Transferring my website from Wix to WordPress | What I’ve learnt | 5 Steps Migrate

Some of you may have noticed recently that I have a brand spanking new website… ta da! I’m actually really please with it and hope you find it easy and informative to look around. Its actually the output of something which I’ve been wanting to do for a year and that is moving from my Wix website to WordPress. Don’t get me wrong, Wix has served me really well and there are some thing even now that I miss however having now been living with the new site for a few weeks I thought it was about time I shared some of the learnings I’ve found along the way. Timings for me was really crucial as I knew I was coming up to my renewal date with Wix and didn’t want to attached for another year. With a U.K. Lockdown 3.0 on the horizon I knew I would have a bit of downtime so decided to migrate. I actually researched quite a bit before I began the task and one of the best quotes I found from another ‘switcher’ was:

“Wix is like renting a house, WordPress is like owning it”

This stayed with me as having now gone through the process of having to teach myself self a lot of things really quickly. In terms of content management systems go WordPress powers over 30% of the internet so its a superior content platform BUT you have to do everything yourself… site maintenance, SEO, checking load speeds… the whole shebang. The plus side is I have complete control. I can decide exactly how I want the site to work, look and operate. I didn’t really mean for this to turn into a Wix vs WordPress debate as I said my former website worked just fine and I don’t think one is better than the other its just that my needs changed and I wanted more felxibility. Wix is an easy (budget friendly option), its good if you don’t have a lot of technical experience in creating websites, and want an easy-to-use platform with no coding required.  However one of the downsides is data portability is poor so they make it pretty hard for you to migrate your content to another platform should you wish. So in summary the process was very manual. With this in mind I’ll try and provide some tips if you’re thinking of doing this yourself at some point.

First, things first I would recommend is that you think carefully and plan everything. As I said above if you’re on this path you are going it alone so you have to think of everything and do everything yourself.

Step 1: Purchase web hosting

Unlike Wix, WordPress is a self-hosted platform, which means you’ll need to find your own hosting and download the software. I wanted a similar service to Wix so I opted for a managed hosting which basically meant I could focus on the non-technical aspects of my site. There a loads to choose form but I went with SiteGround in the end as I liked the customer service and had read some good reviews.

Step 2: Set up your domain

As my Wix site was still live and using my domain name (chloerosephotography.co.uk) SiteGround set up my site with a temporary domain which meant I could crack on with customising the site in the background. I knew I wanted to switch the domain over once the site was ready and this was probably harder than I expected as my domain was registered and managed by Wix but I was effectively looking to transfer ownership to my new hosting platform. The cost to move it was almost the same cost as buying it so in hind sight I could have just left the registered side of things with Wix for the time being.

Step 3: Instal WordPress

Again, as part of the hosting service SiteGround did this part for me as part of the set up feee I paid but once its done its done. I then received a notification that the site was live.

Step 4: Choose a theme

The fun part. You get to design your website all over again. You can use one of the themes already in WordPress (I think its called 2021) or download a premium design from either WordPress or another provider. I wanted one which was designed with Photographers in mind so I went with one that came a Plug in. Once downloaded the Theme and layouts within it are fully customisable (unlike Wix). Also, another thing to be aware of is you have to add in ‘plugins’ any additional functionality you want to add to your site (a bit like Apps in Wix). A plugin is essentially a bit of code that “plugs in” to your self-hosted WordPress site. Can be as little as as adding in an instagram feed to improving site performance to analytics. They can also slow your site down massively so clearing out ones you don’t use is another tip I’ve learnt.

Step 5: Migrate your content

Hmmm, now this was the bit I wasn’t expecting. The optimist in me thought I could do some wizzy thing where by I download all the content and then do a straightforward upload. Nope. Wix does not make it easy. There’s loads of sites and “plugs ins” which claim you can do this using the RSS feed method but in my experience this doesn’t work… and I don’t think I’m alone as I’ve read quite a few articles about this and sorry to say there’s no easy way. You have to revert to the good old fashioned method of……..yep that’s right, download each post/page/image, “Copy > Paste”… Now for someone like me who didn’t have a massive amount of blog posts it actually wasn’t that big of a job but I can imagine if you do have say more than 15 its would be hell. The reason being is within WordPress you have a ‘page’ for everything even each individual post. This kind of brings me full circle back to my first point about planning. If you plan each page in Word then you can easily copy this into your new site. Having lots of galleries I also used the time to review what how these would look in my new site.

So that’s it. Its not rocket science but it does require quite a lot of effort, maintenance and general up-skilling to understand how to manage your site on an on-going basis.

Finally, last couple of points I would suggest are understand how your site is performing and how people are behaving on it. I use a combination of MonsterInsights and Google Analytics and if you’re new to WordPress or thinking about switching then one of the best places to start is WordPress Beginner.

Hope this helps & good luck!

xx

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Chloe Rose Photography specialises in maternity, newborn baby and family photography, in-home, studio or outdoor and servicing Manchester, Cheshire and the North West. For more information or how to book a session contact me here

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Chloe was absolutely amazing! We will love our photos forever more!
MELANIE

Chloe Rose Photography specialises in newborn photography, maternity photography, motherhood photography and family photography. Offering in-home, outdoor and studio sessions.

Covering South Manchester, Cheshire and the North West

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