Tag - Properly

How to Properly Install and Setup WP Rocket in WordPress


Do you want to properly install and setup WP Rocket plugin in WordPress?

WP Rocket is the best WordPress caching plugin in the market because it offers the most comprehensive set of tools to help speed up your website.

However, many beginners are not familiar with the techy lingo and may find it difficult to decide which plugin options they should turn on.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to easily install and setup WP Rocket plugin in WordPress. We will walk you through complete WP Rocket plugin settings, so you can get maximum performance benefits.

How to easily install and setup WP Rocket plugin in WordPress

Why Use WP Rocket?

No one likes slow websites. In fact, a performance study found that a single second delay in page load time costs 7% less conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Strangeloop Study

And it’s not just users, search engines like Google also don’t like slow websites. They give a priority to faster websites in search rankings.

This is where WP Rocket comes in.

It is the best WordPress caching plugin on the market and allows you to quickly improve your WordPress website’s speed and performance.

Here is how it works.

WordPress is a dynamic content management system. Every time a user visits your website, WordPress fetches the content from your database, generate a page on the fly, and send it back to the user.

WordPress caching

This process takes up WordPress hosting server resources. If a lot of people visit your website at once, then this would slow down your website.

WP Rocket makes WordPress bypass all this.

It crawls and saves a static copy of your pages in the cache and allows WordPress to show the cached page to the user instead of generating a page on the fly.

This frees up server resources on your website and improves overall page load time throughout your website.

We use WP Rocket on many of our own websites including WPForms, OptinMonster, etc.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily install and set up WP Rocket on your WordPress website.

Step 1. Installing WP Rocket Plugin in WordPress

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Rocket plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

WP Rocket is a premium plugin, but the best part is that all features are included in their lowest plan.

Once installed and activated, the WP Rocket plugin works out of the box, and it will turn on caching with optimal settings for your website.

We ran speed tests on our demo site before and after installing WP Rocket. The performance improvement was incredible with just out of the box settings.

Speed test results before and after installing WP Rocket

The performance improvement is instantly noticeable because WP Rocket doesn’t wait for user requests to start caching pages. It proactively crawls your website and preloads pages in the cache.

You can see caching status by visiting WP Rocket dashboard located under Settings » WP Rocket page.

WP Rocket dashboard

Now that you have installed WP Rocket, let’s take a look at other WP Rocket options and how to set them up to further improve your website speed.

Step 2. Set up Caching Options in WP Rocket

Fist, you need to visit Settings » WP Rocket page and click on the ‘Cache’ tab.

Setting up cache in WP Rocket

WP Rocket has already enabled page caching by default, but you can tweak the settings to further improve your website speed.

1. Mobile Caching

You’ll notice that mobile caching is turned on by default here. However, we recommend you to check the ‘Separate cache files for mobile devices’ option as well.

This option allows WP Rocket to create separate cache files for mobile users. Checking this option ensures that mobile users get the full cached mobile experience.

2. User Cache

If you run a website where users need to login to your website to access certain features, then you need to check this option.

For example, if you run a WooCommerce store or a membership website, then this option will improve user experience for all logged in users.

3. Cache Lifespan

Cache lifespan is the time you want to store the cached files on your website. The default limit is set to 10 hours which would work for most websites.

However, you can set it to a lower value if you run a very busy site. You can also set it to a higher value if you don’t update your website frequently.

After the lifespan time has passed, WP Rocket will delete the cached files. It will also immediately start preloading the cache with updated content.

Don’t forget to click on the Save Changes button to store your settings.

Step 3. Minifying Files using WP Rocket

WP Rocket enables you to minify static files such as JavaScript and CSS stylesheets. You can simply switch to the File Optimization tab and check the boxes for the file types that you want to be minified.

Minifying files in WP Rocket

Minifying static content makes those file sizes smaller. In most cases, this difference is too small to make any noticeable impact on your website’s performance.

However if you run a large traffic site, then this can definitely have a big impact in reducing your overall bandwidth usage and saving on hosting costs.

The one caveat is that minifying files can also have unexpected consequences like files not loading or not working as intended.

If you turn this setting on, then please make sure to thoroughly review your website pages to make sure everything is working as intended.

Step 4. Lazy Load Media to Improve Page Load Speed

Images are often the second heaviest item on a page after video. Images take more time to load than text and increase the overall page download size.

