As we mentioned last week, we have nothing but love for SquareSpace. But, as the New Year approached it became clear that it was time for us to make a switch. We use WordPress for most of our client sites, love it and knew it was time to use it ourselves.
So, just how does one make the switch and move a blog from SquareSpace to WordPress? Here’s what we did to make the move as smooth as possible.
How to Move a Blog from SquareSpace* to WordPress – Exporting the Old Blog
The first part of the process is to get all of your data/content from SquareSpace into a format that you can easily import into WordPress.
1. Once you are logged into SquareSpace, click your blog name to drop down the administrative tools. Click on Data Snapshots.
2. Click on Create Snapshot.
3. Click on Queue SnapShot Creation
4. Wait a few minutes and then click on Data Snapshots again. Once you see a file listed, click the file to download it.
*Please note that we used SquareSpace 5.
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How to Move a Blog from SquareSpace to WordPress – Importing the Old Blog to the New Blog
There are a few ways to import your old blog content to your new WordPress site. We used a plugin to make the process a cinch. Here’s how to do it:
1. From your Plugins menu option in the left sidebar, click on Add New. Search for “blog import” and then in the results list find Movable Type and TypePad Importer. Click Install Now and activate the plug-in once installed.
2. Now, from your Tools menu select Import. A list of import options will now show. Select Movable Type and TypePad.
3. On the next screen, find and select the file that you downloaded from SquareSpace and click Import.
The plug-in will import all of your blog posts one by one. Depending on how many posts you have this may take a few minutes.
How to Move a Blog from SquareSpace to WordPress – Important Next Steps
Any real issues that you may face will crop up at this point. For us there were/are two big issues: (1) a different URL structure and (2) Broken image links. Here’s how we addressed both issues:
- URL Structure: Using WordPress you can update the permalink structure pretty darn easily. The main difference is that all of our SquareSpace links ended in .html (which actually drove me bananas). We could’ve written a custom permalink structure to match the URLs, but quite frankly I like them better without the .html.
So, how to fix this problem? First, we downloaded a custom 404 page plugin (this is the error page that pops up whenever you visit a bad link on a site) and created a pretty nice “error” page. So, if someone happens upon an old link, they have a user-friendly way to finding what they were looking for.
Second, we installed another plugin (simply called Redirection) that allows us to set up specific redirection URLs. So, using Analytics we found our 25 most popular individual posts and are redirecting them to their no-.html homes.
- Broken Image Links: I’m kicking myself for not using only Flickr for photo storage. SquareSpace does not make it easy to export all of your images that you’ve uploaded with posts over the years. While we mostly use Flickr, there are batches of posts with broken image links. We are slowly working through 2+ years of posts to catch them all.
So, that’s how we made the big move!