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Transferring from Weebly to WordPress

how to switch from weebly to wordpress

Weebly and WordPress are popular web design platforms, which occupy high positions in their niches. The systems are effectively used to start different types of web projects that differ in size, complexity, integrated functionality and target audience. They abound in design customization, integration and marketing options yet they still differ in the web design approach offered.

While Weebly is the all-in-one website builder with a strong eCommerce focus, WordPress is a world-known Content Management System used for the development of complex projects. This is the major difference between the systems, which is manifested in their feature sets, tools and options included.

Switching from Weebly to WordPress may be a good idea, if you have an intention to create and promote a full-featured website. Whether you run a web store or any other project created with Weebly, you may face the need to access more advanced and complicated tools for its further development. This is when the transition from one platform to another might be the best solution.

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The decision to move your Weebly website to WordPress is quite responsible. The thing is that you should realize what it takes to complete the task properly and what steps should be undertaken to make it a success. This especially matters a lot for newbies, whose skills and previous web design expertise may be insufficient to cope with the process as required.

The procedure of website transfer generally includes content and domain name migration, traffic redirection to the new hosting platform along with preservation of current search engine ranking.

This is a must not to lose your regular users and to make all the website entities display well. If you feel that you may encounter problems with your project migration, read on to find out the guidelines that may help you with the task.

1. Moving Website from Weebly to WordPress – Is it Worth It?

Reasons to switch from Weebly to WordPress are numerous yet the most widespread of them are as follows:

  • If you have an intention to launch, promote and run a full-featured website and you are sure that your coding/web design skills are on a top level.
  • If you have started a web store, a business website, a blog or any other web project with Weebly, you may encounter the situation, when your business/company will develop quite fast. This will eventually imply the use of more powerful features and tools to ensure quality performance. This is when Weebly’s functionality may be insufficient to cover the entire spectrum of your business needs, which will make transition to WordPress a smart idea.
  • If you expect to create truly personalized website design, switching to WordPress really makes sense. The CMS boasts more powerful plugin integration and template selection opportunities.

No matter what causes have made you move from Weebly to WordPress, the result won’t disappoint you, if you do everything right. The CMS stands out from the crowd due to its advanced integrations and design customization tools yet it also requires coding expertise to maximize the result.

2. Weebly versus WordPress – What Is the Difference?

The major differences between Weebly and WordPress include the web design approach they follow, system implications, degree of website customization, integrated functionality, pricing policy etc. Awareness of these distinctions will help you make the unbiased choice of the web design tool to work with.

To start with, Weebly is a SaaS website builder, which was initially created with blog development in mind. Recently, however, the system has got eCommerce focus, having been acquired by the eCommerce giant Square. Likewise, it is still possible to launch other types of projects with the website builder.

Weebly Website Editor

As opposed to Weebly, WordPress is a CMS, the use of which implies preliminary download and installation. This may pose a problem to users, who are not that experienced in these issues, but this does not make you dependent on the Internet connection. This is what appeals to most WordPress users most.

Weebly comes with a set of pre-designed themes suitable for customization. They are free, responsive and niche-specific by default.

WordPress, in its turn, provides quite a limited choice of integrations and designs ight from the start. Instead, it boasts powerful plugin/template integration opportunities, making it possible to choose from hundreds of third-party services and designs on the web. Plugins and templates available out there are free and paid. Free integrations may potentially pose danger to your website safety because of the malware threats.

Gutenberg WordPress

Finally, one of the most important distinctions between the platforms is hosting/domain name choice. As a website builder, Weebly provides integrated hosting/domain included into its plans. WordPress does not offer the same feature. Instead, it triggers the need to pick hosting and domain name provided by third-party companies. This requires extra financial expenditures.

To sum it up, differences between Weebly and WordPress are more than obvious and they are really crucial for each and every user. They are specific for a certain platform – keep that in mind when considering the possibility of website migration.

3. How to Switch from Weebly to WordPress – The Ultimate Guide

The very process of Weebly-to-WordPress migration involves two stages – content and domain name transfer. Both of these are essential for your website performance and both of them encompass several must-have steps. Let’s explore each stage in details now.

