If you are running multiple blogs at the same time, there are some cases that you may want to merge two WordPress sites or more into one. The reasons vary. For example, you may have one site that is not performing well in the traffic or search engine rankings.
In this case, you will want to add the content of the site to another one so that you don’t have to spend time managing a valueless blog. Instead of being tired of backing up each of your WordPress sites, updating them separately and marketing them, you can then focus more on your primary sites, which is good for achieving your goals. A great blog with high traffic and good search engine rankings is better than two.
It is quite easy to import content from one WordPress site to another since WordPress comes with the import and export features which are easy-to-use. However, after moving the content, there are still many things to do because you may meet some unexpected errors. So in this post, we will guide you through the content transfer and the common troubles.
Move Content from One WordPress Site to Another
Before making any change to the sites, there is one thing that you must do – creating a complete backup for both sites, so that you can gain a chance to revert things back if there is anything wrong in any step. Then, you can start with the transfer.
Export content from the old site
WordPress comes with a built-in export feature which allows you to export all the content on your website, including posts, pages, custom post types, custom fields, comments, categories and tags, to an XML file.
To use this feature, go to Tools > Export in the admin area of the old site, select “All content”, and then click “Download Export File”. An XML file containing all the content will now be downloaded to your local computer. Just save the file at a proper place.
Import the downloaded file to the new site
Now that you have prepared the content of the old WordPress site that you want to abandon, the next step is to add the content to another valuable site. This can be done with the import feature of WordPress which is located in Tools > Import.
After accessing the menu item, you will get a list of import tools which allow you to import content from Blogger, RSS, Tumblr and more. Scroll the page down, find “WordPress”, and click the “Install Now” link.
WordPress will then install the importer automatically. And when the installation is complete, click “Run Importer”.
In the next step, you are asked to upload the XML file that you have downloaded before so that WordPress can import the content for you. Simply choose the file of the old site, and click on the upload link.
For better management of the content imported from another site, you need to assign the content to new users. WordPress presents you with a list of the authors on the old site, and you can replace each of them with an existing user on your new site, or create a new user.
As soon as the “Submit” button is clicked, WordPress will start uploading the file and importing the content. You may need to wait for a few seconds for things to be done.
Things to Do After Merging Two WordPress Sites’ Content
Moving content is the most important task when you want to merge two WordPress sites, but it is not the only thing to do because you still have to create redirects, update URLs, etc. in order to make sure that everything is good.
Set up 301 redirects
Since you have moved the content of the old WordPress site to your primary site, you should set up redirects as soon as possible so that traffic can be redirected to the proper domain. To do this, you will need to access the old site via FTP or cPanel, find the .htaccess file for that site, and add the following code at the top place.
With this code, visitors to the old site will be redirected to those same pages/posts on the new site automatically, so you don’t have to worry about the loss of traffic.
When posts and pages are transferred, the internal links in them are still pointing to the old site, while due to the redirects, visitors will finally be able to access the right content. However, for the sake of user experience and SEO, we’d suggest you update the old URLs.
The update of URLs can be done easily by using a plugin like Velvet Blues Update URLs. This plugin helps you update the links in posts, pages, excerpts and custom fields, as well the links for attachments. The old links will then be replaced by the new ones automatically.
If you need the detailed steps for using this plugin, refer to our tutorial about updating URLs after moving a WordPress site.
Besides these two tasks, you may also need to deal with the categories and tags if you do care about these things. Some manual works will then be in a need. Just take some time to check the categories and tags of the imported content and make changes as is required.