Are you thinking about switching your website from Wix to WordPress.org? Back when you first started your journey on the web, you were probably looking for an easy-to-use website builder, and Wix is an optimal fit for this. Wix’s drag-and-drop interface is incredibly intuitive. In fact, it’s so easy to use, users can build beautiful-looking personal sites, portfolios, or even simple blogs and online stores in next to no time.
But if you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve exhausted Wix’s limits. Maybe your small business is scaling, and you need a website platform with more features? Or perhaps you require a publishing tool with a more advanced content management system?
Whatever your reason, WordPress is a popular choice to migrate to. WordPress’s open-source framework offers a wide range of web design and functionality. There are loads of free and premium themes and plugins to choose from. In light of that, this article covers the various ways you can migrate your website and content from Wix to WordPress, including:
- Importing content from your Wix account to WordPress
- Using a migration plugin
- Copying and pasting each page manually (this option is viable for small websites, but not an option we generally recommend)
We’ll also discuss the risks and benefits of migrating your website on your own. At this point, it’s worth highlighting if you’re unsure what you’re doing, there’s a chance some of your content will get lost, or your new website won’t match your expectations. For professional results, it’s worth considering hiring an expert to help with the migration process.
That said, let’s dive right in.
Wix vs. WordPress: The Differences
If you’re on the fence about switching, there are many things to consider. Most importantly, you might not want to migrate to WordPress if your Wix website still meets your needs.
Here are the areas where using Wix and WordPress differ the most; be sure to factor this into your decision-making process:
- Design and flexibility: Wix is a closed, all-in-one ecosystem and, as such, suffers from design limitations. It’s built to be easy to use, not to be endlessly flexible. Whereas with WordPress, you can achieve any design you want with near-on limitless customization options.
- Data: Wix hosts your data, so you have limited control. In contrast, if you switch to WordPress, you own 100% of your data and have complete autonomy over it.
- SEO-friendly (search engine optimization): Wix provides an easy-to-follow SEO Wiz to help you optimize your site. But outside of this, your options are limited. WordPress, on the other hand, grants complete control. You can use SEO plugins like Yoast, optimize your site for speed, and tinker with advanced options for indexing, crawling, and blocking.
- Website maintenance: With Wix, your website is maintained for you. In contrast, WordPress requires you to handle your own security, updates, and data backups. Alternatively, you can opt for managed WordPress hosting or hire an expert to do this for you.
- Pricing: Wix comes with monthly price plans. You know in advance how much you’ll spend each year. Whereas WordPress is more difficult to quantify, as costs depend on your chosen web hosting service, domain name, themes, plugins, etc.
In summary, Wix handles lots for you. Consequently, it’s not going to cause you any headaches, as long as you stay within the limits of its framework. WordPress, on the other hand, imposes no limits, but you have to fend for yourself.
Why Migrate from Wix to WordPress?
If you’ve read this far, you might still be wondering if it’s worth migrating from Wix to WordPress. After all, Wix offers a user-friendly experience and caters to your website-building needs, right? While this may be true for some users, there are several reasons why others may choose to switch to WordPress. We’ve listed the most common motivations below:
- Scalability and Growth: As your business or website grows, you may find Wix’s features and options limiting. WordPress, with its vast array of themes, plugins, and customization options, allows you to build a more advanced website that can scale with your needs.
- Flexibility and Customization: Wix’s drag-and-drop interface and templates are great for beginners but may not offer the level of customization required for more complex websites. WordPress provides virtually limitless customization options through its open-source platform, which allows you to create a unique website tailored to your specific requirements.
- Full Control Over Data: With Wix, your website’s data is hosted on its servers, which means you have limited control over it. In contrast, WordPress lets you choose your hosting provider and grants you complete control over your data. This ensures that you can decide how to secure and manage your data, without relying on a third party.
- Superior SEO Capabilities: Although Wix offers an SEO Wiz, it doesn’t provide the advanced SEO capabilities that WordPress does. With WordPress, you can use powerful plugins like Yoast SEO and leverage advanced optimization techniques to improve your website’s search engine visibility.
