How to Merge Two WordPress Sites Together Without Losing SEO

Recently, one of our readers asked us how to merge two WordPress sites together? Sometimes you may create multiple WordPress sites but later want to merge them together. WordPress comes with built-in tools to easily do this. In this article, we will show you how to properly merge two WordPress sites together.

How to merge two WordPress sites together

Why Merge Two WordPress Sites Together?

There could be a lot of reasons for merging two or more WordPress sites together. You may want to start a new WordPress blog by combining your old blogs so that you can have all your content on one location.

Another reason could be that one of your blogs is not doing so well, and you want to merge its content with one of your primary blogs.

Most users merge WordPress sites to spend less time on maintaining a separate WordPress install. Instead of running, marketing, updating and keeping WordPress backups of two or more sites, you can focus on maintaining and growing just one WordPress site.

Let’s take a look at how to easily merge WordPress sites together.

Exporting Content From Old WordPress Site

For the sake of this example, we will say that you have a WordPress site at http://oldsite.com and you want to merge it with http://newsite.com/.

Important: Don’t forget to create complete WordPress backup of both your websites. This will come in handy in case anything goes wrong and you want to revert back.

First, you need to visit Tools » Export page inside the admin area of your old WordPress site. This is the site that you want to merge with the newer site.

Export content from your old WordPress site

Make sure that you select ‘All content’ option and then click on ‘Download Export File’ button to continue.

WordPress will now prepare an XML file and send it to your browser. You need to save this file on your computer as you will need it in the next step.

This file will contain the following:

  • All your WordPress posts and pages
  • All custom post types (if you have any)
  • All categories and tags and custom taxonomies (if you have any).

Merging Content on New WordPress Site

Now that you have exported content from your old site, it is time to merge it with your new WordPress site.

Head over to the admin area of the destination site (the site where you want content to be merged) and visit Tools » Import page.

Install WordPress importer

This page lists all the import tools that you can install and run on your WordPress site. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the ‘Install now’ link under WordPress.

Once the WordPress importer is installed, you need to click on the ‘Run Importer’ link to continue.

Run WordPress importer

Next, you will be asked to upload the WordPress export file.

You need to click on the ‘Choose File’ button and then select the XML file you downloaded earlier.

Upload WordPress import file

Click on ‘Upload file and import’ button to continue.

WordPress will now upload your export file and analyze it. After that, it will redirect you to import settings page.

WordPress import settings

It will ask you to assign authors or create new authors.

You can assign the imported content to an existing user on your WordPress site or create a new author.

Next, check the box under ‘Import Attachments’ option to import media attachments from your old WordPress site.

You can now click on the Submit button to run the final step of the import.

WordPress will now import content from your export file and add it to your new WordPress site. Once finished, you will see a success message.

WordPress import finished

Setting up Redirects

After successfully merging content from two WordPress sites, the next step is to setup redirects so that users visiting the old site are automatically redirected to the new WordPress site.

You will need to edit the .htaccess file on the old WordPress site.

You can edit the .htaccess file by connecting to your WordPress site using an FTP client or by using the File Manager tool in your WordPress hosting cPanel.

The .htaccess file is located in the root folder of your website. If you can’t find it, then see our guide on why you can’t find .htaccess file on your WordPress site to unhide it.

You need to place this code at top of your .htaccess file.

#Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Don’t forget to replace newsite.com with the domain name of your new WordPress site. Save your changes and upload the file back to your server.

You can now visit any post on your old WordPress site, and you will be automatically redirected to the same post on the new site.

Troubleshooting After Merging Two WordPress Sites

How to merge and bulk edit categories and tags?

You may want to clean up categories and tags after merging two WordPress sites. For detailed instructions, check out our tutorial on how to merge and bulk edit categories in tags in WordPress.

How to import missing images?

For that you will have to temporarily disable redirect by editing .htaccess file and removing the code you added earlier. After that you can follow the instructions in our guide on how to import external images in WordPress.

Don’t forget to setup redirects again after importing your images.

Fix URLs pointing to old domain in posts and pages

All internal links in imported posts and pages will still be pointing to your old site. Since you have redirects setup, your users will still land on the correct post on your new site.

However, you still need to update URLs for improved SEO and better user experience. For step by step instructions, see our tutorial on how to update URLs when moving your WordPress site.

We hope this article helped you merge two WordPress sites together. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.