How to Move a Website from SBI! to WordPress


Introduction
Your website’s new home
Installing WordPress on IP
URLs fix
Inportant plugins
WordPress themes
Converting your site
Sidebars and menus
Editing database before final switch
Emails and subscribers
Switching name servers
Re-registering your domain
A word about backups
More thoughts and links
FORUM



A lot of time passed and I gained a lot of experience with moving websites from Site Build It! and have more insight into what soon-to-be ex-SBIers want. My first tutorial here teaches you to transfer your SBI! website in static form (as is), THEN slowly convert to WordPress.

The tutorial on this page was written after many requests from SBIers who were looking for an easier, a more straightforward way to convert to WordPress without having to mess around with Httrack.

WARNING: Some people start clicking around here and get overwhelmed by what they see. If you want to see what’s going on here feel free to explore, but make sure that you do not get confused and blend several of my tutorials into one. You either follow tutorial on this page, or tutorial here. You don’t do both at the same time or you will have a huge mess. The links inside the tutorials will take you where you need to go without second-guessing. If something isn’t clear, post in my forum (not comments). Although it’s called forum it’s only me who answers questions there.Finally, remember things are simple. There is a lot of text, because…

  • I want to make sure you understood me right.
  • I have a thing for large fonts.
  • I like to use long, narrow, toilet paper-like page layout. It makes pages look longer than they actually are but does wonders for my Adsense CTR!

…and still, things are simple. You can do it!

Do you know, I always thought unicorns were fabulous monsters, too? I never saw one alive before!

Well, now that we have seen each other, said the unicorn, if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you.

– Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass ๐Ÿ™‚

In this tutorial we are going to build WordPress version of your website on IP address. We will be doing this while your existing website is functional and still hosted by SiteSell. It takes some time to convert entire website; the more pages you have, the more time you need. It takes about two minutes to convert one page. While it does take some serious work in the beginning, later you will find that it was worth it. Your site will become super flexible and easy to deal with. You will be able to switch WordPress themes (templates) and add or remove all kind of features with just one click. WordPress is awesome!

Once you rebuild your entire website on IP address, you will simply switch name servers and voilร , you are done! There will be no downtime. While downtime during site transfer is considered normal, I am very proud to say that I never had it. If you follow these steps carefully, your site shouldn’t go offline.

I am also committed to make it as cheap as possible and when something is not necessary I will say so.


YOUR WEBSITE’S NEW HOME

First things first, you need a new web hosting account. What I am about to show you may or may not work on different hosts (probably will, but minor differences are not only possible but likely). If you want to be absolutely sure, just get an account at Hostgator. It is a good host and this tutorial was written using their account. It definitely works there.

If you have only one website, get their Hatchling account (starting at $3.96 a month) and, if you have more than one website, get their Baby account. If you are not sure, get Hatchling account – you can always upgrade later. In addition, you can use my discount coupons. You can get them here.

Before you go there, keep this in mind:

  • When purchasing web hosting plan with Hostgator you should enter your SBI! domain WITHOUT WWW
  • When you’ll check out on their order page you will see that Hostgator has some hosting addons checked by default. These aren’t critical. It’s safe to uncheck them. You can backup your website yourself and as for security… as long as you behave wisely and don’t go crazy with free plugins and WordPress themes you should be fine. I am not discouraging you from purchasing these services. I just want you to know you don’t have to spend on them. I never do.
For those who want to use A Small Orange for hosting:

I have tested this with A Small Orange and it works very well there. You can definitely use them if you prefer. For websites under 1,200 – 1,300 uniques per day choose Shared Small account for $5 dollars per month.

If you are closer to about 2,000 per day choose their Shared Medium account for $10 (unique visitor numbers in your SBI! stats). I currently host a site with 3,000-4,000 daily unique visitors on this account. On some days it shoots up to 10,000 (quite regularly) and the site is doing just fine.

Keep in mind, there will be some optimization work need to be done in order to be able to fit in these cheap plans with this type of numbers (described below).

All ASO plans from “Small” and above allow to host more than one website. So if you need to transfer more than one website you don’t need to double your hosting fees.

You may notice their Shared Tiny plan for $35 per year, but it is what it is — tiny! It can host only one website and that website has to be quite small, or well optimized text only website. If your website is small, you can try this plan. The site will perform just fine and if you need to upgrade you can always do so later.

You can save a little by using these promo codes they issued especially for my visitors:

  • wd5 – one time $5 discount
  • wd15 – 15 percent on first bill

Promo codes are only valid for accounts from Small Shared and above.

When opening an account choose “I want to point my domain at you” and enter the name of your SBI! doman, like this:

Oh yes, they will also offer you some addons when you check out but they are not necessary unless you don’t mind paying a little extra.


STEP 1: INSTALLING WORDPRESS ON IP ADDRESS
Time required: about 5 minutes

Once you open new web hosting account, Hostgator (or A Small Orange, if you are using it) will send you a welcome email, which contains IP address of your website. Hostgator will also send you password for your cPanel (control panel), but in A Small Orange you will have to set it yourself before doing anything else.

Enter your IP address into browser and add slash and cPanel, like this (obviously, replace this IP address with yours)

198.57.247.140/cpanel

You will see this:

Log in with your username and password. You will see your cPanel’s dashboard with many interesting icons. Promise me you won’t play with these unless you know what you are doing…

Scroll down and find QuickInstall icon under Software / Services (A Small Orange users should use Softaculous, see the blue info box a few paragraphs below).

Click on QuickInstall icon and find “WordPress” in menu on the left.

wordpress installation hostgator

Fill the form as follows. Make sure to keep the box next to “Install in directory” empty. This will install WordPress in the root directory of your future website.

For email, it’s better to use your Gmail (or whatever you are using) rather than email at your domain for now. You will be able to change this later. The reason why we don’t want to use email at our domain is because our site is about to go through the transfer. Another reason is that your email is still hosted by SBI! and I don’t trust their webmail system. When the transfer will be complete, you can create same email address at your new host and edit it in your WordPress, if you wish.

Autoupgrades are checked by default. You can keep it that way or uncheck it and update your WordPress manually. Autoupgrades is a relatively new feature and I personally still prefer to upgrade my own installations manually. It takes only a click of a button.

Make your username and password very long and very hard. This is VERY important! In “Blog Title” fill your site title. Once again, you will be able to change this later in case you need to. Click install.

Quick Install will send your log in details to the email address you specified. Congratulations! You just installed WordPress!

For A Small Orange Users
There is no Fantastico or QuickInstall in ASO, but they have another software that does this. It is called Softaculous. Here are your screenshots. At your IPaddress/cpanel after you sign in you will see many icons. Scroll down and click on Softaculous:

On the next page choose to install WordPress. Here are your settings for installation. Please make sure your password and username are complicated and long enough. Obviously enter your site’s name and description. If installation directory is pre-filled with something you should make sure it’s empty (click on image to see its larger version):

After the installation is complete, the rest of the tutorial is same for both ASO and Hostgator users.

***ONLY FOR THOSE WHO ARE USING EXISTING HOSTING ACCOUNT WITH OTHER SITES ON IT***

Q: I don’t need to buy a new hosting account because I already have one. There are other sites already hosted there. What am I supposed to do? Where do I install WordPress?

A: You should first go to your cPanel and scroll down where you see “Addon domains” button and add an addon domain for your future website (without www.)

addon domain

Now when you go to your WordPress installer (Fantastico, Softaculous or QuickInstall), you should see this site in drop down menu where it says “Install on Domain” or “Choose Domain”. Fill the rest of the form as usual and install WordPress.

