safest choice.

The Export screen in Wordpress

Step 3: Import Your Site Into Squarespace

In the editing view of your new Squarespace site, go to Settings > Advanced > Import/Export and select the type of data you’d like to import when prompted (hint: it’s Standard Wordpress).

In the following window, click the “Advanced” tab and drag your old site’s export into the upload field.

The Import from Wordpress dialog

Squarespace will start compiling together all of your old site’s information. This will take a few minutes, so don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t go quickly.

Step 4: Slot Your Imported Pages into Your Site

Once the import is finished, navigate back to the “Pages” menu of your Squarespace site. The imported content is there, but greyed out, and down in the “Not Linked” section.

This is because Squarespace, by default, imports new content as “disabled,” meaning it isn’t accessible by outsiders, so that people can’t accidentally stumble into it before you’re done bringing it in. To turn the page on, hover over each page’s name and click on the gear icon that appears.

The unlinked, disabled imported content

This takes you to that page’s settings. Tick the box labeled “Enabled.”

Enabling via your page settings. For Step 5, notice the URL slug peeking up at the bottom there.

Now, you can drag the page out of the “Not Linked” section and into the “Main Navigation” section to add them to your navigation bar.

Step 5: Add 301 Redirects

Squarespace and Wordpress structure themselves a little differently, so occasionally the URL of an imported page will be different from what it was initially. Visit each of the new page’s settings and compare their “URL slug” with the record you made of the Wordpress site. Ignore the fact that your core domain name is different than the Wordpress one — in the next step we’ll be talking about how to move that core domain name over to Squarespace — and just focus on any differences in slugs.

To redirect users trying to access an outdated URL to the new address, go to Settings>Advanced>URL Mappings. In the text field, type in the old page’s slug, an arrow (made with a dash and a lesser-than symbol, like this: “->”), the new slug, and “301.”

It should look like this:

Some example 301 redirects

This is called a “301 redirect.” “301” means that this redirect is permanent, as opposed to “302 redirects,” which are only used temporarily, such as when a page is down for maintenance.

Once you’re finished, hit the arrow to go back.

Step 6: Transfer Your Domain

Finally, you need to edit your old domain name so it points at your new Squarespace site.

Here, you have two options. You can either “transfer” your domain — meaning Squarespace will assume control over it, and you can manage it using their tools — or you can “connect” it, meaning it stays with your current provider, and just points to the new web page.

The instructions will be slightly different depending on which you’d prefer and who your original provider is, but, luckily, Squarespace has a whole battery of guides you can follow for both transferring and connecting. If you need help, check them out.

And that’s it! You are now ready to begin using Squarespace.

What Moving to Squarespace Doesn’t Do

One disadvantage to transferring content from Wordpress to Squarespace is that your layout and theme don’t come with you. You’ll have to choose a new Squarespace theme and rebuild your layouts using Squarespace’s toolset. 

Fortunately, they offer a robust selection of both, making this is a far more manageable task than recreating all your content from scratch.

Further Reading


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