Moving from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 7

Squarespace 7 is our newest interface, designed to make building and managing your site more intuitive. Moving from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 7 requires migrating your content from our older platform to a completely new product. This means you'll be redesigning your site using a Squarespace 7 template and then importing your content. You'll need to recreate any content that can't import through the import process.

This guide walks you through moving your site content and getting it set up on Squarespace 7. If you get stuck at any point, reach out to our Customer Care team for help.

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Step 1 - Start a Squarespace 7 trial

We offer a 14-day free trial so you can try Squarespace 7 before moving your site. To create a trial, visit our website, click Create a site, and then click Start by answering a few questions or Start by browsing templates.

Note: To start a Squarespace 7 trial you need to create a new account, rather than logging in with your Squarespace 5 credentials. You can use the same email address for both accounts.

If you choose to answer some questions, we’ll recommend templates for your site or create a custom template based on your answers. If you don’t want pre-built template recommendations, enter Custom under What’s the purpose of your website?

If you choose to browse our pre-built templates, you'll see a list of available templates. Click a template to see more information and view example sites for each template. Popular templates for customers switching from Squarespace 5 include:

When you find a template you like, click the Start With... button. You can always switch templates later without losing your content.

Enter your name, email address, and the password you'll use to log into your site.

If you already have a Squarespace 7 account, use the same email address and password you used previously. This adds your new trial site to a menu you can use to switch between sites.

Note: By signing up for a free trial, you agree to our Terms of Service.
Tip: You can extend your trial if you need to.

Step 2 - Get to know the new interface

Squarespace 7 has a different interface than Squarespace 5. When you log into your site, you'll see your website on the right, and a panel area displaying the home menu on the left. Your website will have some pre-populated demo content, which you'll replace with your own content later on.

Tip: If you don't see the left panel after logging in, click the expand arrow in the top left corner of your site.

Depending on what plan you chose, your home menu will look something like this:

The left panel is where you make all the changes to your site's structure and style. We'll walk you through using it in the steps below.

When you click one of the options in the Home Menu, it opens within the left panel. If you need to get back to the Home Menu quickly, double-click the navigation arrow above any panel.

Step 3 - Import your Squarespace 5 content

You can import blogs, pages, comments, and galleries directly from your Squarespace 5 site into your Squarespace 7 site.

  1. On your Squarespace 7 site, in the Home Menu, click Settings, click Advanced, and then click Import / Export.
  2. Click Import.
  3. In the Import Site menu, select V5.
  4. Enter your Squarespace 5 account name and password. Your account name is the first part of your Squarespace 5 URL. For example, if your full Squarespace 5 URL is https://yoursite.squarespace.com, you'll enter yoursite.
  5. Click Begin Import. Your content import will begin. You'll see a Processing label and a progress bar. The length of time this takes depends on how much content your Squarespace 5 site has.

For detailed steps, visit Importing content to Squarespace 7 from Squarespace 5. You may need to manually add some content.

When the process is complete, you'll see a Success label:

V5-success.png

Troubleshooting

If the label says Failure, click Clear, then click Import. Try the import again, making sure of the following:

  • Use your account name in the first field, not your site's URL or your email address.
  • Ensure your password is correct. The password is case-sensitive.

If you're still having issues with this step, contact our Customer Care team.

Manually add remaining content

Only blogs, pages, comments, and galleries can be imported from Squarespace 5. Some of the content from those pages needs to be re-added manually:

  • Content and images that you uploaded to file storage and then linked to on your Squarespace 5 site will disappear once you close your Squarespace 5 site. Re-upload these images and files on your Squarespace 7 site.
  • Content in your headers, footers, or sidebars doesn't import. Copy and paste this content manually.
  • Add podcast files on journal posts to blog posts as Audio Blocks.
  • Markdown text isn't supported for imported blogs. Content imported from a blog using Markdown language won't display. Learn about Markdown in Squarespace 7.

For more help, see our detailed steps on manually adding the remaining content.

Note: Information from Traffic Overview won't import. Learn about Squarespace 7's analytics options.

Step 4 - Enable your content

Tip: While you're building your site, you may want to add a site-wide password or create an Under Construction page.

Your content has been imported into your site, but it won't show up until you enable it.

Navigate to the Home Menu in the left panel and click Pages. The Pages panel is where you'll organize the content of your site--similar to the Architecture area in Squarespace 5.