Most popular websites now use a technique called lazy loading to delay image downloads.

Instead of loading all your images at once, lazy loading downloads only the images that will be visible on the user’s screen. This not only makes your pages load fast, but it also feels faster to the user.

WP Rocket comes with a built-in lazy loading feature. You can enable lady loading for images by simply switching to the Media tab on the plugin’s settings page. You can also enable lazy loading for embeds like YouTube videos and iframes.

Lazy load images and embeds in WordPress

Note: While lazy loading images will help improve perceived website speed, you should always save and optimize images for web to get maximum results. Here’s how to easily optimize images for web performance (step by step).

Step 5. Fine Tune Preloading in WP Rocket

Next, you can review the preloading settings in WP Rocket by switching to the ‘Preloading’ tab. By default, the plugin starts crawling your homepage and follow links to preload cache.

Preload cache settings

Alternately, you can tell the plugin to use your XML sitemap to build cache.

You can turn off the preloading feature as well, but we do not recommend that.

Turning off preloading will tell WordPress to only cache pages when they are requested by a user. This means the first user to load that specific page will always see a slow website.

Editors note: Please keep preloading on to get maximum performance results.

Step 6. Set up Advanced Caching Rules

WP Rocket gives you full control over caching. You can switch to the Advanced Rules tab on the settings page to exclude pages that you don’t want to be cached.

Advanced caching rules

You can also exclude cookies, user agents (browsers and device types), and automatically rebuild cache when you update specific pages or posts.

The default settings would work for most websites. If you are unsure about these options, then you need to leave them blank.

This settings area is for developers and power users who need custom settings because they likely have a complex website setup.

Also See: 19 types of websites you can build with WordPress.

Step 7. Performing Database Clean up using WP Rocket

WP Rocket also makes it easy to clean up the WordPress database. It has very little to no effect on your website performance, but you can still review these options if you want to.

You need to switch to the Database tab on the plugin settings page. From here you can delete post revisions, drafts, spam, and trash comments.

Database clean up

We don’t recommend deleting post revisions because they can be really useful in undoing changes to your WordPress posts and pages in the future. You also don’t need to delete spam and trashed comments as WordPress automatically clean them up after 30 days.

Step 8. Configure Your CDN to Work with WP Rocket

Next, you need to switch to the CDN tab. If you are using a CDN service for your WordPress site, then you can set it up to work with WP Rocket.

Set up CDN service

CDN or content delivery network enables you to serve static files from a network of servers spread across the globe.

This speeds up your website because it allows users browser to download files from the server closest to their location. It also reduces your hosting server load and makes your website more responsive.

For more information, see our guide on why you need a CDN service for your WordPress site.

We use MaxCDN by StackPath on our websites. It is one of the best CDN service for WordPress beginners.

Alternately, you can sign up for Sucuri, which is the best WordPress firewall and security plugin. Sucuri’s cloud-based firewall gives you a powerful CDN service to serve your static files.

If you are looking for a free alternative, then Cloudflare would work as well. However, Cloudflare’s free CDN offers limited protection against DDoS attacks, and the free plan is quite limited in terms of features.

WP Rocket has separate addons to easily set up Sucuri and Cloudflare on your website (more on this later).

Step 9. Reducing Heartbeat API Activity in WordPress with WP Rocket

Heartbeat API allows WordPress to send a periodic request to the hosting server in the background. This allows your website to perform scheduled tasks.

For example, when writing blog posts the editor uses heartbeat API to check connectivity and post changes.

Controling heartbeat API in WordPress using WP Rocket

You can click on the Heartbeat API tab to control this feature and reduce the heartbeat API frequency.

We don’t recommend deactivating the Heart Beat API because it offers some very useful features. However you can reduce its frequency to improve performance specially for larger sites.

Step 10. WP Rocket Addons

WP Rocket also comes with some ready to deploy features available as Addons. Let’s take a look at currently available addons on this list.

1. Google Analytics Addon

The Google Analytics add-on for WP Rocket allows you to host Google Analytics code on your own server. This does not have any significant performance improvement but some users want it to get a 100% page speed score.

This feature is compatible with popular Google Analytics plugins like MonsterInsights and ExactMetrics.

