Moving my blog from Weebly to WordPress

Crack open the champagne – I’ve done it!

After a few months of deliberations and a week of Google searches and fiddling about I have moved my blog from Weebly to WordPress.

And I have to say it went much more smoothly than I thought it would.  I still have a bit of rejigging to do with the way everything looks now, and I have a lot to learn about WordPress, but the main thing is, I’m here, my blog is here and all my comments are here too which I’m so pleased about!

I started my blog with Weebly back in February 2015 as it just seemed like the easiest way to get up and running.  And I actually don’t regret that decision.  Weebly was good for me.  It was so straightforward to use that it allowed me to just get on with writing posts, finding my voice, learning about blogging in general.

But, over a year later, I felt that it was time to move on.  I was feeling a bit restricted by Weebly, and really didn’t like the fact that they were basically in control of all my content (and they don’t have an option for backing up your blog posts with them).

The thing is, Weebly really don’t make it easy for you to move your content away from them.  And a lot of the results of my googling were out of date, as they talked about using google reader which doesn’t exist anymore.

So, in the hope of helping someone else who might be wanting to move from Weebly to WordPress, here’s how I did it and the steps you can take to make the move yourself:

moving blog weebly wordpress

 

The first thing I should mention is that I had a bit of an issue in that I  already had my domain name with GoDaddy and it was pointing to my Weebly site.  I wanted to move the domain name with me over to WordPress, so I went into Weebly and changed my domain name there back to the basic .weebly.com option.  This meant that anyone looking for my blog might be a bit confused for a few days as it either wouldn’t be there or would look a bit ‘off’, but it freed up the domain name so I could crack on with setting it up with a new host and with WordPress.

I should also mention that one of the most time consuming parts of migrating for me was backing up my blog posts.  Now, as Weebly don’t have a way of doing this for you, what I mean by this is that I manually went into each post and copied and pasted all my text into word documents, and made a note of the date they were written and the url of the post.  I wanted to be absolutely certain that I wouldn’t lose all my hard work in the move, and for the most part this turned out to be unnecessary as all my posts were fine in the end.  The one issue I did have was with the dates of the posts, as they were all wonky in WordPress so it was useful to have a record of when the posts actually went live so I could go in and edit them in WordPress.

 

Get hosting.

The first big step in making the move from Weebly to a self-hosted WordPress blog is to get hosting for the new site.

After asking around other UK bloggers I decided to go with TSOhost, and they’ve been great so far.  You simply go to their site, and sign up for hosting.  I selected the lite option as you can always upgrade later if you need to.

Once I’d signed up for hosting TSOhost sent me a welcome email with some important information and details in it.  When you get your email, click on the control panel URL link and log in using the details they give you.  Click on the ‘add a site’ option and add the domain name that you want to use.  If like me your domain is already pointing at your Weebly site you’ll have to change this, so go to your domain provider and change the nameservers to the ones listed in your welcome email.

This willl mean that your blog will go down for a bit, but this whole process didn’t actually take too long so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

 

Install WordPress.

Install WordPress through the TSOhost control panel.  Again this was a pretty simple process, just follow the instructions on the screen.

Once WordPress is installed you can log in to wordpress and choose a theme.  There are loads of free ones to chose from, but I went for a premium theme from Pipdig as I had an idea of what I wanted and really loved the look and feel of this particular theme.

 

Migrate your blog posts from Weebly to WordPress.

The next big step is to get your blog posts, categories and comments over from Weebly.  This is where I got confused as most of the tutorials I could find were out of date, and involved using Google reader which doesn’t exist anymore.  But there is a way to do it, and for me at least it was really easy and worked perfectly.

I went to shifttowp.com, and followed the instructions there to get the rss feed from my weebly blog.  This file gets sent to you in an email, which also includes instructions to get the full wxr file.  This does cost about £15 but it’s well worth it if you want to take all your hard-earned comments with you!

Once you get the wxr file you need to import it into WordPress.  You do this by going into your wordpress dashboard and going to tools, import, wordpress and then uploading the file you were sent in the second email.

All of your blog posts should now be with you in wordpress – hurray!