In the Pages Panel, you'll see your site's demo content. Each page has a Demo label.

Scroll down to the Not Linked section. Here you'll see the pages you imported.

Tip: If you don't see your pages, refresh the page.

To activate each of your pages, hover over it and click the gear-icon. Then check Enabled, and click Save.

Note: If any of your Squarespace 5 pages has the same full URL (example: www.yoursite.com/about) as a page on your Squarespace 7 site, change the slug of the Squarespace 7 page before you import. Your site won't allow two active pages with the same URL.

These pages are now live on your site. You may want to set one of these pages as your homepage. To display them as links in your navigation, drag each page to the Main Navigation section in the Pages panel. To learn more, visit Moving pages around your navigation.

Tip: To create drop-down menus, add your pages to a folder.

Step 5 - Set up URL formats and redirects

To make the transition to your new site seamless, it's important to set up your site's URLs. This will prevent your visitors from seeing dead links and "Page not found" error messages.

  • To learn how to update your URL slugs (the part of the URL after your root domain), visit Changing URL slugs. That guide will teach you how to set your default blog post URL format, so that all your imported blog posts can have the same format that they had on your Squarespace 5 site.
  • You can change how pages display in navigation versus how they display in your navigation.
  • To forward visitors away from pages that don't exist to pages that do exist, you can set up 301 redirects. That guide also explains how to set up batch redirects for multiple blog posts, events, or products.
  • You can also create a custom 404 error page in case any of your visitors find a dead link.

301 redirects and SEO

Redirects are a key way to keep your site search engine optimized through the transition to a new content management system. Although moving a site to a new platform might cause a temporary dip in search ranking, setting up redirects is the best way to reduce the effect of the migration. To learn more, visit Maintaining your SEO ranking after moving to Squarespace.

Note: If you have a custom domain, the URLs won't work until you've moved the domain; see Step 11.

Step 6 - Update your site's title and description

In your Home Menu, click Design, then Logo & Title. Here you can change the site title, or replace it with a logo. Some templates also support a tag line.

You may also want to update these site settings: 

  • To edit the description that appears in search engine results, go back to the Home Menu and click SettingsMarketing, and then SEO. Enter the description in the Search Engine Description field.
  • In the Pages panel, click the gear-icon to add a page description for each page.
  • If yours is a business website, add your business information in the Home Menu by clicking Settings, then Business Information.

Step 7 - Add new content 

To add pages to your new site, click the + icon in the Pages panel next to any navigation area. You'll see the following page types:

  • Page - Add a Layout Page to build your own page layout.
  • Products - Squarespace 7 supports integrated commerce features for all sites.
  • Cover Page - Use a Cover Page to create a landing splash page for your site.
  • Folder - Create drop-down menus in your navigation.
  • Album - Add an album of audio files to your website.
  • Index - Index Pages organize content from multiple pages into a single location. They are available in certain templates.
  • Blog - Create a blog and populate it with posts.
  • Gallery - Showcase images and videos.
  • Events - Add a calendar or list of events to your site.
  • Link - In addition to any pages you've added directly to your navigation, you can add additional links.
Note: Some templates also support an Info Page or Project Page.

You can also use the Pages panel to delete pages, such as the auto-populated demo pages. Hover over the page and click the trash can icon.

Step 8 - Style your site

For Squarespace 7, the equivalent of Squarespace 5's Style Mode is Site Styles.

Similar to Style Mode, Site Styles only shows tweaks (style options) specific to the page you're viewing. For example, if you're on a Blog Page when you navigate to Site Styles, it will show tweaks specific to Blog Pages, but won't show tweaks for Products Pages.

To access tweaks specific to a page, first navigate to that page; one option is to click on it in the Pages panel. Then go to the Home Menu in the left panel and click Design, then Site Styles.

Use the tweaks to adjust your site's appearance. Each template has its own tweaks, so Site Styles will look different depending on your template. For more information, visit Making style changes.

Tip: Like with Style Mode, you can click on elements on your page to see their relevant style tweaks.

Step 9 - Update your built-in domains (optional)

Your Squarespace 5 and Squarespace 7 sites each have a built-in domain. A built-in domain is a URL that includes an account name (site ID) and ends in .squarespace.com, like this: accountname.squarespace.com

The account name in the built-in domain is a unique identifier, and you can't use it on more than one site. To use that account name for the built-in domain on your Squarespace 7 site, first update the Squarespace 5 site's to free it up.

