How to transfer a website from SBI (Site Build It!) to another host

***IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT***

How to transfer a website from SBI (Site Build It!) to another hostHello and welcome to our “Turtles with Options” club! You now have TWO tutorials to choose from:

  • the tutorial on this page which proved to work hundreds of times. Basically, we are going to easily copy our website and upload it to new host. The site is transferred in a static form, but if you would like to convert to WordPress, you can easily do that too. This tutorial is particularly good for those who are in rush and need to transfer their SBI! websites quickly before their SBI! subscription expires or for those who don’t want to pay for my other tutorial 😉
  • Straight from SBI! to WordPress (without using HTTrack and CyberDuck) was written after multiple requests from soon-to-be ex-SBIers. Written in the end of 2013, it was successfully used by quite a few SBIers. The tutorial teaches you how to build a WordPress version of your website while your original SBI! website is still hosted by SiteSell and available to your visitors. Once you complete your work and verify that everything looks right you make one switch and your visitors begin to load WordPress version of your website. Instant access is available for $23 fee, you can get it here.
  • ***NONE OF MY TUTORIALS WILL CAUSE DOWNTIME FOR YOUR SITE***

Back in summer 2012 I moved my website from SBI (or Site Build It! just for search 😉 ) to another host and during my first week away from SBI! I received many emails from other SBIers asking how I did it. I wrote some very lengthy emails with instructions (which I am happy to do by the way) and since demand seems to be very high and free information is not available I decided to post the instructions here.

For your convenience I split the tutorial in bite-sized chunks. Use the buttons below to navigate to whatever you are working on or read it all at once.

We also have forum where you can ask questions. At the moment this tutorial is 100 percent free.


SUPPORT
FORUM
What are you waiting for?
Overview
BlockBuilders can move too
Step 1: Copy your website
Step 2: Open a new account
Step 3: Upload your files
Step 4: Check your work
Step 4.1: Emails and subscribers
Step 5: Contact SBI!
Step 6: Switch name servers
Step 7: Do nothing
Important note
Step 8: Transfer your domain


This tutorial contains affiliate links to Hostgator where I moved my SBI! site. It is one of the largest web hosts with over 8 million domains hosted.

*****


RANT: What Are You Waiting For?

In December 2013 SBI! released WordPress plugin that contains Brainstormer, cleaned up version of Action Guide, TNT, monetization articles and access to their forum. It is surprising because, as you probably know, SiteSell spent years bashing WordPress, which was quite ridiculous. The plugin costs $149 per year for multiple sites and has a free trial for 14 days. I will tell you more: the way plugin works right now is “plugin-like” at all and can be used even for non-WordPress site(s). I will not elaborate on what I think about this plugin but seriously what are you waiting for? I can’t come up with one even half-convincing reason to continue paying $300 per year for one site on a clunky proprietary system.

Let’s say you have three SBI sites and are paying 900 per year. How do you justify spending this amount when you can pay $149 for all three sites + any potential sites you want to built using same keyword research tool and a much better site building tool? That is $751 difference.

There is an argument that you still have to pay for web hosting. It is true. But most SBIers don’t need more than shared hosting, which can cost anywhere from 4-9 dollars per month for multiple sites. I have seen a post in SBI forums saying that shared hosting is painful and slow. IT IS NOT TRUE. I don’t have space to debunk these myths here but, trust me, it’s not true. This site runs on shared hosting. Was it too slow for you? I got so annoyed by this blatant misinformation that I took a speed test for this particular page. Despite being a WordPress site, it is faster than 86 percent of all tested websites and loads in 1.18 seconds from New York:

speed test

It’s even faster than the static site of poster who made that claim.

If you have a huge number of visitors, like consistent 5,000 unique visitors per DAY or more + you want to use WordPress then yes, it won’t be cheaper than SBI. You will probably need a VPS which can cost anywhere from $30 to $80 per month and requires some learning (although there are always managing solutions for extra price).

SBI hosting is not faster than any other shared hosting. Static websites, like SBI provides, are fast everywhere. And if you want to use WordPress, there is a simple trick to optimize it so it will run as fast as this website.

If you are attached to SBI! tools or forums, you can open a bizXpress account. While I it’s not something I would personally do, I realize that some people may want this. After all, I’ve seen some of the most loyal SBI! fans come here and, unable to deny obvious benefits, transfer their sites using the tutorials on this site. Even if you do choose to pay for bizXPress, it’s still only half the price and it doesn’t increase if you add more websites.

Having said that, if forums and community is the only reason why you miss SBI!, I am sure you could do much better. Let’s face it: SBI! forums aren’t that good in helping you build a business. Many successful online entrepreneurs run their own communities (usually paid). I am not a member of any of these communities and can’t give any recommendations but you can do your own research and, hopefully, find a community that is more business-oriented than keyword-oriented.

Finally, stop thinking of WordPress as something that can’t be good because it’s free. WordPress is not just free. It is open source. That is a huge difference. People use open source because they want freedom and flexibility, not because they want to save money. This is the reason why many geeks use Ubuntu instead of Windows or Mac OS — they want to be free.

It’s not about not making money and not “being able to pay $300 per year”; it’s about freedom, comfort, flexibility and not being wasteful. If you had a billion dollars, would you set a one dollar bill on fire just for the heck of it? I wouldn’t either. It’s not about money.

Let’s get back to the tutorial!

*****

Overview
It is not difficult to move your website from SBI. It’s a straightforward process, but you have to be very attentive to many little details. Please follow the instructions carefully. These instructions are accurate, proven to work literally hundreds of times over the past three years (no exaggeration).

The process boils down to:

  • copying your entire website using a free tool like Httrack;
  • uploading your entire website with all its folders with another free tool (Filezilla CyberDuck) to your new webhost – a matter of pushing one button really;
  • switching your nameservers from SBI! to your new webhost (not more than 10 seconds);
  • when everything is done and settled, you’ll have to register your domain with another registrar (tutorial on domain transfer is available here)
  • you might also want to convert your website to WordPress (optional, 3-part text and video tutorial here »)

All details are below + some useful links. If you do it exactly the way I described, there will be no downtime whatsoever.

It works, it’s safe, you won’t lose your traffic. THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY OR STRESS ABOUT. Trust me.

People who know tools or went through this process at least once before can get their sites transferred in under 30 minutes. Most of you reading this don’t know the tools we are going to use so it might take a couple of hours for you. It’s okay to split the work over a few days to a week if necessary.

My tutorial may seem overwhelming but it is actually easy. Just trust the process, hundreds of SBIers (some of them admitted to be technically challenged) went through this process before you and were successful. There is no reason why you can’t do it.