Later on when we will be modifying database for preview URL you should

  • make sure you modify database of THIS particular site and not the other site hosted under the same account,
  • make sure your preview URL reflects your addon domain. It will look similar to this: http://23.234.567/~username/mysbidomain.com/ or this http://your-primary-site-on-yourhost.com/mysbidomain.com/

    You will be using this URL as preview URL for the rest of this tutorial.

Are you done already? If you go now to

198.57.247.140/~YourUsername

you should see your WordPress site with default template. It may lack styling at this point but it’s nothing to worry about. We will fix that in the next step.

(Note: in 198.57.247.140/~YourUsername you should replace my IP address with yours and YourUserName with your host’s username (not the one that you just created for WordPress!))

The current default is either “twenty fourteen” theme or “twenty fifteen” theme. You can see twenty fourteen’s full capabilities here in the demo and here is twenty fifteen’s demo. We will talk about themes later, but, obviously, you don’t have to use it.

Back to your site: your homepage works, but if you try to log in to your WordPress dashboard nothing works and we are going to fix this now… Go back to your cPanel by entering this again (replace my IP address with yours):

198.57.247.140/cpanel

Scroll down until you find PHPMyAdmin icon under “Databases”:

PHPMyAdmin on cPanel, Hostgator

Click on it and choose “wp-options” from menu on the left. IMPORTANT PART, be very attentive right now!

PHPMyAdmin wp-options button

Click on “wp-options” and find the line that has your site’s URL in it. Click on Edit (in that line).

PHPMyAdmin WordPress site URL edit

Replace your site’s URL with your IP address + slash + ~ + cPanel username. You will get something like this:

PHPMyAdmin WordPress on IP address settings

Click on “Go” to save it and then scroll down and navigate to the next page and find similar line with your site’s URL in it and do the same.

PHPMyAdmin WordPress home URL edit

After you edit this line just like you did with first one, click on “Go” to save and close the whole thing.

SO YOU JUST MADE TWO EDITS IN THE DATABASE, OKAY? GOOD! ๐Ÿ™‚


STEP 2. URL FIX
Time: about 3 minutes

Now enter in your browser this (modified accordingly):

198.57.247.140/~Username/wp-admin

Once again, IP is yours and username used here is your cPanel username; wp-admin stays the same. You will see another log in box, except that this time it belongs to WordPress.

Enter your WordPress username and password – the ones you created when installing WordPress (NOT your cPanel username and password). Log in.

In menu on the left find “Settings” –> Permalinks and make sure you check “Post Name” as shown below. Click “Save Changes”.

WordPress permalinks

Now find Plugins –> Install New in menu on the left. Enter in search field

.html on pages

Once you found this plugin, click “Install Now”, then click “Activate Plugin”.


STEP 3. MORE IMPORTANT PLUGINS
Time: 5-10 minutes

Since you are on plugin page anyway, let’s install other important plugins so we don’t have to worry about it later.

Enter in plugin search box

RSS includes pages

Once you find it, click “Install Now” and “Activate Plugin”

Rss includes pages plugin

Now we need something for page meta tags, like meta description, and something for your sitemap. You can either use “WordPress SEO by Yoast” (does both and more) or combination of plugins that have this functionality.

While “WordPress SEO by Yoast” is awesome it is also very resource-intensive. It also tends to confuse some WordPress newbies and it’s not like I never had issues with that plugin… There is no problem in going with Yoast but I will suggest another alternative – “Add Meta Tags” for descriptions and “Google XML Sitemaps” for sitemaps. You can also use other alternatives as long as they get the job done.

Let’s install our plugins.

Enter in plugin search this:

add meta tags

Click “Install Now” and then “Activate Plugin”.

metatags

And now install (but do not activate)

google xml sitemaps

Google XML sitemaps needs to be configured, but it is best to do that AFTER you finish your site and switch name servers. You will find instructions for that later in this tutorial.

If you want to add ads to your pages, I recommend “Quick Adsense” plugin. It can be used for anything other than Adsense too. You can insert ads after your page title, at the end of your page and even anywhere between your paragraphs. Change your mind anytime and update ads on your entire site with one click. Test your ads as much as you want. Be your own Ezoic… ๐Ÿ™‚ Definitely one of my favorites! If you need it, just enter in plugin search:

quick adsense

and install and activate the plugin. Once installed, this plugin adds a link under “Settings” that allows you to set your preferences and add ad code. You will be blown away by flexibility this plugin offers! Just look at this:

quick adsense

You can install Quick Adsense now or later — doesn’t matter.

You may also want to use something to insert Google Analytics or Statcounter code. Statcounter has its own official version and Yoast has his “Google Analytics for WordPress”. There are other options too; feel free to choose what fits you best.

You will also find that there is Akismet and Hello Dolly plugins preinstalled. You can delete them. I personally never use them. I use captchas on comment forms to fight spam and I never got Hello Dolly thing. Maybe you will…

I also recommend to install Hyper Cache Extended but do not activate it until the site is ready. This plugin will make your WordPress site very fast. WordPress websites are database-driven and anything database will be naturally slower than pure HTML. This plugin will fix that. I don’t suggest to activate it before the site is done because it will cache your pages when they are half done and, if you are working with WP for the first time, it might confuse you. Remember to activate it when you are done though. At the end of this tutorial you will find a link that will take you to step-by-step instructions for Hyper Cache Extended.

Please, please, PLEASE don’t skip Hyper Cache Extended and don’t forget to activate it when you switch name servers. I don’t know why people skip this step, their sites become painfully slow and they begin to question the whole WordPress thing. Don’t be like them!

You definitely need CAPTCHA plugin for your comment forms (there is a lot of automated spam in WordPress). There are many plugins for that. I am using Si Captcha Anti Spam now and like it. If you prefer FaceBook, Google+ or Disqus comments, you can have that too. Just make a quick plugin search and see your options.

You can configure comment options under Settings –> Discussion. I highly recommend to disable trackbacks and keep all comments in moderation. ALWAYS.

Another plugin you might want to install is Contact Form 7. This will handle your Contact Us form. It will give you a piece of code you will need to paste in your Contact Us page and it will become a form once you publish that page.

Important: In Contact Form 7 you will need to specify email where you want to receive notifications. It can be your Gmail or Yahoo, or an email address at yourdomain.com (we will talk about that in Step 8). The current default is you@example.com so you need to make sure that the email address specified in Contact Form 7 is also the email address were you expect to receive your emails. Here is the screenshot:

Contact 7 WordPress plugin email settings

If you would like to allow readers submit content for you (something like SBI!s C2), there are many different solutions. I found that User Submitted Posts plugin works very well.

WARNING: Always deactivate and delete plugins you are not using anymore. Keeping plugins to minimum is a good thing for many reasons.

Plugins list for quick reference

We discussed these plugins above but I am adding this list so you can use it as a checklist.

MUST HAVE

These plugins are must have as they help replicate our SBI setup on WordPress and optimize for search.

  • .html on Pages
  • RSS Includes Pages
  • Add Meta Tags
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Hyper Cache Extended

Notes:
Add Meta Tags and Google XML sitemaps could be replaced by WordPress SEO by Yoast.

If you are using Genesis themes, you don’t need Add Meta Tags or any analytics plugins.

You can replace these plugins with any other plugins or hacks as long as you know what you are doing and are confident that job gets done.

Highly recommended

  • Si Captcha Anti Spam
  • Quick Adsense
  • Contact form 7

*I recommended Sweet Captcha before, but it’s not available anymore (not in WordPress plugin directory at least). I switched to Si Captcha Anti Spam and it works just fine. Alternatively, you can turn off comments altogether.

