Moving Your Website to WordPress

Step 1 – Pre-Prep

You will need to get some information about your website before you let it go. Use Google Docs or a Word document to copy and paste all your content and links. Don’t forget to copy the MetaData and Title tags out of your old site. Make notes about:

  • Permalinks – a static hyperlink to a particular Web page or entry in a blog
  • Menu structure
  • Page layouts
  • Font styles
  • Colors
  • Links

Photos: Download all the images from your Website Builder. Save them in a folder you can easily find. View the images by list and rename them with keywords if needed.

Tip: You can use the free tool on the right called Web Style Grabber to find information about your current site.


Step 2 – Setting Up Your WordPress Website

Purchase your hosting. We offer two choices: WordPress hosting and regular Hosting. We prefer regular hosting.
Install WordPress onto your hosting account server. If you need us, give us a call and we can help.
Choose a template from the instructions on this page.

Step 3 – Transfer Your Content

Unfortunately there’s only one way to transfer the content of your Website Builder website to WordPress. Three words: copy and paste. There is no way to do this automatically.

You’ll have to create each blog post and page to transfer your content into. You can re-create the layouts or just use the default page layouts in WordPress.

It has to be done by hand, one page at a time. Choose Dashboard/Pages/Add Pages. Or if you are working on transferring your blog, choose Dashboard/Posts/Add New.

Step 4 – Create Menus

Once you’ve added the pages and posts, you can create the menu system using WordPress’s easy-to-use menu customizer. You’ll find this in the dashboard under Appearance. Select the pages you want and then drag and drop them into their proper locations. Don’t forget to set this menu as the primary menu.

Create a menu by going to your dashboard, select Appearance, Menu.

Create a menu by going to your dashboard, select Appearance, Menu.

Step 5 – Set Redirects & Permalinks

You’ll want your links to match your Website Builder website. This way any links to your website still work and you don’t lose traffic and SEO.

Domain Names
Once your site is rebuilt in WordPress, you will want to redirect your domain names.

The old link structure might look like this:

To match the structure in WordPress, go to Settings on the dashboard and select Permalinks. Under Common Settings, choose Post Name. This will make your links match the structure from your Website Builder website. Next you’ll need to redirect the .html links.

301 Redirects
Your new WordPress website won’t have .html at the end of the link. Luckily there is an easy way to redirect the links. You can do this with a 301 redirect plugin. A redirect tells the search engines that the requested URL has been move to a new URL. This helps keep your SEO and authority intact.

Our recommended plugin is Eggplant 301 Redirects. It has both a free and a pro version. The pro version adds a 404 tracking feature and improved SEO.

Step 6 – Go Live

Once your site is complete, it’s time to test all your links before going live. If everything checks out, disable maintenance mode and watch your traffic. Be sure to ask users for feedback and check for 404 errors so you can make adjustments as needed.

Extra Credit:

Once your site is live you can connect it to Google Analytics (traffic tracking) and Webmaster tools. Webmaster Tools helps you to identify issues with your site and can even let you know if it has been infected with malware.

To connect these tools, you must have a Gmail account. We also recommend installing a backup system and security plugin. We like Updraft Pro and Wordfence.

Final Tip:

Disable the old website and receive a refund on the hosting or use the credits in your new account. If you don’t disable the old website, Google will penalize you for duplicate content.