- E-commerce Integration: If you plan on selling products or services through your website, WordPress offers more robust e-commerce solutions than Wix. With plugins like WooCommerce, you can easily create a full-featured online store with advanced functionality, such as product variations, shipping options, and payment gateways.
- Large Community and Resources: WordPress has a vast community of developers, designers, and users who contribute to its growth and improvement. This means you have access to a wealth of resources, tutorials, and support when you need help with your website.
- Cost-Effectiveness: While Wix offers fixed monthly pricing, the overall cost of running a WordPress website can be more cost-effective, depending on your requirements. With a variety of hosting options, free and premium themes, and plugins, you can find the right combination to suit your budget.
There are a few steps you should take before beginning the migration process. These include evaluating the costs and design implications of the switch, as well as choosing the right hosting plan and domain name for your new WordPress website, installing WordPress, and choosing a theme.
Costs and Design
As you prepare to migrate from Wix to WordPress, it’s crucial to take the time to think about the costs and design aspects involved. First, consider the costs of switching to a WordPress site, such as purchasing a domain, selecting a hosting plan, and potentially investing in premium themes and plugins. While WordPress itself is free, these additional expenses can add up, so it’s essential to budget accordingly.
Next, consider the design implications of the migration. While Wix offers a drag-and-drop interface and pre-designed templates, WordPress relies on themes and plugins to create a website’s appearance and functionality. This may require more time and effort to achieve the desired look and feel, especially if you’re new to WordPress. You may also need to spend time researching and testing different themes to find the perfect match for your needs.
Choosing a Hosting Plan and Domain Name
One of the most critical aspects of migrating to WordPress is selecting a hosting plan and domain name for your new website. If you’re switching to WordPress, there are many managed-hosting providers to choose from – WPX and Kinsta are just two examples.
Here are a few steps to help you make the right choice:
- Hosting Plan: Start by researching different hosting providers that offer WordPress-specific plans. Look for a provider that offers excellent customer support, solid performance, and reliability. Managed WordPress hosting can be a good option if you’re looking for a hassle-free experience, as it includes automatic updates, security, and backups.
- Domain Name: If you already have a custom domain name with Wix, you can transfer it to your new hosting provider or connect it to your WordPress site without transferring. If you’re using a free Wix domain, you’ll need to purchase a new domain name. When selecting a domain, choose something memorable, relevant to your website’s content, and easy to spell.
- SSL Certificate: To ensure your website is secure and trustworthy, it’s essential to obtain an SSL certificate. Many hosting providers offer free SSL certificates as part of their hosting plans, so be sure to check if this is available.
- Email Hosting: If you’re using Wix’s email services, you’ll need to find a new email hosting provider when you migrate to WordPress. Some hosting providers offer email hosting as part of their plans, or you can use a separate email service like G Suite or Microsoft 365.
Next, install WordPress and set up your website. Usually, if you’ve chosen a managed hosting provider, you can install WordPress using a one-click installation.
Once you can access your WordPress dashboard, it’s a good idea to set your WordPress permalink settings. You can set these to include the post title, making it easier to optimize your migrated content for SEO automatically. Your permalink settings can be found under “Settings > Permalinks.”
Choosing a Theme
Finally, you’ll need to choose a new theme, as you can’t utilize the same template you’re using with Wix. Of course, one way to work around this is to hire a web developer to create a custom theme that looks exactly like your old one.
While we’re on the subject of themes, WordPress brings good tidings! Not only are there thousands of templates to choose from, but you can also change them at any time without losing your content. This isn’t something Wix facilitates, and you’ll likely be gladly rid of.
With these first steps out of the way, it’s time to get stuck into the Wix to WordPress migration process. Here are the methods you can use:
When it comes to migrating your Wix site to WordPress, you have several options to choose from, depending on your preferences, technical expertise, and budget. In this section, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of manual migration, semi-automated migration, and outsourced migration.