To make content switch from Weebly to WordPress more flexible and understandable, the website builder has a free online tool – Weeblytowp.com, which will import your files from Weebly and convert them into WordPress compatible mode. At the same time, it doesn’t change the existing Weebly website, which makes the procedure safe and convenient for everyone.

  1. Head over to the importer website and specify your Weebly website URL in the corresponding field there. You’ll be asked to enter you real name, email and choose the preferred export format (the tool offers WXR format by default and it’s not recommended to change it unless you have other requirements).
  2. Decide, if you wish to include website pages into the export file. The default settings offer the “Yes” option. Leave it unchanged if you don’t plan to go without your Weebly website pages.
  3. Click the “Export My Weebly Website” button to initiate the import of files from Weebly to WordPress. Then you will see the button to start the download of Weebly export file. Click it with the right mouse button and choose “Save link as” option from the menu list. This is needed to download the export.xml file to your personal computer.
  4. Import Weebly Content to WordPress. Now that you have the export file downloaded to your computer, it is high time to import it to WordPress. Login to your account and reach the Tools » Import page. You’ll see the list of available importers for different platforms. Select WordPress and activate the “Install Now” link. This is how you will install the importer plugin on your WordPress website. Right after the installation is over, click the “Run Importer” button to initiate the process and get to the WordPress importer page.
  5. Click the “Choose File” button and select the downloaded export.xml file.
  6. Click the “Upload File and Import” button then. Wait until WordPress importer uploads the export file and analyzes it.
  7. Assign authors. If you wish, you can import/export authors from your Weebly website. It is also possible to create a new author or assign author rights to existing WordPress users.
  8. Import the images. To do that, click the box found next to “Download and Import File Attachments” and then the “Submit” button to launch the importer. WordPress will automatically import content from the export file to the database, including images linked to your Weebly website pages.
  9. If you do everything properly, you’ll see the success message. Go to the admin area to check, whether all your content is there. Don’t forget to check the media library files.
  10. Check your SEO settings. Go to your Weebly account, access the Domains page and click the domain you wish to edit. Then click the “Change” button found next to nameservers field and find the domain settings page there. Go to the next screen to enter your new WordPress host nameservers. Save the settings.
  11. Set up Permalinks. Reach the corresponding page in the settings section. Select “Custom Structure” option and then add /blog/%postname% in the attached field. Save the settings you’ve made.
  12. Access the Settings » Permalinks page and save the changes made.
  13. Make sure all your SEO settings, URLs and meta tags are filled out properly.

That’s all about content migration, but get ready to deal with your domain name transfer now. By the way, when working on your website transfer, do not hurry to deactivate your Weebly account/website. You might need it, if something goes wrong during the migration process. You will be able to do that after you make sure your project transfer is a success.

4. How to Transfer Own Domain Name from Weebly to WordPress

As mentioned above, the CMS doesn’t offer integrated hosting. Instead, it allows selecting hosting from other providers. Take your time to review several hosting alternatives and their terms to choose the one that comes up to your needs most of all.

The fact that you have a website means that you already have the registered domain as well. Correspondingly, the first thing you should do is to move/connect it to WordPress. Actually, domain migration rules may differ with regard to the hosting you will go for. The standard transfer process, however, looks like this.

Transferring Your Active Domain Away from Weebly

When proceeding to your domain migration process, you initially need to transfer it away from Weebly. As far as WordPress does not provide integrated hosting, experts recommend keeping your domain hosted with Weebly until the final transfer completion. Mid that as soon as the process is over, your Weebly website will be disconnected and you won’t be able to manage your domain using the system support.

If you don’t wish to bother about this issue, you can pick another option – get domain and hosting from the third-party provider. There are many companies offering these services out there. Just take your time to find the most reputable one and to choose the plan that matches your needs and requirements. To transfer your domain away from Weebly, complete the following steps:

  1. Sign in with your Weebly account and reach the “Domains” page;
  2. Choose the domain you intend to transfer;
  3. Click on the “Disable” link under the Registrar Lock icon;
  4. Reach the “Domain Detail” page, scroll down to find the “Request Transfer Authorization Code and wait until the system emails it to the administrative email address associated with the domain.

