Steve Benjamins from Site Build Report states that “Squarespace is like the Apple of website builders”, and he isn’t wrong. Squarespace provides easy-to-use templates that are both sophisticated and effective. Whether you are seeking out a website builder for your small blog, a corporate site, or to run an e-commerce, Squarespace offers many viable options.
The ability to tinker with themes and plugins is one of the many features offered through Squarespace, though its customization does have its limits, leading some to consider moving away from Squarespace and into WordPress.
Why Choose WordPress?
As stated by WP Beginner, one of the most common misconceptions with WordPress is that it should only be used as a blogging platform, when in reality, WordPress powers at least 36% of all active websites – including e-commerce, blogs, corporate sites, and everything in between – making it one of the most powerful tools on the web today, period.
If you are looking for a platform that allows you to fully customize your site from the ground up, WordPress is at the forefront. It gives you greater control than any other website builder or CMS out there, and in no small part is due to its massive community.
Every theme is entirely customizable with WordPress. Tech-savy or not, a well made WordPress theme will come with, in some cases, hundreds of controls allowing you to customize each aspect of your site with a click of a button.
As your site begins to grow, you may need to change the functionality or scope of your site, which is where plugins come in to play. There are thousands of free plugins available for you to use, with plenty of articles on the web to teach you how they work – each reviewed by the community, and curated by WordPress themselves.
Perhaps most importantly – WordPress is free for anyone to use, it is the hosting, and in the case of our managed WordPress services, hosting and completely hands-on management that you pay for.
What Squarespace Does Differently
The transition from Squarespace to WordPress is a tricky one. So much so, that many hosting companies won’t do it – but we do 😉
At Bigscoots, we go to great lengths to assist with your transition over from Squarespace, and most importantly ensure that your live site remains functioning and uninterrupted throughout the entire transition.
Similar to other site builders, such as Wix and Blogger, every Squarespace site is hosted and stored on their servers – and the design, including all cosmetic elements, are not yours to move, whereas WordPress gives you the option to host your site anywhere on the web. So if you ever chose to move again, you can feel good knowing you have full control over your entire site and not just your content, to move as you wish.
So, why is it so difficult to move from Squarespace to WordPress?
Each time a website is migrated from Squarespace to WordPress, all blog posts, media and files need to be exported using Squarespace tools in a WordPress format – it becomes quite a tricky task given how many elements an average site is comprised of and how many of those are not available to move and therefore need to be reproduced.
How The Migration is Done
Unfortunately, it is impossible for a migration from Squarespace to WordPress to include the specific theme files, plugins, or customizations – as mentioned above, you do not have any control over any of the design built on Squarespace or any other website builder for that matter. The only elements we can move are the ones that are exclusively yours, which is your content (i.e. posts, media files, etc.).
So, how does BigScoots make it work?
First, on our WordPress services, we create a staging site that is completely private and not visible to the public. This does not impact your original Squarespace site in any way, allowing all of your current traffic to continue to flow uninterrupted – there is a lot going on behind the scenes, and we want to make sure your day-to-day remains intact.
We then create a fresh WordPress install on your new BigScoots managed WordPress service which is entirely optimized, proactively monitored and secured, where we’ll then import all of your blog posts, media and files from Squarespace to the best of WordPress and Squarespace’s capability.
We then look to you to provide us with your theme of choice. We often times recommend checking out Themeforest as a great place to start looking for professional themes, but have had clients select a Genesis based child theme with great success as well. We always suggest choosing a WordPress theme that closely resembles the theme you used on Squarespace. That way, customization can be done to closely match that of the original site.
We work hard to have all your content properly imported and make a *best-effort to line up and integrate with your theme of choice.
Within your BigScoots WPO Portal, you will then have your WordPress install, the theme of your choice, and all of your current content on a private staging domain that you can customize and polish until you’re happy. Once you are fully satisfied, we can move your staging site live – and you’re done!
*It is critically important to remember that you are undergoing a significant backend overhaul. While we’ve had some amazing successes of people moving from Squarespace to our managed WordPress services all done entirely by BigScoots, results absolutely do vary and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to handle the entire pixel perfect transition for you – as every single site, theme, plugins, content, etc. are different. We always say to expect to hire a developer, of which we would be very happy to recommend some we’ve worked with in the past to you, for the polishing and touch ups.
Written by Katie
Marketing and Client Success Manager