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How to Properly Move from Squarespace to WordPress

Do you want to move your Squarespace website to WordPress? Many users start their websites using different platforms. Sooner or later they discover the limitations of the platform and want to move to a better and more flexible option, like WordPress. In this article, we will show you how to properly move from Squarespace to WordPress.

Properly moving from Squarespace to WordPress

Why You Should Move from Squarespace to WordPress

Squarespace provides an easy to use platform to create and build websites. However, many users soon realize that it is limited in terms of what you can do on your own website.

WordPress is a lot more flexible and allows you to make any kind of website you want. For a side-by-side comparison, take a look at our article on Squarespace vs WordPress with pros and cons of both platforms.

Also note that when we say WordPress, we mean self-hosted WordPress.org site and not WordPress.com blog hosting service. Check out our guide on the difference between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com for more information.

Step 0. Getting Started

To get started with WordPress, you will need to sign up for a web hosting account and register a domain name.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

They have agreed to offer WPBeginner users a free domain name and discount on hosting. Basically, you can get started for $2.75 / month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

If your Squarespace site has its own domain name, then you may want to transfer that domain to your new web host as well.

During and after the domain transfer, you will be able to access your Squarespace website as it will start using the built-in Squarespace subdomain.

Step 1. Installing WordPress

After signing up with a web host, the next step is to install WordPress. As the most popular website builder in the world, WordPress is known for its famous 5-minute install.

If you are on Bluehost, then they will automatically install WordPress for you.

Most other top WordPress hosting companies also allow you to install WordPress with a single click from your hosting dashboard. You can also follow the instructions in our step-by-step WordPress installation guide for beginners.

Once you will have installed WordPress, you’ll be able to login to your WordPress admin dashboard.

WordPress dashboard

Step 2. Exporting Squarespace Content

After installing WordPress on your new web host, the next step is to export your content from Squarespace.

Squarespace offers limited export functionality. Depending on what content you have on your site, some of it will be exported. Rest of the content will remain on your Squarespace built-in domain, and you will have to manually copy paste it.

Here is the content that can be automatically exported.

  • All your basic pages will be exported as WordPress pages.
  • One blog page will be exported, and it will appear in WordPress pages as Blog
  • All your blog posts under that one blog page will be exported as WordPress posts
  • Your Gallery pages will be exported
  • Text, Image, and Embed blocks will be exported

The following content will not be exported.

  • Product pages, Album pages, and Event pages will not be exported
  • Audio, Video, and Product blocks will not export
  • Style changes and custom CSS
  • Folders and index pages will be left out
  • If you had more than one blog page, then only one of them will be exported

Note: During the import process, your Squarespace images will not be imported. We will show you how to import them later.

Now that you know how restricting SquareSpace is, let’s go ahead and export the content, so you can have a fresh start with WordPress and grow your website the right way.

Login to your Squarespace account and go to Settings » Advanced » Import/ Export menu.

Export menu in Squarespace

This will bring you to the import/export settings. Next, click on the export button to continue.

Export Squarespace

Squarespace will now show you a popup with a WordPress logo on it. Squarespace only exports content in a format suitable for WordPress. If you had products on your site, then you can download products data as a separate CSV file.

Next, click on the WordPress logo to continue.

Export Squarespace data in WordPress format

You will see the progress of export process on the left under the import-export buttons. Once the export is finished, you will see a button to download your export file.

Download export file

Go ahead and download the export file to your computer. You will need it in the next step when you import the content into your new WordPress site.

Step 3. Importing Content From Squarespace into WordPress

The next step is to import the content you downloaded from Squarespace into your WordPress site.

Login in to your WordPress admin area and go to Tools » Import page. You will see a list of platforms to choose from.

Squarespace will not be listed there because it exports content in a WordPress compatible XML file format. All this means is that you need to click on ‘Install now’ button below WordPress to continue.

Install WordPress importer

WordPress will now fetch and install the importer for you. Once finished, you need to click on the ‘Run importer’ link to continue.

Launch importer

On the next screen, click on the choose file button to upload the export file you downloaded from Squarespace earlier.

Upload export file

WordPress will now upload and examine your Squarespace export file. If everything is in order, then it will show you the import settings page.

On this page, you will need to choose an author name for the imported content. WordPress can also import the Squarespace user and add them as a subscriber on your WordPress site. You can also choose an existing admin user as author or even create a new user.

