Use a Page Builder to Transition to WordPress with Ease!
Are you wanting to use a page builder to develop your new website? Or are you considering a transition from Wix to WordPress but don’t know where to start? WordPress Page Builders such as Elementor, allow everyday people, like you and me, to easily build professional WordPress sites, without requiring any prior experience, coding or specialist skills.
A WordPress website is an ideal choice for users that are wanting additional customisable features and who are seeking more control over the design of their website. Despite that, there are some elements that may be missing. A major drawcard of WordPress is the page building functionality that it offers. While some themes feature limited customisation options, you may be missing the simplistic web design approach that was previously available in Wix.
Website & Page builder plugins like Elementor, are specifically designed to be used within WordPress and offer great flexibility and ease of use. The Wix to WordPress migration process will be seamless, with all the helpful features from this renowned CMS, as well as the ability to continue creating with easy ‘drag and drop functionality.
Our step by step guide below will greatly assist you in performing a smooth migration process for your website once you’re ready to make the switch from Wix to another page builder, such as WordPress & Elementor.
Develop Your Website With a Page Builder
WordPress Page Builders such as Elementor, allow people to easily and independently build their own websites without the need for coding, high level technical IT knowledge or web design skills. A simple page builder plugin grants you the ability to develop appealing landing pages and custom layouts.
Although we prefer using Elementor with WordPress, there are also many other ‘drag and drop’ style page builders that are similar to Wix, including Beaver Builder, GeneratePress, Divi, SeedProd and Brizy.
By using page builder plugins within WordPress, you are able to add any type of content using drag and drop tools and customise, move and arrange the elements to create an individualised site layout. You don’t require any coding skills to design with a page builder, making it easy to build captivating yet professional websites to target your target audience.
Site Builder Comparison
You may like WordPress but aren’t willing to give up your page builder. Wix’s page builder provides an excellent introduction to basic web design for beginners and WYSIWYG (‘What You See Is What You Get’) page builders. Consequently, switching over to WordPress to create your website can be a difficult choice as it is more complex and less intuitive to use.
WordPress offers limited design functionality for those unfamiliar with HTML and CSS without a page builder plugin. It still uses a WYSIWYG editor for page content, however, there are some design elements that you are unable to control without using files and templates. Themes also come with customisation options but are usually limited to changing style or colour, not the content and page layouts.
WordPress’ new editor, Gutenberg, can be utilised to create simple block-based layouts from the dashboard but that is its only similarity to a Wix page builder. All the other expected features, such as pixel-perfect placement and the ability to change the size of blocks, are missing
The Pro’s & Con’s of the Wix and WordPress Platforms…
Whilst several similarities exist between both Wix and WordPress, they are distinctive platforms in their own right. WordPress is a web publishing software and content management system that assists in creating websites, blogs, business sites and eCommerce stores, whilst Wix provides basic user-friendly website templates, making it an ideal site builder for smaller-scale startup websites.
Still unsure about swapping your website over to WordPress? Our list of ‘pros and cons’ listed below will help you compare the features of Wix versus WordPress to help you decide what is best for you and your business.
- A basic & easy to use site builder
- User friendly for all competency levels
- Free to use
- Can create as many sites as you want
- Offers complimentary web hosting
- Premium plans are available which enable you to connect your own domain, remove Wix ads, accept online payments and more.
- Features a built-in page builder.
- Small App Market only has 250+ plugins.
- Templates can be somewhat limiting
- Lacks advanced features
- Challenging to fully customise
- A CMS which boasts a large community and fully customisable features and versatility
- An extremely wide range of user-made plugins and premium & free themes
- Offers you control over site design
- User friendly and makes it easy to create, organise, and publish content
- Free and open-source
- Does not include hosting
- Can take a while to learn the ‘ins and outs’ of the platform
- Doesn’t come with a default page builder
Although Wix is very simple to use, making it a suitable choice for beginners and startups, it is not highly customisable. WordPress, on the other hand, is definitely a lot more versatile and adaptable, but comparatively, can be more complex to use.
If you are wanting more control over how your website looks and functions and find yourself struggling to publish content on the Wix platform, WordPress may be a great solution for you. It has unlimited potential and can create any kind of project, as well as give you ultimate control over the design and usability functions of your website.
Moving From Wix to WordPress Using Elementor
Are you ready to migrate from Wix to WordPress? Although it may be daunting, many people start out with a Wix website then transition to a more advanced platform such as WordPress, later on down the track. Wix is ideal for new websites, however, once your website launches fully, WordPress is likely to become your primary preference due to the freedom, functionality and versatility that it offers its users.