For your stats

These plugins help insert Statcounter or Google Analytics code into your WordPress template. Obviously, if you are not using Statcounter or Google Analytics you don’t need these.

  • StatCounter – Free Real Time Visitor Stats
  • Any Google Analytics plugin such as Google Analytics for WordPress (by Yoast)

Nice but not necessary

  • User Submitted Posts (to replace C2 submissions functionality).

What about social buttons?

There are SO MANY ways to add social buttons to your WordPress that I am not even sure where to begin. First, the good practice is to keep plugins to minimum and, in my opinion, it’s very easy to add social buttons without plugins even for WordPress newbies.

For example, you could generate AddThis code like you would do for normal website (not WordPress) and add it manually via Appearance –> Widgets area. Once you are there, simply drag text widget to your sidebar and paste your AddThis code and hit Save. You will get something similar to what I have on this site (I am using AddThis). Just for the sake of example, here is the screenshot of my WordPress dashboard that shows AddThis code pasted in text widget and placed in sidebar in Widgets area (click to enlarge):

add this code

Another way is to use one of many plugins. Simply search for something like “social buttons” in your plugins area and, based on reviews, try a few of them. I don’t have any recommendations for this because I personally never use them.

Finally, you could generate a code for your buttons and use Quick Adsense plugin to add social buttons either right under titles or at the end of each or both! Quick Adsense is not only for Adsense or ads, it is a tool that helps you insert anything you want anywhere within your article site-wide in a matter of seconds!


STEP 4. WORDPRESS THEMES

Your WordPress experience entirely depends on your theme choice. If you are not happy or comfortable, chances are you need to change your theme. While there are thousands of free themes, there are also a lot of premium themes.

Free themes are divided into two categories:

  • official WordPress themes,
  • free themes made by independent authors.

There is nothing wrong with using one of the free themes made by independent authors that you will find under Appearance –> Themes tab or download from other sites; BUT it takes time to find a free theme that does what you want to do, looks good, works properly and is SEO optimized all at the same time.

You don’t want just look. You want security and good SEO. I suggest one of the two:

  • use official WordPress themes,
  • buy quality premium theme, like those of Genesis framework.

I actually recommend to go with free default in the beginning until you get the hang of WordPress. Free default themes are twenty ten, twenty eleven (you probably won’t choose these), twenty twelve (demo), twenty thirteen (demo) and twenty fourteen (demo). All allow you to upload your own header and do some basic customization. There is also new twenty fifteen theme that looks nice and clean. I haven’t tried it myself yet but it does look like a good fit for many sites, although the header is set up a bit differently.

I think for most sites twenty twelve is the best choice. It’s blank but when you upload your header and perhaps change background color, it will look more unique. Otherwise it has almost everything you might possibly need and looks clean. In addition, twenty twelve (and those that came after) is responsive, i.e. optimized for mobile phones and tablets. This way you don’t need to worry about any additional mobile templates like SBI!s MobilizeIt! nonsense.

Back to WP themes, I like twenty fourteen and actually use it on one of my sites. I haven’t explored twenty thirteen properly and twenty ten is obviously too old. Anyway, you can find these themes under Appearance –> Themes menu. If something is not available simply search for it using search box right in your dashboard.

To customize themes, go to Appearence –> Customize. Here you can play with header, add or remove logo text, change background color or add background image.

twenty twelve header customization:

twenty twelve custom

twenty twelve background customization:

twenty twelve background

Different themes will have different customization options. Sometimes they will offer a mind blowing number of options, making it difficult to decide what to do, and sometimes they won’t even allow you to upload a header. So when you install a new theme, you need to read its description, see demo and check your Customization area to see what you can actually do with this theme. As I said earlier, if you are not happy it’s not WordPress, it’s your theme.

I know default themes don’t look like much but I think it’s wise for you to start with these until you become better at WordPress. You can switch later with one click (you might need to iron things out a bit, but usually takes no more than a few minutes).

You could also make your own research on free themes. While you have theme search right from your dashboard it is usually easier to find awesome free themes via Google. Enter something like “best free WordPress themes” or “free minimalistic themes WordPress” and see what’s available. Whatever you choose to do, remember to install only responsive themes.

Genesis framework is another popular option. I use it on this and many other sites. Having said that, I am not exactly blown away by it. The good part is that it’s very secure, always updated, SEO optimized (you don’t need meta tags or Analytics plugins with Genesis) and loads fast. Downside: it’s not cheap and designs could be better (you will need to buy both – Genesis framework and one of their themes, which is about $100 for first time buyers).

If you want something jaw-dropping, you should go to ThemeForest. However, you need some experience with WordPress before you can use their themes.

STEP 5.CONVERTING YOUR SITE
Time: about 2 minutes per page.

Your Homepage
Once you install WordPress, your homepage will show the latest blog posts by default, but you can change it. First of all, sign into your dashboard. Click on Pages –> Add New and create a new page with the name of your site’s homepage (exactly like on your SBI! site). That should go in title field. Edit its URL to be index.html. .html will be assigned automatically; you only need to make sure you enter “index”. This isn’t crucial but this way you will avoid potential broken links that will need to be fixed later. Here is how URL should look like at this stage (make sure to click OK to save this new version of your URL):

homepage index.html

Now copy content from your SBI site in the editor (when you are copying it is best to use Visual editor) and upload images using “Add Media” button. If you have many images on your website, you can use bulk upload feature as described here. DO NOT just copy over images and paste them to visual editor in WordPress. You have to actually upload them either using Add Media button or bulk upload feature.

Don’t worry about ads now. You can add them later using Quick Adsense plugin unless of course you have very specific places for your ads. If this is the case, you have to paste them now using Text editor (not visual). Here is Visual / Text editor switch:

editors

Other than ads and YouTube videos, you are free to use Visual or Text editor. If you feel like things are not aligned properly or spaces are too large, it is a good idea to switch to text editor and see what’s going on with the code. Generally, I always prefer text editor for my day-to-day work (not converting sites); but when you are copying and pasting from your SBI! site, Visual editor saves tons of time.

You will notice that when using visual editor your links are getting copied too without you having to code them manually. That’s a great thing, however remember to check all links by hovering over them once the page is published (or during preview) and make sure they go where you want them to go.

And here is one more thing: don’t forget to include your meta descriptions! Scroll down the page and find blank boxes to add your description and keywords.

metatags

You can preview your page before publishing using Preview button. If everything looks right, hit Publish.

What is the difference between “Site Title” in Settings and homepage title?

WordPress allows you to have different site title and homepage title. While in most SBI! websites these two are the same, I also saw quite a few SBI! sites where site title and homepage title are different. You set the site title during installation process but if you need to edit it later, you can do so via Settings –> General. Please make sure your site title is EXACTLY same as in your SBI! site.

Homepage title is set when you create homepage by filling title field. This is what you’ll get in h1 tags for your homepage.

If both are same, simply make sure to keep them same.

Adsense will not display while working on IP address. You will get blank spaces instead of ads for now, but once you switch name servers your Adsense ads will appear.

Once you published your homepage content, go to Settings –> Reading and set this newly created page as your homepage. Please see the image below for exact settings.

static homepage and rss settings

Hit Save and go refresh your site’s homepage. You should see WordPress version of your homepage at

198.57.247.140/~Username/

Replace my IP address and username with yours.