The next really important thing to do is to install and run the Import external images plugin to transfer all your images from Weebly to WordPress.  It might seem that your photos have already been transferred over with your posts, but they’ll actually still be held over on your weebly site, so if/when you delete that old site all your photos will disappear from wordpress, so do make sure you don’t skip this step!

 

Rejig anything that needs rejigging.

Chances are your blog posts won’t look quite how you want them to look in your new set up.  So take a bit of time to straighten up your images, make sure your posts are in the right date order (mine got really messed up in the move!), and basically get everything looking the way you want it to look.

 

Set up any other pages you want your site to have.

Now all your blog posts have been migrated you can set up any other pages that you want.  There is a way to migrate this information over but I just did it manually, by creating new pages in WordPress and typing in the content I wanted – simple.

 

Sort out your 301 redirects.

One problem you might have is that the way Weebly sets up its urls is different to the way wordpress does it, so anyone trying to find one of your old blog posts using one of your old links will get a 401 error.

There are two schools of thought on how to deal with this, you can either create a custom url in wordpress so that it creates its urls in the same way that weebly does, or you can set up 301 redirects from your old urls to the new ones.  From what I read the second option is best, although I couldn’t quite work out why!

Setting up the redirects was surprisingly easy though.  I installed the simple 301 redirects plugin and found it really simple to use.  Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin you need to go to settings, then 301 redirects then put in the request and destination urls.

Let’s say for example a post on your Weebly blog had the url http://www.yourblogname.co.uk/blog/this-is-a-post. then that means your standard url for all blog posts would be www.yourblogname.co.uk/blog/blog-page/%postname%/ so in the ‘request’ box you would put /blogpost/%postname%

As standard on WordPress, blog posts don’t come under a header of ‘blog’ like they do on Weebly, so the same post would have a url in WordPress of www.yourblogname.co.uk/this-is-a-post, so you want to set the ‘destination’ to /%postname%

This seemed to work for me, as my old links now open up the post in my new wordpress site, so give it a go!

 

Start blogging with wordpress.

That’s the hard bit done, now you have the fun of getting stuck into WordPress, so go and explore this brave new world!

 

I really hope this post is helpful to anyone wanting to make the move from Weebly to a self-hosted WordPress site.  If you think I’ve missed a step please do let me know so I can include it, and if you’re considering doing it, then I urge you to just take a deep breath and go for it, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!  Good luck!

 

Cuddle Fairy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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27 Comments

  1. 15/06/2016 / 9:43 am

    A really helpful guide. I’m on WordPress and love it but need to make the move to self hosted x #BloggerClubUK

    • This glorious life
      Author
      17/06/2016 / 4:36 pm

      I am really liking WordPress now I’m here! I think the move from .com to .org is relatively straightforward – go for it! x

  2. 15/06/2016 / 11:13 am

    I moved from Blogger to WordPress and that process was smooth also. I really felt restricted by Blogger and I’ve always been a fan of WordPress (I used it for years on and off). I have heard from others that Weebly is restrictive, so it’s good to see you now have freedom. I think this post will prove useful to those wanting to make the jump. #BloggerClubUK

    • This glorious life
      Author
      17/06/2016 / 4:35 pm

      I’ve heard that Blogger to WordPress is a bit more straightforward, I think Blogger are more cooperative! I am enjoying my new found freedom! x

  3. 19/06/2016 / 3:55 am

    i recently moved mine from blogger to wordpress… and i love it!! my move went smoothly as well!! wordpress is way better than blogger in my opinion.. by far. good choice #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life
      Author
      22/06/2016 / 11:54 am

      Yay you! Most people who are on WordPress seem to love it, so I think we’ve made the right choice in making the move! x

  4. 19/06/2016 / 7:53 am

    Yay, congratulations on your move!I moved from logger to WordPress a couple months ago and I must say it was a lot easier than moving from Weebly it seems. Glad you managed to get your blog moved over in one piece, enjoy exploring WordPress and your new found freedom xx #KCACOLS