There is an option to import attachment images, but it will not work. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to fix that later.

Import settings

Go ahead and click on the submit button, so WordPress can start importing content from your Squarespace export file.

When it’s done, you will see the success message. You can now visit the pages and posts in WordPress to review the imported content.

Step 4. Importing Images from Squarespace

Unfortunately, the WordPress importer cannot import images from your Squarespace website. You will have to manually import those images, but there is an automated way to do it.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Auto Upload Images plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to edit all posts and pages containing images. This plugin will trigger the image import process when you save a post type.

Luckily WordPress allows you to bulk update content, so you can do it with just a few clicks instead of manually doing it one-by-one. Simply go to Posts » All Posts page and then click on the Screen Options button at the top.

Show more posts

You need to increase the number to 999 in the ‘Number of items per page field’ field and click on the Apply button.

WordPress will reload the page, and this time it will show 999 posts at a time. Next, you need to select all your posts and then select Edit under the bulk actions menu.

Select all posts

After that, you need to click the Apply button. WordPress will show you a quick edit box with all selected posts. You just need to click on the Update button, and WordPress will update all your posts.

Remember you’re not changing anything in the box. Just click the Update button.

Doing this will triger the plugin to import external images from your Squarespace website and store them in your WordPress media library.

Step 5: Fixing Permalinks

We need to make sure that you don’t miss traffic coming through the links from your old Squarespace website. WordPress uses SEO friendly URL structure, which allows you to customize the link structure in many different ways.

The goal here is to make our link structure similar to your Squarespace website. Squarespace uses year/month/day/post-name as the link format for blog posts. It also uses a prefix like blog or blog-1 in the post URLs.

A typical blog post URL using the default built-in Squarespace domain name may look like this:

https://example-website.squarespace.com/blog-1/2016/3/6/post-title

If you were using your own domain name with Squarespace, then a typical blog post URL may look like this:

https://www.yourdomain.com/blog-1/2016/3/6/post-title

In WordPress admin area, you need to visit Settings » Permalinks page. There you will see a list of URL structure options. The closest match to your old Squarespace URL is ‘Day and Name’.

Permalinks page

Click on Day and Name option and then move down to custom structure. You will see that the custom structure section will be automatically filled with year, month number, day, and post name tags.

You just need to add the blog-1 prefix before everything else. Like this:

/blog-1/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/

Click on the save changes button to store your settings. This step makes sure that users visiting your website from search engines and other sources are redirected to correct posts and pages on the new WordPress site.

There is still a chance that some of your links may result into 404 errors in WordPress. Here is how to track 404 pages and redirect them in WordPress.

Step 6: Importing Other Content from Squarespace to WordPress

Squarespace only allows you to export limited content. If you were using their eCommerce features, events, or hosting audio video files, then you will have to import all of them manually to your WordPress site.

Depending on how much content you have there, this process can take some time.

For products you will need a WordPress eCommerce plugin, like WooCommerce.

For your video files, we recommend you to host them on third party video hosting services like YouTube and Vimeo. See our guide on why you should never upload videos to your WordPress site.

For other content, check out these guides:

Step 7: Getting to Know WordPress

WordPress is a powerful platform with incredible flexibility. There are thousands of professionally designed free and premium WordPress themes that you can use on your site. See our guide on how to select the perfect WordPress theme for your site.

The real power of WordPress comes from its thousands of plugins. These plugins add more features to your WordPress site. See our expert pick of the essential WordPress plugins that you should install.

WordPress is simpler and easier to use. However, from time to time you may come across new things to learn. This is where WPBeginner can help.

WPBeginner is the largest WordPress resource site for beginners. We have lots of helpful content which is created specifically for beginners, business owners, and bloggers.

Following are few of the helpful resources you will find on WPBeginner (all of them are completely free).

  • WPBeginner Blog – The central place for all our WordPress tutorials and guides.
  • WPBeginner Dictionary – Our WordPress glossary is the best place to familiarize yourself with the WordPress lingo
  • WPBeginner Videos – New WordPress users can start with these 23 videos to master WordPress.
  • WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 110,000 subscribers and 10 Million+ views.
  • WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
  • WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.

We hope this article helped you move from Squarespace to WordPress. You may also want to see our list of 40 useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

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Reader Interactions

63 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. This just saved me hours of work. Clear instructions and all worked exactly as stated. Thank you.