Other pages

Other pages are even easier. Enter your titles in title fields, edit your URLs and MAKE SURE YOUR URLs ARE EXACTLY SAME AS YOUR SBI SITE, copy and paste your content, upload images, add keywords and descriptions and publish pages. Keep link structure the way it is on your SBI site. No matter how tempting it is to rearrange your menus and contextual links, don’t do that now.

When you publish a page “View Page” button will appear at the top. You can see your pages live at

198.57.247.140/~Username/my-page.html

Replace my IP address and username with yours.

AVOID THESE COMMON MISTAKES:
1. DO NOT use parent pages for your old SBI pages. Parent pages in WordPress aren’t same concept as SBI’s Tier 1-2-3.

2. When I say keep URLs exactly same, I mean by that file names. Let’s say you have a page on your SBI domain like this:

http://wwww.your-sbi-domain.com/why-i-knit-for-my-cat.html

When working on IP address, this same page should look like this:

http://123.45.67/~yourusername/why-i-knit-for-my-cat.html

So when you click on Edit button to Edit URL, you only have to enter

why-i-knit-for-my-cat

.html will be added automatically.

Preview your pages to make sure URL and the page itself looks right.

When you reach the end of this tutorial, this part

http://123.45.67/~yourusername/

will be replaced with your www.domain.com, so you will end up with exactly same URL.

ADVANCED: You can use posts or pages feature, but it seems like pages is a better choice.Posts have their own advantages because you can tag them and categorize them automatically and use plugins for related links, but it will also create category and tag pages so your site won’t be exactly same. Some say pages rank better although I don’t see any difference.

If you decide to use posts instead of pages, you won’t need .html on pages plugin. Instead, you will need to do some hacking as described in forum post here.

Always double check your page URL after publishing, because if you edit the title again or simply click in title area, your URL will switch to exact title match. You need to be extra careful here.

Continue converting pages until you convert the entire site. It takes about 2 minutes per page. It might take a little longer for first few pages but then you are likely to get “in the zone” and things will go much quicker. But please double and triple check your URLs. Check at least one time before publishing and one time after publishing a page.

If your SBI! site contains affiliate code or external links to other sites, you need to make sure that code is clear from SBI’s tracking code when you are copying it. SBI! adds (or used to add) a piece of tracking code to all our outgoing links (including affiliate) so that you can see how many clicks you get in their tracking library (I believe it was called Track IT!). If it was added to your links, you need to remove that or your links will not work on other host. Look for

onClick="window.location.href='http://www.yoursite.com/cgi-bin/counter.pl?url=http%3A%2F%2Fyourlinl%2Ecom%2FLink-LinkU&referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eyoursite%2Ecom%2Findex%2Ehtml'; return false;"

and if you find it, remove it. Or generate fresh code. Whatever you prefer.


STEP 6. SIDEBARS AND MENUS

You can manage sidebars under Appearance –> Widgets and menus under Appearance –> Menus.

This lady started very well, but I will add a few points below the video…

She didn’t show that you can add custom links by using LINKS button on the left, but you will figure that out, I am sure. She also stopped before showing you how to actually assign menus. Menus will not show on your website before you assign them. Here is how to do that:

  • Find MANAGE LOCATIONS button on the top and click on it.
  • Choose the name of the menu you just created while following YouTube lady from drop down menu next to Primary Navigation option.
  • Click Save and go see whether it appeared on your website.
If you are one of those SBIers that have 30 navigational links in menu on every page, no template can accommodate that. However it is crucial that you don’t change your linking structure now. What to do? Copy html code of your menu and throw it to your sidebar. Go to Appearance –> Widgets, drag text widget and drop it into sidebar area. Open empty text widget and paste html code of your many navigational links ๐Ÿ™‚ Click Save, go and make sure links appear on your homepage and your inner pages.

This baby boomer explained how to do that very well. He used it for Amazon widget but you can use for anything you want, including your 1001 navigational links!

Tip: you can add multiple widgets too.

Another tip: You have meta data (like log in link), archives, categories and latest posts added to your sidebar by default. Most probably you don’t want them there. You can get rid of them via widgets area too.

One last thing before we switch name servers: get rid of default Sample page and Hello World post. Just delete them!


STEP 7. EDIT YOUR URL IN THE DATABASE

When you are done and confident that everything looks okay, you are ready for big move. Remember we went to the database and switched to IP address in Step 1? Now go back there and switch back to your site’s URL. Remember you have to make 2 (TWO) edits in the database and please make sure your URL is correct and save it. If your site had www. before domain (I know it did) you need to enter that too.

http://www.myawesomesite.com

Here is finished product first edit:

database edit

and second edit on second page:

database edit two

When you do this you won’t be able to sign into your dashboard again until you change name servers and they propagate which may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours.

Also your site might and will break after this. DO NOT WORRY. It’s normal. If it looked okay during the working process on IP address, it will look okay again when name servers will be switched. You don’t have to fix anything.


STEP 8. NEED AN EMAIL ADDRESS AT YOURDOMAIN.COM?
Time: 30 seconds

SBIers aren’t typically using emails at their domain.com because it’s very unreliable in SBI! Guess what? You can have a reliable working email now! And if you actually used your webmail in SBI and are receiving emails there, it’s important to create that here too. It is very simple. Go back to your cpanel and find Email Accounts:

Click on that and fill the form you will see to create an email address at your domain.com

From now on you can find your emails at

yourdomain.com/webmail

where you will have to sign in with your email address and password you specifically created for email. There are other great options like redirecting all incoming emails to your Gmail, Yahoo or whatever you are using the most (very handy if you have many sites, so you don’t have to check 10 emails every day), but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

Also if you had eZine subscribers in SBI! you should download them from SiteCentral. However for email newsletters you will need to use either MailChimp (free under 2000 subscribers) or other paid services. WordPress has some free solutions which I never explored. I heard most of it will end up in Spam folder, just like it was the case with SBI anyway. MailChimp or something paid is the way to go.

Please note that this will transfer the email address but NOT your old email messages, drafts, replies or contacts. There is no way to transfer that and if you have something critical there you should print that or back it up in some other way. If your old contacts will be sending you emails on this very same address, you will receive that. You don’t need to notify them about anything unless you decided to change your address.


STEP 9. SWITCH YOUR NAME SERVERS
Time: 30 seconds

Time to say goodbye to SBI!

It’s time to tell them you want to move your website to another host and ask them to UNLOCK your domain. DON’T TELL them to cancel your account. Tell them you want to change your NAME SERVERS ONLY for now and YOU WILL MOVE YOUR DOMAIN LATER.

Your domain privacy settings have to be set to public at this point. If you had your domain privacy active, you need to change it to public until the transfer is complete. Make sure you set your privacy to public BEFORE contacting SBI! Here is how to do that ยป

In addition, I will save you time so you don’t email back and forth with SiteSell’s support. When you first contact them asking to unlock your domain, include following information:

  • original order number when you purchased SBI!
  • last four numbers of credit card you used
  • your IP address as it appears here

Use the email address that appears in WhoIs record otherwise they will not unlock it. It is better to make sure your address at WhoIs is not associated with your domain (like you@yourdomain.com), because there is a small chance of missing an email during name server switch.

Here is sample email:

Hello,

I am the owner of best-hats-for-cats.com and would like to switch my name servers to another host. Kindly unlock my domain.

My SBI! order number is …………
Last 4 digits of my credit card are ……….
My IP address is ……….

Please do not cancel my account for now as I am not ready for complete transfer yet.

