Site Builders are great tools for webmasters that want to create a website without any coding knowledge. This allows anyone without any web design knowledge to create a website. The interface is built on a drag and drop system which the learning curve is minimal. So, GoDaddy does offer a site builder who does make the process of creating a website painless. However, it’s limited on what you can do with it.
GoDaddy isn’t one of the best web hosting companies and doesn’t get the most favorable reviews at tbwhs.com. You have probably heard of the WordPress CMS, and I am writing this tutorial so I can show you exactly how to migrate your GoDaddy website builder over to WordPress.
Sample GoDaddy Builder Site
Your website with your GoDaddy builder site should look something like the one above. Their website templates are very basic, and this is what we will be getting out of so that we can use the WordPress CMS.
Step 1: Preparing The Move
Before you get started moving all the data to you, want to take note of some key information on your website. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense right now because I will explain it all later in this article.
Here is what we are looking for:
- Menu structure
- Page layouts
- Typography styles (fonts)
Permalinks are the link structure in WordPress that we will be using. You don’t want to use the default WordPress settings because they are not SEO friendly.
Take note of any of your menus that have nested links. For instance, you might have an “about us” page and then another page nested under it.
The page layout is important if you want to mimic the way your page looked on your GoDaddy website builder website. If you want to use a different layout you can completely disregard this.
For your typography and style changes, I like to use Web Style Grabber. This is a website we can use to grab our fonts and colors automatically. You simply go to the website and put in your URL.
Basically, for links you can go to every page of your site and just cut and paste the links to your site. I would recommend opening up a text editor and cut and pasting the URLs of your site. Will help us when we 301 redirect them. You can also use Screaming Frog if you want; this will scan the site, and you can export all the URLs. It’s completely free to use for 500 URLs. They do have a paid option too, but we shouldn’t need this.
Step 2: Transferring Content
This step is going to take some manual work, but you should only have to do it once. Start by going to each and every single one of your pages and cutting and pasting your content. For example, on your homepage, you might have some text. Just cut and paste it all. Save it in a text editor file named “homepage.” You can do this for every single page on your website.
You should consider saving every single page of your website to your hard drive so that you have it on file. GoDaddy’s template files are stored on different servers, so it is going to be different from website to website. There are a couple of different ways you can do this.
- 1. Just right click and save each page on your site.
- 2. Optionally, you can use HTTrack. Is an application that allows you to save any page to your PC.
Any images you have on your website just right click them and save them to your computer. For instance, if you have images on your services pages, about us, etc. just create a folder on your PC and save them to the correct folder where you can then add them to your WordPress site manually.
Step 3: New Web Hosting Company
Sign up for your new hosting company. I do recommend InMotion (see reviews here) because it’s one company I have been using for several years. They are very easy to work with and have excellent customer support.
You’re going to want to login to your GoDaddy dashboard and change your nameservers to your new hosting account. To do this, you simply cut and paste your nameserver and hit save. I should note that it will take 24 to 48 hours to propagate over. Means your new website will not show fully for 24 to 48 hours.
For me I really don’t like buying domain names with GoDaddy or hosting with them either. I used to always buy domain names with GoDaddy, but not anymore. Instead I use NameCheap (see reviews) because they are cheaper and easier to work with. I have actually written an article comparing NameCheap and GoDaddy for domain names.
Step 4: Installing WordPress
You’re going to want to install the WordPress CMS on your new server. You can use Fantastico, Softaculous, Quick install, etc. It should be inside cPanel. To get to cPanel, you type in your domain name followed by cPanel (example: yourdomain.com/cpanel). Different web hosting companies usually offer an application that makes installing your core WordPress files a breeze. I would make sure that before you sign up for any host that you choose, that they do offer this feature, though. Otherwise, you are going to have to install WordPress manually.
Here is how you install WordPress with Fantastico:
- Go to your cPanel homepage.
- Click on Fantastico.
- Install it in the root directory. (leave blank, and that will install it on the root).
- Type in your desired username and password.
- Type in your email address you want associating with this website.
- Click install.
Here is a good article I found on installing WordPress depending on the different applications you might be using which you can check out at WPbeginner.com.
Once you have installed the WordPress CMS, you can log into your WordPress dashboard by going to your URL (example.com/wp-admin). You will be prompted to put in your username and password.
You can install any theme you want. There are many free WordPress themes you can use, or there are many premium business themes (I like Elegant Themes, see review here). If you want, you can even use a free WordPress theme. But, before we make any style changes we want to pick out a theme that we will be using so we don’t have to redo our work at a later date.
You can upload themes or install themes by going to Appearance>Themes.
Step 5: Changing Permalinks
Next, you’re going to want to change your permalinks, so they are SEO-friendly. To do this, you click on settings and then permalinks. Then, you click the “post name” tab and click “save changes.”
Step 6: Adding Content To WordPress
When inside your WordPress dashboard you’re going to want to add your pages. You simply go to pages and click “add new.” All the content that you have saved to your text file, you’re going to cut and paste, and then click “publish.” Rinse and repeat on all pages until you have all your content up.
You can then modify your WordPress template file to the colors you were using if you want to keep the same colors. A lot of the WordPress themes use the WordPress Customizer to customize your header, footer, text, link colors, etc.
I would highly consider installing a contact plugin to if you do want people to contact you.
If you have images you want to use on your old site, you will first need to locate them on your computer where you downloaded them. Then you can go to your WordPress dashboard and click on the “Media” tab on the left-hand side and then add new. You can manually upload your images to your website and insert them into the appropriate pages.
To add the images click on “add media” and then click on “media uploads.” You can then justify them right, left, center, or normal. Will wrap the text around them.
Step 7: Adding Menus
Next, you’re going to want to add a menu to your WordPress site. A menu is a name for a navigation bar that runs horizontally or vertically on your website. It’s a good idea to have a home, about us, contact us, services, faqs, etc. pages on your menu. To create a menu you go to Appearance>Menu. Will open up a page where you can edit your menu.
You can add any page, post, custom link, or category to your menu. Once you choose which one you want to add you, simply click “add to the menu.” Then you can reorder them by dragging them around or nest them under each other.
Just make sure you click “make primary navigation” at the bottom with some themes otherwise your menu will not show up. Then click “save changes”.
Step 8: 301 Redirecting To New Links
Next, you’re going to want to install a WordPress plugin called Eggplant 301 redirects. You can open your old URL’s that you have copied into your text editing software. You simply put in the old URL and then define what the new page is supposed to be redirected to. You can manually put in your old URLs and then go to your browser and it should 301 redirect to the correct URL.
301 redirects tell Google the page they were looking for has permanently moved and is at a new location. If you don’t do this, you will have the dreaded 404 error on your site which will not display the correct page.
If WordPress is overwhelming for you, you can also install Visual Composer which makes it very easy to make changes to the look of individual pages on your website. Another useful plugin is Shortcodes Ultimate which makes it easy to adjust various elements of your site using shortcodes.
Make sure everything looks good. You might spend a couple days going over all different pages on your website to make sure everything looks right. Now, you can cancel your GoDaddy Website Builder service.
Overall, it’s a time-consuming process to host with GoDaddy’s website builder and then migrate over to WordPress. It’s not an impossible task, but you should only have to do it once. You can now enjoy using WordPress and can start adding to your website with a powerful and robust CMS. You can easily migrate WordPress sites over to any web host you choose later on using WP Clone or Snapshot which really makes it a painless process.
Hopefully, this how- to tutorial has helped you in moving over your GoDaddy website builder website over to another host, and you can begin using the powerful WordPress CMS.