Moving Your Website To WordPress: How To Do It And Why Bother? 

The chances are, you’re here because your website was created on a different builder and you’ve realised its limitations. Somebody has probably helpfully suggested that WordPress websites are a lot more flexible and user-friendly. Leaving us with a couple of questions. Firstly, why didn’t they tell you that before you created your site? And secondly, is it really worth the hassle of moving at this point? We’re here to tell you that it is. Better still, moving your site isn’t as much of a problem as you think. 

Why WordPress? 

If you’ve checked out the Ultimately Better homepage, you’ll realise that we’re big fans of WordPress. With over 30 years of combined experience in designing and building WordPress sites, it’s unsurprising that we’re a little biased. In case you haven’t read our thoughts on the matter already, here’s a summary: 

  • It’s Open Source: No licence fees or contract tie-ins. You only pay for site development and hosting
  • Massive user base: WordPress powers over 64 million sites with thousands of developers worldwide contributing to core development and plugins
  • Infinitely flexible: WordPress can be anything you want it to be – check our project page for some examples of the fantastic sites we’ve created for clients 

If you have some awareness of site speed and search engine optimisation (SEO), you may have heard that WordPress is great for both. 

In terms of site speed, the flexibility of WordPress as a platform is extremely helpful. As developers, we can work through a series of steps to optimise your website. WordPress allows us to play around with various aspects of a site without impacting its outward appearance. For example, if a slider is slowing down your homepage, we can whip it out and replace it with a static image with zero downtime. 

Text Image with the words Why WordPress? With over 30 years of combined experience in designing and building WordPress sites, we are more than happy to recommend WordPress because: (words set on a pink background)

When it comes to SEO, there are various plugins available on WordPress that allow you to focus on search traffic with only a basic knowledge of how the whole thing works. A great example is The SEO Framework. This guides you through making minor adjustments to help more people find your website. 

That said, if you’re moving PURELY because you’ve heard that your website platform is terrible for SEO, it’s time for a reality check: 

  • True: It’s probably not as user-friendly as WordPress and you can’t take advantage of plugins like The SEO Framework.
  • False: SEO is impossible on other platforms – Most of them do in fact have their own SEO system. They can be a bit clunky, but if that’s the ONLY reason you’re moving, it’s probably not worth it. 

So, much as we encourage you to move to WordPress because it’s better all round, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Get in touch with us for an honest chat to find out whether this is the best option for you. 

So You’ve Decided To Move – What Now? 

If you’ve already decided it’s time to make the move to WordPress, you’re probably here to find out how to go about it – AND how traumatic the process will be. Understandably, there’s more than one way to go about moving your website to WordPress. So, let’s take a look at the options. 

Moving The Site Yourself 

Believe it or not, it is fully possible to move your site yourself without vast amounts of technical knowledge. This is a little more complicated if you’re moving from closed-source web-building software like Wix. However, if you’re moving from open source software like Zen Cart or Magento, your new host will likely do the bulk of the move for you. 

If you are moving from a closed-source builder like Wix, the process is a little more complicated. The main steps look something like this: 

  • Set up your new WordPress site and customise it as you want it in terms of appearance and style.
  • Use the RSS feed to transfer all your blog posts over and a plugin like ‘Auto Upload Images’ to move your images from Wix to your new site
  • Transfer your pages from Wix to WordPress – sadly this is a little more complicated than transferring blog posts as you will need to do it manually. Copying and pasting from Wix is the starting point, then you’ll need to style it as you want to on your new site. 
  • Set up your new navigational menus so people can easily find their way around your website. 
  • Transfer your domain (website address) from your closed source-builder (e.g. Wix) to your new host. There will be step-by step instructions on your old host’s website on how to transfer the domain. 

Side note: make sure you transfer the domain rather than redirecting it. You can read more about the pitfalls of redirecting on our performance optimisation blog

How Ultimately Better Can Help You To Move 

We get it, the above is somewhat complicated. If you have all the time in the world, you can do it. We have faith in you. But if you’re pushed for time or worried about tearing your hair out when everything is going wrong, it’s time to get in touch with Ultimately Better

We can take care of the whole process for you, including setting up your new site exactly as you want it. We’ll even show you how to use it. You don’t have to worry about any tricky redirects, slow website elements or style issues. We’ve got it all covered. 

Whilst WordPress is fully flexible as a platform, it can be a little tricky to get it doing exactly what you want if you are inexperienced in using it. A better  option is to have the site built for you, then learn as you use it. You’ll soon find that you can manage basic updates like adding a blog post or even a page. We’ll explain how to add your products, put them into categories and change your images. Worried about something going wrong? Check out our maintenance and upgrades packages. We’ll take care of all that for you. 

Building A New WordPress Website 

If you’re not loving your existing site, you want to move domains or you just fancy a fresh start, it is often easiest to build a new WordPress website from scratch. This is a lot less complicated than recreating an existing website. You’ll still need to find a host and a theme builder. You’ll also need to choose your domain name and decide on a website style. Building may be a bit of trial and error, but the chances are you’ll get there. 

The only slight problem with this is that you can end up with site speed issues and errors as soon as your site is launched. Whilst WordPress is very user-friendly and a novice can build a passable site, you will avoid future problems by having your site professionally built from the word go. 

Moving Your Website To WordPress: FAQs

How long does a WordPress migration take? 

A basic migration can be done within 24 hours. However as above, they can be a lot more complex. Get in touch to discuss your individual requirements. 

What type of websites is WordPress suitable for?

WordPress is extremely flexible and ideal for any type of website, including eCommerce. 

Is it hard to migrate a website? 

Whilst it is possible to migrate a website yourself, it is a complex process and mistakes do happen which can cause issues with your new site. 

Does Google prefer WordPress websites?

No, this is a bit of an urban myth. That said, WordPress is great for SEO with some useful plugins available that can help a lot if you are a SEO novice, so it is understandable that people often see an improvement in search results after switching to WordPress. 

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