  5. 19/06/2016 / 11:07 am

    You are so brave. I am not good with new technologies so wouldn’t try that. I started my blog with wordpress and it’s quite easy and very effective. Seriously, I am a bit of a dumbass with that stuff but even I managed to do something decent. Welcome to wordpress! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life
      Author
      22/06/2016 / 11:53 am

      Thank you, I’m happy to be here! And haha, I was really quite scared to do it and had my IT technician husband on call the whole time in case anything went wrong, but I am really quite proud of myself for just doing it! x

  6. 19/06/2016 / 2:21 pm

    I started out on Blogger and moved to self hosted after around 9 months and I agree, it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be to actually do the moving. It was a much simpler process than this because blogger allows you to do a back-up and also, there is a WordPress plugin which brings everything over in one go from there. Love the theme!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

    • This glorious life
      Author
      22/06/2016 / 11:52 am

      Thank you! Yes, I’d heard it’s a bit more straightforward to move from Blogger to WordPress, Weebly just make it really tricky for anyone to leave them! x

  7. 20/06/2016 / 1:22 pm

    I moved from blogger to wordpress this week, thankfully it went smoothly for me. I still have some juggling about to do, but I am happy I made the change.

    • This glorious life
      Author
      22/06/2016 / 11:51 am

      Yay, well done you! I think there’s a lot of us making the move to WordPress at the moment! x

  8. 22/06/2016 / 5:34 am

    Weebly is great for simple sites, but I must admit it is easy to feel restricted by them. And I found that as soon as I’ve needed to pay for anything, it quickly equals the cost of a wordpress site, so you may as well just have wordpress! Congrats on the move 🙂

    • This glorious life
      Author
      22/06/2016 / 11:51 am

      Thank you! That is a really good point, I hadn’t realised that I was most likely financially better off being with WordPress until I made the move! x

  9. 22/06/2016 / 8:23 am

    well done! my fave platform for ease is WIX but I know it isn’t an ideal blogging platform! hence im with WP -not self hosted though at the mo #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life
      Author
      22/06/2016 / 11:50 am

      Thank you! I did really like using Weebly, it was so simple but you know when it’s time to move on don’t you! x

  10. 22/06/2016 / 7:17 pm

    Wow you sound very tech minded! Well done for moving it all on your own! I am not tech minded at all and often call upon a few blogger friends for help! I have always been on WordPress and am very happy with it 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  11. 23/06/2016 / 8:36 pm

    Wow I wish I had read this 3 months ago when I made the change – it was a total nightmare and I ended up losing all my comments 🙁 Great post for those who haven’t yet moved though! #KCACOLS

    • This glorious life
      Author
      02/07/2016 / 12:15 pm

      Oh no, that’s what I was dreading, so happy to have found a way to keep them. Sorry it was too late for you though! x

  12. 27/06/2016 / 11:40 pm

    Congrats!! I remember switching from wordpres.com to self hosted. So much stress. But you did it and the site looks great Ya! #KCACOLS

  13. 29/06/2016 / 11:19 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about >Moving my blog from Weeblly to WordPress – Thiis glorious life <Loved it!

  14. 17/08/2017 / 1:53 pm

    Hi Madeline! Thanks for promoting my little app (weeeblyrss.appspot.com). 🙂 I’ve since moved it to a proper domain so I’d really appreciate if you could update the link to http://shifttowp.com . Regards, Gregor

    P.S.: any regrets moving from Weebly to WP? 😉

    • This glorious life
      Author
      17/08/2017 / 9:41 pm

      Hi Gregor, I’ve changed the link for you, thank you for letting me know that the domain has changed. I don’t think I could have made the move over to WP without the use of your app, so I really appreciate it! And I have no regrets about the move at all!

  15. 31/07/2018 / 8:36 pm

    hi there !
    just saw this post, i was wondering if you know of any fix if the images went missing after migrating from weebly?
    they were migrated but suddenly they all disappeared and i am not sure.

    • This glorious life
      Author
      02/08/2018 / 3:32 pm

      I’m really not sure to be honest, if you ran the Import external images plugin and then imported all the images they should be there. So sorry that I can’t be of more help, but hope you get it sorted. I would head to google if I were you to see if there are any suggestions there. x

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