How to Convert Weebly to WordPress (Updated)

Yes I did it and you can too!

How to  covert Weebly to WordPress!  I know this is a craft  and sewing blog, but you are in the right place.  I couldn’t find a tutorial for this anywhere on the net so I’ve decided to help free my fellow bloggers from how to connvert from weebly to wordpress tutorial Follow Me on Pinterest Weebly by writing this tutorial.

I confess I was seduced by Weebly.  Drag and drop, easy peasy.  I started my blog and started to expand my website.  Then I began to learn about the web, about SEO, about all the sweet plugins for WordPress.  I realized I had sided with the wrong team.  Yes I defected to WordPress and if you follow the steps I give you you can join me comrade.   It won’t be easy – you’ll have to sacrifice a few things to get there (all those comments on your posts about how brilliant you are – gone – let em go).  Don’t worry we’re not going the copy and paste route – it’s too long and too much room for error.  I am talking import – yes RSS import.  Trust me I’ll show you the way.  We’ll be stopping off at a few random tutorial “safehouses”  along the way.  Book mark this page so you can come back to it.  Are you ready?  Let’s move!

Start here

1. Set up a shadow site.  You don’t want your website to go down while you are working on transfering everything over.  So I recommend building your wordpress site first then pointing the DNS to it once it’s ready.  That way you don’t miss out on any income while you are making the switch.  If you are hosted through Weebly – you’ll need to find a new host.  I recommend Blue Host.  You can call these guys and talk to a REAL person any time of day – so nice.  You can sign up with them here. 

You’ll want to get your WordPress site set up – if you are wanting to look more pro I strongly recommend that you buy a template and steer clear the freebies.  I like to use Genesis by StudioPress.  Not only do their templates look good, but their forum is amazing and great for answering questions for newbies to WordPress.

Genesis Framework for WordPress

2. Ok so you’ve gone over WordPress and you see that sweet RSS import Plugin.  Easy there tiger here is where it gets complicated.  You look at your Weebly feed – only the last ten posts.  You ask Weebly nicely for your RSS file – they politely tell you to take a long walk off a short pier.  Here’s how you get ALL of your posts and you have Google to thank.  Go to Google Reader – look for your feed (and pray that it’s there because if it isn’t I can’t help you).  Did you find it?  Sweet!  Now you need to grab all your posts.  If you don’t already have an account there – get yourself one.  You need to be signed in to do this next step.

Now my feed for Weebly was www.fleecefun.com/1/feed  so in Google reader I type this address - http://www.google.com/reader/atom/feed/http://www.fleecefun.com/1/feed?n=1000

The ?n=1000 means pull 1000 posts.  Now I didn’t have 1000 posts – but I wasn’t sure how many I had so I shot high.  This should bring up an XML file.  Right click and select “Save Page As”  save it as feed.  Now hold on sprarky – you don’t have an RSS file, you have an ATOM file – big difference.  You need to make your ATOM file into an RSS file.  This is going to require some maniputlation.

UPDATE (thanks to the some fabulous comments!)

Courtesy of Gregor:

Hey guys, I’m still pretty far from a full-blown migration tool. However, I have written a simple PHP script that generates RSS for your Weebly blog. I’m hosting this script on Google’s App Engine so feel free to give it a spin: http://weeblyrss.appspot.com

I’m planing to upgrade this script to also allow SQL dump generation. We can then bypass RSS import altogether and fill WP tables directly via phpMyAdmin or a similar tool. What do you guys think about this idea?

Just wait for the email

Morgan suggests:

Thanks so much!
Beautiful site by the way :)
However, I think I found a short cut..

1. Right click the link for my RSS Feed displayed on my Weebly Blog
2. Click “Save Link As.”
3. Save as “Feed”
4. Open the file “Feed” in the RSS importer in WordPress
5. All my posts are loaded in seconds!

This may have only worked for me because I had mini blogs on my Weebly, but thanks so much for sending me in the right direction. Huge help!

Alan Davies Suggested:

I just moved my site from Weebly to my own WordPress instance hosted on Amazon AWS. I moved the posts over 10 at a time. After moving each block of 10 posts (and importing the images), I deleted the newest 10 posts from my Weebly blog. The Weebly RSS feed always shows the 10 newest posts, so I could import them 10 at a time. Simple, and a bit time-consuming, but works perfectly!