BlockBuilders can move too

Some people think they can’t move because they are using SBI’s BlockBuilder. They assume they either have to copy-paste their entire sites to WordPress (although this can be a good idea for many) or transfer their sites to their own HTML first and only then move to another host. I thought so too, but recently Ken Evoy said you actually can take SBI’s template with you. His post is available in SBI forums here. So apparently there is no problem in taking your SBI template with you, and the process of transfer will be exactly same like with your own HTML. Once you move, your block-built website will look just like it did with SBI! but, of course, there will be no SiteCentral and building blocks backend (or whatever they have now in BB2). Your site will be in plain HTML now and you will need a basic knowledge of HTML to edit your old pages. You will have two choices now –

  • learn some HTML to be able to add new pages or
  • convert your entire website contents to WordPress which needs some work but is worth it. Again, you don’t have to do it all at the same time. You can take a break after the initial transfer and take as much time as you need to convert to WordPress one page at a time. You will find a link to instructions on how to do this at the end of this tutorial.

I would recommend the last.

The Process

Hold my hand if you’re feeling scared; we’re flying up, up, outta here…
– Far East Movement – Rocketeer

STEP 1. Copying website.
Time: 5 to 20 minutes (depends on size)

A little tip before you run Httrack:
Some things like SBI’s FaceIt!, ezine subscription form, C2 forms and RSS buttons work only in SBI. Of course you can have it all (and much better) when you’ll move but you will need to use other tools. The tools SBI gives you work only in SBI. So it’s a good idea to remove RSS, ezine forms and Powered by Site Build It! in the footer before you run Httrack. These things will not work on your new host and it will be time consuming to go through your entire site to remove them. My suggestion is to remove them before you copy your site with Httrack.

Download Httrack software from here http://www.httrack.com/page/2/ When ready, start HTTrack and copy your website following these instructions (pay attention to settings).

1-httrack

Please pay attention: Absolute URL / Absolute URL setting is very important.

3-httrack

4-httrack

5-httrack

6-httrack

If you got too many errors, it is likely because of connectivity problems at SBI! or your Internet connection. In this case it’s easier to run HTTrack another time (with another project name) than fix anything manually.

HTTrack downloads so many files you don’t need. This happens because it follows all your links, including social media and ads. The screenshots below will show you how to find files that you need to upload (folder “MyTransferProject” sits on my Desktop because that’s how I set up Httrack settings in the beginning of our project. Similarly, “MyTransfer” in my example below is the project name I chose. You should see folders with names YOU chose when setting up Httrack project, and they should be in location you picked for them):

7-httrack

The only folder you need is buried deep inside and has your site’s name on it. You should upload only contents of this folder and not the folder itself. You know you found the right folder when you open it and see something like this:

There is a few files you might want to pull manually. Here they are:

  • robots.txt
  • RSS feed xml file
  • sitemap’s xml file

Can you skip this this manual file pulling part? In my opinion, if you don’t have thousands of RSS subscribers (you don’t because you are not a blogger), you totally can skip this; especially if you are planning to convert to WordPress soon anyway. WordPress will add its own robots.txt and RSS feed. I would still take my sitemap; although even this is not critical.

In case you want to get these files, here is how it’s done:

  • your robots.txt file is found at yoursite.com/robots.txt. Just open it, copy everything and save on your computer as robots.txt
  • for your RSS .xml file: you have it only if you had SBI!’s blog function activated. Go to your “Blog” page, right click and view page source. In the first few lines of code you will see something like this:
    link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="http://www.knitting-hats-for-cats.com/knitting-hats.xml

    Copy the URL part. In our example you would copy:

    href="http://www.knitting-hats-for-cats.com/knitting-hats.xml

    Paste it in your browser and hit enter. You will see “something” but don’t worry about it. ONCE AGAIN, do right click and view page source. You should see a page full of code. It starts like this:

    ?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?
    rss version="2.0" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"
     channel
    atom:link href="http://www.knitting-hats-for-cats.com/knitting-hats.com" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml" /
    
    .... the code continues
       

    COPY THAT AND SAVE IT UNDER EXACTLY SAME FILE NAME. In our example it is knitting-hats.xml

    Set aside.

  • your sitemap’s .xml file: in old SBI! it was individual for every site and you can find its location in the first line of your robots.txt file. Typically it was something like
    http://www.knitting-hats-for-cats.com/ABCdefgRRT234.xml 

    Open your robots.txt and find your sitemap’s address. Once again, make right click, view page source and copy that and save under exactly same name which in our example is “ABCdefgRRT234.xml”

So you basically should have three files: robots.txt, ABCdefgRRT234.xml (example) and knitting-hats.xml saved on your computer. You will have to upload these files with all your files to the main directory of your website. The easiest way to do that is to add them to HTTrack copy of your website which should be already saved on your computer. Open folders created by HTTrack, navigate to where you see ALL your pages and drop these three files there.


STEP 2. Opening a new account.
Time: 10 minutes

When I moved my SBI! site, I chose Hostgator as my host of choice. I’ve been already using them for a couple of years before that and was more than happy. In 2015 Hostgator still goes strong and I noticed that many soon-to-be SBIers prefer Hostgator over many other hosts.

One of the biggest advantages of Hostgator is its flexible billing structure where you can pay monthly, yearly or even once per three years. Paying for a long period in advance allows for good savings while choosing a monthly plan combined with my 1 cent promo code (described below) allows you to host your site for only 1 cent for the first month.

Many SBIers find it easy to sign up for just one month with this promo code, do the transfer and see how things go. If they feel good about everything, they proceed by cancelling their SBI! account and continue Hostgator’s payments. This basically makes it risk-free; besides 1 cent of course :)

If this isn’t enough to convince you to give it a go, Hostgator also gives 45-day money back guarantee. I don’t know if someone ever tried to get a refund for 1 cent but if you pay more than that, you definitely will be able to get a full refund within 45 days.

So coupon or no coupon, the deal is risk-free. If you don’t like it or if you find the tutorial too complicated, just cancel your Hostgator account and get your money back.

Buying web hosting and setting up your account for the first time may be a little confusing so I will walk you through the process very quickly.

Go to their homepage; you will see something like this:

Click on “Get Started Now” and you will end up here:

hg2

If you only have only one site, go with Hatchling plan.

If you have two or more websites to transfer, go with Baby plan. Once you are paying for Baby plan, you can add as many domains as you want for existing or new sites, and your hosting fees will not increase.

If you have only one website and you are not sure whether or not you will one day want to add another website, go with Hatchling — you will be always able to upgrade later.

For the sake of example, I am going to go with Hatchling account. On the next page we will set up your account and enter your billing information.

Make absolutely sure that you choose “I already own this domain” and then enter your SBI! domain WITHOUT WWW.

hg4

Hostgator will try to sell you other extensions of same domain name — you don’t have to buy these domains unless you want to.

Now choose your billing plan. For the sake of example and also to demonstrate one of the most popular choice between SBIers I am choosing monthly payments and I will use a coupon later. You may want to consider other billing options if you like.

As you see, this plan when paid monthly costs $8.95 per month but we are going to make it drop to 1 cent for the first month. (Any coupons they give you are valid only for first payment.)

In step 4 (“Add Additional Services”) some services are checked by default. If you don’t want these services, you can uncheck them.

