Why I Moved my Blog from Wix to WordPress and why you should too!
You’re doing all the things – you think you’re doing them right – but you’re just not getting the results?
I trebled my traffic in one week with this one simple change!
When I first decided to start blogging I did everything in a rush! I dived into it without really knowing what I was doing, and decided to build an online presence in the only place I knew well – Wix. This was for the simple reason that I knew the platform having built my family’s little business website on there and thought that every content management platform was the same. A website’s a website right? Not so much!
It turns out that certain spaces on the web are better designed for hosting a blog than others. Wix are amazing for simple and seamless creation of beautiful websites but just not for blogs *sad face*.
This post contains affiliate links
The difference between creating a site and content on Wix versus WordPress seemed too scary to even contemplate making the change! I stuck it out for twelve months and was doing everything feasible to make my blog a success. I was getting some engagement, reasonable traffic and proposals from some brands but nothing like I needed to make a full time income from it. So, one day I was scrolling through one of the Facebook Groups I’m actively engaged with and I came across a thread that changed my business.
The ladies were discussing the pros and cons of different platforms; the crux of the matter being that if you’re doing everything right for your blog but not seeing the results – it’s your platforms fault. Wix had been mentioned on a number of occasions throughout the thread; with claims of poor SEO, difficulty in monetising and not to mention trying to get rich pins for Pinterest. All things that are pretty important when it comes to blogging for business.
And so, I took the plunge and swapped! At the time, it was tough, and I realised that there is very little assistance out there for anyone wanting to do the same. You literally need to learn everything from scratch! Ouch! But the results I was seeing were mind blowing – literally three times the traffic to my site, without any difference in my outreach or promotion, and all in less than a week. The platform had it! This was the proof!
So, here is my 15 step, task by task guide to swapping your blog from Wix to WordPress so you can see results like mine!
Points To Note
The techy bits sound bad but they’re not! So, don’t worry! What I couldn’t get my head around was the way you manage your content on WordPress vs Wix but actually it’s just the same, just a different way of accessing it. So, this is the comparison:
Wix – go to wix.com > login > manage your website, make changes, etc. through their website
WordPress.org is hosted on your site so to manage your domain it will look like this:
Type in URL name and add /wp-admin – this takes you to the platform where you will manage your content eg: http://www.mydomainname.com/wp-admin
You need to know that wordpress.com and wordpress.org are different. There’s loads of articles on the web explaining this, so I won’t go into detail. What you will need is wordpres.org because you’re going to be self-hosted. However, you will need a wordpress.com account (again, don’t worry, sounds worse than it is!)
So here we go
1. Get set up on wordpress.com – you don’t need to do too much here, just signup and add basic details. Don’t worry about your domain now. You’ll need this later so best to get it out of the way.
2. If you haven’t already I would strongly recommend backing up your blog posts, page copy and images from your site. Wix made mine disappear during the transfer process so I would recommend throwing them into a word document or similar so that you can copy and paste them across to your new WordPress site. (benefit of WordPress vs. Wix – copy and paste includes links whereas Wix requires manual input of linking URL’s!)
3. Write a list of all your page and blog post URL’s so that they match when you transfer your site. You’ll need this later!
4. Get some new hosting. I went with Siteground because I heard their customer service was awesome and it was recommended by a blogger who I trust. She wasn’t wrong! They were super patient with my silly, non-techy questions and very quick to respond both on the phone and via ticket-support.
5. You will need to raise a ticket with Wix to begin the transfer of your hosting. Because they’re not fast, do this asap. When this is complete, you will receive an email from your new host asking you to transfer your DNS settings.
DO NOT DO THIS YET.
You only want to do this once your new site is complete and you’re ready to swap.
6. Find a theme you might like; a theme isn’t just about fonts and colours, it’s about what your site will look like and the options you’ll have to change once you’re getting set up. People change themes all the time so don’t worry if you can’t get settled on one. Your theme includes how your pages will be formatted and what you’ll have available on your pages, so do think about what you want/need it to include.
7. If you’re wanting to monetise/build an email list/other business stuff check out Etsy for a theme. You want to ensure it has everything you need for good blogging basics (like built in lead and landing page templates, an opt in form at the top of the page and other stuff you need for a successful blog!) Again, don’t worry if you don’t know what these are, you will figure it out as you go along!
8. Call your hosting provider and ask them to set you up a temporary URL that you can work with. This way you can do all the work you need to do for building your new website behind the scenes before swapping over. It’s perfect for having a re-launch and ensuring your site isn’t down for a while. Siteground were brilliant and did this immediately over email.
9. Install WordPress via the cPanel on your hosting service. If you’re with Siteground it’s:
login > my account > red button “cPanel” – WordPress Tools > WordPress Installer – Follow the instructions
10. Have a play with WordPress and get to understand it. Create your first pages and play with your sites layout (the fun bit!) I honestly recommend playing about and seeing what things do. The more you play, the more you’ll understand. It’s just new navigation. Think about your menus and always have your reader at the forefront of your mind.
11. Don’t forget to make sure your page and blog post URL’s are the same as they used to be (from that list you made earlier!)
One problem with Wix’s formatting is that it adds /single-post/ to each blog post – this is sucky for SEO!
So your blog might be http://www.myblog.com/single-post/how-to-blog
whereas on WordPress they will automatically be http://www.myblog.com/how-to-blog
(see the difference!)
When you set up on your new site, your URL’s will not automatically contain /single-post which means old blog posts will need to have their URL updated. Imagine all those links floating around on Pinterest and other social which lead back to a 404 now you’ve changed to URL! Ouch! That’s loads of work!
You don’t need to worry though just go to WordPress > Plugins > Add New
Search “Custom Permalink” > install > activate
This will allow you to go into your blog posts and make them look exactly like they did before!
Benefit – you won’t lose old pins and readers who have that URL saved
Negative – rubbish for SEO however, the rest of your sites SEO will now be super improved and you’ll see the difference in traffic straight away!
12. Check how your site looks and works (don’t forget mobile). When you’re happy, contact your host and ask them to transfer the DNS settings so your real URL is live, essentially replacing the temporary URL where you built your site.
13. If you’re looking to monetise via affiliate marketing I can highly recommend Awin – there is literally a store or brand for every single niche out there! It doesn’t matter what you write about; you’ll find something there that’s suitable for your audience. Plus, out of all the platforms, it’s certainly the easiest to navigate and use (compared to shareasale for example!)
The added benefit of Awin is their plugin which you can install onto your site for free. Once installed it will automatically convert any links to affiliate links on your site – saves me tens of hours of time!
14. If you’re wanting to build an email list I would recommend Convertkit. You’ll need a provider if you’re wanting to collect emails/give away freebies etc. because you won’t have the “Shout Out” option of Wix. Honestly though, ConvertKit makes automating a welcome sequence really easy and you’ll have a list in no time at all! It is a paid service, but I would recommend investing if you’re looking to build a business from your blog and monetise all that lovely new traffic that’s coming your way.
15. Keep checking your site and playing around – you’ll soon get the hang of it!