2. Facebook Pixel

If you are using the Facebook pixel for user tracking, then this addon will host the pixels locally on your server. Again, this will improve your pagespeed score but may not have any actual impact on website speed.

3. Varnish Addon

If your WordPress hosting company uses Varnish cache, then you need to enable this addon. This will ensure that the Varnish cache is cleared when WP Rocket clears its cache.

4. Cloudflare

If you are using Cloudflare CDN, then you need this addon to make it work alongside WP Rocket. Simply enable the addon and click on the ‘Modify options’ button.

Enabling Cloudflare addon

After that, you need to enter your account credentials to connect WP Rocket with your Cloudflare account.

Cloudflare settings

5. Sucuri

If you are using Sucuri, then you need to enable this addon and click on the ‘Modify options’ button. After that, enter your Sucuri account’s API key to connect your account.

Sucuri WP Rocket addon

Step 11. Managing Your WP Rocket Cache

WP Rocket also makes it easy for admins to manage and clear WordPress cache. Simply go to the plugins settings page, and you’ll find the options to clear WP Rocket cache on the Dashboard tab.

Clear WP Rocket Cache

You can also start a preloading sequence to rebuild the cache on demand.

The plugin also makes it easier to import and export plugin settings. You can switch to the tools to easily export and import plugin settings. This is helpful when moving WordPress from local server to a live website and/or when moving WordPress to a new domain.

Import export settings

Below that, you’ll find the option to Rollback plugin to an earlier version. This comes in handy if a WP Rocket update didn’t work as expected.

If you want to have the same rollback feature for all your plugins, then see our guide on how to rollback plugins to older version in WordPress.

WP Rocket FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

As WP Rocket has grown in popularity, we have answered many questions related to the WP Rocket WordPress caching plugin. Here are some of the top WP Rocket questions:

1. Is WP Rocket free? Is there a free version of WP Rocket available?

No, WP Rocket is a premium WordPress caching plugin. There is no free version or free trial available. They do offer a 14 day money back guarantee.

You may find a nulled version of WP Rocket for free, but we strongly recommend against using those because sometimes hackers use nulled version as a bait to hack your website.

See 9 reasons why you should always avoid nulled version of WordPress themes and plugins.

2. Is WP Rocket worth the price?

Yes it is worth every penny. We are paying customers of WP Rocket and use it successfully on many of our websites including WPForms, OptinMonster, and others.

We also have plans to switch to WP Rocket on WPBeginner in the near future as well. We are closely working with their team to get one particular setting included for it to work on our complex multi-server enterprise hosting setup.

Curious to see what WPBeginner hosting setup looks like? Check out the detailed case study here.

3. Do I need to use WP Rocket with managed WordPress hosting platforms?

The short answer is yes. You can and should use WP Rocket in combination with built-in caching offered by your managed hosting company to unlock additional performance improvements.

A lot of managed WordPress hosting companies like WP Engine, SiteGround, Bluehost, etc have their own caching plugins built in.

WP Rocket plays nicely along those built-in caching options provided by your managed hosting provider while helping you get additional performance benefits with features like CDN, minifying files, lazy loading, smart cache preloading, and more.

4. How to check if WP Rocket is working and caching pages?

To check if WP Rocket is working properly, you need to log out of your site or open it in an incognito window.

Next, you need to open the browser’s source view of the page, and scroll to the bottom. At the very end, you should see a text like: “This website is like a rocket …”

If that text is there, then you know WP Rocket is working properly and caching pages.

5. What makes WP Rocket better than other caching plugins?

In our opinion, WP Rocket is better than other WordPress caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, etc because it offers the most comprehensive set of features, and it is regularly updated to keep up with modern browser standards.

This is the #1 reason why we have started switching all of our sites to use WP Rocket, and soon WPBeginner will be using WP Rocket as well.

We hope this guide helped you learn how to install and set up WP Rocket plugin in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate guide on how to speed up WordPress, and our list of the must have WordPress plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Properly Install and Setup WP Rocket in WordPress appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Properly Change a WordPress Theme (Ultimate Guide)


Are you planning to change the WordPress theme of your website? WordPress makes it super easy for users to change and manage themes on their site.

However, you must remember that changing the appearance of your live website is a major event. You need to keep certain things in mind before and after you change a theme, so you don’t lose any data and website traffic.

In this article, we’ll show you the step by step process on how to properly change a WordPress theme with a step by step checklist.