Finally, in Step 5 I replace the default promo code with webmasterdiary promo code and validate it. The price drops to $0.01 for the first month.

If you chose to pay for a longer period of time, you can use my 25% percent off promo code which is also better than their default 20% for Hatchling. To get 25% off enter webmasterdiary25off.

Once again, any coupons — their default coupons or my coupons — are only valid for the first payment. So if you got 20% or 25% on your first payment, your second payment will not have this discount. They do this to offer you something nice but also encourage you to sign up for longer billing cycles so you will be “committing” to Hostgator. The decision is up to you.

Check out and we will continue in a moment!

As soon as you complete the payment, you must receive an email from Hostgator with title “New Account Info”. Sometimes they take a little time to verify your payment but usually it doesn’t take too long.

Once you receive this email, open it, and you will see something like this:

hg6

Keep this information handy as we will use it to log in and upload and preview our website.


Step 3: Uploading your site to new webhost.
Time: 5-20 minutes

DO NOT download Filezilla. It was a great tool for many years, but it seems its developer has a major personality change, and now Filezilla download comes with malware!!! Please use CyberDuck instead — it’s just as good, is free and has no malware. I don’t have screenshots for CyberDuck yet, but the idea is same; you will need same information to connect with CyberDuck — it only looks a little different. I will leave the tutorial as is for a while until I have time to prepare CyberDuck screenshots.
Download CyberDuck

Download Filezilla (free). You can do that here.

We are going to connect to our cPanel using this amazing tool and upload our entire site with just one click. The only thing you need to be careful about is to upload the right files to the right place. Let’s connect first. Start Filezilla and find File –> Site Manager like this:

filezilla1

Now let’s set up a new project. For the sake of example I called my project “AAA TEST” and filled the settings in the empty fields.

filezilla-hg

In host field you can just enter your first name server name. In my case it was ns1281.websitewelcome.com; in your case this might slightly differ so please consult your “New Account Info” email for name servers.

Logon type: switch to NORMAL
Username: your username at Hostgator
Password: your password at Hostgator

(if you don’t like your password at Hostgator, there is an option to change it but I am not going to discuss it now so that my tutorial doesn’t become overly bloated).

Click “Connect”. Sometimes Filezilla may flash a warning message that says “The server’s certificate is unknown… Blah blah blah…” Don’t worry about it; just click OK in the warning window to ignore the message and Filezilla will proceed to connect. If things go well, you should see this:

Using links in the left side of your screen navigate to the folder that contains your site’s files. Your files should look approximately like this:

You should be seeing things like “image-files”, “support-files”, “images”, and all your pages’ file names. If you don’t see that, you are in a wrong folder. If you see that, good! Now that we got the right files, let’s navigate to the right place where we are going to upload all this.

In the right side of the interface scroll down till you see pubic_html folder and click to enter. Once you make sure you are inside your public_html directory, go back to the left side of the screen that has your site files in it and hit CTRL+A to choose them all. Now right click and choose “UPLOAD” like this:

Filezilla will take care of itself and you can just relax because it can take a while. Wait until the process is over. Make sure Filezilla doesn’t show any errors and, if everything is OK, you can proceed to Step 4.


Step 4. Check your work.
Time: up to you, but not much.

Once Filezilla is done, you can add your username to your preview URL and see your site! Your preview URL consists of IP address (found in your “New Account Info” email), ~ sign and your username at Hostgator like so:

http://123.45.67/~username

for example

http://123.45.67/~ilovecats

Of course, you should modify this according to your technical data. Modify it and enter that in your browser. Can you see your website yet? It should look exactly like your SBI! website at this point. You can check other pages by adding their file name to the end of this URL, like this

http://123.45.67/~username/my-page.html

This is the only way to see other pages right now because if you actually click through the links, you will end up on your live SBI! website. Now… you don’t really have to check EVERY page, in my opinion anyway 😉 If you were careful when checking HTTrack errors and if Filezilla didn’t give you any errors, all your pages should be there. If the site looks fine and a few random pages you choose to check look good as well, it’s safe to assume everything else is fine too.

Believe it or not, we are about to finish!

It’s a good idea to set up your email address at this point to minimize the risk of lost emails. Let’s move on to the next step :)


Step 4.1: What to do with emails and subscribers.
SBIers aren’t typically using emails at their domain.com because it’s very unreliable in SBI! Guess what? You can have that now and it really works! And if you actually used your webmail in SBI and are receiving emails there then it’s important to create that here too. It is very simple. Go your cPanel (see the control panel URL in your “New Hosting Account Info” email), login with your name and password and find Email Accounts:

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

When your site will be fully transferred, you will be able to 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. For email newsletters, however, 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.

For Contact Us forms:

  • WordPress users will be guided in my free static to WordPress tutorial;
  • static people can set their forms as described here.

Having a blank Contact Us page with “Contact me at me (at) gmail.com” is always a good idea until you have time and energy to build a proper form.

Please note that this will transfer 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 very same address, you will receive that. You don’t need to notify them about anything unless you decided to change your address.


Step 5: Contact SBI to unlock domain.
Time: depends on SBI!

Time to contact SBI! Before we do that, make sure that your domain privacy settings are set to public. If your WhoIs information is currently private, you need to make it public before you contact SBI! Here is how to do that.

I wrote this email sample so that you don’t need to spend much time thinking what to say. Feel free to use it; just make sure to include all required information.

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 until I tell you. I only want to switch name servers for now.

Kind regards,

YOU

* Your IP address as it appears here.
** Use email address that appears in WhoIs record to send this email otherwise they will not unlock it.


Step 6. Switch name servers.
Time: 20 seconds

SBI will verify you are the real owner of the site 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 found in “New Account Info” email, for example:

ns1281.websitewelcome.com
ns1282.websitewelcome.com

Please make sure to use YOUR name servers found in Hostgator’s email and not my example. Also make sure not to make a typo here.


Step 7. Do NOTHING
Time 24-72 hours

It might take you as little as 30 minutes to begin loading from your new host. However it will be different for different places around the world so just keep it that way 48 hours to make sure the transition is complete. You don’t have to do anything special during this period. Of course, if you want to add new pages or edit your old pages, you should do that from your new host’s backend.

When I was transferring my site, my SBI’s homepage was absolutely identical to my homepage on my new host, except that my homepage hosted by SBI was saying “Recent Articles” and my homepage uploaded to the new host was edited to “Latest Articles”. This way I knew that if I refresh my homepage and see “Latest Articles”, everything is working correctly. This of course doesn’t mean everyone is seeing the same thing, but you can do this little trick just to reassure yourself that everything works. It might even switch back to old host’s version and then back to new host’s version several times. In all cases wait for up to 48 hours to be safe.


Step 8. Transfer your domain.
Time: a few minutes (excluding waiting period)

After about 48 hours the transition will be complete. This means your site is fully hosted by your new host and you can move the domain name itself. Here is a detailed tutorial on how to transfer your domain management to another registrar ». DON’T FORGET TO DO THIS. IT’S NOT OPTIONAL!!!