Manual migration involves transferring your Wix content to WordPress by hand. This is the most time-consuming option, but it gives you full control over the migration process. If you have a small site and/or you’ve changed your mind about Wix early on, this might not be too much hassle. However, if you have several blog posts and Wix pages, you’ll spend many tedious hours on this task.
There’s also a risk of missing some of your content and settings, like your meta tags, titles, URL slugs, etc. Unfortunately, once you’ve completed the migration and said goodbye to your Wix site, you can’t get these things back – and you want to avoid that at all costs!
To kickstart the manual migration process, you’ll need to create the exact number of pages on your new WordPress website as you had on your Wix site. Next, you’ll need to go into each piece of content on your Wix site and copy it across manually to your WordPress pages. The same goes for images, which you’ll need to manually re-upload to your WordPress media library.
We can’t stress enough that this isn’t the best way to migrate your content. Only attempt this if your website is very small and simple!
- Complete control over the migration process
- No additional costs for migration tools or services
- Time-consuming and labor-intensive
- Potential for errors or inconsistencies during the migration
- Requires technical knowledge of WordPress
Semi-automated migration involves using tools or plugins to help streamline the migration process. These tools can assist in importing your Wix content to WordPress, but you’ll still need to handle the design and configuration manually.
This may be a suitable option if you’re not feeling very confident about migrating your content from Wix to WordPress. A migration plugin could be the answer (most) of your problems as it handles the majority of the heavy lifting for you. But, of course, you won’t enjoy the same level of control and insight into the process.
Nonetheless, a plugin can make migration a much less time-consuming process. To use this method, purchase and install your preferred migration plugin on WordPress. Next, connect your Wix site. Then, finally, run the automated migration.
The exact process depends on your chosen plugin. Each should come with user instructions, so it should be relatively easy to tackle the process step by step. Premium plugins will also migrate your metadata, transfer your images, set up 301 redirects, etc.
- Faster and more efficient than manual migration
- Reduces the risk of errors or inconsistencies during the migration
- Some migration tools are free or low-cost
- Limited in terms of design and configuration support
- Some technical knowledge of WordPress is still required
- May not import all content or formatting accurately
Outsourced migration involves hiring a professional web development team or migration service to handle the entire migration process for you. This option is ideal for those who lack the time or technical expertise to handle the migration themselves or for those with larger or more complex websites. By entrusting the migration to experts, you can ensure a seamless transition and mitigate potential risks associated with the process.
- Professional results with minimal effort on your part
- Fast and efficient migration process
- Technical support and assistance throughout the migration
- More expensive than manual or semi-automated migration options
- Relinquishing control over the migration process to a third party
- May require ongoing support or maintenance services
Step-by-Step Migration Process
Importing Content and Formatting
Unfortunately, as Wix is a closed platform, it doesn’t provide an easy way for users to migrate their blog content. However, you can still automate the process by downloading the Wix RSS feed.
Step 1: To get started with downloading the Wix RSS feed, add /feed.xml or /blog-feed.xml to your Wix URL.
This should populate a site full of code.
Step 2: Then, right-click anywhere on the page and save the file to your computer. You can now navigate over to WordPress’s “Tools” section and click “Import.” Click the “Install now” link under “RSS.”
Step 3: Next, run the Importer, and choose your feed.xml file from your computer. Choose the file, and hit the “Upload file and import” button.
If you have lots of content on your Wix site, this process might take a few minutes. Once it’s done, you’ll get a confirmation message.
Step 4: Next, check your blog posts to ensure they all were exported correctly. You can do this by navigating to “Posts” > “All Posts” and clicking “View” under each post.
You’ll quickly notice that your text content has migrated, but your images haven’t. Unfortunately, these are still hosted on Wix. However, you can migrate these images manually or use a plugin to do this. The Auto Upload Image Plugin is one option. Then you’ll have to adjust the formatting to your liking.