Kind regards,

YOU

SBI will verify you are real and unlock your domain. You will then have to go to a special page in your SBI account manager where you can change your SBI name servers to your new host’s name servers. It’s located here

http://build.sitesell.com/manage.html

You should sign in with username and password SBI! sent you when you first opened an account with them. It’s different from your regular password you use to sign in to SBI! To find it, search your emails for an email with title “SITE BUILD IT! MAIL”).

Now all you have to do is to change ns1.sitesell.com and ns2.sitesell.com to your new host’s name servers which you received with your new hosting account.

After name servers are switched in about few hours you should be able to see WordPress version of your website live. Wait for 48-72 hours to make sure name servers are propagated. From now on you will sign into your WordPress dashboard by entering this:

yoursite.com/wp-admin

No IPs anymore! Although you will be able to sign into your WordPress dashboard don’t do any changes during this period.

After 48-72 hours make sure to activate Hyper Cache Extended and XML sitemaps.

Once you activate Google XML Sitemaps, hover over Settings (left) and choose –> XML-sitemap (will appear after you activate plugin) and find link that suggests to build your sitemap now and click on it. If you are using Google Webmaster Tools you should go and resubmit your newly created sitemap there. Simply delete your old sitemap and add the new one.

For Hyper Cache Extended I have a separate post here.

At this point it’s a good idea to take a look at this list of most common mistakes I see people doing when transferring (PLEASE READ THAT. There is a common image issue and it’s a good idea to have it fixed).


STEP 10. REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN IN ANOTHER REGISTRAR
Time: just a few minutes

Use this tutorial to register your domain elsewhere.

When your domain is re-registered, DON’T FORGET TO CANCEL YOUR SBI OR THEY WILL CHARGE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR.


A WORD ABOUT BACKUPS

No matter what your host tells you, you should consider backup your personal responsibility. There are way too many solutions for this – free and paid. You have free plugins, you have premium plugins and you certainly could use them.

If you ask me, I prefer manual backup. I don’t post every day like some bloggers do so it’s completely okay for me to log in to my cPanel once in a while, navigate to Backup Wizard and download my database backup. I use FileZilla to backup images and some other WordPress files, which is also not too complicated.

I then upload it to my DropBox account and I am done. I described what I do for backups here.

Backup is too important for me, I don’t feel I can trust it to anyone, even premium plugins or paid services by my webhost.


MORE THOUGHTS AND LINKS
This should be enough for successful move, but I strongly suggest that you educate yourself and make a little time here and there to watch videos or read something about WordPress. You will find a lot of information and some of it will be overly technical for you (you don’t have to know that), but some things are important. For example, you might be not taking full advantage of some great features that will make your life easier and earn you more money. Or you might be putting your site in danger of getting hacked or suspended by your webhost.

I wrote a few posts that I think are important. Don’t feel you have to act on them right now but it’s something you should know and if anything like this ever happens to you, you will save yourself time and know where to look for answers. Here they are:

Hope you found this helpful. Good luck!

74 Replies to “How to Move a Website from SBI! to WordPress”

  1. Hi Elena,

    Another great tutorial for those wanting to move their site from Sitesell! I hope people that use your tutorial also use your link to Hostgator.

    Your first tutorial is what I used to move my site to Bluehost. They don’t use IP addresses like Hostgator does.

    I got a chuckle when you said “Promise me you wonโ€™t play with these unless you know what you are doingโ€ฆ”

    1. Thanks for kind words ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah some people can’t resist and when things get messed up and nobody even knows why it’s hard to help them.

      There must be a way to do this on Bluehost too, but in this particular matter there are often differences between hosts. For example, one click install might not be available for IP addresses and needs manual installation.

    2. Actually I just remembered something. Back in April I accepted one client who wanted to use Bluehost and I remember I built his website on IP address there. So it works. There were probably some minor differences in the process, maybe it didn’t need modification in PHPMyAdmin initially (only at the end). I also installed WordPress manually there I think, but it was more because I was afraid to mess up something with their autoinstall. I don’t think it would but if you are working for a client and using host you aren’t familiar with, you take extra measures not to mess up his other sites.

      I am not completely sure about details now, but yes you can do this on BlueHost ๐Ÿ˜€

        1. That’s a good link for those who will go with Bluehost. Some people already have accounts there so it makes more sense for them to do this on Bluehost.

          Themeforest is a great place! The only issue is that some themes may be too complicated or not optimized title-wise and need a bit of hacking. I had some people who bought themes there because I told them about it and then couldn’t install anything.

          People who shop at ThemeForest are usually web developers themselves. They buy themes for $50, install them in 10 minutes and charge clients $2,500. You just need to know how to get clients…lol

  2. Hi Elena!
    Glad I found your site while researching migrating SBI! to WP. I have created a few WP sites on Bluehost and like the functionality and ease of changing themes etc.

    I upload my own HTML to my SBI! site and really don’t mind that much. I’m not unhappy with SBI! but, like many others, once you play around with WP, it just seems easier to make a professional looking site. The SBI! site is doing fine and I’m worried I may mess up my page rank or adsense income with a move to WP.

    I’ll give it a try with your above instructions. The only problem I think I might have is that my Bluehost is a shared IP with a lot of add on domains. I may need a dedicated IP. What do you think?

    1. Hello Doug ๐Ÿ™‚

      regarding shared IP, it really depends on your traffic levels. I had several sites on shared account in Hostgator and at certain point I maxed out resources and started to have issues as I mentioned in my post. They have offered me dedicated server but I really didn’t want to pay that much and jumped to Site5 cloud. It is still shared but you can see how much resources you are consuming and whether or not you are near the limit.

      If your total traffic from all sites is under 2000-2500 pageviews in Google Analytics you will be probably fine and don’t need to move from BlueHost or change your hosting plan. However you should optimize ALL your WordPress installations as described here http://webmasterdiary.org/web-hosting/account-suspended-by-web-host/

      Basically it boils down to minimizing unnecessary plugins, avoiding known offenders and, most importantly using Hyper Cache Extended (or other cache plugin of your choice).

      If you don’t have that much traffic you probably don’t have to worry, although optimizing your resource usage is still a very good idea.

      1. Thanks Elena
        My SBI! site page views yesterday was, GA 4,642, SBI! traffic stats 5,142. The Bluehost dedicated IP runs about $40 per year. I think that may be what I”ll do.

        I’ve been thinking of the move for many months and I’m a little nervous since I’ve never done this before. But it seems other SBI!ers have successfully migrated without problems.

        1. I am sorry I probably phrased my answer in confusing way. When I said: “Regarding IP” I didn’t mean that you need a dedicated IP address if you have high traffic. Dedicated IP is not that important at all. What I meant is to say “Regarding what you said about IP”. Your traffic is definitely too much for Bluehost shared hosting and you might need dedicated SERVER, not just dedicated IP. Dedicated servers in Bluehost begin at $150 a month… You might fit one of their VPS plans, but you have to consult them about it. At Hostgator VPS do not come with more resources, hence I was also offered a plan for $100+ a MONTH, not per year.

          In your situation you can either get dedicated server, which is so much more expensive than what you are paying right now or you can try Site5 Cloud Premium for $40 a month. However, you might not fit there either. Or you might fit there but with risk that if on any given day you have a more than usual surge in traffic you might go offline for a while.

          Congratulations on that traffic though ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oopps, already signed up for a dedicated IP. I thought I would get an extra IP but it just changed my account IP from shared to dedicated.

    You are right, the IP is not the problem with higher traffic, it is the server space. Oh well, it certainly can’t hurt to have a dedicated IP.

    I think I will be ok with my traffic level on the shared server. Got this from Bluehost knowledge base.

