Do you have a GoDaddy site built with the Website Builder and want to move to WordPress?
GoDaddy offers a basic website builder tool that allows users to create simple websites. However, users will quickly realize its many limitations and want to move their website to a more flexible and powerful platform like WordPress.
In this article, we will show you how to move a GoDaddy website builder site to WordPress by manually transferring your data to your new site.
Note: This article has a lot of manual steps, which can be time-consuming depending on the size of your website. There is no export tool to move your site from GoDaddy Website Builder, so just be aware the process can be pretty involved.
Step 0: Getting Started
For WPBeginner users, they’re offering a generous discount, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain name, which comes in handy if you also want to move your GoDaddy website to a new URL.
Basically, you can start with $2.75 per month.
That being said, let’s start moving your site from GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress.
Here is an overview of the steps you’ll take to switch from GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress.
- Step 1: Preparing to Move From GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress
- Step 2: Moving Website Builder Site to GoDaddy Shared Hosting
- Step 3: Pointing Domain to Other WordPress Hosting Services
- Step 4: Installing WordPress
- Step 5: Importing Website Builder Content in WordPress
- Step 6: Setting up Redirects
- Step 7: Customizing Your WordPress Site
Step 1: Preparing to Move From GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress
WordPress has import tools for many services and tools like Blogger, Tumblr, LiveJournal, etc. There are also third-party tools for platforms like Weebly to WordPress export or to move from Shopify to WooCommerce.
However, there is no such import tool for GoDaddy Website Builder.
This is why you’ll need to back up your Website Builder site manually. It can be a little time-consuming, depending on how much content you have on your website.
Backing up GoDaddy Website Builder Content
Due to lack of export tools, you’ll need to manually download your data to your computer.
Option 1. Download Images and Content Manually
If you have just a few pages, then you can back up by simply saving images and copying text into text files on your computer.
To save images, simply right-click on an image and select ‘Save image as…’ option.
This will download the image to your computer and you can then upload it to your WordPress site.
Repeat the process to download all your images and photos.
Similarly, you can also copy the text content of your pages bit-by-bit. Simply select the text and then right-click to select Copy. Alternately, you can use keyboard keys (CTRL+C on Windows or Command+C on Mac).
Another quicker way to do this is by visiting each page on your website in your browser and then pressing CTRL+S (Command+S on Mac) on your keyboard.
This will bring up the save dialog box. Make sure that you select ‘Webpage, Complete’ in the ‘format’ or ‘save as type’ field.
Repeat the process for all pages on your website.
Make sure that you have downloaded all your images and text.
After that, disconnect the internet on your computer and then open the files you have downloaded to double-check.
Option 2. Download All Pages on Your Website Using HTTrack
Alternatively, you can use the free HTTrack tool to copy the website on your computer.
HTTrack is a website copier app for Windows.
However, the problem with this method is that GoDaddy uses different CDN mirrors to host images which makes it difficult to download them using HTTrack.
If your website mostly contains text content and you are not concerned about losing images, then this method is the fastest way to copy your website.
If you don’t have a Windows PC, then consider borrowing a friend’s PC to copy your website. Once it is copied you can transfer all your website files to your Mac computer using a USB drive or cloud storage.
Once you have installed HTTrack, first you need to create a project. Simply give your project a name and choose where you want to copy the files on your computer.
After that, click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.
On the next step, you need to click on the ‘Add URL’ button and then enter your full GoDaddy website address (e.g. https://yourdomain.com).
Click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.
HTTrack will now run export process and will show you a success message when finished.
You can now click on ‘Browse Mirrored Websites’ to preview your copied website.
Note: It is important to carefully copy all your website content cafeully. Once you disable the GoDaddy Website Builder, you will not be able to get back to your website.
Take your time to ensure that you have a backup of all your website data.
At this time, you’re probably wondering why isn’t there an easier way.
That’s why choosing the right platform is an important decision, but we’re glad that you have made the right choice to go with a WordPress site.
Backing up Your Link Structure
Another element that you need to copy is your website’s link structure. This will allow you to redirect users visiting old URLs of your website to the new pages in WordPress.
To do that, you need to have a list of all URLs on your website.
If you have just a few pages, you can simply copy and paste the URL of each page on your site in a plain text file.
Alternatively, you can use online tools to extract URLs from your site. You can use Klipper, a Google Chrome extension to save URLs in a TXT file.
Don’t worry if you miss out on a page. We will also show you how to automatically set up alerts for 404 errors in WordPress and redirect users in WordPress.
Step 2: Moving Website Builder Site to GoDaddy Shared Hosting
This step is only for users who will be using GoDaddy’s hosting service to run their WordPress site.
Disable GoDaddy Website Builder
If you want to use GoDaddy’s hosting service for your WordPress website, you cannot install WordPress on that domain until you deactivate the Website Builder service.
Simply log in to your GoDaddy account and click on ‘My Products’ menu located under your username at the top.
