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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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3 Reasons Slow Page Speeds are Killing Your Website

3 Reasons Slow Page Speeds are Killing Your Website

3 Reasons Slow Page Speeds are Killing Your Website

 

Page speed is one of the most overlooked aspects of SEO. Slow page speeds lead to higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. The user experience tanks before visitors get a chance to browse, costing you repeat traffic and potential sales.

Page speed is also a part of how Google ranks your website. Slow speeds can hurt your SERP despite how fantastic your site might be. Great content and innovative products are useless if no one can find you!

Briefly explained, page speed refers to the length of time it takes your website to load webpages. Articles, blog posts, product pages, and all other pages log speeds, and fast load times can benefit (or hinder) their performance. If your pages are not loading quickly, consider getting a site health check. The tool will help gauge your current speeds, but more importantly, it will help give you ways to improve your website.

Why is it such a big deal? Here are three reasons slow page speeds are killing your website.

 

1. The pages won’t show up on search queries.

 

Page load times aren’t a new qualifier for page rankings, but in 2018, Google announced the factor would have a more substantial impact on mobile rankings. We focus on mobile in particular because the majority of traffic is coming via mobile devices. In 2018, according to a study by Perficient Digital, 58% of visits to websites were from a mobile device. The majority of those visits come via search queries.

The lesson is that page rankings for desktop and on mobile are weighting page speeds more heavily than ever. Despite better content, your website may drop below competitors’ pages based on nothing more than load times. As we all know, more than 90% of clicks from a search come from the first page. If you fall below that, your website starts to become invisible.

 

2. Visitors are the worst critics of slow page speeds.

 

The most reliable critique of your website isn’t Google’s scoring algorithm. It comes from your traffic. We measure success in clicks and bounce rates. We want to know how many people are visiting our websites. How long are they staying on the site? Are they visiting multiple pages? Page speed plays a vital role in getting definite answers to these questions.

The bounce rate is when someone visits one page and immediately leaves a website. We use traffic analytics to track bounces and make sure our pages are performing well. High bounce rates are a visible red flag for administrators and content managers. Not only are people leaving the site quickly, but we also don’t know why.

The problem may be the page design, or they may not like the content. They may give up on the website if the page loads too slowly. There are several causes, and we can’t tell by only looking at numbers. We have to test different changes to the page to see what works.

Luckily, if it’s the page speed, we can find out with a simple test, and take steps to fix the issues. However, we’ll get to that later.

3. Web traffic is very impatient.

The main reason slow page speeds are such a killer is the fact that web traffic is very impatient. When we search for information, we expect to see it immediately. Providers measure WiFi speeds in megabits per second. For reference, a megabit is one million bits (a unit of data). Most carriers provide anywhere from 15Mbps to one Gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second. If that sounds like a lot of information, it is. Wireless providers like Verizon’s LTE regularly provide from 2-15 Mbps meaning download speeds are incredibly fast on mobile carriers.

This availability of blisteringly quick speeds only makes our standards as users higher. If a website can get 15 million bits of digital information to us in one second, we have high expectations. If not, we get bored or frustrated and leave. This exit can happen in four seconds or less. The industry threshold for eCommerce sites is less than two seconds.

According to a Nielsen Family study, websites have between seven and nine seconds to make an excellent first impression. If we can’t grab their attention in seven seconds, they’ll likely visit another site. Imagine now that they spend four of those seven seconds waiting for the page to load. It’s essential time we can’t waste.

The proof that slow page speeds drive away traffic is right there in the math. You only have seven seconds. Make them count!

How to improve

If it turns out that slow page speeds are the cause of your high bounce rates, fear not! There are resources to help fix that. Start by getting a health check to see where the problem areas are. Lead by shrinking or eliminating images. Use a cache, which saves data for future reference. In other words, the website won’t have to load from scratch each time the same person visits the page. Work with a development specialist to find different ways to help your site perform better, and stop losing traffic due to slow speeds!

Slow page speeds are painful. They hurt your page rankings with search engines making your website harder to find, and they cause high bounce rates meaning people won’t stick around for the rest of your content. They drive away impatient traffic that doesn’t want to wait the four extra seconds for a page to load.

Making an effort and correcting some small issues can have a significant impact on website traffic. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert developer to make these improvements, but it never hurts to ask for help. Get a page speed check, and use it to help find the problems you need to solve.

 

When you’re ready to get started improving your slow page speeds, schedule a meeting with our WordPress experts, and we’ll help you get it done!