It generally takes around 7 days to complete the domain transfer process. In some cases, it may take up to 10 days depending upon special nuances.

Connecting the Domain Name to WordPress

Having transferred your domain away from Weebly, you need to connect it to the selected hosting that supports WordPress. To do this, you have to sign up for one of the plans the hosting offers, set the domain, enter a code and wait until the procedure is complete. This usually takes around 5-10 days. What if you adopt the decision to completely move your domain to WordPress platform? In this case, the procedure will be a bit different and may eventually take more time and effort. Mind the obligatory steps to be undertaken here:

  1. Sign up for one of the WordPress premium plans (either Personal, Premium or Business);
  2. Check the EPP code you’ve got from Weebly to initiate the transfer procedure;
  3. Create a WordPress website and move the content from your previous project. If you have the one already, reach the “My Sites” page, then access the “Manage” section to find the “Domains” page;
  4. Click the “Add Domain” button, which is accessible in the upper right corner of the domains list;
  5. Choose the “Use a Domain I Own” option and proceed to the next page;
  6. Select the “Transfer to WordPress” button;
  7. Enter the domain name you intend to transfer, click the corresponding button and then choose the “Start Transfer” section;
  8. As soon as you provide the domain name, you will be redirected to the next page. This is where you have to confirm the fact that you have unlocked the specified domain already and it is now available for transfer. If everything is ok, click the “I’ve unlocked my domain” button and wait for the edits to take place;
  9. Provide the EPP authorization code you’ve got from Weebly and then click the ”Check My Authorization Code” button;
  10. Having done that, activate the “Continue” button to continue the transfer process;
  11. Confirm your contact data. If you have already bought WordPress subscription, the system will automatically fill out the form for you, using the info you’ve entered in advance. Another solution is to sign up independently for Privacy Protection (recommended by the system), but it is also possible to go for private registration. If you do this, your contact info will be available in a public database and, thus, it might be potentially susceptible to hacker attacks. As soon as you make the choice, press the “Continue to Checkout” button to pay for the domain transfer with regard to the terms of the selected plan;
  12. Having made the payment, wait for a confirmation email.

All in all, it may take up to 5-7 days for the domain transfer to take place. Don’t cancel your Weebly subscription or delete the account during this time. Otherwise, the transfer process will be impossible.

Connecting an Email to Your Custom WordPress Domain via Email Forwarding

In case your domain name servers have not been pointed to WordPress yet, you can adjust the required settings on your own. This is required to add the DNS records and connect the corresponding email account to your WordPress domain. This is viable for those users, who own custom domains already as the CMS does not offer email hosting by default.

The first way you can pick, while connecting an email to your WordPress domain name is by forwarding it. This allows using your customer domain in the email address to have your mail forwarded to this email in the automated mode.To do this, complete the following steps:

  1. Access the “My Sites” page and then reach the “Domains” section. Pick the domain you wish to use for email forwarding. This lets you get access to the corresponding settings page. Choose the “Email” section afterwards.
  2. Pick the “Email Forwarding” section to enter the new email address. Fill out your custom domain name in the “Emails Sent To” part and then select the destination email marked as “Will Be Forwarded To” field. Click the “Add New Email Forward” button then to get the activation email to the provided email address.