How to Properly Change a WordPress Theme (Ultimate Guide)

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll learn in this article:

Things to Do Before Changing a WordPress Theme

While changing a theme is literally a few clicks away, you must take some precautionary steps before starting the process.

We recommend that you to go through the following checklist to ensure that the process of changing your WordPress theme goes smoothly, and you don’t end up losing important data.

1. Copy Snippets from Your Current Theme

Some intermediate WordPress users like to customize their website by adding code snippets directly to the functions.php file of their theme.

Since these changes were made once, people usually forget about them.

If you or your web developer made these changes, then make sure to go through the files of your current theme and note down all the additional code that you’ve added previously. This will allow you to add them later into your new theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific WordPress plugin.

2. Test Load Time

Before changing your theme, you should check the load time of your website, so you can easily compare the differences in the page load time after you made changes to your website.

Remember, WordPress speed is an important factor in user experience and SEO, so you need to make sure that the new theme is faster than your previous one.

You can check your website speed by using a tool like Pingdom.

Make sure that you test the load time of the homepage and also some of your inner pages.

3. Don’t Lose Any Tracking Code

Some users add their analytics tracking code directly to their theme files. Also, there are WordPress themes that allow you to add Adsense or Analytics code in their settings panel.

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is to overlook these codes.

You need to make sure that you copy all the tracking codes, so you can add them to your new site after changing the theme.

To future proof this, we always recommend users to install Google analytics using a plugin like MonsterInsights, and for other tracking code we recommend using the header and footer plugin.

4. Make a Full Backup

It’s always recommended to back up your posts, images, plugins, and the database before changing your theme.

You can use a WordPress backup plugin to create the backup of your entire site. Make sure that you download this backup to your computer before moving forward.

This step will ensure that you can recover your website easily if anything goes wrong.

5. Sidebar Content

Sidebars are used for adding different widgets including social links, advertisements, subscription forms, or a contact form.

Make a note of these changes. If there is any custom code added into a widget, then make sure you copy and paste this code on your computer, so you can reuse it in your new theme.

6. Keep Your Site on Maintenance Mode

It’s a good practice to put your website on maintenance mode when you’re making changes to it. You don’t want your visitors to see an under construction site, right?

We recommend using the SeedProd plugin for this purpose.

SeedProd plugin

It’s a popular WordPress plugin that allows you to easily create beautiful coming soon and maintenance mode pages for your site.

To keep your site on maintenance mode, you need to install and active the SeedProd plugin.

Next, head over to SeedProd » Settings page to configure plugin settings. Here you need to select the Enable Maintenance mode radio button and click on the Save All Changes button.

SeedProd enable maintenance mode

How to Install a WordPress Theme

After following the above precautions, the next step is to install a theme that you want to use on your site.

There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available for you to pick from. The fact that you’re reading this article means you’ve likely found a good theme for your needs.

If you haven’t already selected a theme, then we can highly recommend the following WordPress themes to you:

1. Divi

Divi WordPress theme

Divi is one of the most popular WordPress theme in the market. It’s powered by the drag and drop Divi Builder which allows you to easily build any kind of website.

It comes with 20+ pre-built layouts and 46 different content elements. You can easily customize each element of your site and see the changes in real time.

2. Astra

Astra WordPress theme

Astra is a lightweight and speed-optimized WordPress theme. It’s compatible with various page builder plugins like Beaver Builder, Divi, and Visual Composer.

It’s a translation and RTL-ready theme. This allows you to start your website in any language and even create a multilingual website.

Astra can be easily integrated with the WooCommerce plugin, so you can easily create an online store without much hassle. You can also customize the header, footer, layout, and more using the WordPress Theme Customizer.

Our favorite part about Astra is all the starter website templates it comes with.

3. StudioPress

StudioPress WordPress themes

Genesis is the most popular WordPress theme framework and has been built by the StudioPress team. You can create amazing websites using the Genesis framework and other StudioPress themes.

In case you don’t know, StudioPress is now a part of WP Engine, the most popular managed WordPress hosting company.

The best part is you’ll get 35+ StudioPress themes for free if you sign up for any WP Engine hosting plan.

4. OceanWP

OceanWP WordPress theme

OceanWP is a responsive and multi-purpose WordPress theme. It offers multiple demo templates that have been built with different professions and businesses in mind.

