Warning: Wordpress to Squarespace blog migration

Updated 1 March 2018


Watch out if you have comments that you want to take with you

There are two major pitfalls when migrating comments to Squarespace

There's a known issue with comments when migrating Wordpress blogs to Squarespace, so read on if you have an existing blog that you are considering migrating to Squarespace...

Migrating from Wordpress to Squarespace is a really straightforward process, as Squarespace has a built-in tool that allows you to do it without even having to export anything like photos from your Wordpress blog (instructions here). Once you import your WP blog into Squarespace, it will appear as a blog page in the Not Linked section of your Squarespace site. At this point, you have two choices:

Scenario A: keep your whole blog as-is and simply move the entire blog page up from the Not Linked section to your Main Navigation, as shown here:

Or Scenario B: if you are merging multiple blogs or you only want to keep some of the posts from your old Wordpress blog, you will need to move individual blog posts from your imported blog to your new 'master' Squarespace blog one by one. It is this latter scenario where you need to be careful.

Comments will come across just fine on your imported posts, and they will stay looking fine and dandy as long as you are in happy Scenario A land. So, if you are one of these people, then you can safely stop reading. If you are in Scenario B, the comments will still come across just fine, and they will even stay attached to your individual posts when you move them one-by-one to your new master blog page... as long as you do not delete the imported blog from your Not Linked section. A blog page is like a container that holds your individual blog posts, and as long as that old container stays in your Not Linked section, you are fine. You can move as many individual posts as you like out of that container and into your shiny new container (your Squarespace blog page). But as soon as you delete that Wordpress container - even if it is an empty container that you don't need or want - your comments will disappear. I repeat:

Do not delete the imported Wordpress blog page from your Not Linked section, even if you don't want to use that page on your new Squarespace blog. Your comments will disappear!

I contacted Squarespace support about this, and they told me it was a known issue. I have tried without success to get the comments to come back, as the only option Squarespace support gave was to reimport the blog and move the posts one-by-one again. This was not a viable option, as there were loads of posts that had already been moved and rejigged/reformatted to look right in the new template. So, heed my warning now and be extra careful if you are in this situation.

Update: Comments on Pages (not posts)

Now for the bad news: if you have comments on WordPress pages (rather than blog posts), those page comments will not be imported, since Squarespace only allows comments on posts, not pages. I found this out the hard way when migrating this website. So the best thing to do if you want to preserve comments is to first use a converter plugin on your WordPress blog to convert pages to posts, and then you can import everything.

Sidenote: If you are using plugins or shortcodes on your WordPress blog, then those shortcodes will not migrate across, so you will have some tidying up to do. And if you are using plugins for things like galleries or video, then that content won't always be ported across when you migrate; you may end up with some code showing as text on your pages in your Squarespace blog where those media items used to be on your Wordpress post.

Top image courtesy of Martin Abegglen