  2. When I go to do Step 4, my WordPress site times out every time after I press update. I’m transferring a website with a few hundred blog posts that each have their own image, and I’m fearing that I will have to upload them individually at some point. Specifically I get a 502 error, taking too long to complete. Any idea how to help with the auto upload images process?

  3. I am trying to migrate my squarespace website to wordpress, but it seems like when i import the xml file to wordpress, it only contains 2 pages out of the 50 that i have on my squarespace.

    Do you have a solution?

    • You likely need to import the file again to ensure your import didn’t time out

      Admin

  4. My squarespace had two link structures. Domainname.com/blog/post-name for my recipes. The older ones also had the date in them. And I also have Domainname.com/tipsadvice/post-title for my lifestyle posts. How do I ensure that none of the links get broken in the move if I can only put one link structure in WP?

    • The importers try but there is no guarantee that all of the information will be transferred.

      Admin

  5. I’m finishing my 14-day trial with Squarespace. I like the design and I was able to do multiple blog pages. I’m having second thoughts for the flexibility which others recommend in using wordpress.org. However, if I choose WP managed hosting, will it be possible to have multiple blog pages?

    • You can create separate category pages for your blog content for what it sounds like you’re wanting.

      Admin

  6. I have currently my website with squarespace for 5 years now, I have a good positioning in google search, I dont want to loose it. If a move to wordpress I will loose it?

    • No, when you change the platform your site is on you may have a temporary change in position but you shouldn’t see a long term change.

      Admin

  7. Thanks, this guide is very useful.

    I found that for the import images function (using the Auto Upload Image plugin) I needed to do both All Posts and All Pages twice – the first time I got a server error… not sure whether that was the plugin’s fault (it hasn’t been updated in 9 months), or whether it was down to a dodgy internet connection (we’re being battered by a storm at the moment and it often affects our internet!)

    Now I just need to choose a theme that looks something like the original website…

    Thanks again!

  8. Thank you so much for this guide. I plan to use it closely to move my Squarespace site to WordPress.

    My site is image heavy, and it may take a few days for me to follow all the steps. I have my own domain (www.mywebsite.com) which I will be moving over. My concern is that once I start the process, my site will not work until I have it up on WordPress. I would want my domain to go to my squarespace site until I am ready to move over.

    I’m sure this is extremely common, so it’s surely an easy fix. What should I do?

    • As a WordPress tutorial site, we are a bit biased but yes, we still prefer WordPress :)

      Admin

  9. Hi, Thank you so much for this guide.

    Is there a way to import multiple blogs by re-exporting the XML from Squarespace and choosing a different blog each time? Will that put those posts in with the rest of your posts that were uploaded from a previous import to WordPress?

    • You can import multiple blogs into one WordPress site but the posts would not be separated based on the site imported from

      Admin

  10. Thank you for this helpful article. I’m running into an issue when trying to upload my .xml file that I’ve exported from Squarespace. The error message is:

    “This does not appear to be a WXR file, missing/invalid WXR version number
    Try another file or contact support.”

    I’ve googled extensively and followed the advice I’ve found, such as editing the .xml file from version 1.2 to 1.1 but so far my wordpress flatly refuses to import my Squarespace file.

    Do you know how to fix this?

    • You likely would need to check with Squarespace to ensure there hasn’t been a change with how they create the export file.

      Admin

  11. Hey there!

    We are in the process of rebranding our event planning company. Currently, the site is using Squarespace, but we found a wordpress theme that is to die for!!

    Is there any way to be working on the new WordPress theme until our Squarespace subscription expires in August without the Squarespace site going down?

    Essentially, we want the WordPress site ready to launch as soon as the Squarespace site expires.

    I do have my personal blog on WordPress already, so is there maybe a way to download the theme to my blog site, be editing it through there (without messing with my blog’s theme) and then export the theme and reimport it when we are ready to switch hosting platforms??

  12. I’ve been following the steps and managed to download WordPress through SiteGround. I have been given the link to my wordpress admin page, but when I click on it I get the error: 404 Not Found.

    Have I done something wrong? I’ve tried talking with SiteGround too, but not having much luck with this process at all.

    • You may want to ensure your domain’s nameservers are pointed to the correct nameservers and you’ve cleared your browser cache as those tend to be common reasons.