After you moved both – your website and your domain — you can safely cancel your SBI! account. In fact, you should make sure you canceled it  because SBI will charge you automatically for another year if you don’t do this on time. You will have access to all SBI tools and forum as long as your account isn’t expired or canceled. SBI email makes you think that once you change name servers you will lose access to Site Central, but that’s not what happens in my experience. They might fix it later, so no guarantees.

As you see it is totally doable. There is no reason to be

frightened turtle inside the shell cartoon

Sorry couldn’t resist! After all you are a strong self-reliant turtle in this big amazing world wide web, a turtle with options, I would say 😉

This is more than enough for successful transfer but I still have two tutorials you might want to check out:


IMPORTANT:
1- One huge  problem is that SBI adds tracking code to all your outgoing links so all your affiliate links or links to other websites will be broken and you will have to fix them manually. You will have  to go through your entire website and remove this piece of code

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;"

This was a good idea while you were with SBI but once you leave you won’t be very thankful for this 😉

2 – It is very important to preserve your URL structure. In SBI your website had www. prefix before it and you should make sure you keep it after you transfer your website from SBI to another host. It is simple to do, but for some reason I saw many people neglect this as if it were a minor detail. In fact, it is an important detail. Technically your URL with www. and without www. are different URLs!  Once you transfer you files to another host, find your .htaccess file (usually it is in hidden files) If you can’t find it ask support to point it for you. Open your .htaccess file and paste this there (if you are doing WordPress, you don’t have to do this. You will set this from your WordPress dashboard instead):

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yoursite.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yoursite.com/$1 [L,R=301]

Obviously replace yoursite.com with your website’s address.

That’s all. Hope this helps someone. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in my help forum.

Last updated: May 1, 2015

Comments

  1. Jon says

    Hi Elena,

    Thanks for all the work you’ve put into this article. I’ve thought about transferring from SBI too… in fact, I’ve just followed your exact instructions here, using Sitesucker to copy my site and Cyberduck to upload it.

    My question though is: I’m currently at Step 4 of your process, the IP address thing. But I don’t understand how to get it to work in my browser.

    I have my IP address and the username from my host. But everytime I enter it, www gets added on automatically in front of the IP address, which means it doesn’t work. What do I do? How else can I see the uploaded files of my website?

    Jon

    • Elena says

      Hi Jon :)

      IP address preview works for most hosts but may still not work for some. Another reason why it doesn’t work for you may be that you already have another site at your new host. If it’s the first site you are uploading there try to search their help documentation or ask them how you can preview your website before pointing name servers.

      If it’s your second site there you will usually find preview at like described in this post http://webmasterdiary.org/forums/topic/preview-your-website/#post-2171
      (can be different between different hosts but should work for most).

  2. Clarke says

    Hello Elena,

    I hope you are well.

    I recently bought a website that is currently on the SBI platform. It has about 370 pages in HTML format. I would really like to move it to WordPress but am really scared about losing my traffic. I would like to hire someone that has done many SBI to WordPress transfers before and has a lot of success having done it. It sounds like you might be the right person.

    Is this something I can hire you to do?

    Best,

    Clarke

    • Jon says

      Hi Elena,

      I’ve just tried your tip (and looked in the post you recommended) but it doesn’t work. Can you give me a specific example of what I’m supposed to type? Do I type in the actual IP address followed by my username and subfolder for my site? Because I did that and got an error message? Or do I type “ipaddress” like in your example? I find your help here really confusing.

      • Elena says

        Hi again Jon,

        it’s hard for me to tell why you are getting an error. There could be differences between hosts and maybe it’s different for yours. On Hostgator, Bluehost, Site5 and many others that’s exactly what you would do and I know it works there. It’s either your host has a different system for IP preview or something went wrong during file upload process and your files are not where they are supposed to be.

        • Jon says

          My upload worked fine, Elena.

          But can you explain – in simple terms – what I’m supposed to type into my browser? It’s not clear in the post you linked to. I need to see an example, so I can understand you.

          Also, I am going to ask my host if I can preview my website. But do I say to them, to make it clear that my site is hosted elsewhere? Do I just ask them “can I preview pages for an add-on domain except the website is hosted elsewhere?” I want to phrase it so they understand what I mean.

          Thanks again for your patience, Jon.

          • Elena says

            Just follow example given in that post: IP address like 123.456.67 then your is username preceded by ~ then subfolder where your files are. Usually that would be site.com

            You phrased your question correct. They will understand you, because nobody will want to preview website that is already hosted by them. The only time client might want to preview his site is before the site is transferred.

            I understand that upload worked, but sometimes you might put files in wrong place. That’s what I meant. If you have any questions please start a forum thread and I will help you there. http://webmasterdiary.org/forums-index/

          • Jon says

            Hi Elena – just to report back on our thread, to say yes, I can see my website now on my new host. So everything’s ok now, phew. Onto your next step with moving my site.

            Thanks again for your patience.

            Jon

  3. Nicki says

    Hi Elena, thank you so much for this amazing site – it has been perfect timing for me, and I am progressing through each of the steps. I have a question, and I am sure it is within your instructions but perhaps I am not understanding it. I have copied and transferred to HostGator my files and set up my site WITHOUT the www. in HostGator. I do intend to eventually utilise WordPress (not immediately, it will be done over a period of time), so do I need to re-establish the www. at some point? I thank you for any information you can advise or a link where the information is, and apologise in advance for bringing up something that you have no doubt answered hundreds of times :-).

    • Elena says

      No problem Nicki :) I would suggest that you re-establish WWW immediately using .htaccess code mentioned at the end of this tutorial. WWW is important because Google sees sites with WWW and without WWW as different URLs. When you start working on WordPress, don’t forget remove that code from your .htaccess before installing WordPress. Once you install WordPress, you will see it has an easy way to add that again. For now it’s important to have it though and the only way you can add it now is using .htaccess.

  4. says

    I am SO relieved to find you!

    In spite of the fact that I’ve been uploading my own html and css files to SBI, I’m a tech idiot. A tech wizard friend of mine strongly suggested it would be easier to update my site and add a blog to it if I were to switch to WordPress.

    I’m almost at the point of adding a blog, and and after reading through the SBI forums on the subject I know that is not a road I want to try to travel.

    It’s hard to leave SBI. They’ve given me a really solid start. When times were hard (the crash of ’09) and I couldn’t afford them anymore, they put me on their ReviveIt program so my site could at least stay up and running until I could get back on my feet again.

    The forums are SO helpful, and so is their customer support. The people bend over backwards to help you. I understand with their WordPress “plugin” (I think it’s called bizXpress), you wouldn’t able to post to the forums. I don’t know what access to customer service would be like.

    SBI has been invaluable to me.

    But they just don’t seem to be set up to handle some of the features I want to add . . . or I’m not tech-savvy enough to figure out how. True, they have a service where someone will do stuff like that for you, but I just can’t afford that. If I want to follow SBI’s advice and keep growing my site, I may end up outgrowing them.

