How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

By February 14, 2017Web Design & Development

Looking to switch from Wix to WordPress? Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that lets you create a simple website. However, many Wix users soon realize that their options are limited, and adding extra features can become quite expensive. If you want more features and flexibility without the high costs, then switching to self-hosted WordPress is the best choice. In this article, we will show you how to properly move from Wix to WordPress.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

There are various ways to switch from Wix to WordPress. After reviewing all the methods for transferring your site from Wix to WordPress, we believe the easiest way is by importing your blog posts via RSS.

In this step by step guide, we will walk you through the process of transferring your Wix website to WordPress. Depending on how many pages you have on your Wix site, the migration can take up to an hour.

Here are the steps to migrate from Wix to WordPress:

  1. Sign up for WordPress web hosting
  2. Setup your new WordPress site
  3. Customize your sites style and appearance
  4. Import your blog posts via RSS
  5. Convert your Wix pages to WordPress
  6. Create your main navigational menu
  7. Redirect Wix to WordPress

Ready to transfer Wix to WordPress? Lets get started.

Step 1: Sign Up for WordPress Web Hosting

To start a WordPress blog, the first thing youll need is a web hosting account for your website. Web hosting is your website’s home on the internet. This is where all of your files and data is stored.

You will also need a domain name (such as www.yoursite.com). This is your website’s address on the internet.

When you use Wix, they host your website for you which is also the reason why it’s quite limited. On the other hand, WordPress is a free software, so you’ll need a place to install it. That’s why you need to purchase web hosting and a domain name.

We highly recommend that you use Bluehost because they are an official WordPress.org recommended hosting provider. They have also agreed to give our users a free domain and over 60% off discount on web hosting (special Bluehost coupon for WPBeginner users).

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer â†

If you want to look at more options, then we have a list of the best WordPress hosting providers that you can choose from. Some other companies that we recommend are SiteGround and HostGator.

In this tutorial, we’ll use Bluehost for screenshot and examples.

If youve already registered a domain name with Wix, thats no problem. When signing up with Bluehost, you can enter your existing domain under the œI have a domain name option.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Later on in this guide, well walk you through how to transfer your domain when your new WordPress site is ready.

Step 2: Setup Your New WordPress Site

After purchasing your new hosting plan, youll need to install WordPress. Bluehost offers an easy 1-click installation tool for WordPress inside the cPanel.

Simply login to your account and scroll down the website section where you will see the WordPress icon.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Click on the install WordPress button and follow the onscreen instructions. For detailed instructions, see our step by step tutorial on how to install WordPress.

Once you have installed WordPress, it’s a good idea to set your WordPress permalinks.

Your permalink settings will determine the address of each blog post. For example, instead of publishing a blog post to:

www.yourblog.com/2017/10/blog-post-title

You can publish it to:

www.yourblog.com/blog-post-title.

You can change your permalink settings by navigating to Settings » Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard. Once you have selected the structure you want, click on the Save Changes button at the bottom.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

For more details about permalinks, you can check out our post on SEO-friendly URL structures in WordPress.

Step 3: Customize Your Site’s Design

Next, you can customize the appearance of your website. Its easy to do that using WordPress themes. WordPress themes are used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website, just like Wix templates.

There are hundreds of themes available for WordPress, both free and paid. Some themes are very basic and minimalist, while others will add lots of new features to your site.

As a WordPress beginner, you may want to start with a simple theme thats easy to use. We have a list of recommended simple WordPress themes you can take a look at to get started.

Wondering how to decide on a theme? You can check out our article on selecting the perfect WordPress theme for tips and advice.

If you just want to get started quickly, we recommend Sydney, a very popular free multipurpose theme. There’s also a premium version available with more features called Sydney Pro.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Remember, you can easily change your theme in the future, so it’s important that you don’t spend too much time on this step. You can even use the default WordPress theme and start with the migration process. Because the most important part is moving all of your content from Wix to WordPress.

Step 4: Import Your Wix Blog Posts to WordPress

In this step, well transfer your Wix blog posts over to your new WordPress site.

Wix is a closed platform, and they don’t provide an easy way for users to migrate their content away from Wix. But we can still automate the process by importing your Wix RSS feed, instead of recreating each blog post manually.

To get started, youll need to download your Wix RSS file.

You can locate the file by adding /feed.xml to your Wix website URL. If you dont have a custom domain with Wix, then you can find your RSS feed at username.wixsite.com/blogname/feed.xml, where “username” is your Wix username and “blogname” is the name of your blog.

If you have a custom domain such as www.yourwixblog.com, then you can find your RSS feed at www.yourwixblog.com/feed.xml.

After navigating to the proper URL, you should see a page full of code. Go ahead and right click anywhere on the page and click Save As to save the file in your computer.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Now that you have your RSS file, you can log in to your WordPress dashboard and click on Tools » Import.

Next, click the Install Now link under the RSS heading.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

After a few seconds, youll see a link at the top of the page to Run Importer. Go ahead and click the link.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Now click the Choose File button and select the feed.xml file you just saved to your computer. Then you can click the Upload file and import button.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

If you have a lot of blog posts to import, then it may take a few moments to import them all. When its done, youll see a confirmation message.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

To check on your blog posts and make sure they were exported from Wix correctly, you can navigate to Posts » All Posts and click View underneath each post.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

At this point, the content of your blog posts has been transferred, but there’s one problem: any images in your post are still hosted with Wix.