You’ll see your website listed under the products page.
Click on the three dot menu next to your website and then select ‘Edit Plan.’
It will bring up the Website Builder options popup. Under the ‘Overview’ tab, you will find a link to cancel your account.
Your GoDaddy Website Builder account will now be deactivated, and your domain should become available to host your WordPress website.
It will take nearly an hour before your GoDaddy account is fully deactivated.
Adding Hosting to Your Domain
Now that your domain is free from the GoDaddy website builder. You still need to add a hosting service to that domain.
Click on web hosting under account manager and then click on the Manage button next to your account.
This will bring you to the cPanel dashboard of your hosting account.
You need to scroll down to the domains section and then click on Addon domains.
Now you can enter your domain name.
The subdomain and document root fields will be automatically filled.
You also need to check the box to create an FTP account. Simply select a username and password for your FTP account. Finally, click on the add domain button.
That’s all you have successfully freed up your domain from Website Builder and added web hosting for your domain.
You can now jump to Step 4, to learn how to install WordPress and continue moving your website.
Step 3: Pointing Domain to Other WordPress Hosting Services
Log in to your GoDaddy account and select ‘My Products’ by clicking on your username at the top right corner of the screen.
On the next screen, click on the three dot menu next to your domain name.
Then, you can click on ‘Manage DNS.’
On the next screen click on the ‘Update’ button next to the ‘Nameservers’ option.
This is where you will point your domain to your hosting account.
Now, you will see a popup labeled ‘Edit nameservers.’
You need to click on ‘Enter my own nameservers’ link.
On the next screen, you will be able to enter the nameservers provided by your hosting company.
They will be in a format similar to
ns1.bluehost.com and there will be two of them.
Click on the ‘Save’ button to store your settings.
Remember that DNS changes may take upto 24 hours to propagate throughout the internet. Although it usually only takes a few hours.
Once your domain starts pointing to your new WordPress host, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Installing WordPress
By now your domain should be pointing to your hosting service and you are ready to install WordPress.
Whether you are using GoDaddy or any other hosting service, the process is the same.
WordPress is famous for its 5-minute install. Most hosting companies offer installers for new websites that allow you to install WordPress on your website with just a few clicks.
For more details, see our step-by-step WordPress installation tutorial for beginners.
Step 5: Importing Website Builder Content in WordPress
As we mentioned earlier that you will have to manually backup your GoDaddy Website Builder content. It is not possible to automatically import content from the GoDaddy Website Builder.
By default, WordPress comes with two built-in content types called posts and pages. See our guide on the difference between posts and pages.
You need to create new pages or posts on your website and copy/paste the content from your previous site on GoDaddy.
Creating posts and pages in WordPress is really simple. See our detailed tutorial on how add a new post in WordPress to utilize all the features.
Step 6: Setting up Redirects
If you have the list of links from old website builder site, then you can go right ahead and set up redirects.
We’ll show you two methods to set up redirects, and you can choose one that suits you.
Method 1. Set up Redirects Using All in One SEO (Recommended)
This method is recommended as it is more flexible and user-friendly.
For this method, we’ll be using All in One SEO for WordPress.
It is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market and allows you to easily improve your website SEO to get more traffic from search engines.
Note: There is a free All in One SEO plugin, but you will need at least the Pro plan to unlock the redirects manager feature.
Upon activation, you will see the set up wizard which will walk you through initial setup. Simply follow the on-screen instructions to continue.
Next, you need to visit All in One SEO » Redirects page to set up redirects.
Simply enter the old URL under the ‘Source URL’ field and the new URL of that page in the ‘Target URL’ field.
Click on the ‘Save’ button to add this redirect.
Repeat the process to add redirects for all other links, and then visit the old URLs to make sure that they are redirecting properly to the new URL on your WordPress website.
AIOSEO’s ‘Redirect Manager’ also lets you track how many times your old link is redirected to your new one, so you can keep track of your traffic sources.
Method 2. Set up Redirects Using Simple 301 Redirects
For this method, we’ll be using a free WordPress plugin with fewer features but it will get the job done.
Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » 301 Redirects page. Enter your old URL under the ‘Request’ field and enter the new WordPress URL for that page in the ‘Destination’ field.
Click on save changes button to store this redirect. Repeat the process for all other URLs.
For more detailed instructions and other ways to setup redirects, take a look at our beginner’s guide to creating redirects in WordPress.
Step 7: Customizing Your WordPress Site
WordPress comes with thousands of beautiful themes both paid and free. Take a look at our guide on selecting the perfect theme for WordPress.
However, the most powerful feature of WordPress is its extensibility, which comes from plugins. There are thousands of WordPress plugins that allow you to do almost anything imaginable.
We hope this article helped you move your GoDaddy Website Builder site to WordPress. You may also want to see our comparison of best drag-and-drop page builders for WordPress or our guide on how to create an email newsletter the right way.