It is compatible with the major page builder plugins. You can also use different extensions to take your site to the next level.

5. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder plugin

Beaver Builder is one of the best drag and drop page builder plugins that allow you to build stunning pages for your site without any coding skills.

Beaver Builder is compatible with almost every WordPress theme, and you can even use it to create a custom WordPress theme without writing any code.

Anyways, we hope the above recommendations will help you to choose a WordPress theme for your site.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you need to install it on your WordPress site. Y

ou can use any of the following 3 methods to install a WordPress theme:

  • Using the WordPress theme search option
  • Uploading a theme from your WordPress Dashboard
  • Installing a theme using FTP

You can check out our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme for help.

How to Change WordPress Theme Without Going Live

Once you’ve installed your new theme, you are ready to switch themes.

However, it’s always recommended to test a theme before switching to it on your live website.

This way you’ll be able to check the compatibility of the new theme with your existing plugins and make sure that everything is working properly as desired.

There are two ways that you can use to change your WordPress theme without going live:

1. Live Preview Option

By default, WordPress allows you to preview a theme on your website without changing it.

To do that, head over to Appearance » Themes from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

On this page, you’ll see all the installed themes on your site. You need to hover your mouse over the theme you want to preview and click on the Live Preview button.

WordPress Theme Live Preview Option

This will open your new theme in the WordPress Theme Customizer. You can now test your new theme and make sure that everything is working properly.

2. Theme Switcha Plugin

Another option is to use the Theme Switcha plugin. It allows you to preview your new theme without activating it.

First, you need to install and activate this free plugin. Next, go to Settings » Theme Switcha from the left sidebar of your admin panel.

Theme Switcha plugin settings page

On the Settings page, you need to select the “Enable theme switching” option and then, scroll to the bottom of the page to click on Save Changes.

This plugin will now display all your installed themes at the bottom of this page. Go ahead and click on your new theme to preview it on a new tab of your web browser.

Theme Switcha available themes section

How to Change WordPress Theme on Live Site

After you have tested your new theme, it’s time to start the process of switching the theme on your WordPress site.

To do that, go to Appearance » Themes from the left sidebar of the WordPress admin panel.

Change WordPress theme on live website

On this page, you need to hover the mouse cursor over the theme you want to use and then click on the Activate button to change the WordPress theme.

Now you can visit the homepage of your website to see the new theme in action.

How to Change WordPress Theme Manually

Sometimes an error can make your WordPress admin area inaccessible. In that case, you won’t be able to change the theme using the above method.

To recover your website, you need to restore it from backup, or you may troubleshoot the WordPress error causing the problem.

However, if you don’t have a backup, then you can change the theme manually with the help of phpMyAdmin.

This method allows you to inform WordPress which theme to use by changing the information in the database.

First, you need to connect to your website using an FTP client and go to the /wp-content/themes/ folder.

FTP WordPress themes folder

Here you’ll be able to see all the themes that are currently installed on your website. You can also install a WordPress theme via FTP if you don’t see it.

Next, you want to write down the folder name of the theme you want to use because you’ll need it later.

After that, you need to go to the cPanel of your WordPress hosting account. On this page, you will have to scroll down to the Databases section and then click on phpMyAdmin.

cPanel open phpMyAdmin

Once you are in phpMyAdmin, you’ll see a list of databases on the left side of the screen. Simply click on the database that you are using for your WordPress site.

phpMyAdmin open database and table

Next, it’ll show you the list of tables in this database. You need to click on the “wp_options” table to open it.

Note: By default, WordPress use wp_ as the prefix for the table names. However, it’s possible to have a different database prefix, as shown in the above image.

Now you need to locate the template and stylesheet rows on the right panel.

Template and stylesheet rows

Next, click on the Edit link present in the “template” row to open the editor.

Here you need to change the value in the option_value field to the theme name that you want to use. It’s usually the same as the folder name in /wp-content/themes/ folder that you copied earlier.

Change template value

Once you’re done, click on the Go button to save the changes. Next, go ahead and repeat the same process for the “stylesheet” row.

After making changes to both the rows, you can go to your website to see the new theme in action.

Things to Do After Changing Your Theme

Once you’ve changed the theme on your website, you need to take care of certain things before turning off the maintenance mode.