Optimizing Your New WordPress Site
We’ve now covered how to migrate your website to your new WordPress site. However, there are a few things left to do to ensure your WordPress site is ready to be your new hub on the web. Here are some best practices to consider:
- Recreate your navigation menus. You can’t migrate these using the methods above, so you’ll need to re-create your navigation menus. Remember to make your menus accessible to maximize your visitors’ user experience.
- Redirect your old Wix site to your new WordPress site. This is only possible if your old site wasn’t a subdomain. Redirection ensures visitors frequenting your old site automatically land on your new one. This process involves pasting a simple redirection code to your WordPress theme/js/directory. If you’re unsure how to do this, there are plenty of tutorials online that take you through the process.
- Super-charge your WordPress website with plugins. Now that you’ve switched from Wix to WordPress, it’s time to benefit from the extra functionality you have access to. You can use hundreds of WordPress plugins and widgets to enhance security, boost SEO, create popups and contact forms, add calendars, insert photo galleries, and so on. You can even create a robust, fully-fledged eCommerce store using the WooCommerce plugin. However, in the interest of your site’s speed, remember to focus on plugin quality over quantity.
- Check all your permalinks and internal links. If you set up your permalink settings before migrating, this might already be in order. Otherwise, update the settings now. Also, check over the internal links on your website to ensure everything connects correctly. Faulty links that don’t lead anywhere could hinder the performance of your website and jeopardize your SEO.
Next Steps and Troubleshooting Tips
After completing the migration process, there may still be some adjustments and optimizations to make on your new WordPress site. Additionally, you might encounter some issues that require troubleshooting. Here are some next steps and tips to help you navigate through any challenges.
- Ensure all plugins and themes are up-to-date: Keep your plugins and themes updated to the latest versions to maintain optimal site performance and security. Regularly check for updates and apply them as needed.
- Test all site functionality: Go through your website and test all features, including contact forms, image galleries, and comment sections, to ensure they are functioning correctly. Address any issues that arise during this process.
- Monitor site performance and optimize as needed: Use site performance monitoring tools like Google Analytics, Google PageSpeed Insights, and GTmetrix to analyze your website’s speed and performance. Optimize your site by compressing images, using a caching plugin, and minifying your site’s code.
- Check for broken links: Use a broken link checker plugin or online tool to identify and fix any broken internal or external links on your site. Broken links can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings.
- Set up 301 redirects: Ensure that your old Wix URLs are redirected to the corresponding new WordPress URLs to maintain SEO rankings and avoid broken links. You can use a plugin like Redirection or Simple 301 Redirects to set up and manage your redirects.
- Address any theme or plugin conflicts: If you experience any issues with your theme or plugins, try deactivating and reactivating them one by one to identify the source of the conflict. Once you have identified the problematic plugin or theme, you can seek support from the developer or look for an alternative solution.
- Seek support from the WordPress community: If you encounter any issues that you’re unable to resolve on your own, you can seek help from the WordPress community. There are numerous forums, blogs, and online resources available where experienced WordPress users and developers can provide guidance and assistance.
- Back up your site regularly: As a final step, ensure you have a reliable backup solution in place for your new WordPress site. Regular backups will help you quickly restore your site in case of any issues or data loss. Use a plugin like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy to schedule automatic backups and store them in a secure location.
Conclusion: Taking Action for a Successful Migration
Wix doesn’t make the migration process an easy one. But with these methods, you can still migrate your blog content across without too much hassle. The key here is taking an unhurried, methodological approach to ensure you do the job justice.
As such, if you’re not working to a tight deadline and your project is relatively simple, you might be able to migrate from Wix to WordPress yourself. However, more complex projects may require professional help. We also recommend working with an expert if you’re unfamiliar with WordPress and/or don’t have an in-house team of programmers to help you.
Codeable is a platform that connects you and your project with highly specialized WordPress experts. All Codeable professionals are vetted and experienced in migration projects. If you’re looking for a skilled web developer to help you migrate from Wix to WordPress, you can submit your project for free! Get a no-obligation, free estimate for an expert migration service.