 

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3 Reasons WordPress is Best for Businesses

3 Reasons WordPress is Best for Businesses

3 Reasons WordPress is Best for Businesses

Launched in 2003, WordPress is a content management system allowing users to build and edit websites. It now powers approximately 35% of all sites on the Internet. For perspective, there are about 1.3 Billion (yes, with a B) websites as of January 2020. Only 50% of those websites use any type of content management system, making WordPress the most dominant CMS for creating and managing sites. The system’s tools and resources are why WordPress is best for businesses. 

Building a website is a daunting task. Content management systems like WordPress let users create a website with little to no understanding of web development. The software runs on plugins powering every detail of the site down to the pop-up that asks for your email address. Since WordPress started as a place for bloggers to host content, it needed to be accessible and straightforward. Businesses caught on quickly because the system made the daunting task of creating a new website much more manageable. 

More importantly, building a website on a WordPress template meant less labor time and lower upfront costs. Over time, WordPress.org began offering free site templates to make getting online even easier for everyone. Today there are many website builders and content management systems to choose from, but here are three reasons WordPress is best for businesses.

 

Flexibility

WordPress comes with an abundance of built-in tools. There are thousands of templates that allow businesses to find a look that suits their brand. The simplicity enables a user to create a personalized look and feel within a few minutes of signing up. Many templates even offer guides or suggestions for where to put content or how to arrange the site.

From there, companies can choose plugins to power the functionality of the site. Plugins are nothing more than pieces of software that add new features or functions to the website. Some plugins are simple and offer basic services like contact forms so customers can reach you. Others are much more complex to fit analysis and marketing needs. 

For example, Formidable Forms is a WordPress form creation tool. Users can create data collection forms for nearly any purpose. The plugin is simple enough to use one-click, drag-and-drop features and build straightforward contact information forms. However, the software becomes more and more complicated, depending on the company’s needs. Not everyone needs forms with conditional logic or dynamic prefilled fields, but those features are present regardless. 

While the example above is an oversimplification, the plugin catalog contains tens of thousands of plugins offering businesses the flexibility to build the perfect website.

 

Support

Like with any software, there will be issues. Some things will glitch, or integrations won’t work as they should. Sometimes you feel like you did everything right, but your website isn’t working correctly. It happens! WordPress.org has an excellent support setup, but many companies turn to WordPress management firms to handle support. 

Managed WordPress hosting and development firms like Shamrck handle every aspect of designing, building, and maintaining a website, which includes support. WordPress provides tools to help troubleshoot problems, but not everyone is tech-savvy enough to handle a complex issue. For a company with a complicated website, trying to troubleshoot on your own can make things worse. Website management firms help fix and improve sites based on user needs and requests. They can provide support without demanding too much of your time.

Luckily, the WordPress CMS has been around long enough for there to be plenty of other support options. Books, articles, and videos are all readily available to everyone, and support companies allow businesses to submit specific problems to fix. WordPress is one of the few software services with sufficient available support. 

 

Integration

Finally, WordPress has an unbeatable number of integrations with other software. Remember, WordPress powers 35 % of all websites worldwide. Any service software not trying to build a plugin to integrate their software is missing an incredibly vast audience.

Why does this matter to a business?

Just having a website isn’t enough for today’s businesses. Companies need ways to engage customers. Plugins that create pop-up forms to collect data are fantastic, but what comes next? WordPress integrations let a business connect an email service to a project management software to an internal communication platform. A potential customer can fill out a request for more information. Through seamless integrations, the prospect immediately receives an automated email, their contact information goes into your database, and a message goes out to your whole team, notifying you of a new prospect. Everything happens instantly.

WordPress integrations open a new world of functionality. During the rise of WordPress, connecting various aspects of your marketing, sales, and productivity was crushingly time-consuming. As more SaaS products became available, they began integrating more with the system. WordPress became a more powerful force for businesses to automate as much work as possible and become streamlined like never before.

 

Why WordPress is Best for Businesses

Despite the plethora of site-building options available, only WordPress combines the high-level simplicity of one-click creation tools with the depth of the ability to build custom plugins to fit specific needs. The system is more flexible than any other CMS in the world, but it wouldn’t be nearly as successful without the level of available support. From a photographer trying to show off a portfolio to the largest Fortune 500 companies, WordPress fits every necessity.

WordPress is best for businesses small and large because the system opens up customizability to every facet of a website. Companies can create interactive tools alongside in-depth sales funnels to engage customers and close sales, all without a single call or email. In short, WordPress works for businesses so that businesses don’t have to work to figure out how to build the perfect website.