Connecting an Email Purchased from Other Providers to Your Custom WordPress Domain

When picking a hosting provider for your new WordPress website, your choice is unlimited. There are multiple providers out there and it’s only up to you to pick the one that absolutely corresponds to your special requirements and financial opportunities. You can decide to get email hosting from another provider and then to connect it to your WordPress domain. Some of the most popular email providers are listed below:

  • Microsoft Office 365. Get the Office 365 account following the instructions provided by the official website of the platform. Sign up for the preferred plan and then connect the account to your custom WordPress domain;
  • Zoho Mail. Register with a new Zoho email hosting account, following the guidelines the system provides. Then connect this account to your WordPress domain;
  • G Suite. Having moved the domain to WordPress, you will be able to purchase a G Suite account. This can be done on a certain stage of the setup process. If you have got the one already, you can connect it to your custom domain any time;
  • GoDaddy. It is possible to connect your WordPress domain to GoDaddy platform, if you have got an account there or just plan to get the one. Follow the instructions the system generates to complete the task;
  • Other email providers. Are you going to use any other email provider not included in the list above? Then the first thing you should do is to get custom DNS records from the selected provider. Right after that, reach the “Domains” page in WordPress. Choose the domain you intend to add the DNS records to and then select the “Name Servers and DNS” section;
    Choose the “DNS Records” section afterwards and pick the type of record you need from the dropdown menu. Enter the info you get from your email provider and then activate the “Add New DNS Record” button to save the settings adjusted. If you add any other records or extra info, make sure to save them each time you do that. If everything is ok, your email will be activated within a few hours.

Transferring the Expired Weebly Domain to WordPress

If your Weebly domain has expired, but you still wish to transfer it to WordPress, you can still do that during the so-called Grace Period, that is, 30 days after the expiration date. Upon the end of this term, the domain will be referred to the Redemption Period, which will make its transfer impossible until you pay $100 as the retrieval fee to make it active again.

To avoid the problem, though, it is possible to extend the duration of the expired domain before proceeding to the transfer process. The only thing you should know is that you shouldn’t edit your domain-related contact info not to make it locked during 60 days. There are also special terms for domains registered in different zones. Reach the platform to find them out.

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5. Professional Weebly to WordPress Migration Services

Whether you are a first-time user or an experienced web designer, there are two major questions you may be concerned with. These include the way you should complete the process of website transfer – either independently or by means of hiring a third-party professional.

DIY Website Migration

Automated migration programs like CMS2CMS will help move all your website entities (pages, SEO tags, posts, images/videos, menu items along with hosting and domain) from Weebly to WordPress in the fully automated mode. They have rich experience in completing transfer projects and, thus, they pay special attention to the most intricate nuances and characteristics of your website. The team of pros supervises all the stages of the website migration process, staying in touch with you to specify the details, if required.

Weebly to WordPress migration

What you should know, though, is that automated website transfer may not be the best option sometimes. The thing is that the process implies correct migration of content, hosting and domain name. When using automated platforms, there is a risk to overlook important aspects. Additionally, these services are quite costly, which is not a worthy investment in the long run. This is where professional assistance comes into play.

Professional Help

Hiring a professional seems to be a far more reasonable and safe solution. Web design experts like the guys from SiteBuilders.PRO, who have worked with each of these services, are aware of their major distinctions and special features. Thus, they consider them, when moving a website from Weebly to WordPress.

They are capable of moving all website entities (graphic and text content, media files, web store data, SEO settings, hosting/domain) in the manual mode. This helps avoid the potential problems that can spoil the entire success of your website migration experience. If you still face problems afterwards, you can get in touch with the developers, who will help you effectively solve them.

Bottom Line

Both Weebly and WordPress are worthy web creation platforms to use for personal or business projects. Each of them, however, differs in the web design approach and tools used to launch and manage websites. It doesn’t really matter what objectives and reasons you have to switch from Weebly to WordPress.

What matters most is the option you will choose for this purpose. DIY website migration is not always the best solution as there are many nuances you may overlook during the transfer procedure. Automated programs like can CMS2CMS can sometimes be used to complete Weebly to WordPress project transfer. However, they can hardly be considered reliable and they are also quite expensive for an ordinary user. The best solution is to hire manual professional website migration services like SiteBuilders.PRO to get the desired result with minimum time, effort and budget investment.

Howard

About the Author

I'm Howard Steele, the founder and editor-in-chief of this website. With over 10 years of web building I know how complicated and tiresome this task can be for a non-IT person. Can’t decide which service to choose? Feel free to ask me for advice. Just describe your website needs, and I’ll gladly help you.

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