      Admin

  13. Is this process still compatible now that WP 5.x has the new Guttenberg block editor?

    Ideally, I would like to end up using native WP editing and themes as much as possible.

    I had someone try to do a conversion and they used a plug-in called WPBaker/Visual Composer. I’m not excited about that – is my worry justified that isn’t the best approach?

    • The transfer process should still work with the most recent WordPress. The Visual Composer plugin is for customizing the style of your site and is not required.

      Admin

  14. Is there a way to export / import one page from Squarespace (and not the entire website)? I am trying to export just the blog section of an old website and import it to the new website I have created on WordPress? Can anyone advise?

  15. The auto upload images plugin isn’t compatible with the latest version of WP. What other plugin can we use to transfer images?

  16. I did not make a website on SquareSpace but I bought the domain, NOW I can’t figure out how to point that domain to WordPress, I’m using Hostgator, I have the WP yet, I keep getting the Squarespace site when I put in my domain. HELP!

  17. So I followed all the steps to import my squarespace website to WordPress and when it was finished importing I received an email with a random link that didn’t lead to my site. How do I access my new theme on my WordPress site? Or did I do something wrong?

    • Hi Mana,

      Your WordPress login URL is usually like this:

      example.com/wp-login.php

      Replace example.com with your own domain name. After that you will be able to login using the username and password you entered during installation.

      Admin

  18. I followed your instructions to transfer from squarespace to Bluehost and use WordPress but lost almost everything. Now, I have no idea how to proceed.

  19. I followed your instructions to the letter and still got messed up. Now I have no website and cannot afford for it to be down. Any suggestions.

  20. Hello (again) — quick questions

    1. I can work within my “temp” url until I update the DNS server so my domain name can switch from squarespace to wordpress — do I do this within Squarespace? currently my imported work is within the temp URL but i also have a http://www.mysite.wordpress.com url as well. I’m assuming once I update the dns server, http://www.mysite.com will be activated. I bought the premium plan so not sure why I have “.wordpress.com”.

    2. Do I need to buy a wordpress.com plan since I already have a domain name?? It seems to be a bit redundant to me..

    Thanks so much!

  21. I only want to import my Blog into WordPress, is there a way to do that? If I understood correctly it will import my entire site which I don’t want.

    Thanks;

  22. I assume this works with Wix, as well. I actually have already moved my site from cks Wix to WordPress. However, I named the URL for my WordPress site a different name than my Wix site, so I could keep my original site while making the transfer. I now need to make my WordPress site the same URL as the one I was using for my Wix site. How do I do that?

  23. Howdy. What if you have a custom domain e-mail address through your squarespace registration? Is there a way to get that moved over too? The e-mail is through Google…

    Thanks!

  24. I am banging my head against the wall trying to make this work. I followed all of these steps exactly. But every time I try to import the XML file to WordPress, it gives me a “Page Not Found” error. Any idea what went wrong or what I’m doing wrong?

  25. Anyone facing issues with the import where a lot of useless tags are imported into each WordPress post? I got to manually delete a lot of items and was wondering how I could avoid it.

  26. In your step 3, if your domain is pointed to Squarespace, you can’t log-in to wordpress… Any thoughts on the workaround?

    • When you sign up with one of the recommended web hosts, they will tell you how to point your domain to their servers. You can do that after exporting your content from Squarespace.

      Admin

      • Yes, however I was wondering about getting your new WP site set-up and perfect while still keeping your Squarespace site live. Is that an option?

        • Yes it is possible. You can ask your web hosting service provider. Some of them offer a temporary subdomain, which you can use until you are ready to point your Squarespace domain to their servers.

  27. Hello,

    I have to do something similar.
    I have a website in a url let’s say http://www.example.com and its build and hosted with squarespace and In an other side I built a website on wordpress in a subdomain that my hosting (domain.com) has done it for me http://www.example.domain.com.

    I would like to move the content and the whole site built on that subdomain with wordpress to the url http://www.example.com.

    So not longer I will use the squarespace platform. I just would like to use the url that squarespace is using into my new wordpress site.

    Do you know anything about this?

    Thanks,

    Isabel

  28. Hello WPBeginner:
    Thank you for timely help. I have no Squarespace experience, but I will be moving a Squarespace site to self-hosted WordPress next week.

    Big Squarespace problem is that images are displayed using non-standard “data-src.” Images from the site I am moving do not appear in Google image search.

    Best wishes,
    Mitchell

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