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

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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.

wix to wordpress migration

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 site’s 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? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Sign Up for WordPress Web Hosting

To start a WordPress blog, the first thing you’ll 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 ←

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 you’ve already registered a domain name with Wix, that’s no problem. When signing up with Bluehost, you can enter your existing domain under the “I have a domain name” option.

Enter your existing Wix domain name on the right

Later on in this guide, we’ll 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, you’ll 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.

Install WordPress icon in Bluehost's cPanel dashboard

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.

Set your WordPress permalinks before importing Wix

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. It’s 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 that’s 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.

Sydney

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, we’ll 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, you’ll need to download your Wix RSS file.

You can locate the file by adding /feed.xml to your Wix website URL. If you don’t 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.

Wix RSS feed

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.

wix to wordpress migration using RSS

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

Run the RSS importer to export wix to wordpress

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.

Click the upload button to transfer wix to wordpress

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

Your Wix blog posts have been transferred to WordPress

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.

View each post to double check your wix to wordpress migration for errors

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.

blog post images are still hosted with Wix

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.

import images from wix to wordpress

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 doesn’t provide any automated way to do this, so we’ll 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.

Copying wix to wordpress

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.

Paste content from Wix to WordPress

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 you’ll 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 you’re finished styling your page, you can click the Publish button to publish your page on your new WordPress site.

Publish your new WordPress page

Now that you’ve converted all your content, it’s a good idea to carefully review your posts and pages to make sure everything is working right and looks the way it’s 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 you’ll 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.

Creating the main menu in WordPress

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

Adding pages to your WordPress menu

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 “Main Menu” or “Header 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.

Adding the new menu to your site

Step 7: Redirect Wix to WordPress

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

It’s 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:

var hashesarr = { 
"#!about-us/c1it7":'/about/',
"#!contact/ce54":'/contact/',
"#!random-article/c1mz":'/random-article/'
 };

for (var hash in hashesarr) {
    var patt = new RegExp(hash);
    if (window.location.hash.match(patt) !== null) {
        window.location.href = hashesarr[hash];
    }
}

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:

function wpb_wixjs () { 
wp_enqueue_script( 'wixredirect', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/js/redirects.js', array(), '1.0.0', true);
} 
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'wpb_wixjs');

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, don’t 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 you’re 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.

That’s 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 beginner’s 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.


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