 

Shamrck has years of experience with WordPress development and management. We’d love to talk more with you about your needs. Schedule some time to learn more and take the first step toward the perfect website. 

 

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Launch a Tech Startup Without Being Tech-Savvy

Launch a Tech Startup Without Being Tech-Savvy

Launch a Tech Startup Without Being Tech-Savvy

Have an idea for the newest and greatest tech company, but you don’t know how to launch one? You’re not alone. Problem solvers everywhere share the same issue, not being tech-savvy. The tech industry is still growing at an incredibly rapid pace, and even “experts” are continuously falling behind. Luckily, tech-savviness isn’t a necessity to start a tech company. 

Your first goal should always be to define the problem you want to solve. Maybe you found a unique way to manage money, or see an opportunity in workshop management. How are you going to implement your solution? Who is your target market, and where do you see your startup in five years? 

Think big!

Non-techie founders need help from others who think big too. You don’t have to be a coder to know a tech startup requires intense online planning, building, and, most importantly, effort. There are hurdles to starting any business, but trying to start one outside your wheelhouse is daunting. 

Here are a few pieces of advice for launching a tech startup without being very tech-savvy.

Partner Up

You need help. You’ll need partners to handle turning your idea into a reality. As the saying goes, “you’re the brains, and they’re the brawn.” That sentiment becomes more prevalent as you dive deeper into your business plan, and you’ll notice your solutions are strategic and conceptual. It would help if you had someone to turn a concept into a product. 

Partnering up is a somewhat scary task since you are trusting your entire business idea to another person or group. How do you take your hands off your project like that?! It’s hard to give up control, especially to someone you don’t know yet.

Start with research. Understand how your needs and personality will match up with a partner. Maintaining creative control over your product is the top priority, but you need to understand not all of your concepts may be realistic. Try to find a partner that you can learn from and compromise with; otherwise, you might clash too much and not end up with the final product you want.

Learn

No, you don’t need to be an expert developer to launch a tech startup, but having some knowledge of the field helps immensely. You’re partnering with expert developers or development firms to do the heavy lifting, but take time to learn more about what they do. 

Look for courses to help teach yourself. Services like CodeAcademy offer courses, practice systems, and support to help you learn. You’ll see various coding languages and course guides to help you go in the right direction. CodeAcademy is one of the most popular because the basic courses are all free. There are tiered plans that include other helpful applications at a reasonable price.

Understanding what it takes to build a website or an application gives you an insight into how difficult the tech industry is. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what you want your product to do versus other businesses in your space. Most importantly, giving yourself more tech-savvy will help you collaborate better with your team. 

Use WordPress for your website

WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. It powers 35% of all websites worldwide. Considering there are roughly 1.75 billion websites, and only half of them use content management systems, WordPress has a staggeringly huge piece of the pie. 

The main reason you should take the WordPress route is the built-in framework. WordPress does most of the essential building of your website for you and mostly operates using plugins to change displays and functionality. The least tech-savvy person on the planet can be up and running with a simple WordPress site in a day. 

For you, WordPress offers a unique opportunity. You can almost completely bypass the need for partnerships by learning to build your website. This way, your team collaboration can focus exclusively on the nuts and bolts of turning your idea into reality.

While WordPress is an intuitive system, we don’t want to give off the impression that building a professional-grade, functional website is simple. Again, you can refer to online courses for help. WordPress support is beneficial, and there are endless articles and posts with best practices for every skill level. 

Make a checklist

We really, really appreciate the need for a substantial pre-launch checklist. You can download our comprehensive website pre-launch list Here(Insert Link). Launching a tech startup is stressful, so creating a roadmap helps alleviate some of that stress. Since you’re working with a partner or a firm, a checklist can be a great way to measure benchmarks as you build. 

Checklists can also help make sure you don’t miss the little things. Help yourself map out marketing campaigns, build security processes, and make sure legal aspects are covered. The last thing you need is an oversight that could potentially sink your company’s chances of success.

Launch it

You had a great idea. Tech startups have been solving problems for decades, and now you can add your name to the list of innovators. You knew your strengths and weaknesses and built a company around them. Through partnerships, education, planning, and a lot of hard work, you’re ready to launch a tech startup despite having little to no tech-savvy. 

Always remember the work doesn’t end here. The tech industry continuously changes. Your company needs to innovate to keep up. That means continuing to learn your craft and innovating your product is crucial. You put so much effort into launching your startup; now it’s up to you to make it successful.

Still not sure where to begin? We’d love to chat with you about it! Schedule some Office Hours with our experts, and get started!