You can see this for yourself if you edit a post and click on the Text tab to view the code.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix this and move your images over to WordPress. All you need to do is install and activate Import External Images plugin.

Plugins are like apps for WordPress that allow you to add new features. We have a step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After installing and activating the plugin, you can navigate to Media » Import Images and click the Import Images Now button to get started.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Depending on how many images you need to import, the process may take a few moments. When it’s finished, you’ll see a confirmation message that says “Import Complete.”

Step 5: Import Your Wix Pages to WordPress

After you have imported your blog post, next we’ll need to transfer your Wix pages over to your WordPress site.

Wix doesnt provide any automated way to do this, so well have to recreate each page in WordPress one by one.

First you can navigate to the Wix page you want to transfer to WordPress. Highlight all the content (except for the page title). Then you can right click and click on Copy.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

After that, you need to login to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Pages » Add New to recreate the page. At the top of the page, you can type in the page title. Then you can right click and and click on Paste as plain text to recreate the content.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Using Paste as plain text instead of just Paste will keep any unnecessary junk code from cluttering up your site. But it also strips all the formatting. This means youll need to recreate any links, colors, and styles.

For help with styling your pages, you can check out our article on tips for mastering the WordPress visual editor.

When youre finished styling your page, you can click the Publish button to publish your page on your new WordPress site.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Now that youve converted all your content, its a good idea to carefully review your posts and pages to make sure everything is working right and looks the way its supposed to. If you have a lot of content, you might want to speed up the process by using Broken Link Checker to fix any broken links.

Step 6: Create Your Main Navigational Menu

Next youll want to make sure your visitors can easily navigate through your new website using your primary menu.

You can create a navigational menu by going to Appearance » Menus. Type in a name for your menu, and click one of the Create Menu buttons.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Now you can select whichever pages you want to add to your main menu, and click the Add to Menu button. When youve added all the pages you want, click the blue Save Menu button on the right.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Now your menu has been created, but you still need to place it on your site. To do that, click the Manage Locations tab.

The locations shown will be different depending on your WordPress theme. In the default WordPress theme Twenty Seventeen, the Top Menu location is the main menu that displays at the top of the page. In other themes, it might be called a different name such as œMain Menu or œHeader Menu.

To place your new menu in the Top Menu location, click the dropdown field and select the name of your menu. Then click the blue Save Changes button.

How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step)

Step 7: Redirect Wix to WordPress

Now your new WordPress site is complete, and youre ready to let your readers know about your move.

Its important to not only announce your move to your readers, but also set up proper redirection. You want any visitors to your old site to land on exactly the same page on the new site. This will also let search engines know that your old site has moved to a new location.

Note: You can only redirect users to your new WordPress site if you had a custom domain on Wix. Unfortunately, if you were using a wixsite subdomain, then you cannot redirect users to your WordPress site.

First you need to open a plain text editor like Notepad and paste this code:

In this code we have added three example URLs in the following format:

"#!about-us/c1it7":'/about/',

The first part of the line looks for a string in the URL. This will be the URL your Wix users will be coming from. The second part in the line is the WordPress slug for the same page.

Unfortunately, you will have to manually add each URL in this format. Once you are finished, you need to save this file as redirects.js.

Now you need to upload this file to your WordPress theme’s /js/ directory using an FTP client.

If your theme does not have a /js/ directory, then you need to create one.

Now you need to edit your theme’s functions.php file and add this code at the bottom of the file:

Don’t forget to save your changes.

That’s all, you can now try visiting a URL from your old Wix site to see the redirect in action.

Note: These redirects will not redirect search engines and are not very SEO friendly.

Lastly, dont forget to inform your readers of your new address. You can do this by announcing your move on social media, writing a blog post about it, and sending out a notice to your email newsletter.

Step 8: Add Essential WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins allow you to add more features to your site. Plugins work like Wix apps. There are hundreds of plugins available, free and paid. You can check out our archive of articles about the best WordPress plugins if youre not sure where to start.

We have a list of the must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

We also have a list of all the plugins we use on WPBeginner in our blueprint that you can check out. Lastly, don’t forget to check out premium WordPress plugins built by WPBeginner team.

Thats it! We hope this tutorial helped you switch from Wix to WordPress without a lot of hassle. We would like to welcome you to the WordPress community. To get started with WordPress, please take a look at our beginners guide section and our WordPress beginner videos.

If you have a friend still using Wix, then you can show them your new WordPress site and our comparison on WordPress vs Wix and convince them to switch over.

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.

The post How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (Step by Step) appeared first on WPBeginner.

This article was first published here

2 Comments

  • Matt says:

    Great article! Is this process simular to doing Weebly to WordPress? Also, I have an aged domain using weebly and the site has good search rankings in Google. If I transfer my weebly site over to wp, this will hurt my SEO significantly?

  • Jared says:

    A really informative article! But what about the automated Wix to WordPress migration tools (e.g. cms2cms)? Are they effective and worth their money?

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