WordPress to Shopify migration: everything you need to know
Both WordPress and Shopify are e-commerce giants. But where WordPress is a universal website builder, Shopify is an e-commerce platform dedicated to creating an easy shopping experience that automates processes like tax calculations and shipping.
Posted 3 months ago by Jonathan Kennedy
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For many store owners looking for a platform with more comprehensive e-commerce capabilities, moving from WordPress to Shopify seems like a natural transition. Migrating can seem a little daunting at first but with this WordPress to Shopify migration guide, we hope to simplify the process.
We’ll cover what data can be exported to Shopify and provide a complete WordPress to Shopify migration guide – including how to set up data that can’t be passed to Shopify through migration apps or CSV files.
Is it possible to move from WordPress to Shopify?
It is possible to migrate from WordPress to Shopify with relative ease because they both run similar processes. Both platforms are essentially website builders, only Shopify was built specifically to host online stores.
There are multiple sets of data on your WordPress site and they can’t all be moved the same way. Data can refer to store data – customer information, order history, etc. – and content like blog posts and pages.
WordPress data and how they can be moved:
- Products: CSV Files, API, Migration App
- Order History: CSV Files, API, Migration App
- Customer Information: API, Migration App
- Gift Cards: API, Migration App
- Blog Posts: API, Migration App
- Pages: API, Migration App
There is a lot of data that needs to be moved. Having a plan is essential in moving it efficiently and effectively. We’ll cover how to migrate using migration apps, copy and pasting, and CSV exporting and importing.
How to migrate from WordPress to Shopify
Before starting, make sure you already have a Shopify store account. Ensure the initial setup is completed with the store address, a working email, and up-to-date store settings.
Step 1: Choose a Shopify theme
Themes can’t be moved over from WordPress to Shopify. As a newcomer to Shopify, you will have the default theme but can easily move over to different Shopify themes. Shopify offers an extensive array of free and paid themes.
To download a free theme developed by Shopify:
- On the Shopify Merchant Dashboard, find Online Stores to the left of the dashboard and click on it.
- In the Free Themes section, toward the bottom of the page, click Explore.
- Click on whichever theme catches your eye and preview the theme styles.
- If you found the one you like, click on the Add button and the theme will be added to your Theme Library where you can customize it.
To buy a paid theme:
- Visit the Shopify Theme Store and find a theme that fits your store brand.
- There will be a Buy Theme option. Before you buy a theme, you can try it out with the Preview option.
- If you would like to keep the theme, Close Preview and press on Buy Theme.
- After you have bought the theme, Customize it to your liking.
Shopify themes are customizable but if there are any unique features you would want to add, you can hire a developer for these specific tweaks.
Step 2: Transport WordPress data & content
This is the largest part of the migration process because data is the framework of your store. It can take a lot of time and dedication to transport such huge amounts of information.
To simplify the process, determine what data you would like to transfer to your Shopify account, make a list, and then use this list to determine the best method of transferring the data over to Shopify.
The order in which data is migrated to Shopify is important. For Shopify to compile a complete transaction history, import data in the following order:
- Customer Information
- Order History.
There are three ways to go about transporting store content and data.
Use a Shopify migration app
The fastest and easiest way to go about data migration is by using a migration app. Migration apps will use APIs to transfer your data, which means they can transfer almost all your store data in one go. Using a migration app is also the best way to move over blog posts to your Shopify.
The most effective and commonly used is Litextension. All you need to do is choose a source (WordPress) and target (Shopify) and your URL. Select the data you want to migrate and start the migration process.
Manually transport data via CSV files
CSV (Comma-separated value) files are text archive files and can be used to manually transport products and customer information.
WordPress has a massive library of plugins with many available export plugins. With one of these plugins installed you will easily be able to export products and migrate customer information, a process very similar to migrating data from Wix or Squarespace to Shopify.
Once you have the exported CSV files, import them to your Shopify store with the following steps:
- From the Shopify Merchant Dashboard, click on Products.
- Find and click on the Import option.
- Click on Add File and browse until your exported WordPress file is available.
- Click on Upload and Continue.
- You can preview the product details and then Import the products when satisfied.
Copy & paste content
This method works better with content like blog posts, product descriptions, About Us information, shipping information, policies, etc.
Just highlight and copy the content on your WordPress site. Then paste the content in the appropriate spaces on your Shopify store. This method will only work for smaller stores that don’t have a lot to migrate.
Which method is the best?
The method you choose will depend on how much data needs to be migrated and what data you would like imported.