You can check out the following checklist of things to do after changing your WordPress theme:

1. Test Your Website

First, you need to make sure that all the functionalities, plugins, and widgets are working properly.

You should invest some time to test your website and check out different things including the posts, comment section, images, and the contact form.

2. Cross Browser Compatibility

Browsers have a tendency of showing certain things differently.

To make sure that your website looks good in every major browser, you should test your site in different web browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

3. Add Tracking Code

After you’ve tested the features and the cross-browser compatibility, you should add your analytics and Adsense tracking code to your site.

You can use the MonsterInsights plugin to add the Google Analytics tracking code. This will allow you to properly setup analytics and view detailed website stats right inside your WordPress dashboard.

4. Turn Off Maintenance Mode

You can disable the maintenance mode on your site to make it go live.

If you’re using the SeedProd plugin, simply go to SeedProd » Settings from the left sidebar. On the settings page, select “Disabled” and click on Save All Changes to turn off the maintenance mode.

SeedProd disable maintenance mode

5. Test Loading Time

You need to go to the Pingdom website again to test the loading time of your homepage after changing the theme.

Next, compare it to the load time when your old theme was installed. If you see any major differences, you can follow our guide to improve WordPress speed.

6. Monitor Bounce Rate

After switching themes, you should monitor the bounce rate of your site.

If your new theme is not user-friendly and difficult to navigate, it may increase the bounce rate of your site.

You can add related posts, popular posts widget, and breadcrumbs to reduce the bounce rate and increase page views.

7. Ask for Feedback

You can also ask your users for feedback and suggestions on how to improve your site design. You can use survey forms or online poll to gather user input.

You can share the new design with your subscribers using an email marketing service and ask them for their suggestions. This will help you to get ideas on what they would like to see improved.

We hope this step by step guide helped you easily change your WordPress theme. You may want to see our list of the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more WordPress video tutorials. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Properly Switch From Wix to WordPress (2019)


Looking to switch from Wix to WordPress?

Wix is a popular website builder that lets you create a simple website, fast. However, many Wix users soon realize that their options are limited and adding extra features can become quite expensive.

If you want more features and flexibility without the high costs, then switching to self-hosted WordPress is the best choice. WordPress powers over 32% of all websites on the internet because it’s extremely powerful. In this article, we will show you how to properly move from Wix to WordPress and grow your website with complete freedom.

Move from Wix to WordPress

After reviewing various different ways to move from Wix to WordPress, we believe the easiest method is by importing your blog posts via RSS.

In this step by step guide, we will walk you through the process of transferring your Wix website to WordPress. Depending on how many pages you have on your Wix site, the migration can take upto an hour.

Here are the steps to migrate from Wix to WordPress:

  1. Sign up for WordPress web hosting
  2. Setup your new WordPress site
  3. Customize your site’s style and appearance
  4. Import your blog posts via RSS
  5. Convert your Wix pages to WordPress
  6. Create your main navigational menu
  7. Redirect Wix to WordPress

Ready to switch from Wix to WordPress? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Signup for WordPress Web Hosting

To start a WordPress blog, the first thing you’ll need is a web hosting account for your website.

Web hosting is your website’s home on the internet. This is where all of your files and data is stored.

You will also need a domain name (such as www.yoursite.com). This is your website’s address on the internet.

When you use Wix, they host your website for you which is also the reason why it’s quite limited. On the other hand, WordPress is a free software, so you’ll need a place to install it. That’s why you need to purchase web hosting and a domain name.

We highly recommend that you use Bluehost because they are an official WordPress.org recommended hosting provider.

They have agreed to give WPBeginner readers a free domain and over 60% off discount on web hosting when you use our special Bluehost coupon code.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

If you want to look at more options, then we have a list of the best WordPress hosting providers that you can choose from.

Some other companies that we recommend are SiteGround and HostGator.

In this tutorial, we’ll use Bluehost for screenshot and examples.

If you’ve already registered a domain name with Wix, that’s no problem. When signing up with Bluehost, you can enter your existing domain under the “I have a domain name” option.

Enter your existing Wix domain name on the right

Later on in this guide, we’ll walk you through how to transfer your domain when your new WordPress site is ready.

Step 2: Setup Your New WordPress Site

After purchasing your new hosting plan, you’ll need to install and setup WordPress.