    “However if your website becomes very popular (such as having tens of thousands of simultaneous users) please consider looking into a dedicated hosting solution.”

  4. Thanks for the advice. I decided to upgraded to Bluehost VSP since I am getting 4,000 to 5,000 page views per day. I have started reformatting my SBI! pages to my new WordPress theme. I only have about 160 pages but most have videos and images stored at Amazon S3 so it takes some time for each page. I get most of my revenue from Adsense so want to try to duplicate my current Ad format as best I can. Hopefully Quick Adsense will work.
    Any advice on includes. I have several pages with changeable text that .shtml came in very handy.

    1. Hi Doug,

      you don’t need includes with WordPress. Quick Adsense allows you to include anything you want anywhere you want inside the content. Menus, footers and sidebars are controlled site-wide via dashboard.

      For what you use changeable text other than ads?

  5. I have an exercise site for seniors. I have additional links to exercise pages that change which I had been including at the bottom of the appropriate pages. For example I put a ***balance.shtml*** include on my 12 balance pages and simply updated my include with new exercises and all 12 pages were updated. You can see it at http://www.eldergym.com/elderly-balance.html. The 12 exercises at the bottom of the page are in my .shtml file.

    1. I understand now. You can use Shortcoder plugin, it’s here http://wordpress.org/plugins/shortcoder/

      It works like includes. You will have area in dashboard where you can create a shortcode for each section. Similar to includes, it will give you a piece of code that you will insert manually to relevant pages. If you need to update you can do it right from your dashboard and entire site will update ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thank’s for a tutorial.

    I use WP successfully my another site – http://openmind.com.ua/
    and now wanna move the one from SBI – http://www.ukraine-travel-secrets.com/ cause WP is really cool.

    Botj of them bring me profit and get some traffic.

    However, I’m concerned about one thing…
    How can you keep the saem page urls if every page on SBI site is finishes with .htlm which is not the case for WP site???

    Thank’s in advance

        1. There is basically two ways you can go about it:

          1. use pages + plugin
          2. use posts + manual modification of permalink settings

          If you use plugin, only pages will have .html at the end.

          If you use posts + manual modification of permalink settings, only posts will have .html at the end.

          But in both cases all old and new posts (or pages) will be affected.

  7. Elena
    I am slowly building my SBI! website on my new IP. My web traffic to my SBI! site has suddenly been cut in half which has never happened before. Could it be because I’m confusing google wtih look alike pages? Is there a way to hide my new website until it is done?

    Thanks
    Doug

    1. Hi Doug,
      I don’t think you lost traffic due to your work. There was ad layout algorithm about February 6 and possibly another update right after. My traffic has been low since yesterday too (I blame that on Valentine and hope they will come back on Monday).

      If you want to block your new website from search engines you can do so by going to Settings ==> Reading and down next to Search Engine Visibility check “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” and click save. HOWEVER make sure you don’t forget to uncheck it back before you switch name servers. Many people check this box while working and completely forget to uncheck it when they are done, then wonder why there is no traffic.

  8. Elena
    Thanks again for all your help. I have been trying to move my SBI! to WP for a while and am so glad i found your site. I’m getting ready to change name servers. I notice my new WP static homepage IP permalink does not have .html appended to it. Is that ok? Also, have you had any problems with email interruptions during the switch?
    Thanks!
    P.S I still don’t know why my SBI! site traffic was cut in half on Feb 13. Very dramatic one day to the next. Still only 50% of what it was. It has never happened before and I think it must have something to do with building the same site on another host.

    1. Hi Doug, all your pages should have .html at the end. Please make sure you have that sorted before the switch. Also don’t forget to edit your database just before the switch. As for email you need to create your email on new host, it’s in cPanel if you have that. All new email will arrive there. Make sure email address in WhoIs is not email address at your domain, make it something like gmail or yahoo.

      Regarding your traffic loss, many people have lost traffic same day as you. Here is a post about it by Seroundtable http://www.seroundtable.com/google-february-12-update-18108.html It seems like you are hit by Google update. Hope you will recover, luckily WordPress makes it easy to make changes and experiment. I know how it feels to lose traffic, but don’t despair recovery is possible!

    2. Just realized you are asking about homepage. Homepage shouldn’t have .html or anything else at the end for that matter. It should be just your domain.com and all other variations should redirect there. For other details please see my first reply above.

  9. Elena
    Thanks. Hopefully traffic will come back. I just edited the database. The phpMyAdmin shows 2 databases:
    eldergy1
    eldergy1_wor1
    eldergy1_wor2
    I edited the table “exa_options” in the database in wor1 and wor2. I don’t know what the difference is, back up maybe, so I changed both back to http://eldergym.com
    Hope that was ok.
    Thanks
    Doug

    1. You should have only one database unless you are doing something other that this tutorial. The lines you had to edit are very same lines you initially edited in the beginning. If you are not on Hostgator I really can’t tell what exactly you should do. If you have any issues in the future please open a forum thread here http://webmasterdiary.org/forums-index/

  10. Elena
    I switched name servers and my SBI! site is now on WP! Thanks for all your tutorials. I can’t believe I did it myself. My pulse was rather high when I pushed the button to change name servers. Can I send you some of my daughters Girl Scout Cookies or something?

    1. Oh great, so it works! Phew!!! And yes I know the feeling when you switch name servers. For some reason I still have that every time I switch name serversโ€ฆlol

    1. You can fix that in your Settings –> General, just enter www. before your domain in WordPress Address and Site Address. In my tutorial this is done via database before we switch name servers, but you can fix that via dashboard. In fact, you have to. Also did you, by any chance, forgot to allow search engines to index your site? And as I already said, there was Google update on the same date you reported traffic drop so you aren’t alone. It’s probably update that got you.

  11. Elena
    Thanks. Yes, I am really bummed traffic fell so much. On the other hand, the new site is more organized and has a better look and feel. It does seem very slow. I added a Quick Cache plugin but still seems a lot slower than SBI! HTML site. I inserted www to the settings, and I unchecked the search engine box.

    1. Speed depends on several factors, depending on quality of your hosting. Bluehost is a little slower than others I have tried but should be reasonable. I don’t know about Quick Cache but I found Hyper Cache Extended the best. It needs a little manual modification in your wp-config but it’s not something hard.

  12. Hi Elena,

    I was just trying to figure out how hard it would be to move my site from SBI to WordPress when I found your blog. It is just what I needed. I sure do appreciate all the detailed steps and info you provided. After reading it through I think I can handle it.

    I have a question. My SBI site never recovered after Panda and I finally decided it was time to try something else so I really haven’t worked on my site very much at all this past year. It’s been slowly slipping but still has a little traffic and does produce some income each month from Adsense and Amazon. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t want to just let it go. I am due to renew at the end of next month and need to make a decision.

    I’d like to preserve my site until I decide what to do. My thought was to move it to WordPress. It would cost less and I like the format better. Do you think this makes sense?

    Thanks,
    Pamela

    1. Hi Pamela, you can either move it to WordPress or, if you aren’t planning to work on it or add pages to it, you can move it in static HTML format (using this tutorial) to minimize work during transfer. Good luck!

      1. Thanks Elena! One of my thoughts with this site was to re-build it with a different format and new domain name. I’m concerned if I were to re-build using many of the same pages but under a new domain name that these pages would be considered duplicate content by Google.

        To prevent this would it help if I keep my present domain name but re-direct my traffic to my new domain?

