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How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

How to Move From Squarespace to WordPress

Squarespace provides an easy-to-use website builder. There are some templates and drag and drop functions, but Squarespace isn’t anything special at the end of the day. Sooner or later, many users see the limitations and conclude that they’re better off moving away. If you’re looking to move from Squarespace, there are some essential things to consider. The move tends to be over to the more flexible WordPress.

 

Why is WordPress Better Than Squarespace?

WordPress is much more dynamic. Squarespace puts you in a box, and all sites are basically the same. With WordPress, the possibilities are endless. Using the right developer, you can create the perfect website designed to your specific standards instead of someone else’s. The intricate capabilities of WordPress are invaluable to a company trying to define an online presence. Squarespace limits your options to the point you can become frustrated over what should be simple features. 

The move from Squarespace to WordPress opens up a vast array of opportunities to improve your brand and increase your traffic. The only question is, why haven’t you already moved over?

 

Export Content

Of course, you already have content on Squarespace, and starting from scratch is not an option. The good news is that you can export much of your information automatically. You can easily export your blog posts and pages. Unfortunately, you can’t export everything so easily. 

Squarespace won’t let you export:

-Album pages, indexes, product, or events
-Blocks like audio or product
-Custom CSS
-Style changes
-Squarespace template

Even so, the bulk of your content can be uploaded onto your new site reasonably smoothly. Luckily, the aspects of the information you can’t bring from Squarespace is replicable in WordPress, and again, working with a design and development team will help a lot. 

To Export

  1. Log in to Squarespace and go to the “Settings” option on the left-hand side of the screen for whichever site you want to export (if you have multiple sites).
  2. Scroll down to “Advanced,” and from there, select “Export.” You’ll be asked for the export site, so be sure to choose WordPress if there are multiple options.
  3. Wait for a pop-up letting you download the information. *If you have multiple blog pages, you’ll need to choose which one to export before proceeding. 

 

Point Domain to New WordPress Install

If you purchased a domain, you’ll probably want to carry it over to your new WordPress site. The task isn’t difficult. You’ll need to change your domain’s nameservers to point to WordPress instead of Squarespace. 

The only word of caution may be to make sure you’re ready to make the switch ultimately. You can work with your WordPress host to set up a WordPress staging site. This way, you can handle any Squarespace traffic while waiting on the work to be finished for your full website. 

Remember to go to your domain registrar to change the settings too. Once you have your site built and domain pointed to WordPress, you’ll ultimately be ready to move from Squarespace.

 

Import Content to WordPress

Now that you have your .xml file, it’s time to import. 

  1. Head over to your WordPress dashboard and find the Tools menu. 
  2. When you click on Tools, you’ll see the import option below.
  3. Click import next and find WordPress at the bottom of the list, and then click Install Now.
  4. The link will change from Install Now to Run Importer.
  5. From here, choose the .xml file to import, and click the upload file and import. This step will get the upload process started. 
  6. The next page you come to will offer to create a new user for this upload, but your best bet is to select a current user from the dropdown list.
  7.  Check the import attachments box and submit!

 

The last step is to make sure your content is uploaded correctly. Check your pages and posts to ensure everything is where it’s supposed to be, and it looks good. If not, you may need to make changes page by page, or you can start the process over to try again.

 

Import Images to WordPress

We discussed at the beginning that not everything shares over flawlessly. You’ll notice some or all of your images when you move from Squarespace did not load. You have a couple of options to add them back in. First, you can go one page at a time and upload each image one by one. That method can be a little tedious, though. Luckily, there are plugins available to help with the task. 

Plugins like Auto Upload Images will find URLs in your post and automatically upload the image files to your WordPress media database. Rather than going page by page, the plugin will let you mass select posts and pages and then do a bulk action to update all of your pages. 

  1. Go to your “Posts” page in WordPress
  2. Select all of the posts you need to update
  3. Use the bulk action dropdown and click Edit and then apply
  4. A new window will appear, but you won’t need to make changes. Just click Update.
  5. All the images from your Squarespace pages should now be showing up on your WordPress pages.

 

Configure Permalinks

Permalinks are how traffic finds your website. When you posted something on Squarespace, you received a permalink resembling something like https://example.com/blog-post-title. WordPress can mimic that or other types of dynamic permalinks through a quick setting change.

  1. Go to the Settings in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click Permalinks to open the menu
  3. Select the Date and Name option since it’s the most commonly used.
  4. Use the custom structure to recreate something close to the Squarespace link. Since theirs is usually a date-page-post, you can create a custom structure using a dynamic link. For example .com/%year%/%month%/%day%/blog/%post%
  5. Hit save changes to lock everything in place.

 

Recreate the Template in Divi

You can’t take your Squarespace template with you, and most people don’t particularly want to. However, if you’re in love with the look, you’ll be able to recreate it with Divi. Divi’s page builder option gives you a vast amount of possibilities to effortlessly insert rows, sections, columns, text, blocks, etc. Creating the look and feel flows smoothly, and Divi offers excellent customer experience to help. 

The Divi builder makes it easy to take your current content and build it into the same type of template you had or if you prefer, a brand new look. You have options like custom CSS, responsive editing, and simple drag and drop tools, among others. If you’re not ready to build from scratch, Divi also has an immense library of pre-created options. 