    I went through a huge learning curve with SBI. I was not only building a new site following their very helpful (if a bit annoying) Action Guide, I was also learning to code. Sometimes the frustration and doubt was so great I’d end up in tears.

    But I now have a site that I’ll be proud of (once I update the look), is making a little money, and has lots of potential. I’m very grateful.

    So sadly, I’ll be transferring soon. I’ve bookmarked your page — don’t want to lose you!

    Thank you for this!!

    • Elena says

      Thanks for kind words Kelli :)

      Regarding bizXpress, even with free account you have access to SBI forums. Initially people with this type of account couldn’t post there but they changed it and the last time I checked I was able to post there. Nothing to worry about :)

  5. says

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! For this priceless information! :-)

    I will definitely use your affiliate link for hosting. :-)

    Question: I don’t see anything regarding switching over our newsletter subscribers and our email address which are both currently reliant on SBI software.

    Is this addressed somewhere and I am just missing it?

    Thank you :-)

    • Elena says

      Hi Danika and thanks for kind words :)
      Regarding email at yourdomain.com, setup is very simple. Here is the link to tutorial on how to setup your email and make a contact form http://webmasterdiary.org/how-to/add-contact-form-hostgator/ You will need contact form part only if you decide to go with pure html (no WordPress). If you are going to use WordPress there is a plugin for that and you don’t need to code anything manually.

      For ezine subscribers you can use MailChimp, it’s free until 2000 subscribers (unless you want to use autoresponders). All other services are paid, but then again, they offer so much more than what you had in SBI!

  6. Jon says

    Hi Elena,

    It’s not clear to me on your site how you add new pages to your SBI site once you leave SBI. My site uses a Blockbuilder 2 SBI theme. I know you can take this SBI theme with you – but when you add new pages, will these new pages still appear in this theme?

    Also, your tutorial about converting the site to WordPress. Are we basically making a copy of every page, adding the no.2 to every page, e.g. index-2.html? Then, when you are ready, you swap the original version for the copy?

    Thanks again,

    Jon

    • Elena says

      Hi Jon,
      if you follow the tutorial above you will need to know HTML to add pages to your website or to convert to WordPress. In WordPress tutorial you just copy the contents of your pages into WordPress, delete old version and publish new one. It is all covered here, but I realize it could be too much information to grasp at once especially if you don’t know HTML or aren’t very technical. Just follow the steps and you should be fine. I designed these tutorials with your needs in mind, you just need to be very careful when following the instructions.

  7. says

    I’ve been using Hostgator for over a year and I’m just deciding to transfer my SBI site to WordPress.
    Once you finish all the instructions, the thing I’m wonder is where do you login to update your transferred SBI-to-wordpress site?

    Obviously you’re not logging in to Site Central so how do you set up the username and password for WordPress like you do for other sites?

    • Elena says

      When you install WordPress you will have to create login details. And if you don’t use WordPress you will use cPanel to update your website.

      • says

        So I do have WordPress and have created login details for my other sites. Now I’m wondering when my site does move over to HostGator, how do I create those login details for the newly transferred SBI site?

          • says

            Looks like I need a little bit more help. I did the whole transfer, everything as instructed, but when I login to my site I don’t see any pages or my site.

            At what point do I take the pages I uploaded in Filezilla and put them back into WordPress? I may need some more assistance, so who should I contact or what’s the easiest way instead of on this comment field?

            Thanks.

          • Elena says

            Hi Damien, please use forum if you need more help http://webmasterdiary.org/forums-index/

            If you did everything as instructed you will see your pages in file manager in your cPanel and you can convert to WordPress whenever you feel comfortable, usually people start converting after a few weeks they complete html transfer.

  8. says

    I noticed the comment that if you have 5000-plus visitors (I’m assuming this means daily) that is would be expensive and require a lot of learning. My site currently has over 300 pages, and I am hoping to move it without too much difficulties? Eventually, I hope to reach that 5000-plus daily visitor mark. What is your opinion on moving a site this size?

    • Elena says

      Hi Suzanne, 300 pages is not much at all and if you haven’t reached 5000 visitors yet don’t worry about that statement.

  9. Jon says

    Hi Elena – just to update you, that I’ve now successfully move my site from SBI, ended my account there as well as converted it to WordPress. All’s working. Thank you for your tips here, made a difference. Nice not be with SBI anymore. They also tried to sell me on BizXPress on my way out, but seemed unable to justify why it cost $150 a year for essentially the keyword tool (since I already know the AG) other than “we know better”. No thanks.

    • Elena says

      Hi Jon, thank you so much for taking time to write this! It makes me happy and is a great inspiration for others who are still researching and maybe doubting whether or not they can do it. Wish you success and if you need anything don’t hesitate to post in forum here. Good luck!

      • Jon says

        Hi Elena, thanks for this. And to say to anyone on the fence about leaving SBI – Elena’s steps -do- work. Just be patient with each step and ask questions if you don’t understand. I was stuck a lot too, with some steps, but was determined to leave SBI. And now my site is free. Elena, thank you for your website and what you do. Can’t thank you enough :)

        • Elena says

          Hi Jon and thank you for taking time to write this. Yes, following this tutorial requires learning new things but it’s worth it. Feeling free feels so great! When I was in SBI! I spent a lot of time on needless manual tasks that can be easily automated with WordPress. If I wanted to change design I had to edit every page. I felt deprived, but not anymore. One bite at a time anyone can learn basic autonomy of their websites, understand file structure and learn to download and upload files. Thanks again!

  10. kasmedia says

    Thanks for this terrific resource. One question that maybe you can help with or maybe only SBI support can. You say in your instructions:

    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

    That might be quite a high bar for me to get over. It’s been many years, several computers and one office move since I first signed up for SBI. Does anyone have experience of getting domains unlocked when you do not have this information available??

    • Elena says

      Hi Kasmedia, that’s SBI’s requirements. If you don’t have this information you should talk to their support about it.

      • says

        Thanks for the reply, Elena. I was afraid of that.

        One other question: Since I was hoping to take the opportunity of a move to get rid of those dreaded hyphens, I have already purchased the “un-hyphenated” version of my domain name. That said, I assume moving my site from a hyphenated version to an un-hyphenated version would result in the loss of all my traffic, correct?

        • Elena says

          Hi Michael, I never tried it myself. If I was you and there was no reason for me to believe that hyphens hurt my site I wouldn’t take the risk. Otherwise you can research for best ways to do it, see what people with experience say and just do your best to make those redirects properly. I think nobody can tell for sure. Some people gain traffic, some people lose. But then again, maybe they didn’t do redirects properly. You never know!

  11. says

    For a small website, with about 15 pages or so, would it be okay to jump right into WordPress instead of copying and uploading the whole site first?

    • Elena says

      Hi Suzanne, it’s okay as long as you don’t change link structure and keep menus same. It’s not really about size.

