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Everything you need to know about migrating from Wix or Squarespace to WordPress

If you’ve thinking of hiring me for a Rise or Soar project, whilst I know you’re already excited about your new website, if the tech side of things and the transition from either WIX or Squarespace is instantly giving you the heebie geebies, this post is for you.

I’ve been working in the world of web tech for over 16 years, so it goes without saying I know my stuff. The main thing I promise you is that I will never patronise you or make you feel like a silly goose. No question is “stupid” and no you’re definitely not an idiot for having no clue where your domain is registered, or even what a domain is.

By the end of working with me, you’ll not only have an incredible website but your accounts will be streamlined and organised. You’ll know exactly where everything is and have access to all of your accounts.

Ok, first. Let’s go through the process together, I promise it’s not as scary is it seems.

Why I choose WordPress

WordPress offers unparalleled flexibility, an abundance of plugins, and limitless customisation options, ensuring your website evolves seamlessly to meet your needs. It also means I’m not limited in anyway and can build the website of your dreams. No “we can’t do this because the platform restricts it” and more “yes” “absolutely” and “of course!”.

If you have been put off WordPress in the past as you’ve heard it’s one of the those platforms which is really complicated to use, I’m here to tell you it’s not. Whilst it may take you a little time to get used it, like any new tech, you will find editing your website a breeze. You won’t need to know any coding knowledge and I’ll also be providing you with a tonne of easy to follow video tutorials. It’s a win win for both of us.

I know a lot of Website Designers limit their client access, I don’t. I believe in you having full control over every element of your website and the power to update your site whenever you have time.

Onto the tech side of things; your domains + emails.

Rest assured, I’ve got the technical side of things covered. From mapping out a smooth migration timeline, to handling your move from one platform to the other, you can trust that the process will be seamless.

If you don’t already, you’re going to need a WordPress Host. My preferred and go-to host is Siteground but I’ll provide you with at least three options, pricing and an overview of the packages they provide.

I’ll be here to help you set up the account and will handle the full setup of WordPress for you.

If you have a custom domain with Wix or Squarespace, I’ll be on hand to help you migrate this to the Host of your choice.

Your email services may experience a brief disruption during migration. I’ll help you navigate this by guiding you through the process of updating email settings. Additionally, we can explore third-party email hosting services for added stability and control.

If you’re using Google Workspace for your emails, you’ll see a smooth transition and I’ll guide you through the process of migrating this away from your Wix or Squarespace account.

How the process actually works

It’s not a magical mystery tour but, fair warning, you might find it a little dull. The TL;DR version? I’ve got you.

Step 1 – Migrating the website

Once your new website is ready to go live, I migrate this from my server to yours, usually on to a temporary domain. This means the new website files are on your server and ready to shine. For an average website, this takes under an hour to complete but for larger sites, it can take a few hours.

I handle this full process, there’s nothing you need to do at this stage.

Step 2 – Update your domain settings

Your domain settings are updated to point to your new WordPress hosting. By updating your domain settings before moving to your new Host, there is minimal downtime.

Again, this is something I will action for you however, this is the stage of the process where I don’t have control over the timeline. Usually domain settings are updated within 1-2 hours, other times it can be 72+ hours. Don’t worry though, I will have accounted for this in your timeline and be monitoring the process closely.

It’s also the stage we’ll need to update your email settings where applicable.

This step isn’t applicable if:

1. You already have a WordPress website and we’re staying with your existing Host.
2. You are completely new business or your changing your brand name, and therefore have a new domain ready to go

Step 3 – Transfer your domain

If your domain is registered with Wix or Squarespace, it’s best to move this to a new Registrar, usually to the same as your WordPress host. To do this, we’ll put in a transfer request with Wix or Squarespace.

The transfer request will require a confirmation from you; sometimes via a link in an email, other times via verification code. It’s nothing complicated though, I promise.

Once the domain transfer request has been complete, we then sit and wait patiently for Wix or Squarespace to release the domain. This can take up 72 hours too, but it’s usually quicker. I’ll be constant contact with you to keep you updated on the transfer process.

Step 4 – House keeping and launch

Once the domain has moved over, it’s time to get excited. We’ll update your email settings, if required, and a holding page will go live on the domain. If you previously had a website, it’s important we only keep the holding page up for a short amount of time to avoid any impact to your SEO.

Before we can go live, there is a little housekeeping to do; proofing the website, testing out forms or sign-ups and, if you’ve asked for it to be included, authorising your Instagram account. We’ll run through these together and then, celebrate and get your lovely new site launched!

And that, is it! See, I told you nothing scary.

A few things you may want to do…

Take backups & screenshots of your old website

I always recommend taking a backup of your old website before we launch. Whilst it’s unlikely, you may want to get old content from the site in the future

For screenshots, it’s fun to look back on these in a few years time to see how far you’ve come. I still have the screenshots from my first ever website in 2009!

Back up your emails

Before any big domain setting changes, backing up your emails is a non-negotiable. I’ll guide you on how to do this.

SEO Impact

I understand the importance of maintaining or improving your SEO rankings. Whilst SEO isn’t my area of expertise, there will be best practices I follow to help ensure that your website’s visibility remains strong post-migration.

This includes ensuring old URLs are redirected, an XML Sitemap is submitted to Google and key SEO features are added to the website.

If you have existing SEO information which needs to be migrated, for example meta titles/descriptions, you can add-on the transfer of these to your booking with me. It’s not something I include as standard as most often my clients are don’t have any existing SEO or we’re working with an SEO pro during the development. Your bundle with me can be really tailored to your specific needs.

For more in depth SEO support, I’ll be happy to recommend a tried & tested SEO professional for your industry.

To wrap up

Switching from Wix or Squarespace to WordPress may seem like a complex undertaking, but with my guidance, this evolution becomes a smooth and exciting process. Ready to elevate your online presence; discover my website packages here.

Becky x
Welcome to the BLD Blog

Hello! I’m Becky. A brand identity & website designer for passionate & ambitious small businesses. This little corner of my website is dedicated to sharing the 15 years of experience I have with brands, websites and of course running a small business.

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