How To Move from Weebly to WordPress: The Ultimate Guide
2019 February 7th at 3:45
Although Weebly's site building software is very user-friendly - when compared to WordPress it's also very restrictive. If you wish to benefit from WordPress' thousands of plugins, brilliant customizability, and the freedom to use any web host you want - this migration guide is for you.
I'll walk you through how to move from Weebly to WordPress - and it isn't as hard as you might think. There are plenty of tools available to help you automate the process of moving your Weebly content over to WordPress.
This is how you can move your site from Weebly to WordPress:
- Start a WordPress website
- Export your Weebly posts
- Import your Weebly posts with your chosen plugin
- Export your Weebly pages
- Import your Weebly pages
- Fix imported images
Step 1: Start a WordPress Website
Before you can convert Weebly to WordPress, you need a WordPress site to transfer your content to. The key difference between Weebly and WordPress is that Weebly is a web host with an integrated site building toolkit, whereas WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that has to be installed on a separate server. This means there are two things you need to start your WordPress site:
- A website domain (the address of your site such as www.example.com)
- A plan with a web hosting service
Lots of web hosts include domain registration in their monthly hosting costs. But if you decide to use a web host that doesn't, you'll need to get a domain through a third party registration service like Register.com.
To choose a hosting service - I definitely recommend checking out our list of best WordPress hosting providers. My go-to recommendation is SiteGround for its excellent customer support. Hostinger is also a decent choice if you want excellent pricing and great performance. But of course - the ultimate decision is left to you.
Long story short, once you've signed up to a hosting plan, you'll need to add WordPress to your server. Although some hosts install WordPress automatically on your server, for others, you will need to install WordPress through your server's control panel.
So just in case, let's see how you could do it yourself.
To do that, log in to your control panel then find and click the WordPress installation icon. Often, you'll find the WordPress installer under a section of your control panel titled 'Auto Installer Scripts'. If you don't see a WordPress icon immediately, click the 'Softaculous App Installer' button.
In the script installer window, click the 'Install' link on the WordPress icon.
Now that you've installed WordPress, you should be able to access the WordPress administration dashboard.
Step 2: Export Your Weebly Posts
There are many ways to extract data from your Weebly site. Here, I'm going to focus on an automated process that uses WordPress plugins to import Weebly HTML and RSS data.
I’ve chosen this method because it’s free and straightforward. I’ll discuss some alternative ways to extract data from your Weebly site afterward.
To start to export Weebly site blog posts, in the Weebly editor add a 'Blog Feed' element to your page.
Now open the published version of the blog. Find the 'RSS' button and right click on it. Hit 'Save link as...' to save your blog post as an XML file:
Step 3: Import Your Weebly Posts with Your Chosen Plugin
Because WordPress doesn’t use the same RSS formatting as Weebly, we can’t use its inbuilt import wizard. Instead, we’ll need to use the WP All Import plugin. If you prefer, the Import XML and RSS Feeds plugin is also a fine choice.
To add it to your WordPress site, select ‘Add New’ from the plugin section of the WordPress sidebar.
Search for ‘WP All Import’. When you find the correct plugin click ‘Install Now’ and then ‘Activate’.
In the 'All Import' section of the sidebar, click 'New Import'. Then hit 'Upload a file' and select the XML feed you downloaded from Weebly.
Over the next few screens, you'll be able to customize the name and title of your imported post. If you don't want to, just keep continuing to the next step.
Eventually, you'll see the completed import screen.
And now... repeat! You'll have to go through the process again for each blog post you want to import.
Step 4: Export Your Weebly Pages
Weebly offers RSS feeds for posts but not standard pages.
So, to extract the remainder of your site, you'll need to export your entire Weebly HTML code.
Enter the Weebly settings menu. In the 'General' section find the 'Archive' subsection. Type your email address and click 'Email Archive'.
Now go to your email inbox and download the Zip file that your Weebly has provided you. This is your website's HTML code.
Step 5: Import Your Weebly Pages
We’re going to need the HTML Import 2 plugin to make sense of all that tasty HTML code you’ve just downloaded. It's an older (but functional) plugin, so we'll need to download it from here, rather than installing it from the plugin directory:
To add it to your account, click 'Upload Plugin' in the WordPress plugin section, and choose the plugin Zip file.
Once the plugin is installed, in the 'Tools' section of the sidebar, click 'Import' and select 'Run Importer' under 'HTML':
You need to tell the importer your HTML code is located in a single file. Then hit 'Choose file' and select the archive Weebly emailed to you.
Step 6: Fix Imported Images
The HTML plugin is great at dealing with text but struggles to process images properly. Check the previews of your imported pages to see if the images are displayed in the correct way.
If they’re not, there’s another plugin that can help you out. Once again, head to the plugin directory and this time install the 'Auto Upload Images' plugin.
Once activated, whenever you open one of the imported Weebly pages, the Auto Upload Images plugin will scan for broken image links and place the correct images in the gallery of each post.
That means you need to open the editing page of every imported page, which can be done at once using WordPress’s batch edit feature.
Head to your posts window and click the top tick box above the list to select every post. If you have hundreds of posts, you can increase the number of them that WordPress displays on a single page.
You can do this by navigating to, and selecting, 'Screen Options' at the top right of your screen. Once the pop-down box expands, change the number in the 'Number of items per page' field to 999, which is the maximum. Click 'Apply' and you'll then be able to bulk edit all of your posts at the same time.
Then, from the batch action drop-down menu, click ‘edit’.
And that's it– you've successfully imported your Weebly pages and posts with the correct images!
Alternative Migration Methods
There's more than one way to convert Weebly to WordPress. If you find the route above too difficult, consider manually copying your content. This is the simplest but most time-consuming method: Simply copy/paste the content of each Weebly page into a blank WordPress post.
Then, just make sure you're happy with the design and you're good to go. There are plenty of great WordPress themes you can use to help replicate or even improve the looks of your Weebly website.
You can also use a paid migration service such as CMS2CMS to automatically migrate Weebly to WordPress. Just type in the details of your sites (and some payment information), and everything will happen without you lifting a finger!
But hey - using the steps in this article, you can do it for free. And whichever way you choose, is entirely up to you. Good luck using WordPress, and I hope that this guide has been helpful.