  12. Susan says

    Hi Elena, will our website looks exactly the same after transferring to wordpress? or will it be a mess and we need to redo all pages? Do we have to reinsert adsense code and affiliate links and images? I’m nervous :p

    • Elena says

      Hi Susane, if you decide to convert to WordPress your site will not look exactly same but won’t be mess either. In WordPress there are fantastic solutions for ads where they can be added, modified and rearranged site-wide in one click (great for testing!) and as for affiliate links, you can do them manually or automate with plugin where your keywords turn into affiliate links. It is all covered here and hundreds of people did this before you using this very site. No need to worry. Please note that the tutorial above is for transferring site in static form though, not WordPress. You can convert it to WordPress later or jump straight to WordPress using my other tutorial.

    • Elena says

      Hi Nesika,

      you can’t move an SBI! site to Blogger because Blogger imposes its own URL structure and all your URLs will change, hence you will lose traffic. If you are okay with that you can simply open a Blogger account something like myblog.blogspot.com and start copying and pasting the content of your SBI! site. When you are done you can take your SBI! domain and transfer to another registrar using this tutorial. When this happens SBI! version of your site will disappear and yoursbidomain.com will be giving errors for a while. When domain registrar will confirm they received your SBI! domain, you can go to your blogspot blog and set that domain name as custom domain for your Blogspot blog so when people will enter youroldsbidomain.com they will find your blogspot blog, however all other pages (other than homepage) will have different URLs.

      Once again this of course results in loss of rankings, but if you never had traffic to begin with you could do this. In my opinion Blogger is quite restrictive and copying and pasting content to Blogger takes just as much time as copying and pasting it to WordPress and with only $60 per year you can have a better site hosted by a professional host without any loss or broken URLs.

  13. Lean says

    Hi Elena, around how long does it takes to move 330 pages using the “SBI straight to wordpress” ($22) method?

    • Elena says

      Hello Lean,

      it’s about copying and pasting and uploading images for each page. If you are seeing WordPress for the first time but are good at following tutorials I would expect it will take you around 30-40 minutes to get initial setup and set your homepage. From there on it’s a simple copy/paste job. You might want to spend some time playing with themes but you will have plenty of time for that later as you can switch themes in WordPress with one click. Realistically, I have seen people taking up to 3 months for this, because they took a lot of breaks. It can also be done in a week. Up to you basically.

  14. Darwin says

    I asked SBI to resend my Site Build It! Mail. I logged on to my http://build.sitesell.com/manage.html. using the details provided in the Site Buid It! Mail. But I can’t access the page. This is what appears on the page.

    Error Page

    Invalid username/password entered.

    I asked again the SBI about it but there is no replay yet. Any idea why did it happened?

    Thanks.

    Darwin

    • Elena says

      Hi Darwin, only two possibilities here: either you are using wrong login details or some technical problem on SBI! side. If you are sure you are using correct details (from Site Build It Mail, NOT your SiteCentral username/password) then it’s definitely some SBI’s bug which they must fix for you to be able to get in.

      Another thing I recall is that you can’t just copy and paste login details from email to login box – it won’t accept it. You have to actually type it yourself. Try this, maybe that’s the issue.

      • Darwin says

        Thanks for the info, i tried to encode the username and password but it is still not working. SBI said they will investigate further. I hope they can fix it. :)
        Thanks once again.

  15. Darwin says

    Hi again Elena,

    I already changed my name servers using my account in bluehost. Your instruction is not to do anything for(72hrs). But i tried to check my site (after24hrs :) ) if it is still live but I only see Welcome…bluehost etc. I also tried to see my site traffic in the logs but there is none. I just see my old sites there. Do you think is it normal? Do I have to completely wait for 72 hours before I see my site again. I am just a little bit worried because Maybe I failed to follow your instructions correctly and I’ll loss my entire site. Please advise. Thanks.

    Yours,

    Darwin

    • Elena says

      Hi Darwin,

      definitely something is wrong! My tutorials when followed correctly do not cause a minute of downtime, leave alone 24 hours. Here is what to do:

      1. You can come back to SBI!’s name server management area and switch Bluehost name servers back to SBI’s. This will bring SBI version of your website live (might take up to a few hours to become live again).

      2. While your SBI site is live again, figure out what went wrong. I suspect you messed up with file system when you were uploading Httrack copy. You either uploaded some unnecessary files or you uploaded correct files, but to a wrong place in your cPanel. These mistakes are common and I have warnings in Httrack tutorial. I will send you password to my “move in under 1 hour” tutorial to your Yahoo email (which I can see). Normally it’s only available to those who buy through my affiliate link but I think you need help to find your mistake. The screenshots there will hopefully help you find out what you did wrong. You don’t need to make new copies, you only need to figure out where you did mistake with file system. Email will arrive now.

      Once you correct your mistake you can preview and make sure everything works then switch name servers back to Bluehost.

      • Darwin says

        HI Elena,

        I would like to express my deepest gratitude for all your help rendered to me during my transfer process. You are correct, I made a mistake in uploading my copied site through filezilla.

        I uploaded the entire folder instead of the folder that contains my domain only. I deleted what I have uploaded previously and then I followed your instructions thoroughly. After few moments, BANG!!! it works.

        Thanks for the mail. I really appreciate that. You have no idea how happy I am after my transfer. I am planing to convert my static site soon to wordpress.

        Though, I’ve been using wordpress in my other sites, I still have to read all your tutorials and watch the videos to figure the conversion out.

        How I wish i had found you two years ago.:)

        Once again. My Gratitude. Tomorrow, I’ll cancel my account in SBI.

        Darwin

  16. jerry hendrix says

    I’m very new to IM, and have a couple of questions. Would you suggest I start out with sbi, then move on later, or start some other way? How do people copy your website, and how do you prevent this? Thanks

    • Elena says

      People can copy your keywords and site structure. In SBI! sites keywords are very obvious. I don’t suggest anyone to use SBI.

  17. says

    Hello Elena,
    I am so glad to find this post! It looks pretty thorough, and i’m looking forward to not spending so much. SBI! has helped me so much, but the cost for multiple sites is just too much for me, as my sites aren’t making that much money yet…
    and… since I won’t lose traffic with switching (which was my biggest concern), then I now just have to work on this.
    You mentioned above that for affiliate links we need to take out code – is this for EVERY affiliate link? – ie. amazon, adsense, etc? and this has to be done manually?
    Which part of code? is this for adsense? what about if we switch through with wordpress?

    Thank-you again,
    Robin

    • Elena says

      Hi Robin,

      1. yes, if you follow the tutorial there will be no traffic loss. Google couldn’t care less where you host your site as long as it’s not something that is associated exclusively with spam.

      2. Affiliate link issue is caused by SBI! actually due to their ancient tracking system. It attaches a piece of code for every outgoing link, including affiliate links. What you do later with the site (static or WordPress) or what software you use for site copying is irrelevant, because once SBI! has attached a piece of tracking code it has to be removed or else the link will not work.