If you signed up with Bluehost, then they automatically install WordPress for you, and you can simply login to your WordPress dashboard from your hosting account.

Upon login, you will see your WordPress admin dashboard:

WordPress admin dashboard

All other WordPress hosting companies also offer 1-click WordPress installers from their hosting dashboard. If you need help installing WordPress, then you can refer to our step by step guide on how to install WordPress for beginners.

Once you login to WordPress admin area, it’s a good idea to set your WordPress permalinks.

Your permalink settings will determine the address of each blog post. For example, instead of publishing a blog post to:

www.yourblog.com/2017/10/blog-post-title

You can publish it to:

www.yourblog.com/blog-post-title.

You can change your permalink settings by navigating to Settings » Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard. Once you have selected the structure you want, click on the Save Changes button at the bottom.

Change WordPress permalinks before importing Wix

For more details about permalinks, you can check out our post on SEO-friendly URL structures in WordPress.

Step 3: Customize Your Site’s Design

Next, you should customize the appearance of your website. It’s easy to do that using WordPress themes.

WordPress themes are similar to Wix templates, they control the appearance and display of your WordPress website.

There are thousands of free WordPress themes available for you to use. Some themes are very basic and minimalist, while others will add a lot of new features to your site.

WordPress themes

As a WordPress beginner, you may want to start with a simple theme that’s easy to use. We have a list of recommended simple WordPress themes you can take a look at to get started.

Wondering how to decide on a theme? You can check out our article on selecting the perfect WordPress theme for tips and advice.

Once you have found a theme you like, you can install it by following our guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Remember, you can easily change your theme in the future, so it’s important that you don’t spend too much time on this step.

You can even use the default WordPress theme and start with the migration process. Because the most important part is moving all of your content from Wix to WordPress.

Step 4: Import Your Wix Blog Posts to WordPress

In this step, we’ll transfer your Wix blog posts over to your new WordPress site.

Wix is a closed platform, and they don’t provide an easy way for users to migrate their content away from Wix.

But we can still automate the process by importing your Wix RSS feed, instead of recreating each blog post manually.

To get started, you’ll need to download your Wix RSS file.

You can locate the file by adding /feed.xml to your Wix website URL.

If you don’t have a custom domain with Wix, then you can find your RSS feed at username.wixsite.com/blogname/feed.xml, where “username” is your Wix username and “blogname” is the name of your blog.

If you have a custom domain such as www.yourwixblog.com, then you can find your RSS feed at www.yourwixblog.com/feed.xml.

After navigating to the proper URL, you should see a page full of code.

Go ahead and right-click anywhere on the page and click Save As to save the file in your computer.

Save Wix RSS feed

Now that you have your RSS file, you can log in to your WordPress dashboard and click on Tools » Import.

Next, click the Install Now link under the RSS heading.

Wix to WordPress migration using RSS feed

After a few seconds, you’ll see a link at the top of the page to Run Importer. Go ahead and click the link.

Next, you need to click the Choose File button and select the feed.xml file that saved to your computer. Once selected, you can click the Upload file and import button.

Click the upload button to transfer Wix to WordPress

If you have a lot of blog posts to import, then it can take several minutes to import them all.

When it’s done, you’ll see a confirmation message.

Your Wix blog posts imported to WordPress

To check on your blog posts and make sure they were exported from Wix correctly, you can navigate to Posts » All Posts and click View underneath each post.

Blog posts imported

At this point, the content of your blog posts has been transferred, but there’s one problem: any images in your post are still hosted with Wix.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix this and move your images over to WordPress.

All you need to do is install and activate the Auto Upload Images plugin.

Plugins are like apps for WordPress that allow you to add new features. We have a step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll need to re-save each post that contains images, and the plugin will import images inside it.

It would be time-consuming to edit each post one by one, but we have a handy trick that you can use to quickly re-save all WordPress posts at once.

Simply go to Posts » All Posts page and then click on the Screen Options button at the top.

Display more posts

You need to increase the number to 999 in the ‘Number of items per page field’ field and click on the Apply button.

WordPress will reload the page, and this time it will show 999 posts at a time.

Next, you need to select all your posts and then select Edit under the bulk actions menu.

Select all posts

After that, you need to click the Apply button. WordPress will show you a quick edit box with all selected posts. You just need to click on the Update button, and WordPress will update all your posts.