Depending on your chosen route:

3.  Now you need to take your file and go to this tutorial here - http://desperatelyseekingwp.com/2012/01/moving-from-blogger-atom-xml-to-wordpress-with-rss-import/  Follow it’s directions to turn your ATOM file into an RSS file.

4. Got your RSS file?  Awesome – using the RSS importer import your files! Got them? Yes!  But wait – we’re  not out of the woods yet – your permalinks need to be fixed.

How to Fix Permalinks

1.  Ok first thing is first we need to fix the blog permalinks so they will match up.  In wordpress go to settings -> permalinks.  You will need to do a custom permalink because of the way weebly has their posts labeled.  Take a look at the url of one of your blog posts.  In Weebly I had mine set up so it had the year and the month then the post title in the url – like this:   http://www.fleecefun.com/1/post/2012/05/mad-hatter-tea-party-free-printable-cupcake-toppers.html  so for the custom permalink I set it up like this : /1/post/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html    Note that weebly url’s end in .html  your need to keep that to keep your permalinks.

2.  Step 1 was for posts –  for pages you’ll need a plugin – you can find it here - that will add .html onto your pages.

3.  WordPress hates a double dash — with a vengeance.  Weebly however doesn’t mind it.  Some of your Weebly urls may have a double dash in them.  Without major reprogramming you can’t make WordPress have a double dash in a URL.  So it’a easier to use a 301 redirect in this case.  It’s just virtual address forwarding.  There’s a simple plugin here.

How to Get Pages

Sorry – copy and paste route here.  Frankly it’s better to do it that way when you are dealing with a different CSS anyway.

 

Other “mines” to watch out for:

You will need to manually update your feed address with everyone as in WordPress it will be different.

All the pictures in your RSS import will be gone once you move your site over – so you will need to replace those.

 

Hopefully you can see the border from here – good luck comrade and breathe the free air that is WordPress!

 

Crafts from around the web:

Comments

  1. 3

    Tom says

    Hi there, thanks so much for this great set of instructions! I’m stuck at the RSS file part, though. In Google Reader, where do you type in that URL? Sorry, may sound like a dumb question, but I can’t figure it out! many thanks!

    • 4

      says

      Tom – once you are signed into google reader you type the url (as shown int he example) into the address bar of your browser.
      Good luck!

  2. 5

    says

    I created my blog on Weebly with iPage and thought ‘great!’ then saw all the good things I need (buttons… etc. etc.) available for… WordPress and thought ‘bugger!’

    So, over the horizon comes your article – 7th Cavalry (well, perhaps not, bearing in mind what happened to Custer)

    I’ve got the nose clip, the goggles, and the rubber hat – cover me, I’m going in!

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Leigh

  3. 7

    says

    This is a wonderful tutorial! I’m running into an issue when I get to the import stage, though. I’m new to wordpress, and I can’t find anything like an “Import RSS” option. The import options I do have are all specific to various blog formats, and, although I tried feeding my RSS file into every import option that would take a file, wordpress didn’t do anything with it. Did wordpress change since the writing of this article, or am I just missing something?

    • 8

      says

      Hi James,
      It’s a plugin that WordPress has called “RSSImporter” I used the one that was developed by WordPress. Just search WordPress for the free plugin and you should be able to find it. Good Luck!
      Angel

    • 10

      says

      You will need to update the feed address as it will change once you move to wordpress. Freedburner makes it easy to update the address so it doesn’t take a lot of work.

  4. 13

    says

    Oh gosh, I have decided to move from Weebly to WordPress and just began researching. I am so clueless when it comes to technical stuff … do you happen to know of anybody that will move Weebly sites for a fee? And, step one, what exactly is a shadow site? Thanks :)

    • 14

      says

      Shadow site is a site that you’re building but isn’t viewable by the getneral public yet. instead of having a .com it’s just your IP numbers. When I originally switched over I really tried to find someone to pay, but it was waaaaaaay too much money. So I don’t have any recommendations. =(

    • 16

      says

      If you can download the list to a .csv file there are several ways you can convert it. What are you using for your subscribers? If you’re using feedburner all you need to do is change the feed address.