A WordPress website is an ideal choice for those seeking more features and control, however, it might be missing some elements that you may have come to rely on. A major benefit of WordPress is the multitude of theme and page building features that it has. However, you might find that you begin missing what makes web design in Wix so simple.
Thankfully, Elementor is a WordPress page builder plugin that features great practicality and usability. By using Elementor, moving over from Wix to WordPress will be seamless and stress-free. Not only will you attain this renowned CMS’s multitude of features, but you will also have the ability to continue designing via the drag and drop method, as well as other useful features.
Are you ready to switch over from your current Wix website to WordPress? Our article will help streamline the process for you, providing detailed instructions outlining both manual and automated migration, ensuring that you get your site up and running as quickly as possible.
So What Is Elementor?
Page builders like Elementor, enable the crafting and development of unique layouts, similar to that of Wix’s site builder. This aspect makes the migration from Wix to WordPress far easier for former Wix users. Similarities and differences exist between both the Elementor and Wix platforms, including;
Wix and Elementor are available in both free and paid versions.
Neither platform requires special coding or design skills to use them.
Both are easy to learn and master, with a simple drag and drop of various elements onto the page you want to create.
Elementor provides an increased level of functionality and gives the user control over placement and design compared to Wix.
Wix is well suited to individuals and small- to medium-sized businesses, while Elementor works well with businesses of any size.
Wix boasts an ‘App Market’ of widgets whilst Elementor Pro is bundled with over 90 widgets
Elementor offers numerous third-party addons to supplement the widgets.
Another aspect to consider when contemplating migration from Wix to WordPress via Elementor is how the overall functionality, ease of use and versatility of the available widgets for each platform compares to one another.
Wix Widgets versus Elementor Widgets
When building a website, one shouldn’t sacrifice site build functionality at any cost. Fortunately, Elementor offers a multitude of widgets for its users, covering all of Wix’s features, plus many more.
On one hand, Wix allows you to add many different on-page elements to your site without the need for installing any third party plugins. These include text, images, galleries, buttons, social icons, contact forms, lists, menus, videos, slideshows, lightboxes, hover effects, Google Maps, and eCommerce features, just to name a few! Wix’s “strip” elements also have their own equivalents within Elementor and include widgets like author boxes and testimonials.
In saying this, Elementor supports all of these functions at a base level, although some of the specific features of these Wix widgets may not be available in entirety. Elementor widgets however, offer their own unique customisation options which proves to be extremely beneficial when developing and tailoring your site to your specific needs and individual requirements.
One missing feature is a built-in vector art and shapes widget, but plugins such as WP SVG Icons can solve this issue. Elementor also doesn’t currently have a general audio/music widget, but it supports Soundcloud embeds so this can be used as an alternative option.
Additionally, WordPress has an ‘out of the box’ audio widget as well as supporting embedded media from an array of different services. Elementor offers some unique features, such as a progress bar, star rating, page tabs, and many other helpful widgets.
Useful 3rd Party Plugins
A wide variety of third-party Elementor plugin add-ons are available to assist in performing different functions on a site. These add-on options equate to hundreds of additional features for Elementor, as well as there being even more available to access from the WordPress plugins library.
The Elementor community has numerous talented web developers who have extended the page builder’s functionality far beyond what people thought possible. Hundreds of widgets have been created and continue to be developed which greatly benefits the users in a variety of ways.
Wix to WordPress Migration Process - What You Will Need to Do Before Commencing
Prior to moving from Wix to WordPress, several things need to be checked off to ensure a seamless process occurs. Firstly, you will need to have a new site set up as well as performing some customisation before you inject it with any content. This includes selecting a new theme, with several complementary ones being available in the WordPress theme repository. Alternatively, you can also choose a premium third party theme which is available from a repository like ThemeForest.
There are upwards of 11,000 different page themes just on ThemeForest alone, as well as thousands more available to use in the WordPress directory. You can also start entirely from scratch if you prefer, building your new site from the ground up. Elementor’s Hello theme is extremely beneficial for such a task and is a great starting point.
To begin the migration process, you will also need to select a new web host as WordPress does not include this like Wix does. Some hosts come with the CMS already installed, or they will install it for you. Another option is for you to do this yourself manually, with the following guide helping you to set it up. You should be able to easily replicate all the old features of your Wix site in WordPress by employing some creativity and drawing on some of your key inspirations.
Manual or Automated Migration – Which is the best choice?
After WordPress is set up successfully on your new domain, it’s time to make the important decision – should you choose an automated or manual Wix to WordPress migration for your website?