See our guide on importing external images in WordPress for more detailed instructions.

Step 5: Import Your Wix Pages to WordPress

After you have imported your blog post, next we’ll need to transfer your Wix pages over to your WordPress site.

Wix doesn’t provide any automated way to do this, so we’ll have to recreate each page in WordPress one by one.

First, you can navigate to the Wix page you want to transfer to WordPress. Highlight all the content (except for the page title). Then you can right click and click on Copy.

Copy Wix pages to WordPress

After that, you need to login to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Pages » Add New to recreate the page. At the top of the page, you can type in the page title. Then you can right-click and and click on Paste to recreate the content.

Paste page content

For help with styling your pages, you can check out our article on add new post or page in WordPress.

When you’re finished styling your page, you can click the Publish button to publish your page on your new WordPress site.

Publish your page

While you can follow the above method for all text based pages, it won’t work for certain pages like your contact page.

You’ll need to install a contact form plugin like WPForms to create a contact page. We have a step by step guide on how to create a simple contact form.

Now that you’ve converted all your content, it’s a good idea to carefully review your posts and pages to make sure everything is working right and looks the way it’s supposed to.

Step 6: Create Your Main Navigational Menu

Next, you’ll want to make sure your visitors can easily navigate through your new website using your primary menu.

You can create a navigational menu by going to Appearance » Menus. Type in a name for your menu, and click one of the Create Menu buttons.

Creating new navigation menu

Next, you can select whichever pages you want to add to your main menu, and click the Add to Menu button. When you’ve added all the pages you want, select the menu position.

Finally, click the blue Save Menu button on the right.

Add pages to menu

Now your menu has been created and is live on your website.

Step 7: Redirect Wix to WordPress

Your new WordPress site is complete, and you’re ready to let your readers know about your move.

It’s important to not only announce your move to your readers but to setup proper redirection.

You want all visitors of your old site to land on exactly the same page on the new site. This will also let search engines know that your old site has moved to a new location.

Note: You can only redirect users to your new WordPress site if you had a custom domain on Wix. Unfortunately, if you were using a wixsite subdomain, then you cannot redirect users to your WordPress site.

First you need to open a plain text editor like Notepad and paste this code:


var hashesarr =  
"#!about-us/c1it7":'/about/',
"#!contact/ce54":'/contact/',
"#!random-article/c1mz":'/random-article/'
 ;

for (var hash in hashesarr) 
    var patt = new RegExp(hash);
    if (window.location.hash.match(patt) !== null) 
        window.location.href = hashesarr[hash];
    



In this code we have added three example URLs in the following format:

"#!about-us/c1it7":'/about/',

The first part of the line looks for a string in the URL. This will be the URL your Wix users will be coming from. The second part in the line is the WordPress slug for the same page.

Unfortunately, you will have to manually add each URL in this format. Once you are finished, you need to save this file as redirects.js.

Next, you need to upload this file to your WordPress theme’s /js/ directory using an FTP client.

If your theme does not have a /js/ directory, then you need to create one.

Now you need to edit your theme’s functions.php file and add this code at the bottom of the file:


function wpb_wixjs ()  
wp_enqueue_script( 'wixredirect', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/js/redirects.js', array(), '1.0.0', true);
 
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'wpb_wixjs');

Don’t forget to save your changes.

That’s all, you can now try visiting a URL from your old Wix site to see the redirect in action.

Note: These redirects will not redirect search engines and are not very SEO friendly.

Lastly, don’t forget to inform your readers of your new address. You can do this by announcing your move on social media, writing a blog post about it, and sending out a notice to your email newsletter.

Step 8: Add Essential WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins allow you to add more features to your site. Plugins work like Wix apps. There are hundreds of plugins available, free and paid. You can check out our archive of articles about the best WordPress plugins if you’re not sure where to start.

We also have a list of the must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

If you’re looking for a Wix style drag & drop page builder, then we recommend using one of these best drag & drop WordPress page builder plugins.

That’s it! We hope this tutorial helped you switch from Wix to WordPress without a lot of hassle.

We would like to welcome you to the WordPress community. To get started with WordPress, please take a look at our beginner’s guide section and our WordPress beginner videos.

If you have a friend still using Wix, then you can show them your new WordPress site and our comparison on WordPress vs Wix and convince them to switch over.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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