Each day hundreds of people around the world embark on their blogging journey. Unfortunately, without proper guidance, many choose the wrong platform. Sure, Weebly and the other free hosted solutions are easy to use, but as you get further along in your blogging journey, you begin learning about monetization, SEO, plugins, scripts, customization, and so on. If you’re a Weebly user who just had that “ahaa!” moment and now realize you need to go the WordPress route, you’re in luck.
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the migration process and help you successfully transfer Weebly to WordPress. A little technical knowledge is needed and you may have to make some sacrifices, but the power and flexibility of WordPress is well worth it. Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Select a Domain and Web Host
The first thing you need to do is to begin setting up a WordPress site while keeping your primary website up during the transfer process. Since you are currently using free Weebly hosting, you need to find a new domain and web host provider. A simple baby hosting package should be fine and some web hosts provide free domains or subdomains as well. The plans are quite cheap as most start under $10 a month.
2. Setup a WordPress Site
After securing hosting and a domain, it’s time to begin setting up your WordPress site. With WordPress, you will need to choose a theme. If you’re simply migrating the content from Weebly to WordPress and want to see if everything goes as it should, you can simply use the default theme. However, if you want to go ahead and make your site look outstanding from the get go, you can take your pick of thousands of available themes.
3. Migrate Content
Now that your WordPress site is setup properly, it’s time to migrate your Weebly content to it. Fortunately, WordPress offers an option allowing you to import content via RSS. To begin, find the RSS feed URL of your Weebly site. It will look similar to www.mysite.com/1/feed.
Some people comment on their feed URL not working, but this is almost always due to the fact that they don’t have a blog section setup on their Weebly site. If your feed URL is available and working properly, you’ll discover that it only displays 10 posts. This can easily be solved with Google Reader.
Assuming your feed URL was www.mysite.com/1/feed, you need to type the following into Google reader: http://www.google.com/reader/atom/feed/http://www.mysite.com/1/feed?n=100. You will notice “?n=100” tagged on at the end of the URL. This tells Google to display 100 feed posts instead of the default number. If you have more than 100 posts, simply increase the number.
After typing the above URL into Google Reader, you will see an XML file pop up. Right click on the file, select the “Save Page As” option, and save it as an Atom feed. Next, you need to convert the Atom feed file to an RSS feed file.
4. Convert the Feed File
WordPress is only designed to import from RSS feed files, so you must convert the ATOM Feed to an RSS feed. There are many complex tutorials on performing the conversion, but the best route to take is to upload the saved ATOM feed file to your hosting account using FTP or their file manager. Then choose one of the many available ATOM to RSS conversion tools. After choosing a tool and pressing the “convert” button, click the “File/Save As” button and save the file to your computer as mysite.xml.
5. Import RSS Feed File To WordPress
With your RSS feed file ready to go, go into your WordPress admin panel, select “Tools,” and then “Import.” Finally, select the “RSS import” button and upload the saved RSS file you downloaded above. Once the import process is completed, all of your Weebly blog posts should be successfully transferred to your new WordPress site.
6. Transfer Pages
If you would like to move actual pages from Weebly to WordPress, then you will have to do this manually. Luckily, there are plugins, such as HTML Import 2, that make the process rather easy.
7. Match Your Permalinks
While WordPress has a better URL structure than Weebly, if you have a fairly popular Weebly site with a lot of posts, we recommend matching your Weebly and WordPress permalinks. Your Weebly URLs likely look similar to http://www.mysite/1/post/2015/01/my-post-title.html. To have the same URL structure in WordPress, go to your WordPress admin panel and select “Settings” and “Permalinks.” Check the box that says “Custom structure” and paste the following code in the box: /1/post/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html. This will add .html to the end of your post names and keep your WordPress URL structure the same as Weebly’s.
Please note, if your site is still fairly small and isn’t achieving high search engine rankings, it’s best to cut your losses and begin building a powerful WordPress site from the ground up.
8. Update the Feed URLs
Your Weebly feed URLs should look like mysite.com/1/feed/, while your WordPress feed URL is simply mysite.com/feed/. If your site has a lot of subscribers and you’re looking to transfer Weebly to WordPress, then you need to update your feed URLs accordingly. Thankfully, redirection plugins help make the process a piece of cake.
The process of transferring from Weebly to WordPress is not as simple as migrating from Tumblr and some of the other basic blogging platforms, but as you can see, it’s not as difficult as it may appear. By following the right guidance and a few key steps, you can have your underpowered Weebly site transferred to WordPress in no time at all.