Looking to migrate Medium to WordPress?
There’s no question that WordPress offers a lot more flexibility than Medium. But if you’ve already published a lot of content on Medium, you might be worried that you’re going to lose that content.
Don’t be worried! Thanks to a free tool and some built-in WordPress features, you can easily switch from Medium to WordPress and bring along all of your articles and images.
In this piece, we’ll discuss some of the more pertinent considerations when making the switch. Then, we’ll show you how to migrate Medium to WordPress without losing any of your content. Let’s get started!
What you need to consider when you migrate Medium to WordPress
Before you start migrating your content from Medium to WordPress, it’s important to realize that migrating from Medium to WordPress involves more than just copying and pasting your content. Some additional things to consider include:
- Moving your data
- Properly configuring WordPress settings
- Hosting images on your own WordPress server (previously, Medium automatically handled this for you)
- Setting up a redirect so that people who try to access your old content on Medium get sent to the right place on WordPress
In other words, there are a lot of moving parts to combine and get working. Nevertheless, transferring all of your content is not as difficult as it sounds — all you have to do is follow these five steps.
How to migrate Medium to WordPress (5 steps)
Before we can get started, you’re going to need a WordPress website set up and ready to go. This involves:
- Purchasing WordPress hosting – here are our thoughts on the best WordPress hosting.
- Purchasing your own domain name (if you aren’t already using a custom domain with Medium).
- Installing the WordPress software on your hosting.
If you’re not sure how to do that, check out steps 2-3 in our how to make a website guide.
Once you have your fresh WordPress install set up, you’re ready to migrate Medium to WordPress.
1. Export your data from Medium
In the past, Medium let you export your content in a format that was compatible with WordPress’ built-in importer tool. Unfortunately, that’s no longer true now. But to get around this issue, you can use this free exporter tool to export your Medium content in a format that works with WordPress.
All you need to do is enter your…
- Medium website URL
If you have a custom domain name with Medium, your website will begin to export immediately. However, if you don’t, you’ll be asked for a Medium export file. To obtain yours, sign into Medium and click on your profile photo:
Scroll to the bottom of the drop-down menu and go to Settings. Under Download your information, click the button reading Download .zip:
On the next page, click Export. An email will be sent to you with your Medium export file, and you should download the file within and upload it into the Medium to WordPress export tool.
Back at the tool’s home page, click Export my Medium Website. You should then be presented with an option to Download Your Medium Export File:
Click on the big green button and your file will download, at which point grab your export.xml file ready for the next step.
2. Import your Medium content into WordPress
With your export file in hand, it’s time to log into your WordPress admin screen. From the dashboard, go to Tools > Import. This will bring up a list of importer tools:
Scroll down until you see WordPress, then click Install Now to download the tool. Once it’s ready, the link will change to Run Importer. Click it and you’ll be presented with a section to upload your file:
Next, click Choose File and select the export.xml file you downloaded previously. On the next page, you’ll be asked to assign authors:
You are free to choose the author for your content, either importing it from Medium or choosing a new user. You should choose the option that aligns with how your Medium blog assigned authors. Also, be sure to tick the box that says Download and import file attachments. This will ensure your images are transferred as well.
Finally, click Submit and WordPress will automatically import all your Medium content. You can check to make sure everything is in order by going to your Posts page, and manually scrolling through your content.
3. Upload your images to WordPress
Although the importer does its best to transfer images, it may not get them all because of the way they’re hosted on Medium. If this is the case, you’ll need another tool to ensure they migrate properly. For this, we recommend the Auto Upload Images plugin.
Once you install and activate the plugin (here’s how), go to the Posts area in your WordPress dashboard and use the checkbox to select all of your posts. Then, use the bulk action drop-down to select Edit and click Apply. From there, you just need to hit the Update button — no need to change anything.
This will retrieve any missing images from your content, and upload them to your site. The images that failed to transfer during the migration process will be uploaded to your new site, and you can move onto the next task.
4. Set up a redirect from Medium to WordPress
At this point, you may want to set up a redirect so that visitors to your old site can find your new one. Unfortunately, if you have a medium.com domain name, you won’t be able to do this.
However, for those with a custom domain, you can use the handy Redirection plugin to link your pages.
This is important because the URL structure that Medium uses doesn’t match WordPress’ permalink structures. That means that people who try to visit a Medium post will hit a 404 page, unless you set up a redirect to send visitors from the old post URL to the new post URL on WordPress.
With this plugin installed and activated, go to Tools > Redirection. Once you finish setting up the plugin, you can easily add redirects between your old site and your new one.
Under Source URL, simply input a URL for one of your Medium posts. Next, paste the URL for the new page in WordPress into the Target URL field. Repeat this process until all of the pages you want to redirect are set.
5. Install a WordPress theme
Your final step is to select a theme in WordPress. Your theme will determine not only the appearance of your website, but may also affect its navigation and functionality. Given that you’re coming from a Medium blog, this may be new territory for you. However, this is what separates the old platform from the new.
As such, making a choice here is important for your entire site’s branding and presentation, so you should take some time over your initial selection (although you can always change things up later.)
To install a theme, go to Appearance > Themes:
There will be some themes already installed and ready to use, and this may be all you need. However, if you click the Add New button, you can browse the WordPress Theme Directory – different categories of completely free themes ready to showcase your content. You may want to consider whether a premium theme will suit you better by reading our guide on the subject.
When you’ve found one you like, hover the cursor over it and click Install then Activate. After, you’ll be able to customize it to meet your needs. The great thing is you’re not bound by your old Medium design, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to the look of your website.
Some next steps to consider
Now you’re officially on WordPress, you’ll likely want to maximize its potential. The good news is that you have a wealth of resources at your fingertips to help you along. Here are just a few posts to get you started:
- 5 Must-Have Plugins for WordPress + Why You Actually Need Them
- WordPress for Beginners: 20 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Answered
- 5 Ways to Make Money on Your Website
- How to Increase Blog Traffic in 2023
As you can see, you’ll want to concern yourself with plugins (add-ons that extend WordPress’ functionality), monetizing your blog, and more. Security is also a priority. Although WordPress itself is inherently secure, it’s always good to have a few layers, to minimize the impact of any malicious intent.
Do you have any additional questions about how to migrate Medium to WordPress? Leave a comment and we’ll do our best to help.