  1. On the Squarespace 5 site, change the account name. To keep it easy to remember, we recommend you change it by adding -old to the end, as shown in the screenshot below.
Note: Changing your account name changes how you log into your Squarespace 5 site. In the example screenshot below, you'd now use youraccountname-old to log in.
  1. On the Squarespace 7 site, change the built-in URL.

add-old.png

Step 10 - Upgrade your Squarespace 7 site

When you're ready to upgrade your Squarespace 7 site to active billing, click Upgrade Now in the banner at the bottom of the screen. For detailed steps, visit Upgrading to paid service.

The plan you choose determines the number of contributors your site has and the features available. For more information, visit Choosing the right Squarespace product and plan.

Note: The billing plan you choose affects the free custom domain you registered through Squarespace 5. The domain only remains free if you choose an annual plan.

Step 11 - Move your custom domain

Many people like to wait until their site is ready to launch before they move the domain, so that the URL always directs visitors to an active site.

How you move the domain depends on how you registered it:

  • If you bought a domain from a third party site, like GoDaddy, follow these steps.
  • If you registered your domain for free through Squarespace 5, follow these steps.

Move a third-party domain

If you have a domain from another provider (like Network Solutions or 1&1) connected to your Squarespace 5 site, follow these steps:

Log into your Squarespace 5 site. Click Website Management and then click Custom Domain.

Hover over your domain name and click Unlink. For further assistance, visit Step 1 of this guide.

Once you've unlinked your domain, you can connect it to your Squarespace 7 site.

Move a Squarespace Domain

Note: You can only move your Squarespace 5 custom domain to an active Squarespace 7 site on an annual plan. See Step 10 for information about upgrading.

If you registered a custom domain through us on Squarespace 5, first ensure you have an email set in your Squarespace 5 administrator account.

  1. Log into your Squarespace 5 site.
  2. In the Website Management bar, click Member Accounts, then click your name.
  3. In the Member Information section, ensure the Email field has your current email address.
  4. Click Save Changes.

Next, contact us and we'll move the domain to your new Squarespace 7 site. Include this information if you have it:

  • Subject: Move domain from 5 to 7
  • The custom domain (Example: www.yoursite.com)
  • The Squarespace URL for your original Squarespace 5 site (Example: yoursite.squarespace.com)
  • The Squarespace URL for your new Squarespace 7 site (Example: yourothersite.squarespace.com)
  • The full name and last four digits on the credit card(s) used to pay for each site
Note: You may receive a domain verification request email. Follow the steps in that email to verify the domain.

Step 12 - Cancel Squarespace 5 billing

Once you're ready to exclusively use your Squarespace 7 site, you can cancel your Squarespace 5 site to avoid paying for two sites simultaneously.

To cancel your Squarespace 5 account, log into your Squarespace 5 site and click Website Management, then click Billing & Account.

Click Cancel Account, enter your password, and then confirm by entering the word "CANCEL" and clicking Cancel Account. For more details, visit Cancelling service.

Tip: If you have an annual or bi-annual plan, remove your account to receive a prorated refund for unused time.

Next steps

Congratulations, your Squarespace 7 site is now live! We hope you're starting to feel comfortable with the new interface, and we encourage you to explore our help site to learn about all the new features you have available. You might want to start with our Next Steps video series, to learn how to encourage visitor interaction and help build your audience.

Here's a cheat sheet of terms to help you learn the new interface.

Tip: Within the Squarespace 7 interface, press the / or ? key to search for a panel, setting, or help guide. Visit our shortcuts guide for more tips.

Squarespace 5 feature

Squarespace 7 equivalent

Account Center

Billing & Account panel

Architecture

The Pages panel

Blog Importer

Import / Export panel

Content Mode

Edit annotations are available on all pages except when Site Styles is open.

File Storage

Visit Uploading and managing files.

Insert Script

Code Block

Journals

Blog Pages

Member Accounts

Visit Squarespace permissions explained.

Picture Galleries

Gallery Pages, Gallery blocks

Preview Mode

Click the expand arrow in your site's top-left corner.

Social Profiles

Connected Accounts

Statistics

Metrics

Structure Mode

The Pages panel

Style Mode

Site Styles

URL Shortcuts

URL Mappings panel

Website Management Bar

The left panel when you’re logged in

Widgets

Blocks

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Moving from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 7