  5. 17

    says

    So green at all of this I’m sure I glow in the dark. (You’re going to laugh at this.) I opened an account w/Wordpress & then sat there & wondered where or how I write anything. :S
    So my second step was into Weebly & it’s been learn by experience ever since. I’m finding it cumbersome? & then discovered that one can write blogs in Word, etc., etc. Weebly wasn’t in the list & searching for how to transfer I landed here. Thank goodness I’m thinking. :)
    Here’s my questions: My blog has only been really active in the past 2 wks & I haven’t counted but I’d guess 20 – 25 posts? Not because I didn’t have anything to post but because it was taking me so long to set it up & figure out how it worked, not to mention all the post deletes & reposts because they didn’t look as intended.
    1. Would you recommend following your steps ^^up there or copy/pasting? (I’m leaning towards the copy/paste simply because I’m concerned I’m not techy enough to follow it & ending up losing everything;
    2. Web hosts – Considering the population of my targeted audience is quite small (1700 residences according to Canada Post) w/a fair number of them either w/o internet or on dial-up (remotish location) & I’m not earning any income, would you still recommend paying for a host? I have hopes it will reach a larger population spread (nearest larger town), however that may take some time – a lot is still word of mouth around here.
    2a) If one doesn’t pay for a host to start with, can they do so later & if so does one have to go through all ^^^^that again?
    Thank you so very much,
    Marie

    • 18

      says

      since it’s not a lot of posts. I would copy paste – especially if you’re glow in the dark green. =) If you plan on monetizing you blog I would seriously consider using a private web host ( you have more freedom with affiliates etc). If your just blogging for fun, then stick with the free WordPress and enjoy. If you plan on switching over I would just start with a private host to begin with – while you can switch it over it does take some work and it can derail your blog causing you to loose money. You can get really cheap web hosting for 3 dollars (US) a month. Which is worth worth paying now to avoid the hassle later.

  6. 20

    says

    Thanks so much!
    Beautiful site by the way :)
    However, I think I found a short cut..

    1. Right click the link for my RSS Feed displayed on my Weebly Blog
    2. Click “Save Link As.”
    3. Save as “Feed”
    4. Open the file “Feed” in the RSS importer in WordPress
    5. All my posts are loaded in seconds!

    This may have only worked for me because I had mini blogs on my Weebly, but thanks so much for sending me in the right direction. Huge help!

    • 21

      says

      It’s more than possible Weebly has changed it’s formatting since I wrote this post – if it’s that easy now yay! Thank you for sharing Morgan! =)

    • 22

      says

      I’m helping a friend migrate her site from Weebly to WordPress and this method (saving the feed – as feed.htm – and then importing using the RSS importer in WordPress) worked perfectly. Thank you! And thank you for the rest of this article as well.

    • 23

      says

      Thanks for this tutorial, Angel.

      I’ve tried Morgan’s method and found that it did import the 10 blog posts in the Weebly feed – haven’t found a way to set Weebly to show more than 10 in the feed (hopefully someone else knows).

      Now this method brought in categories, but the names are all blank. This wouldn’t be a major problem since WordPress tells me which Post is tied to which Category. Only problem is, my client never actually assigned categories within Weebly. Wondered if Morgan or anyone else who actually had Weebly categories found that they were imported exactly into WordPress.

      One note about images – there’s a WordPress plugin called “Import External Images” which will take the images that are still linked to Weebly and import them into WordPress for you.

      Re: no more Google reader
      I too have been looking for an RSS reader which will import ALL blog posts, not just the 10 that Weebly sets for the feed, but no luck as of Aug 2013

  7. 25

    says

    Hi, Angel.
    To reiterate everyone else, thank you for this great explanation! I successfully transferred my posts. The images are still in all the posts in both the editing, as well as viewing the post. On your last paragraph, you warned that the images in the import will be gone when the site goes live. Just confirming (because I have a lot of images) that even though I can view them in the Preview, I will need to delete and re-upload the images into WP?
    Thank you!
    Neneh

    • 26

      says

      Yes the image links will be gone because your nameserver will be pointing at something else so the links will break. My recommendation is to make sure your most popular posts have their images before going live, then after the new website is published go back and slowly chip away at it.
      – Angel

  8. 28

    says

    This is an excellent tutorial! Makes it sound easy!

    1 question though – is there something else I can use to get all my posts in my RSS feed now that Google Reader no longer exists? Can another service (like Feedly) do this?

  9. 30

    says

    This is very helpful but I’m wondering the same thing as Nicole! Please help!!! (Hoping to be freed from Weebly ASAP!)