      Unless something has changed, you will have to clean up these links, there is no other way. Some people told me they didn’t have this issue. I am not sure why. It could be that for some reason their SBI! tracking was not activated or maybe SBI! stopped it or maybe these people simply didn’t have many outgoing links and didn’t even notice the issue. My job is to warn though. Also Adsense is NOT affected by SBI’s tracking problem.

      The part of the code affected is described in the tutorial.

      I also use many other hosts due to the nature of what I do (I NEED to have many different hosts). I run tests and programs — type of stuff that regular SBIers usually don’t do.

  18. Rafael Edwards says

    OK. I had read the entire tutorial and I am ready to jump from SBI. But in the last section of Step 8: Domain transfer-switching name servers. IMPORTANT:outgoing links will be broken after transfer domain from Two Cows and SBI…
    How do we fix this problem? By converting now the static website into WordPress page by page after the transfer right away, or is it better to convert the entire website to WordPress first and then move it out?

    • Elena says

      Hi Rafael,
      it’s really up to you. It doesn’t matter in what order you do things. I wrote several tutorials to give more options to people. Some want to keep it static and some want transfer static first to see how things work and then slowly convert to WP. Some choose static option simply because it’s faster as they don’t have much time before their SBI! subscription ends. And then there are some others who want convert to WP right away. Direct conversion to WP takes some serious time as you need to redo your entire site before you can leave SBI!

      No matter what you choose to do, correcting links requires manual work. With this in mind it is probably easier to directly convert to WP or quickly transfer static website and immediately start converting it to WP and correct the links as you go. This way you won’t stay with broken links for too long. I noticed that most people don’t have that many outgoing links. SBIers typically don’t link to other resources on the web and use more Adsense than affiliate programs so this isn’t a big concern for them.

      Also broken links are strictly SBI! problem. It is not affected by domain name transfer. I wrote it at the end as important note, not a part of Step 8.

  19. Jennifer says

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I just followed your detailed instructions and your post was the ONLY reason I attempted this myself. I’m waiting for my site to populate on the new host so I can transfer the domain. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This was overwhelming until I read your post. I’ve been wanting to leave SBI a while but was super intimidated. This made it easy.

    • Elena says

      Hi Jennifer,
      thank you for your wonderful comment! I am so happy you found this helpful and yes, when you break it down to steps, it’s not that complicated. Anyone who figured out how to use SBI! surely can follow the steps in this tutorial. Wish you success with your online adventure!

  20. Roger says

    Hi Elena, thanks for this guide. A wonderful day to you. I am new to all of this and am on step 1 of the $22 option for transferring sbi site. I went with Hostgator.

    Here’s the issue: I clicked on Fantastico as you recommended but it returns a 404. Then, when I searched the word, “fantastico” in Hostgators “Walk Me Through”/”Can I Help You”, it took me to this url: http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/fantastico-de-luxe-retirement-faq which begins with the following ” Fantastico De Luxe Retirement FAQ

    Fantastico De Luxe has retired and is no longer supported by HostGator. Selecting this tool from within cPanel will now direct you to QuickInstall, our very own in-house auto installer. ” What do I do now? Thanks a zillion. I await your response.

    • Elena says

      Hi Roger,

      I am sorry, I wasn’t aware they retired it. Anyway, there is nothing to worry about. Here is the screenshot of Quick Install
      .
      It is basically the same. The reason why I preferred Fantastico is because it lets you choose custom username, whereas QuickInstall uses default “admin”. Use the screenshot above to install WordPress using QuickInstall and I will update the tutorial for others shortly.

      You will be able to change “admin” once the WP is installed. Here is how:

      1. Go to Users ==> Add New
      2. Choose complicated username and password
      3. Fill the email field, however email for this second user should be different from the first one.
      4. Make sure to assign this new user the role of administrator (there is a drop down menu for this).
      5. Save and sign out.
      6. Now sign in as this new user.
      7. Go back to Users interface.
      8. Click Edit under the “admin”
      9. Change its role from administrator to subscriber.
      10. Click save.

      Now you should always sign into your WP using this new username. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS, but it’s a good security practice. You can do it now or later if you wish.

      If you have any problems, let me know :)

      • Roger says

        You’re plain awesome. Thanks. Will check it out. And that’s cool. It happens to all of us, website owners. :-) All the best.

          • Elena says

            That is in your WordPress dashboard. Once you install your WordPress you will sign in with login details that QuickInstall sent you. You will see menu with many links to the left. One of the links says “Users”.

  21. Roger says

    Elena,

    The email I got says the following:

    “Congratulations!

    Your installation is ready. You can access it now by going to http://mywesbite.com/ .

    Admin Area: http://mywebsite.com/wp-admin
    Username: ,,,,,,……
    Password: …..,,,,,….”

    I don’t understand how I’m being sent to my own website. Also, the link for the admin area returns a 404.

    Did I do something wrong?

    I also noticed that the version of Quickinstall on your screenshot is different. Yours is version 3.4.1 while the one on Hostgator is version 4.0.1. Version 4.0.1. includes “Enable Auto Upgrades”, and “Admin user”.

    What am I missing? How do I get to this WordPress Dashboard? Can’t seem to move past this. Thanks.

    • Elena says

      Yes the screenshot was made a while ago but it doesn’t matter. You can enable autoupgrades if you want. I usually prefer to update my WordPress manually. If it lets you choose Admin user now, great.

      As for domain question, you need to follow the tutorial. It seems you got confused with the screenshot and forgot to read the tutorial itself. In Step 1 you will have to go to your WordPress database and change domain for IP address. After that it will tell you how and where to sign in. Just go back to the tutorial. The only thing that changed is the screenshot. The rest is still the same.

      If you have any questions let me know. If this seems too hard I can install WordPress for you, no problem. You will have to send me your Hostgator login details to faletova (at) gmail.com (you’ll be able to change all passwords later). I will install WordPress for you and modify database. However, you will still need to understand how it was done so you can follow the tutorial till the end.

      Also if you have more questions, it is better to post them on the tutorial page or forum. This page is for another tutorial that uses different approach.

  22. says

    Just wanted to say ‘thank you’ in advance. I am making a move away from SBI. Just debating WordPress v Squarespace. See you are familiar with WP, wondered if you had an opinion about SquareSpace?
    It’s a secure shop front, responsive, ecommerce ‘ask’ I have.
    Ta
    Michelle

    • Elena says

      Hi Michelle,

      I never used Squarespace but it seems to me it’s another proprietary system — precisely what most people want to escape from in SBI! WordPress, on the other hand, is absolutely open, free, flexible and powerful. It might take some time to get used to it but you can do almost anything you want with it. You can use any traditional host and change hosts as often as you wish. Most hosts support WordPress and many will even do free file and database transfer for you when you open a new account with them. SquareSpace seems to come with its own hosting and content management system just like SBI! In case you don’t like it, you will probably have to deal with another complicated site transfer.