If you have an inventory of hundreds of products and even more blog posts, a migration app will work a lot better than trying to manually move everything over to Shopify. Migration apps make moving from other platforms like WooCommerce to Shopify super easy, considering all the data that needs to be moved.
While CSV files can handle big amounts of data and can only export and import products and customer information.
If you are a smaller store with a limited inventory and only a few blog posts, copying and pasting the material will work.
Whichever you choose, we recommend making data backups wherever possible to avoid any losses.
Step 3: Post-migration product organization
Migrating from WordPress to Shopify can be confusing and it’s easy for mistakes to slip through unnoticed. That’s why it is imperative to do a product check after migrating data over.
Check your product details including product descriptions, meta titles, images, and variants. You can also download a product inventory app from the Shopify app store to keep track of the products available in your store.
Step 4: Set up your shipping
One of Shopify’s biggest wins over other platforms like WordPress is that most commerce processes have been automated. With a few adjustments, Shopify will be able to handle and calculate all shipping and taxes.
It’s important to add accurate information in the next few steps to avoid overcharging.
- Under Setting on your dashboard will be the Shipping and delivery section. Click on it.
- Add your current shipping address. This will ensure accurate shipping rates.
- For longer shipping distances, enable shipping to different regions and, if applicable, international.
- Set up the shipping rates for the shipping zones you have specified. If you are using a carrier that uses package dimensions, configure shipping dimensions for accurate shipping rates.
Step 5: Set up your taxes
WordPress is not a dedicated e-commerce site. The option to charge sales tax might not have been available or had to be calculated manually.
With Shopify, this process is automated. Make sure to take time to research and provide accurate information to ensure legal taxing procedures.
With Shopify, you can add tax based on the shipping destination and their tax regulations. This will be done automatically with the information gathered during Step 4.
If you have products that are exempt from tax, like digital products, you can do a tax override.
- On the Shopify dashboard, click on Products to the left of the page.
- Find and click on the Pricing section.
- When you have found the product you would like to override, uncheck Charge taxes on this product.
- When you have finished, click Save.
Step 6: Set up payment providers
To be able to receive payments after your migration, you need to set up payments with Shopify.
Choose payment providers:
- In your Shopify Merchant Dashboard, go to Settings and then Payments.
- If you do not have a credit card payment provider, complete the account setup in the Payments section.
If you do have a credit card payment provider, click Activate Shopify payments in the Shopify Payments box and in the dialogue box.
- Enter your banking details where required and then Save the information.
Next, let’s complete your store’s checkout.
- Add your store policy. As we mentioned earlier, copying and pasting store policies is an easy way to add them to your Shopify store. Just go to Settings on your dashboard and click on Policies. Paste your policy, make any changes, and click Save.
- Edit customer checkout information under Settings. Find the Checkout option and click on it. Here you can configure the checkout experience and what data needs to be collected before customers can make purchases. Click Save when you are done.
Step 7: Run test orders
After transferring all your WordPress store data and setting up what couldn’t be migrated, it’s time to do a test run.
This way you will be able to see if everything is working smoothly. If not, you will be able to see where the problem lies and fix it before your store’s launch.
- Under Settings on your dashboard, navigate to and click on the Payments option.
- If you have a credit card provider enabled, click on Manage and Deactivate. A popup will appear asking for confirmation to deactivate the payment method. Confirm it.
- Navigate to the Shopify Payments section and then Manage. Click on Switch to a third-party provider. Click on it again to confirm the action.
- In the Shopify Payment section, click on the See all providers option.
- From the dropdown menu, select (for testing) Bogus Gateway.
- Click Activate (for testing) Bogus Gateway and click Save.
- Go back to your store and place an order like a customer visiting your store would. Add the following credit card information:
- Name on card: Bogus Gateway
- Credit Card Number: enter 1 for a successful transaction, 2 for a failed transaction, and 3 for an exception to generate an error message.
- CVV: 111
- Expiry date: any future date.
This should show you if there are any issues with your Shopify store. After you have run the test order, you can return to your initial setting by deactivating the gateway.
- Click Manage next to (for testing) Bogus Gateway.
- Click on Deactivate to remove it from your checkout.
With your store data migrated to Shopify and the setup completed for the data that couldn’t be migrated, all that is left to do is to launch your store and invite customers to buy your products.
Shopify has made building and publishing an online store almost effortless. With our complete guide on how to migrate from WordPress to Shopify, your store will be up and running in no time.
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