    Thank you in advance!
    Dana

    • 31

      says

      Hi Dana,
      I’ve been trying to find an alternative…. but nothing is immediately presenting itself. Do you have your blgog through network blogs, or technorati? These might be possible alternatives.

      • 32

        says

        Hi Angel – thanks for your response! I do have network blogs and can sign up/download technorati (never even heard of that!) but with that being said, I would not know how to transfer my blog via those platforms without step-by-step directions! Is there a certain step in your original directions that I would need to do something a little different? You are my only hope!!

        Thanks again,
        Dana

  10. 35

    says

    Sorry to say but google reader is discontinue from 3 months later. So is there any another way or another site to save feeds because my site contain many feed and on weebly it shows only 10 So reply asp.

  11. 36

    says

    Maybe I am confused, I am a bit new, but I think I have a simple answer…
    To enable more than 10 posts for a Weebly feed, you go to your Weebly blog page. Then click on blog settings. and Increase the posts per page. I have an example set up on a separate website with 18 posts from my blog. If you need more than one page can load, you have to split the blog in two (tricky), A single page with 100 posts is not going to work very well,,,

    http://www.4adds.com/countem.html

    The original blog is at the website linked to this comment, at

    http://www.ydnarr.com/ranting-randomly-blog.html

    or click the top of the simple reader.

    Importing comments is also possible, you need to link to the individual post and either add #comments after the ,html (http:www.examplepost.html#comments) or add ?view=full (NOT A PERMALINK- only use temporarily). I do not remember the exact procedure, but I did get it to work at one point. Redirecting your feed to keep subscribers is also possible, so I’ve read.

    Hope this helps!

  12. 37

    says

    Great article Angel! I’m trying to move a Weebly feed myself to a WordPress site and was excited to find these awesome instructions… until I got to the Google Reader part :( Hopefully someone’s found an alternative to be able to download ALL of the posts to an XML! Thanks again.

  13. 38

    says

    Dear Angel,

    I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for that post! I made the same error as you when I went and chose the platform of our site, and I’d been looking for a way out for the last two months. Then I found this post. It was my salvation.

    Again, thank you!!!

    • 39

      says

      Great article Angel! I’m looking for a way to import all posts (more than 10..), but there are no results.. You found the way, Caroline? Thanks.

      • 40

        Caroline says

        Hey Mat!

        No, I haven’t found a way to import them per say. What I did was to delete 10 posts at a time and then RSS 10, import the feed, and start over with all of them. Long and tedious, but that’s all I found. Spent a long time searching for a way to create a RSS feed with more than 10 items, but it all revolves in programming, and I’m no programmer. ;)

        The only problem I had was that at first, the photos got imported but after we had done the link transfer (with the help of the absolutely fantastic Bluehost live chat technicians – well worth the price you pay for your server!!), they weren’t working anymore.

        One thing I liked was that the permalinks were changed, so much less trouble from that end. Another trouble was, however, the format. If you want it to look perfect or did special things, you have to go through each and every one of your articles to redo the format, and so on.

        As Angel wrote in her post, it’s a long job. Took me 20 hours to do everything. Never again will I use Weebly to build a site!

  14. 41

    says

    Hello,

    First of all great tutorial :) I am sure that you might have noticed that google reader has been taken down. Is there any way to carry out all of this without the reader?

    thanks.

  15. 43

    says

    Hi! Thanks for your answer!
    I have another doubt.. How can I import my images in wordpress (because these linked to Weebly folder!)?.

    Thanks.

  16. 45

    TONY says

    Hi there..
    Does anyone know what happens if you want to move your entire site..i.e. pages instead of blogs? Everyone mentions just copy and paste…but that’s not possible as far as I’ve seen. What do you exactly copy and what/where do you paste it…? WordPress theme structure is soooooo complex when you see it inside the editor…! Weebly on the other hand, just gives you access to main.style css or exporting your theme. Tried that, copied the css style to another wordpress theme I was working…boy that didn’t turn out good..!
    Even when you download the entire site from weebly with the archive methond and it gives you the .zip folder. You can never upload that to wp. I tried it and give me an error that is missing the “style.css”….!