      I found this article on WordPress vs SquareSpace. They did some useful analysis that may help you take decision. Sure this article is written by WordPress fans, but then again, WordPress is free and they don’t get anything from it.

      I don’t know about e-store, but for content website I would definitely choose WordPress.

  23. says

    Hello again Elena,
    Thanks for the information that you provided earlier.

    I already changed my name servers. I did recently check my site and it looks good, but noticed that the outgoing links are blocked. The code that SBI includes is what it’s causing this. Can you guide me on how to remove this code and be more specific on what part of the code has to be removed. I don’t know how to get to the codes on C-Panel.
    Also I had two other domains redirected to the same website (variations) I believe that I just do the same for these.
    Thanks once again.

    • Elena says

      Hello Raf,

      1. for other domains that are redirected to your website: if they are just domains with no pages on them, you don’t need to do anything about them.
      2. for your main website you have two options:
      – convert to WordPress page by page and clean links as you go;
      – edit raw HTML code directly from your cPanel.

      To edit from cPanel, you simply go to website.com/cpanel. Log in and go to File Manager. From File Manager menu choose public_html directory for this website. You will see all your files there. You can edit each individual page by right clicking on its file name and editing the code. Code editing involves removing anything extra, i.e. anything that didn’t originally belong to the link. For affiliate links it is typically better to generate new code to make sure you didn’t leave out something.

  24. Gustavo says

    Priceless info…

    Do you know if there is a way to replicate SBI’s Link Library? It’s nice having all links in one place, so that if a URL changes, you only have to change it in one place vs. every post / page where the link is located.

    Thanks.

    • Elena says

      Hi Gustavo, I don’t recall really how their link library worked. I think you are talking about the feature when they used redirects for affiliate links? Oh yes, definitely you can use that. Traditional hosts have all standard features, including redirects. This is available everywhere. You would need to create an empty page like yoursite.com/offer.html and then go and redirect this URL to an affiliate offer. I never do this myself but yes, it’s possible.

      Also if you will use WordPress, there is even more ways to manage ads and affiliate links.

  25. Christine says

    Hi Elena,

    Thanks for this excellent article. Very very helpful, indeed.

    Would like to ask you about unlocking domains. How long did it take for Sitesell to unlock your domain?
    I have emailed them 8 days ago and still nothing, my domain is still locked, despite that I have made my details public on whois.

    Sent an email to support@sitesell.com. Should I send email to a different email address? I have tried to call them but it went to their voicemail.

    Thank you.

    Have a great day.
    Christine

    • Elena says

      Thank you :) I don’t remember how much it took but nothing more than half a day. Eight days is definitely too much. I remember I used a special form to contact them. I don’t remember where it was (somewhere on their site, maybe there was a link to it from SiteCentral area) but it was the only way to contact them for ANY issue. I would definitely try to contact them again — they probably haven’t seen your email.

    • Christine says

      Hi Elena,

      Thanks a lot for your quick response. Sent my request again through their contact form and they replied within an hour or two and my domain is now unlocked so can start moving premises soon.

      Christine

  26. says

    Hello Elena

    I,have been following your very helpful instructions for some time as I have two websites I want to move from SBI. I had one all ready to go back in February before I was to be away for two months.Unfortunately because I,have XP I ran knto,problems with Filezilla. I see you recommend Cyber Duck,now so will try this.

    At that time you were promoting A Small Orange and so,after checkingnthat and Hostgator I decided to go with ASO. You seem to,have gone back,to,Hostgator as preferred Host now, unfortunately by laying for 2 years to,getnthe better price I am locked into ASO. Is there a reason you no longer seem keen on them as a host? How,different will your instructions be for ASO to Hostgator? I am keen to,move the prepared site ASAP.

    Many thanks

    Gail

    • Elena says

      Hi Gail,

      ASO is awesome. I don’t work with it as affiliate anymore, but I still would recommend using it. The instructions are same except one minor difference when you are setting up an account, but that’s not relevant in your case because your account is already set up.

      • says

        Thanks Elena – I am sure I will probably need to get back to you again, but will see how I go.

        Gail

  27. KiwiG says

    Hello Again Elena

    Just on the subject of what needs to be removed from an SBI site. Do I need to remove third column? The share with twitter and Facebook? Google search?

    Thanks for your help

    Gail

    • Elena says

      Hi Gail, no you don’t need to remove entire third column (unless you don’t want it in the future). You only need to remove things like SBI’s subscription form, “Powered by SBI!” in the footer, and other SBI specific things. I don’t know what other SBI specific things they might have now, but a few years ago they had something like FBIt!, which was custom SBI built buttons for Facebook.

  28. KiwiG says

    Hi Elena

    Totally lost with Cyber Duck as I am a total novice with this stuff. I can,t see much correlation between your instructions for Filezilla and Cyber Duck. I clicked Connections which I assume is similar to File Manager? But from there I wasn,t too sure where to go.

    Do you know how long it will be before you put up detailed instructions for Cyber Duck? Or can you direct me to someones You Tube Instructions so I can see how I do it, please.I’ve looked around for Cyber Duck Instructions but hard to find not for Mac – I have XP which at least is compatible unlike Filezilla.

    Sorry to have so many questions I really am not good with this kind of thing! Thanks Gail

    • Elena says

      Hi Gail,

      so sorry about it! I will try to give you some quick hints because I really don’t have time to edit the tutorial right now. There is not so many transfers during summer time, so I guess it can wait. But what you have to do is following:

      Before you open CyberDuck, make sure that all files and folders you need to upload are sitting somewhere where you can easily access them in one click, like your Desktop or your Downloads folder. I would delete everything there is in my Downloads folder and put all site files there to avoid confusion. I know it’s not convenient, but it’s a CyberDuck issue. CyberDuck is good but not perfect. It will upload anything on the second click, so if you don’t manage to reach your files in one click, you will end up uploading a containing file that you don’t want to upload. Hope you are following me… To avoid uploading unnecessary files, clean up Downloads folder and put your site files there.

      1. In CyberDuck, click on “Open Connection” icon.
      2. Enter your info: if you are on Hostgator, you can enter one of your name servers as “Server”, then username at Hostgator and password for cPanel.
      3. Click connect and wait until CyberDuck connects.
      4. After you connect, find “public_html” folder in the list you will see and enter it.
      5. When you are in public_html, click Upload button.
      6. Navigate to your Downloads folder.
      7. Make CTRL+A to choose all files and folders that belong to your site.
      8. Click “Choose”
      9. Wait as CyberDuck uploads your files. It may take a looong time, but that’s OK.

      It is quite simple actually. As long as you make sure you only upload what you need. Filezilla is better than CyberDuck, but I can’t tell people use it anymore as their download is full of malware :(

      There will be a progress window from CyberDuck which you can check to see how the transfer is going. When the upload will be complete, it will say “Complete”. This way you’ll know that you are done. After that you can move on with the tutorial as usual. Make sure to preview everything before you switch name servers. Good luck!

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