Whilst an automated migration process is simplified and utilises a plugin to copy content from one site to another, the transferral of large amounts of data can be very costly. The larger your site is, unfortunately, the higher the cost will be for you. Also, although automation performs the majority of the work, it can often result in broken links and formatting errors. This then leads to wasted time and effort, with every migrated page needing to be reviewed for any errors.
On the other hand, manual migration does not cost anything, but it takes a considerable amount of time for the user to perform. You will need to copy each page’s content into its own individual WordPress post which is obviously tedious and time-consuming, but also free. As you are manually inputting the content yourself, you will be able to review formatting and fix any required links at the same time which is a bonus.
Automated migration is the best choice when you have a huge Wix site or have time constraints as it will get the job done promptly and without unnecessary stress or hassle. However, if your site is smaller or you can’t afford the higher automated migration costs, performing a manual migration is the ideal choice for you.
Regardless of your choice, we will guide you through each step of the automated and manual migration processes to ensure that it is as seamless as possible.
Wix to WordPress Manual Migration Process
If you have a small scale website and don’t mind copying everything across or don’t want to outlay any money on this process, you can try manual migration instead. It is as simple as using the copy and paste functions from the Wix platform over to WordPress.
A benefit of doing this is that it provides you with more control over the process and grants you the ability to check and correct formatting and links while you work through every page and post. Below is a guide that outlines each key step to follow to make the process as simple as possible for you.
- Installing Elementor
Prior to pasting anything into WordPress, you will need to create the pages you need first. Pages such as your homepage, contact and about us pages will need to be created, whilst blog posts can be pasted and published right into the WordPress editor.
Firstly, you will need to download Elementor from the homepage or if you are using Elementor Pro, log in to your account and download the pro addon from there. Proceed to the WordPress dashboard and click Plugins > Add New and upload the downloaded zip file. You can also go to Plugins > Add New and search for the free version of Elementor instead of uploading a file. You are ready to start designing once you have activated the program.
2. Design Pages using Elementor
After you have replicated all the pages from your Wix site, you are now ready to transfer the media and content over. In order to create a specific type of page, you will be required to know the basics of using Elementor.
Firstly, go to your WordPress backend and click Pages, then Add New. Select the blue ‘Edit with Elementor’ button and the page will then load with a widget bar on the left and a WYSIWYG editor on the right. Now you can begin designing with Elementor!
The interface is simple to use, with sections marking large areas of the page, columns go inside the sections and widgets go inside the columns. By using these elements, you can easily create block-based designs as you wish. By clicking the plus button within the editor interface, you can create a section, then right-click inside it to create columns, and hover and drag the dashed edges to change size.
Widgets can then be dragged from the left into those columns and drag and drop these elements anywhere you want them. Use the Text Editor widget where you want the text to appear on each page as well.
Templates are also available to use by clicking the folder icon above the ‘Drag widget here’ box. You can then browse and select a template to load it, which can further simplify the design process for you. In order to create highly functional and dynamic page designs, you only need to know these basic steps. If you want to create a design that applies across all blog posts, you can design a new post template with Elementor’s Theme Builder.
3. Discover New Fonts
It’s worth noting that WordPress does not come loaded with any extra fonts, nor is it possible to change fonts in the editor – it’s all dependent on the theme that you are using. Since typography is a large component of branding, you will need to investigate what option you prefer to use.
Most themes change the fonts on your website automatically, however, if you would like to add your own downloaded fonts, you will need another solution, such as using Easy Google Fonts. This allows you to gain access to over 600 free Google fonts, plus there are also several free font plugins you can use to increase diversity and choice.
The Custom Fonts uploader is also beneficial if you have a specific font you want to use on your site. It works for any free fonts you download from third-party repositories, as well as off-site premium purchases.
4. Content Migration
After you have created the necessary pages, it is now time to copy all of your content to your new WordPress site. This is an essential component of any migration from Wix to WordPress.
Highlight and copy the specific text (press Ctrl+C), then go to the Text Editor widgets and paste it in there (press Ctrl+V), section by section. Once you are finished with the page, click Update and carry on to the next one, repeating the same process. This step is generally the most tedious and time-consuming part of performing a manual migration yourself.
5. Importing Images
Unfortunately, you will have to migrate all your images manually as well. The simplest way to do this is to go through your Wix site and save each image to your computer then go to Media > Add New on the WordPress dashboard to bulk upload them, then manually replace them using the Image Widget. You could also use a plugin such as Auto Upload Images, which allows you to save and update all the images from individual posts to your Media Library.
Note that the plugin will not save any external images you paste into an Elementor widget and if there are Wix-hosted images in the Elementor widgets, you’ll need to save and re-upload those manually. Any additional videos, attachments or other media in your posts will also need to be manually downloaded and uploaded to WordPress.