    Anyone that can give me a torch to go through this tunnel…will be greatly appreciated…:-)

  17. 46

    Tony says

    Hi there..
    Does anyone know what happens if you want to move your entire site..i.e. pages instead of blogs? Everyone mentions just copy and paste…but that’s not possible as far as I’ve seen. What do you exactly copy and what/where do you paste it…? WordPress theme structure is soooooo complex when you see it inside the editor…! Weebly on the other hand, just gives you access to main.style css or exporting your theme. Tried that, copied the css style to another wordpress theme I was working…boy that didn’t turn out good..!
    Even when you download the entire site from weebly with the archive methond and it gives you the .zip folder. You can never upload that to wp. I tried it and give me an error that is missing the “style.css”….!

    Anyone that can give me a torch to go through this tunnel…will be greatly appreciated…:-)

    • 47

      says

      You can’t just move over the style.css across web platforms. it doesn’t work that way. If you are low on funds use one of the WordPress (offered directly from WordPress like twenty eleven) provided templates. Do NOT use other free WordPress templates that are not offered through WordPress as most of them contain mal or spyware.
      You will basically need to rebuild all your pages in WordPress. It’s not fun, but in the end you’ll be better off. Trust me.

      • 48

        Tony says

        Hi Angel…
        Thank you for your reply….! I’m taking each step at a time..meanwhile…and since I’m in a bit of a hurry, I have to design another site with weebly..! What I’ve realised, and from what you said also, you will need to know your code quite well to tweak most of the themes to your liking and according to your needs.
        From experimenting with about 10 free themes within wordpress, ..only one had a sort of drag and drop capability…the rest..do not….look like their screenshots when you activate them and start tweaking them.
        I had several issues…like with adding more than just a picture, but doing a slide show.! I know there are a gazllion of plugins but still…!
        Then, structure of your pages…colours….fonts….some of them offer the ability to change them I know…but I really think that one has to start from scratch…and learn how to build their own theme, tweak it to their liking, learn what pieces of code to manipulate in what css/html pages and then start using free/premium themes…!
        Don’t you think that’s the right way to go…please ….share your thoughts..how did you go about to reach the stage you’re at now…?

        Thanks again…

  18. 49

    Gregor says

    Just wondering if anyone is interested in an automatic solution to migrate Weebly’s content to WordPress? I’m working on an app to do this and would need couple of beta testers to cover edge cases before making it public. Shoot me an e-mail to pokec(AT)operamail(DOT)com.

    Gregor

    • 50

      says

      Hey guys, I’m still pretty far from a full-blown migration tool. However, I have written a simple PHP script that generates RSS for your Weebly blog. I’m hosting this script on Google’s App Engine so feel free to give it a spin: http://weeblyrss.appspot.com

      I’m planing to upgrade this script to also allow SQL dump generation. We can then bypass RSS import altogether and fill WP tables directly via phpMyAdmin or a similar tool. What do you guys think about this idea?

      (Note to Angel: please let me know if I should put a link to your site on my app’s page, since you’re being kind enough to allow me to promote my app in this thread.)

  19. 54

    says

    I just moved my site from Weebly to my own WordPress instance hosted on Amazon AWS. I moved the posts over 10 at a time. After moving each block of 10 posts (and importing the images), I deleted the newest 10 posts from my Weebly blog. The Weebly RSS feed always shows the 10 newest posts, so I could import them 10 at a time. Simple, and a bit time-consuming, but works perfectly!

  20. 56

    Tara says

    I have a blog with Weebly and have spent the past two days trying to figure out how to transfer to WordPress. I’m not worried so much about transferring the content over. What I need help with is figuring out how to keep my original domain name. After creating the shadow site (I guess this is simply a WordPress site with a different domain name) what do you do to make the shadow site live with your original domain name? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer! Your site is lovely by the way.

      • 58

        Tara says

        So is a shadow site the new website with a different domain name? Does that mean that when you point the nameservers to the new site people will end up at a new domain name? What if you want to keep the domain name the same? Thanks!

        • 59

          says

          Hi Tara,
          No one will be able to find your “shadow site” since the only way to access it is by using the isp address. Yes, as soon as you point the nameservers to the new site that’s what people will see. You’re domain name will not change – just the site that people see. The idea of a shadow site is that you can build it before your have people visit it. Once you tell whoever manages your domain name your site’s new “address” (nameserver) it will direct people to the new site and not the old one. However until you’re ready for visitors your can just let them visit the old site (same name, different address or nameserver) until you’re ready.

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