        Thanks,
        Pamela

        1. You can hide your new domain until you are ready, then redirect in the end. But that’s a lot, a lot of work. You will need to

          1 – transfer your SBI site (preferably in HTML format, using my other tutorial)
          2 – create new site on new domain and paste the content there
          3 – create redirects for every page

          1. Hi Elena,

            OK….You have given me a lot to think about. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. You have a great site here with so much helpful info.

            Thanks again,
            Pamela

  13. Pamela
    I just transferred my SBI! site to wordpress with Elenas help. It is a lot of work and I’m still getting used to being on my own. It is like leaving your parents home and realizing you have to do everything yourself. I’m finding it much more versatile. My traffic took a big hit about 8 days before I switched name servers while I was building my site on wordpress. I didn’t check the box to hide my site from google, but I don’t know if that was the reason or not. I found most themes I used were much slower loading than my SBI! site. The one I am currently using seems comparable to my SBI! HTML site.
    Good luck!
    Doug

    1. Hi Doug, have you installed Hyper Cache Extended? You can find it in plugins section but after activation it needs a simple modification in one core file in your cPanel. Your site will become blazingly fast. Webmaster Diary is a super heavy website because I use a lot of plugins here and forums, it is WordPress (obviously), but it still loads in under 2 seconds for most part.

        1. Hi Doug, not all cache plugins are the same and many of them cause problems. I described that somewhere here, I spent some serious amount of time to find the best one and it is Hyper Cache Extended. Please deactivate and completely remove any other cache plugins before installing a new one. I strongly suggest that you delete Quick Cache and install Hyper Cache Extended instead. It will need file modification, please back it up before adding any code.

          Another thing to do is to keep all plugins to bare minimum. Delete anything that is not necessary or you are not using. This includes themes and plugins. If you don’t they will slow down your site.

          1. Just make sure you modify file in cPanel. Hyper Cache will give you al alert in your dashboard about it otherwise it doesn’t do anything. Please be careful when modifying these files and back up a copy before you do anything. If you did everything correctly from few minutes to half an hour you will notice serious improvement in speed.

  14. Hi Doug,

    Your comments helped. I have decided to go ahead and move my site to WordPress. I was wondering how many pages you had to move and how long it took?

    I am a little nervous about doing this but ready to do it.

    Thanks,
    Pamela

    1. Hey Doug,

      I just thought of a couple of questions I should have asked you. Would you mind telling me what theme you were talking about? Also, I see that you chose Bluehost over Hostgater. I use Bluehost but I’m trying to decide between the two. Elena’s instructions are for Hostgater but I was wondering if you had any problems setting things up on Bluehost?

      Thanks again,
      Pamela

    2. Pamela
      I had 230 pages at SBI! After I got the system down I averaged 16 minutes per page to reformat the HTML to wordpress. I have been through about 40 themes so far. I tried all the themes with elegant themes and also solostream. Elegant themes are not responsive, and less than half of solostreams are responsive. i need responsive with my visitors. I have the optimize press plug in which did not seem to work well with solostream but I really liked their themes. I am using iconic-one-pro now. They guy who made it answers my emails right away which is great. It also seems to work with the optimize press plugin.
      I had the SBI! site since 2008. It was remarkably stable through Panda and Penguin. Actually, I didn’t even know about them til recently because the site was on auto pilot and I didn’t do much with it. My numbers have always been very stable and always increasing. Since I switched my traffic is 50% of what it was on SBI!. I don’t know why. It happened while I was building my WP site so I think it must be related. SBI! renews April 5 so I need to transfer my domain name soon.Then I know I will really be done. I actually did well with SBI! and was very comfortable working with the system. WP is different. You can change the theme in seconds, move the menu around, and have a modern looking site quickly. The expensive things are email marketing which is $79 mo and my server which is $29 mo. I like blue host. They have a modern looking interface and website. Host gator looks very dated. The prices seem about the same. Good luck. Let me know any other things you think of.

      1. Host’s homepage doesn’t affect your site’s performance. Hostgator gives you even more freedom and their servers are a little faster than Bluehost, as well as support is known to be better (although I never had to contact Bluehost support for brief moment I worked with them). Once again you were hit by update, many webmasters were hit same day as you. It has no relation to the fact you were preparing to move.

        1. Update on my traffic. It suddenly came mostly back on May 21. Not sure why but I’m glad it did. My site is pretty much google dependent. Also I’m much happier with site 5 than Bluehost VSP which often gave me problems. Thanks again for your help.

          1. Hi Doug, I am so happy for you! Thanks for taking time to post this update. There was another update on May 20, Panda 4.0 update which apparently released you from whatever filter got you trapped. Wish you success!

  15. Thank you both for all the great info.

    Elena, I have a question and I hope it’s not a dumb one. I have my WordPress blog set up and am ready to copy my homepage over. You said in your instructions to “Click on Pages โ€“> Add New and create a new page with name of your site (exactly the way it is in SBI). ”

    Just to be clear, my http site name – http://www.natural-living-for-women.com/?

    Thanks,
    Pamela

    1. Don’t worry about questions Pamela, it’s better to precise than make a serious mistake. I looked at your site and can see your site name and your homepage name are actually different. My tutorial assumes that they are same, so in your particular case what you should do is:

      1 – Go to Settings –>General and enter “Natural Living for Women – Natural, Organic and Green” (without quotes) as your site title and click Save.

      2. For homepage you create new page and set this as page title “So… You’re Interested In Natural Living”

      Later you will set that page as homepage and you are done!

  16. Hi Elena

    Thank you for great instructions. You v’e given me the confidence to try this. I have signed up to hostgator and I’m working with your tutorials through transfer from SBI.

    I’ve got a few steps done and am now at pages.

    Can I ask you please about url? I’m not entirely sure so thought I’d ask if you don’t mind after just doing 2 pages, the home and one other.

    On the home page now in wordpress ( which was http://www.macsfinance.com as per SBI ) what I see under title is a permalink, then two little boxes one saying view page and the other saying get shortlink beside it

    On the first other page now in wordpress ( which was http://www.macsfinance.com/accounting-concepts.html as per SBI ) what I see is a permalink again, with this time three boxes the one extra being the edit box.

    Questions:

    Is home page with permalink just left like that

    On the other page, Is the edit box just after permalink where to put in the url and is this:

    http://www.macsfinance.com/accounting-concepts.html

    Hope that makes sense, apologies for questions, just not sure

    Regards

    Kieran

    1. Hi Kieran,

      once you create a page and set it as homepage via Reading Settings you normally will only see “View Page” box without Edit. The reason for that is because your homepage is only available at yourdomain.com This is how it should be. The fact that SBI had it available also at index.html was one of the most obvious misconfigurations they had. Your index.html should redirect to domain.com and WP handles it by default. The way SBI had it caused sites leak link juice between domain.com and domain.com/index.html as technically these are two different pages.

      For the rest of the pages you should see three different boxes, including Edit box. I think this that’s what you are seeing.

      Hope I answered your question. If you need anything let me know. The best place to post questions is forum (I will answer you there just like I do here). Here is the link to forum.

  17. Hi Elena
    Do you know of anybody that would do the site transfer from SBI to wordpress for me for a fee?

    Regards
    Bob A

    1. Hi Bob,

      you can try http://suehuckle.com/ She is not the cheapest but she is someone qualified to do this.

      Alternatively you can hire someone cheap on Elance or Freelancer, handle them your login details along with link to this tutorial so that they know some SBI sites specific details they need to pay attention to and make them do it. I believe you can hire someone from India or Bangladesh for very good price. Of course you need to check their history with other employers, their ratings, pay only through escrow and most importantly check their work very well, especially URLs.

