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How to Move Your Website from Wix to WordPress

Wix is an appealing website builder at first glance. You can easily create a simple website, but you can also quickly outgrow the limited offerings. Moving your website to WordPress is a popular solution to that problem.

However, transferring your website without losing data can seem daunting. Fortunately, this task is not as difficult as it may initially appear. Wix to WordPress migration is simple if you follow a few best practices, such as choosing the right hosting provider.

In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of moving from Wix to WordPress. We’ll then walk you through the process step-by-step, so you have the best chance of success. Let’s get started!

What Are the Benefits of Migrating from Wix to WordPress?

Wix is a useful website builder for beginners, but its options are limited. If you want to expand the functionality of your website, it can quickly become expensive.

One of the most popular alternatives is WordPress. It’s also beginner-friendly and easy to use, but offers a much larger set of options for customizing your site. Since WordPress is open-source, there are a lot of plugins and themes available to add new styles and features.

With Wix, on the other hand, you can only use the tools and apps its team develops. This limits what you can do with your website, and the overall functionality on offer. 

Plus, with WordPress you can choose whatever hosting provider you like. This provides you with added control over your site’s security, performance, and more.

Step-by-Step Conversion Process

There are certain steps you’ll need to complete for a successful Wix to WordPress migration. This includes purchasing hosting and setting up WordPress. After the migration, you’ll also need to redirect your traffic. Let’s walk through the entire process, step by step.

Step 1: Buy and Register a Domain Name

The first thing you’ll need to do is purchase a domain name. There are many registrars that enable you to do this quickly. You might even be able to sign up for a domain with your hosting provider.

To register your domain, you’ll first need to find one that’s available. Ideally, the domain you choose should be the same as (or similar to) the one you used for your Wix website. Once you find a domain name you like, you can purchase it and move on to the next step.

Step 2: Choose a WordPress Host

After purchasing your domain name, you’ll need to look for WordPress hosting. Wix hosts your website for you, while WordPress is software that needs to be installed on a web server. Fortunately, there are a lot of hosting providers you can consider. 

When looking at hosting, you should consider the bandwidth, storage, uptime, and support each web host offers. You’ll also need to choose the right hosting plan for your site. Shared hosting is the cheapest option, but Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is more secure. Managed hosting is also a great option if you want someone else to handle the technical aspects for you.

Step 3: Install WordPress

The way you install WordPress will vary depending on the hosting provider you choose. While you can install the software manually, your web host may offer a quick-install option through its dashboard.

If you are using WP Engine, for example, you’ll need to navigate to the Installs tab in your User Portal. You can then click on Add Install, and fill in the details about your website:

After that, hit Create Install, and WordPress will start installing on your domain.

Step 4: Add a WordPress Theme to Your Website

After installing and logging into your WordPress site, you’ll need to add a theme. This is the foundation of your website, and will determine its appearance and layout. WordPress comes with a few default themes, but you can also choose from thousands of additional options (both free and premium)

How to Choose a WordPress Theme

Choosing a WordPress theme can be daunting, because of the many choices available. To make this task easier, you can consider what type of functionality you want your theme to have, and what type of website you’re building. This can help you filter the themes in the WordPress Theme Directory:

Most themes have a demo, so you can see what they look and feel like before installing them. You’ll also want to choose a theme that offers solid support and is regularly updated. Outdated themes can be a security risk, and cause compatibility errors with other parts of your site.

Installing Your WordPress Theme

After choosing a theme, you’ll need to install it. To do this, navigate to Themes > Add New:

Search for the theme you want, and then click Install. Once the theme is installed, you need to select Activate as well. 

Step 5: Import Your Blog Content from Wix to WordPress

After installing your WordPress theme, you are ready to import your blog content from Wix. While Wix does not have an export feature, you can migrate your Wix RSS feed. This will prevent you from having to manually copy and paste each blog post.

You will need to add an RSS button to your Wix site in order to generate the feed:

You can then open up your RSS feed. To do this, click on the RSS button on your live website. This will open an XML webpage that is full of code. Right-click anywhere on the page and click Save As, then save the file to your computer in a location you can easily access:

After saving the file, log into your WordPress website and navigate to Tools > Import. Scroll down to the RSS section, and select Run Importer. On the next page, click on Choose File and open the RSS feed file you just saved. Once the importer has run, you’ll also want to check all your posts to ensure that they imported correctly. 

Step 6: Transfer Your Wix Pages to WordPress

The RSS feed migration process only imports your website’s posts, and not its pages. Unfortunately, there is no way to automate that part of the process. Insted, you’ll need to recreate each page manually in WordPress.

To start this process, open the first page you want to transfer from your Wix website. Copy its content, then navigate to WordPress and go to Pages > Add New:

Paste the copied content on the new page. You will also need to enter its title, adjust its formatting and styling as needed, and re-add any images, links, and other media. After that, you can select Publish to make the page live. Just as with posts, make sure to check out your pages on the front end to ensure that everything looks right.

If you do not want to manually recreate your pages, you can use a third-party solution instead. Tools such as CMS2CMS enable you to migrate your entire Wix website to WordPress. This includes pages and images, but comes at a cost.

Step 7: Redirect Wix to Your New WordPress Site

Your migration is now complete, but you’ll also want to redirect traffic from Wix to WordPress. This makes it easier for your existing audience (and anyone using older links) to find your new site.

While redirecting is important, it can only be done if you had a custom URL on Wix. If you used a free Wix account, you will not be able to set up the redirect. Instead, you can place a notification on the old website, letting visitors know you’ve moved and linking them to the new site. 

If you can redirect your Wix site, you will need to use the following code:

var hashesarr = { 
"#!about/ghit7”:’/about-us/‘,
"#!contact-us/fe37”:’/contact/',
“#!dog-article/c6hg”:’/dog-article/'
 };
for (var hash in hashesarr) {
    var patt = new RegExp(hash);
    if (window.location.hash.match(patt) !== null) {
        window.location.href = hashesarr[hash];
    }
}

This code has three placeholder URLs that you’ll need to adjust for your website. It’s important to list each URL on your Wix site in this snippet, in order to redirect visitors. The first part of the URL, such as “#!about/ghit7” , is the Wix URL. The second part, such as “/about-us/”, is the WordPress slug for the new page. 

You can paste the code into Notepad or another text editor, make your changes, and then save it as “redirects.js”. Using a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client, you will need to upload this file into the /js/ directory of your WordPress website. If your theme does not have this directory, you will need to create it. 

You can then edit your theme’s funtions.php file, adding the following function to 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');

Save your changes, and try visiting your old Wix URL. This should redirect you (and visitors) to your new WordPress website.

Create Your WordPress Site With WP Engine

Wix is a popular website builder, but has limited functionality with expensive add-ons. Moving to WordPress can improve your website and its customer experience.

When moving from Wix to WordPress, however, you’ll need to have solid hosting. At WP Engine, we offer a range of hosting plans and expert support when it comes to site migration. This leaves you with more time to spend on WordPress development and customer experience!

Get started.

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