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Wix Alternative: Get More with Shamrck

Wix Alternative: Get More with Shamrck

Wix Alternative: Get More with Shamrck

RipplePop v WP Clover... And Everything Else 4

 

 Creating a website is a daunting task for many beginners and small businesses. Companies like Wix and Shamrck offer tools and resources for website creation. Design and development can be painfully time-consuming. For business owners, this valuable time costs money and sacrifices customer service. The central part of creating a site is finding the right design to fit your brand. Working with premade themes and templates give you plenty of options and let you pick a look that works.

Wix and Shamrck both offer templates to get started, but since Shamrck offers WordPress built websites, you get more control over the final product. Wix provides an impressive portfolio of templates along with blank models to let you build from scratch. Wix also makes it easy to move around features like text boxes and images. It comes together into a customized but basic website. Shamrck provides several templates, but the use of WordPress explodes the availability of custom plugins and themes.

WordPress is an incredibly powerful platform. One look at the back-end dashboard of a WordPress site amplifies the simplicity of Wix’s system. The dashboard may seem overwhelming, but it is easy to follow and make edits to your website. Shamrck uses WordPress to help you design and develop the perfect site instead of settling for one that’s almost right. More than that, Shamrck provides a team of experts to help each step of the way.

 

What is Wix?

Wix is a website building platform that offers free website creation and hosting. The company prides itself on providing ready-made websites for beginners and small businesses to create an online presence. Wix offers several options for website themes and templates and makes simple customization more accessible. The platform falls short in several areas, however.

The free version offers a set amount of options and build-outs, which may not meet your needs. You’ll also have to deal with Wix advertisements on your site unless you decide to buy into a subscription. The free version also doesn’t come with premium support, which is another add-on found in the subscription versions.

The ease of use and free hosting makes Wix an instant contender for anyone looking to start a website, but after a little more digging, we see the need to buy into a subscription. Wix offers four tiers of subscriptions. Mostly, the subscriptions help with removing ads to give your brand priority. You’ll start to get better support services, more storage, and the ability to connect your domain.

The biggest problem with using Wix is the utter lack of back-end help. There are no services to help with maintenance, scalable development, or automation. The platform doesn’t lend itself to anything more than putting content on a website.

 

You get what you pay for

Wix offers a free product, but it is so limited, users have little to no control over anything aside from what content goes on their website. Wix hosts their websites on physical servers around the world, which has a higher risk of security breaches and crashes. There are no health scans or performance monitoring.

The limited amount of storage on the free version is another enormous drawback. Photographers, bloggers, marketers, and other content-heavy businesses are forced to buy into the subscription tiers to get enough storage. Videographers have to buy into the subscription tiers merely to house 30 minutes or more of video.

Wix also forces customers to buy into a subscription to connect their domain. Regardless of if you already have one or get one through Wix, you won’t see any valuable analytics without connecting your domain. Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel are available but not on the free, basic product.

 

Get what you need

As a Wix alternative, Shamrck offers website templates, design, development, hosting, and everything else with a comprehensive WordPress solution. Everything Wix offers for free and everything provided in the premium subscriptions are covered in the Shamrck Starter kit. Wix focuses almost exclusively on the front-end of your website except for helpful web-apps. Shamrck helps design and build your customer-facing content with expert advice. However, Shamrck handles something much more crucial, maintenance.

Shamrck’s cloud hosting gives you the peace of mind of a secure, fast server, and developing a site on WordPress opens many possibilities. The most valuable product offered in a WordPress solution is maintenance. Shamrck continually monitors your website for potential security issues and keeps all of your plugins up-to-date to make sure your website is operating correctly.

The best part about a managed WordPress solution is knowing you’re getting the best website possible, regularly maintained, and with a team of experts in support of any needs. Unlike the rigid setup of Wix, Shamrck allows you to make unlimited WordPress requests to add functionality or tweak your site for better performance. From your initial idea to launch day and beyond, Shamrck makes sure you get the website you need without losing the time-consuming stress of securing and maintaining it.

Wix provides an inexpensive solution to a complicated problem. Your website is your face for your customers. If you only need your phone number and logo on a website, maybe a free, elementary website is the best choice. If you’re like most companies, you’ll want your website to stand out, showcase your brand, and customized to your exact needs.

Managed WordPress solutions provide all of those needs and much more at a manageable cost. Wix simply can’t begin to offer the same level of service on the front-end or back-end as Shamrck. Building and managing a website is a daunting task to do right. You need a plan to help you save time and money on your way to an engaging product you can be proud of.

 

We would love the chance to talk more about your needs. Reach out today, so we can show you how much value a managed WordPress solution provides.

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