 

Leaving Squarespace

The move from Squarespace is inevitable for a lot of people. The system can be clunky, limiting, and expensive for what you actually get. WordPress provides a much better opportunity to make something with more flexibility that better represents your brand and lets you grow. The change can be difficult, though. Despite the step-by-step instructions above, your site and user experience can get lost in the shuffle. 

Professional firms like WPClover are here specifically to help you make your WordPress site precisely the way you want it instead of how someone else wants it. We’d love to talk more with you about how working with us can save you time and money, not to mention all of the perks that go along with a WordPress website. Reach out, and let’s get started!

 

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Squarespace Alternative: Shamrck Redefines Service

Squarespace Alternative: Shamrck Redefines Service

Squarespace Alternative: Shamrck Redefines Service

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More and more business owners are turning to all-in-one website building services like Squarespace and Wix, but the convenience of a plug and play website comes at a cost. Simple website creation tools make launching an online presence as easy as picking a layout. Customers can browse the database of (as advertised) beautiful templates, purchase the one that they want, and fill their site with content.

Or so it would seem.

Squarespace, in particular, prides itself on providing “beautiful” site templates and layouts. To be fair, they deliver. Their websites look sleek and give an impression of a high dollar development firm. Not unlike other site creation services, Squarespace has options for customizing layouts, adding content, and even creating an eCommerce space. Unlike other services, there is no free option for a website. Plans start at $12/month to cover the most basic needs.

The problems begin when users try to dig deeper. The front-end features of the system look great, and Squarespace offers excellent customer support. However, the back-end management of the site is much more difficult. The interface is clunky for anyone who doesn’t know how to code or develop. Small things like Google Analytics or Facebook redirects are hard to get to in the advanced settings. Since many businesses rely on automation and third parties, Squarespace’s inability to easily integrate other services is a significant pitfall.

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You get what you pay for

Squarespace doesn’t offer a free version for website creation. Each plan is limited to one website, and some of the lower tiers put a cap on how many pages a user can have. The service is not built for websites with a deep hierarchy map, so more expansive sites will have issues. The company tries to market to both owners with no website experience and those who want some control over the development aspect. Unfortunately, there is some give and take.

For business owners who know nothing about coding or developing, trying to load or edit content can be difficult. Squarespace has excellent customer service, but learning the system can still be frustrating. Helpful tools like Analytics and SEO functions are limited, and integrating other extensions and applications usually requires someone familiar with coding. Using Shamrck as a Squarespace alternative lessens the amount of time and work that goes into integrating these tools.

For site owners with more experience with development, the back-end management is awkward and a little bit touchy. The code injection function in the advanced area lets you customize certain aspects, but it’s not easy and can be time-consuming. Just like with any other coding or development, improper codes can throw the website out of whack, which defeats the purpose of an easy-to-use creation service.

 

Shamrck versus Squarespace

Shamrck also offers options for different layouts. Rather than settling for what’s already there, we will customize the look and feel to fit your brand, which also bleeds over into the development side. The drag and drop options offered by Squarespace are functional but not flexible. Your website not only looks how you want it but also it functions precisely how you imagined.

How?

Our team works directly with you to take your initial idea and turn it into the exact website you wanted. There are no automated services or the anonymity of generic customer service lines. You work directly with our team. Squarespace gives you the option to add advanced tools like analytics and redirects, but we take care of all of those advanced steps during the creation.

The most crucial differences come from our ability to manage your live website. The back-end interface on Squarespace can be challenging to navigate, but with a managed WordPress solution, you never have to worry about making functional changes. Shamrck builds your website in WordPress, making it extremely quick and painless to make extensive changes when needed. You only need to tell us what changes to make. Businesses grow, and you need a website that scales with you.

Squarespace has an impressive out-of-the-box hosting service that’s available in the monthly cost. They handle site security, and page speeds start high. They have redundancies in place in case of a server breakdown, but websites are generally “just a number” when it comes to hosting and security. Shamrck uses cloud hosting for protection and to guarantee fast page speeds. We also run daily site tests on your to scan for potential security threats or other issues.

 

Ecommerce and other tools

Squarespace boasts several templates and plans to help with eCommerce specific websites. Depending on the plan, customers may have a limit on how many items they can list and can pay a 3% transaction fee back to the company. Shamrck offers excellent resources for eCommerce sites. The extensive amount of available plugins and our ability to custom build tools means more involved eCommerce and WooCommerce customers have everything they need to succeed.

An overlooked, but a valuable resource for any business is the ability to integrate several services. Squarespace does not offer much in the way of simple integrations. Trying to use a third-party integration can require hiring a developer to inject the integration code. Shamrck specializes in helping facilitate integrations with helpful services like Zapier. These third-party services save time and money, helping you focus on your business instead of tinkering with your website.

Summary

Squarespace lives up to the advertisement that it offers convenient creation service with beautifully made templates. However, the resources and tools begin to fall off sharply. Using a Squarespace alternative like managed WordPress solution like Shamrck, website creation and beautiful layouts are merely the beginning. Collaborative design, custom development, constant monitoring, and seamless integrations add up to a stress-free, hands-off website you can launch with confidence.

We would love to talk more with you about the differences in a generic website creation tool versus a WordPress solution. Reach out today, and we can start right away.

 

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