      When they are done and you checked everything you can change your passwords and then you will need to switch name servers and transfer domain yourself, but that is quick.

  18. Hi Elena,
    I started moving my sbi site to Word Press in February, using your free tutorial, by the way thanks a lot!! I began by using your detailed tutorial and I did most of it.
    I copied my site to HTtrack and then I uploaded the entire site using Filezilla. I remembered I tried to unlock the domain from SBI and that was all I did.

    Then a week ago I decided to continue and I found that I would take the shorter tutorial but I didn’t remember exactly what I had done.

    I started following the tutorial step by step and I realized that I did everything I just had to start copying and pasting the content. But I also realized that if I just copy the url and publish the page it takes me to the exact page of my sbi site. I don’t know if you understand me.

    My point is, that then in February I started doing what you advice in your longer tutorial and now I want to continue with your shorter tutorial and I am very confused, right now I don’t know how to follow, what to do.

    Please, help me out.

    Thanks,

    Olga
    ps. i think I just did exactly what you advised not to do, to mix up the two tutorials ๐Ÿ™

    1. Hello Olga,

      the two tutorials are different. Just forget everything you had done before with HTTRack and do this tutorial. Don’t blend the two into one, because each tutorial uses different approach.

      Regarding URLs taking you to your SBI site: if you have a page on your SBI site and it has some links inside the text to other pages on your site and you copy that page to your WordPress and publish the page, these links (inside the content) will take you to your SBI site – that’s normal. It’s because you didn’t switch name servers yet. When you switch name servers it will take to relevant page on your WordPress site. If that’s what you mean then there is nothing to worry about.

  19. Hi Elena,
    Thanks very much for answering. Ok, so I just do this tutorial and I don’t have to delete or do anything I did with the other one, right?

    I have another question, I don’t know if things appear as they should so I better ask before I continue.

    1. I am right now making the pages, I have done the home page which I mistakenly made on the sample page, when I realized that I had to make a new one and delete the sample page I did so but automatically the system named the new page as “index-2” so I decided to keep the page I made on the sample page, is it ok?

    2. I am copying on the Word Press template the texts of my pages including the html links to other pages the way they are. Is this ok?

    3. My word press site’s name right now is my ip address and my username. So, when I paste it on my browser what appears is the Word press template blank with a sentence that says “Not found” but on the upper part of the page there are the buttons for the pages I have moved. If I click on them, It shows the pages exactly as my sbi pages. Is this ok like this?

    If you want I can give you my ip link then you can take a look and tell me if it is ok like that.

    I am a bit confused, I thought I was going to see the new pages on the word press template.

    I have moved 4 pages so far and I have only 42 pages on this site but I am not sure if I am doing the right thing.

    Elena, I am sorry if my questions might sound irrelevant but I am not an expert on this and it takes time for me to get things the right way.

    Thanks a lot in advance,

    Olga

    1. Hi Olga,

      if you uploaded any files with FileZilla previously you should delete them if you want to use another method.

      1. If you renamed sample page to your site name and its URL appears as index.html it’s okay to keep.

      2. Yes you should copy everything, only make sure to actually upload images to WordPress gallery and attach them from there. Also as mentioned in the tutorial, SBI adds tracking code to outgoing links (like affiliate links and links to other sites). You should get rid of SBI’s tracking code when you see it.

      3. This one is confusing and doesn’t sound right. Please let me know your URL with IP and username. If you transferred your homepage correctly AND set it to display as homepage as described you should be able to enter http://ip-address/~username and see your website’s homepage on WordPress.

  20. Hi Elena,
    Oh, I have made many mistakes I see.
    I didn’t delete the Filezilla files I uploaded and I am not sure how to do that.

    The url of the renamed sample page doesn’t appear as index.html. actually it appears as my sbi site “Permalink: http://natural-and-homeopathic-remedies.com/

    My url with ip address is
    http://198.57.247.183/~pilango/wp-admin

    I might have done something wrong or it might be because I still have the Filezilla files uploaded but I don’t see my homepage on WordPress.

    Thanks for your time Elena !

    Olga

    1. Hi Olga, it seems you didn’t set your homepage via Reading settings. Also you didn’t set your site name properly. If you like send me your login details both for WordPress and Hostgator and I will clean up for you files and fix your homepage. You can change passwords for WordPress and Hosgator later after I finish. This will be quicker than trying to figure out what went wrong. I am sure once I am in I will see what happened. My email elenafaletova (at) gmail.com

  21. I moved the referenced site from SBI to a static html site about a year ago. I had a blog attached via InfinIt, which is still connected on my hosting account.

    I now want to move the static HTML site to a WP installation.

    I have a few concerns tho…

    1 – I had quite a few tracker library entries that I now have set up as redirects in my cPanel account, and I wonder how those will affect my wordpress site –

    2 – If I make the move to WordPress with this site, then I want to make it look like a wordpress site – with wordpress urls – does that mean that I will need even more redirects? One for each page?

    3 – I would rather move the blog into the wordpress installation as posts (just one big wordpress site with pages and posts) – I guess this means even more rediects…

    Is there a better way to handle all of the redirects?

    Thanks in advance for any insights…

    Teresa

    1. Hi Teresa,

      first, if you already had your site transferred in a static version to another host and now want to convert that static version to WordPress you have to use this tutorial and NOT tutorial on this page.

      When you will get busy with conversion you’ll see that absolutely all URLs will be kept exactly same so if you had some redirects set up previously using your cPanel they will still work as usual.

      You can make your site look any way you please and URLs do not affect that. Of course if you want to change URLs that that would mean more redirects but to me this looks like unnecessary work.

      As for your blog, which I assume was on subdomain, wasn’t it initially built with posts?

      1. Thanks – yes, the original blog is built with posts, but instead of hosting on a sub domain, I would rather move them to the mail url – that is why I thought I would need the post redirect.

        Also, the plugin to add the .html extension to pages, can it be set to add the extension to only pages, or will it effect pages and posts?

        Thanks –

        Teresa

        1. Plugin .html on pages affects only pages. It doesn’t affect posts.

          As for moving your blog – yes, you would need to do redirects in that case. Still I personally wouldn’t do this, but if you don’t mind extra work and redirects you can. For blog, you could simply download database and upload it to your new WP installation in root then use something like Find and Replace plugin to fix all inner URLs. You could also download wp-content with Filezilla and uplpoad it to your new installation. This was you will not have to manually copy and paste your blog contents like you do with your static site. Basically you need to look for tutorial on how to change a URL of a WordPress site.

          There might be a neat .htaccess trick that would redirect all posts from blog.site.com/post-xyz to http://www.site.com/post-xyz although I can’t tell you the code but I believe you could find it with some research online.

          For your main site though, once again you should use another tutorial (which is free) and not tutorial on this page.

        2. Teresa,

          I need to correct my reply above. For your blog’s content you actually can simply move files from subdomain to root right within your cPanel. I forgot the fact you are using same host. And database also can be edited to reflect that. This can get a bit technical though especially when combined with static site conversion. If you have good understanding of cPanel and WordPress you can do that, but to be honest people with that type of experience usually don’t need my tutorials. It might be safer to keep it on subdomain for now and simply convert your static website.

          Also if you paid for access to this tutorial due to misunderstanding I will be happy to refund you. Just send me an email to faletova at gmail.com with details of your transaction.

  22. Elena –

    Thanks so much for your help and support! I really appreciate your time!

    I will not request a refund for this tutorial as I may use it later to move another site from SBI.

    Teresa

Comments are closed.