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If you’re new to web development, Weebly is a good starting point due to its simplicity and user-friendly interface. You may even enjoy the cost savings of its free website hosting service.

But as your website grows, you may need more control and customization options to enhance its design and functionality.

That’s where WordPress comes in. With over 43.1% of all websites using WordPress for their content management needs, this platform is a clear winner for businesses of all sizes. Apart from its ease of use, WordPress offers myriad themes and plugins to customize your website.

If you want to move your website from Weebly to WordPress, we’ve got you covered. This guide provides all you need for a smooth migration.

Weebly vs. WordPress: Features comparison

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the migration process, let’s briefly consider how WordPress outperforms Weebly.

Flexibility and customization

Weebly offers a drag-and-drop website builder that allows you to design simple pages quickly. WordPress, however, opens the door to a vast universe of themes and plugins that offer unparalleled flexibility and customization options.

WordPress has over 59,000 free plugins and more than 11,000 free themes, while Weebly offers a few hundred apps and a couple of templates and themes for website customization.

Content management and organization

While Weebly shines in its simplicity, WordPress delivers a robust content management system (CMS).

With WordPress, you can categorize, tag and even design custom post types, which allow you to have complex content structures.

This not only makes your website more organized and navigable but also enhances the user experience. Visitors can easily find what they’re looking for, and search engines can understand your content better, potentially improving your ranking in search results.

Ecommerce capabilities

Weebly offers integrated eCommerce solutions that are simple to set up and manage, especially for beginners. However, its eCommerce features are basic and might not cater to the needs of a growing online business.

On the other hand, WordPress not only meets those needs but also allows you to scale your business. You can integrate your site with powerful eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce and deliver a superior shopping experience to your customers.

SEO tools and plugins

While Weebly has some built-in SEO tools, WordPress offers a more comprehensive approach to search engine optimization.

You have more control over meta descriptions, meta titles and keywords, which helps you fine-tune your website to rank higher in search results.

With plugins like Yoast SEO, Jetpack and Rank Math, WordPress helps you improve your visibility and drive organic traffic to your website.

What to do before migrating from Weebly to WordPress

As we dive into the migration process, let’s look at some preparatory steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition.

Back up your Weebly website

Creating a backup for your website is arguably the most crucial step when migrating from Weebly to WordPress.

Think of your backup as a safety net. During the migration process, there’s a risk of data loss or corruption. A backup ensures you won’t lose the valuable content you’ve worked hard to create.

So, even if something goes wrong during migration, you can restore your website to its previous state.

Register a new domain name

A domain name is your site’s address on the internet. It’s the unique name that people type into the address bar to visit your website.

For instance, in the URL https://www.example.com, example.com is the domain name.

Your domain is an integral part of your brand identity and online presence. So, it’s important to choose a memorable name that reflects your brand’s personality.

Bluehost can help you find the perfect domain for your website. The Bluehost domain finder lets you choose a unique website name that helps your brand stand out.

Choose the right WordPress hosting provider

Without a hosting account, your website won’t be accessible to anyone. So, selecting the right web hosting provider isn’t just a routine step — it lays the groundwork for your website’s performance, security and growth.

Opt for a web host that offers WordPress-optimized plans. Managed WordPress hosting from Bluehost is your best bet if you want to outsource technical tasks like updates and backups.

Our team of experts will maintain your website routinely to ensure it’s fast, secure and stable. This gives you time to focus on other business activities, like sales and marketing.

Set up your WordPress website

Once you’ve chosen a web hosting service, it’s time to install WordPress. Many hosting companies offer one-click installations, making this process quick and easy.

Bluehost takes WordPress hosting a step further. We automatically install the most secure and up-to-date version of WordPress once you sign up for our hosting plans.

This saves you the time and hassle of setting up the website yourself. It also ensures your WordPress website is installed correctly from the start.

After installation, familiarize yourself with your WordPress dashboard, as it will be your new control room.

How to migrate a website from Weebly to WordPress

There are three ways to migrate your website from Weebly to WordPress:

  • Copying and pasting your content manually.
  • Using free tools like the Weebly to WordPress Importer.
  • Outsourcing the migration process to professionals.

Let’s look at each method in detail.

1. Migrate your website manually

Going the manual route means getting involved in the whole migration process. It’s a great option if you prefer total control over every aspect of the migration.

Because this method gives you full control, it requires time and technical expertise.

That said, here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Choose a WordPress theme.

Go to your WordPress dashboard > Appearance > Themes.

Adding new themes on WordPress.

Click on Add New Theme, then search for your preferred theme and tap Install.

Popular free WordPress themes include Astra, Ocean WP and Sydney.

Installing a new theme on WordPress.

Next, click on Activate to make the theme active.

Activating a new theme on WordPress.

You can customize the theme to mirror your Weebly site or create a new design from scratch.

Step 2: Create new pages and posts.

The manual method entails copying content from Weebly and pasting it on WordPress. To do this, you need to create pages and posts on your new website.

You can create new pages individually or in bulk using a WordPress plugin like Bulk Page Creator.

If you choose to create new pages manually, return to your WordPress dashboard and click on Pages > Add New Page. Then, create the number of pages you need.

Adding new pages on WordPress.

If you choose the plugin option, go to Plugins > Add New Plugin.

Adding a new plugin on WordPress.

Search for Bulk Page Creator, then install and activate the plugin.

Installing the Bulk Page Creator plugin on WordPress.

Once the plugin is active, go to Settings > Bulk Page Creator.

Accessing the Bulk Page Creator plugin on the Settings page.

