How to Switch to WordPress from Wix

How to Switch to WordPress from Wix

Adam Morgan

It’s not uncommon for Wix users to make the switch to WordPress. After all, it doesn’t take long to outgrow that drag-and-drop website builder. When compared with WordPress, options are limited and adding anything remotely smart can become expensive and time consuming. Switching over to a more powerful CMS such as WordPress is often the only option.

Here we take a closer look at easiest method of transition. Follow this step by step guide and you can’t go wrong.

Step 1 – Register a WordPress Web Hosting package

Users of Wix needn’t worry about hosting as it’s all done for you. However, the first step to creating a WordPress powered site is finding a reputable hosting provider. This provides a home on the internet for all your files and data.

There’s plenty of surprisingly affordable options which throw in a free web domain as well. SiteGround, HostGator and Bluehost all come recommended and provide tailored packages depending on the size of your site.

Step 2 – Configuring your new WordPress site

Using Bluehost as an example, this web hosting provider offers an easy 1-click installation which allows you to login into your account and click the WordPress icon to begin setup.

Once you’ve followed the on-screen instructions, it’s advisable to change the permalink settings. These allocate an address for each blog post. Navigate to ‘Settings’ followed by ‘Permalinks’ and choose a structure for the URL which would most likely look like this: www.yourblog.com/blog-post-title.

Step 3 – Customising design

Now comes the best part as you get to use one of the many impressive WordPress theme to create a showstopping website.

There’s tons to choose from but if you’re just starting out, be sure to opt for a simple theme. ‘Sydney’ is a no-frills option that still gives a striking finish. Don’t get too caught up on this step as you can always change the design later.

Step 4 – Importing your Wix blog posts

Now it’s time to transport all that valuable content from your old Wix site to the new WordPress one. Unfortunately, this can be tricky as Wix doesn’t provide an easy migration tool. But you can get around this by importing your Wix RSS feed.

Firstly, you must download your Wix RSS file which can be located by adding /feed.xml to your Wix website URL. From here, you’ll be shown a full page of code. Right click anywhere on the page and click ‘Save As’ before saving to your computer.

Now go to the WordPress dashboard and navigate to ‘Tools’ followed by ‘Import’. Scroll down to the RSS option and click ‘Install Now’. Within a few seconds, you’ll notice a link at the top of the page to ‘Run Importer’. Once you’ve clicked this, you’ll be given the option to upload that saveD RSS file from earlier.

The more blog posts you have on your Wix site, the longer it will take to upload. However, it shouldn’t take longer than a minute or two. Once the message reads ‘All done’ you can now check that all the blog posts have successfully been transferred by navigating to ‘Posts’ followed by ‘All Posts’.

Although all your content should be showing, images from Wix won’t have been transferred as they’re still hosted on that other platform. Thankfully, images can be transported by downloading the Import External Images plugin. Once this is active, go to ‘Media’ followed by ‘Import Images and click ‘Import Images Now’.

Step 5 – Importing your Wix pages

Once again, Wix doesn’t offer any easy way to transfer your existing pages. Instead, you’ll have to create these manually by clicking on ‘Pages’ followed by ‘Add New’.

From here, you’ll have to copy the content from Wix to create each new page. Be sure to ‘Paste as plain text’ as opposed to just ‘Paste’ which will remove any unnecessary junk code.

Step 6 – Creating a main menu

Go to ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Menus’ to create a primary menu that’s easy to navigate for your users. In the ‘menu name’ type in the required menu whether that be ‘Main Menu’ or ‘Product Menu’ etc and hit the ‘Create Menu’ button.

From here, it’s straightforward to add whichever pages need to fall under this category. Simply hit the ‘Save Menu’ button once you’re done configuring. Once this is set up, all that’s left to be done is to place the menu on site. To do this, navigate to the ‘Manage Locations’ tab, click the dropdown field and choose the name of your menu before hitting the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Step 7 – Redirecting Wix

One of the last steps is to let your audience know that you’ll now be found at a new place on the web. Any visitors to your old site should arrive directly on the same page of the new site. To do this, start by copying the following code to notepad:

01 var hashesarr = {
02 “#!about-us/c1it7”:’/about/’,
03 “#!contact/ce54”:’/contact/’,
04 “#!random-article/c1mz”:’/random-article/’
05 };
06
07 for (var hash in hashesarr) {
08 var patt = new RegExp(hash);
09 if (window.location.hash.match(patt) !== null) {
10 window.location.href = hashesarr[hash];
11 }
12 }

As you can see, this includes three example URLs in the format as follows:
“#!about-us/c1it7”:’/about/’,

There’s no quick way of doing this unfortunately as you’ll have to manually add each URL in this same format. The first half of the code is the URL your Wix users are coming from while the second half is the WordPress slug for the identical page.

Once you’ve manually created each URL, you can save the file as redirects.js. This should now be uploaded to your WordPress theme’s /js/ directory using an FTP client. Finally, try visiting your old site and ensure that the redirect works smoothly.

Step 8 – Announce to your audience

Now you’re set up on WordPress, the last step is to inform your audience. This can be done by posting an update to your social media pages or sending out a newsletter.

From here, enjoy the perks of working on WordPress and start adding Themes that can make your life easier. Once you’ve made the switch, you’ll never look back!

Adam Morgan

Author Adam Morgan

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