Automated Migration with a Connector Plugin
If you’re planning on utilising automated migration, you will be required to install a suitable plugin to help carry out the task. We will be using one of the widely known migration plugins, the CMS2CMS connector.
Firstly, you will need to download the plugin from their website or access it via the plugin repository. You will then need to go to Plugins > Add New and run the installer. Once the CMS2CMS plugin is activated, you can then begin a migration demonstration. It is important to ensure that you backup both websites prior to beginning this process.
Secondly, you need to select Wix as your current CMS and enter your old site’s URL, followed by selecting WordPress and entering in your new URL, or moving it to the test site. Once this is verified, you will be able to transfer the tags, content, and menu. If you wish to migrate attachments, images, galleries or set up 301 redirects, you will incur an additional charge.
After completing the above steps, either begin the demo migration or dive straight into the main process – then it is simply a waiting game! Smaller websites will generally only take a few minutes, whilst larger sites can take upwards of an hour plus. Now that your site has been moved successfully, it is vital to confirm that the migration process went smoothly and all the site elements were carried across and all the features work properly.
It is important to note that the CMS2CMS migrates all Wix pages as blog posts, not as pages. You can use a Post Type Switcher plugin to easily change this over for you. After this is done, you will be pleased to see that your automated migration from Wix to WordPress is now fully complete.
Adding Functionality to Your Website with Plugins
By adding several third party developer plugins to your new website, you can inject even more functionality and features into the site. Some recommended plugins to install include;
- WooCommerce – the most popular eCommerce platform on the CMS which adds numerous store features to your site.
- Booking Calendar – a customisable eCommerce plugin that allows users to easily book appointments.
- Profile Builder – enables users to create accounts and personalise their profiles.
- MailChimp for WordPress – allows you to keep your visitors updated and informed by creating regular newsletters.
- Disable Comments
- WP Live Chat Support – add live chat and offer support to your users in real-time.
Whichever migration method you decide to use, there are several tasks you will need to carry out in order for everything to run smoothly.
Firstly, 301 redirects from the old links should be set up immediately, thus ensuring users of the old site won’t stumble upon a broken page or receive a 404 error. If you used the CMS2CMS plugin and selected the 301 Redirects option, this would have been carried out automatically for you, although you should still test the old links to confirm that they redirect properly.
If you choose to perform the migration manually, you can download the Simple 301 Redirects plugin to redirect the old URLs to the new website. In saying this, redirects unfortunately won’t work for Wix subdomain users. In this case, you will need to leave a message and provide a link to the new website on your old site.
Secondly, you will need to meticulously review all your posts and pages to ensure that the appropriate formatting has been applied and links to old Wix URLs are removed or redirected to the right pages. Although this is a timely task, it is an extremely important step and aids in making your site SEO-friendly.
Failing to have redirects setup properly or having broken links or images on your site can result in search engine optimisation (SEO) penalties. This should be avoided at all costs as this ultimately affects your ranking in search results.
Once you have finished with your Wix site, you will need to deactivate your account and cancel any unused premium services. If you purchased a domain or other premium features, you will have to wait until it expires before you can close the account. In the meantime though, you can still unpublish your site, but make sure that you have all your files and content saved before proceeding to delete your Wix account.
You might be worried about taking the final step and moving from Wix to WordPress. Understandably, a lot of work is required and continuing to use the same platform is definitely the easier option, despite the fact that you may have grown beyond Wix’s capabilities.
However, if you require the versatility and control that WordPress offers, you shouldn’t continue to use a platform that no longer meets your needs. iOnline’s specialist website designers & web developers can help you during every stage of the migration process so you don’t need to worry about a thing!
Once you have become comfortable using a different page builder such as Elementor, you can quickly and easily enjoy all the benefits of a powerful CMS, enabling you to immediately customise your website’s design and layout.
If you’re ready to upgrade and move on from Wix, using WordPress and Elementor is a popular alternative that many people use. Although it may seem daunting to make the switch, now is the ideal time! Ultimately, you will save alot of valuable time and money for many years to come.
Although the iOnline team prefers using the Elementor page builder for WordPress website development, there are many other user-friendly page builders that can also be utilised. Page builders such as Divi, Brizy, Beaver Builder, GeneratePress and SeedProd can be utilised within the WordPress platform in order for you to build visually appealing, dynamic, highly functional and aesthetically pleasing pages on your website to target your key audience.
Speak to one of the experts at iOnline today about transitioning over from Wix to a more suitable page builder now!