Next, check the Multiple Pages mode box and enter the names of the pages you want to create. Use commas to separate each page name (e.g., page1,page2,page3).

Then, click on Update Site to save changes.

Adding new pages to WordPress using the Bulk Page Creator plugin.

Step 3: Copy and paste your content from Weebly to WordPress.

Copy your pages, blog posts, images and other content from your Weebly site.

Once that’s done, here’s how to move your content to your new WordPress pages:

  • Paste the main text of the page.
  • Upload images to the WordPress Media Library.
  • Insert images in your content.
  • Align images as desired.

Repeat this process for all your Weebly pages.

2. Use free tools like the Weebly to WordPress Importer

Free tools like the Weebly to WordPress Importer come in handy if you want to automate the migration process.

The Weebly to WordPress Importer converts your Weebly content into a format you can easily import into WordPress. This speeds up and simplifies the migration process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use the tool:

Step 1: Export content from your Weebly website.

Visit the Weebly to WordPress Importer website and provide your Weebly website’s URL, your name and email address in the designated fields.

Weebly to WordPress Importer website.

The tool will set the WXR format as the default for exporting. This format allows you to export all your content with categories, comments and authors.

Next, click on the Export my Weebly Website button. The Weebly to WordPress Importer will now convert your Weebly website’s content into a WordPress-friendly export file.

Saving the export.xml file to your computer.

Once the export is ready, you’ll see a button to download your Weebly export file. Right-click the button and select Save link as from the dropdown menu. This will save the export.xml file on your computer.

Step 2: Import posts and pages to your WordPress website.

Head over to your WordPress dashboard and go to Tools > Import.

Scroll down to the WordPress importer and click on Install Now. WordPress will download and install the importer plugin.

Accessing the WordPress importer plugin.

After the installation, click on Run Importer to open the importer tool.

Next, tap the Choose File button and select the export.xml file you downloaded. Then, tap Upload file and import to start the import process.

Uploading the export.xml file to the WordPress importer plugin.

WordPress will prompt you to assign authors. You can either import an author from your Weebly site, create a new author profile or assign all imported content to an existing user on your WordPress site.

Submitting the export.xml file to the WordPress importer plugin.

Check the Download and import file attachments box. This will transfer images and other media from your Weebly website to your WordPress Media Library.

Click Submit to begin the importation process.

Once the process is complete, you’ll receive a message confirming your content has been successfully imported.

Successful importation of content from Weebly to WordPress.

3. Outsource the migration process

The third way to migrate your website from Weebly to WordPress is by outsourcing. This method is ideal if you run a massive website with hundreds or thousands of pages and would prefer to focus on growing your business rather than handling the technicalities of migration.

Here’s how to outsource the migration process:

  • Find a reputable service provider: Choose a web host with positive customer reviews and a track record of successful Weebly to WordPress migrations. Examples of reputable website migrators include CMS2CMS and WordHerd.
  • Provide your website details: You’ll need to provide your Weebly login credentials and access to your WordPress hosting account. So, it’s important to choose a service provider you can trust.
  • Let the experts handle it: The website migration service will handle the entire process, from content transfer to design replication and search engine optimization.

What to do after migrating from Weebly to WordPress

Let’s look at some important things to do after migrating your website to ensure it runs smoothly.

Double-check your content

Check your new website to confirm you’ve migrated all your posts, pages, and media correctly. Also, ensure you’ve imported all the images from your Weebly website to the WordPress Media Library.

This step is like unpacking after a move — you want to make sure everything made it over and is in good condition.

Set up redirects

Setting up redirects after migrating your website ensures a seamless transition and prevents visitors from landing on a 404 page.

This process depends on whether you have a custom domain or a subdomain from Weebly.

Let’s look at both scenarios.

Scenario 1: For custom domains (e.g., example.com).

Log in to your Weebly account and go to the Domains page. Then, select the domain you wish to edit.

Add a DNS record to your Weebly account by entering the nameservers provided by your new hosting provider.

For instance, if you use Bluehost, these would be ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com.

Click the Save button to apply the changes.

Scenario 2: For subdomains (like example.weebly.com).

Log in to your Weebly account, click Settings, then navigate to the SEO tab.

Accessing the SEO tab on Weebly.

Scroll to the Header Code option and paste the following code:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0;url=http://www.yourdomain.com”>

Adding a line of code to the Header Code.

Make sure to replace yourdomain.com with the domain name of your new WordPress site.

Click on the Save button, then hit Publish to update your website with these changes.

Set up permalinks

A permalink is a web address that leads to a specific page on the internet.

To set up your permalinks, go to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard.

Accessing the permalinks tab on WordPress.

Select Custom Structure and add the structure of your Weebly site URL. This will keep your URLs consistent and maintain a familiar navigation experience for users.

Install essential plugins

Plugins extend the functionality of your website. While there’s a plugin for everything, it’s wise to start with the essentials.

These include:

Set up analytics

Install Google Analytics to monitor your website’s performance.

The platform tracks key performance indicators (KPIs) such as page load times, bounces and conversions. This helps you improve your website’s performance and keep visitors engaged.

Final thoughts: How to migrate your website from Weebly to WordPress

While Weebly might offer some features ideal for creating a simple website, it may not have the functionalities you need to grow your business. With the tutorial above, you can confidently migrate your website from Weebly to WordPress.

As you do so, consider the pre-migration tips we discussed, like registering your domain name and picking the right hosting provider. These will determine how smoothly your WordPress website runs.

Bluehost offers lightning-fast WordPress hosting with round-the-clock support and top-notch security, ensuring optimal website performance.

Purchase a hosting plan to start your migration journey today.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    Education
    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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