For one reason or another, you may be ready to move your Site Build It! (SBI) site to WordPress – this can be a tricky process, and you want to get through with minimal downtime so your business can stay as active as possible.
You also want to get the transfer right so your visitors don’t notice the seamless change, and you also don’t want to lose search rank. Actually, getting a bump in ranking is one of the main reasons people are switching over from SBI to WordPress.
This article is meant to clear the doubts about moving an SBI site over to WordPress, by addressing your concerns, showing what is necessary, and the step needed to complete this task. SBI is a proprietary system, so transferring a site out of their world can mean extra difficulties and precautions.
Overall, transitioning a website from SBI to WordPress is something we make easy, so here’s how to get started.
Why Transfer From SBI To WordPress?
There are a number of different reasons a person might want to switch from SBI to WordPress.
WordPress is Less Expensive
First may be “cost”. Some people can pay upwards of $150 a year for one SBI site, and if you have multiple websites with their service, that can get expensive pretty quickly. WordPress has options for web services that are much cheaper.
You can host a WordPress site on some shared hosting services for as little as a few dollars a month, on top of your domain name registration and renewal fees – or even opt to have a subdomain of an existing WordPress multisite (even on wordpress.com itself).
WordPress May Rank Better – Results Will Vary
Many website operators realize that sites can rank better in search results from WordPress than SBI, but this isn’t always necessarily true. This has taken place for other website creators in the past, but it’s difficult to tell whether the correlation really implies a causation, which isn’t always the case.
What is true, however, is that WordPress allows you access to literally hundreds of different community-driven plugins that can help you rank better.
From Google Analytics integrations that allow you to track pretty much every user interaction with your site so that you can optimize workflows and behavior, to SEO plugins that help optimize each page, post or other content – the opportunities are endless, and far superior to what SBI can offer.
Feel free to ask us today about the many different free and paid options available for WordPress plugins that can show you lasting results to your Search Engine Rankings.
WordPress is Easier Technology
WordPress exists in order to serve the easiest content management for even the most inexperienced users – which means that anyone of any skillset can quickly learn and master the WordPress CMS.
With Visual as well as HTML editors, you can be sure to include exactly what formating, media, links and other resources you want to have on each post, page, or other place inside WordPress.
With an entire community providing free and paid themes and plugins, it’s easy to get the exact look and behavior from your WordPress site in just a few simple clicks.
WordPress is More Functional and Has More Options
Another great reason to make the switch from SBI to WordPress is that WordPress gives you more options and functionality with your website. More flexibility means more of your fingerprints all over the website, and people really like having extra control.
You also may be tired of the SBI format, which is very specific and could be getting outdated.
SBI has often bragged that its sites load fast, but the facts are that WordPress sites load just as fast. SBI needed something to hang its hat on, and the main reason its pages loaded fast were because they were so short and simple. In reality, WordPress sites load just fine if your traffic volume is under 5,000 visitors a day (in other cases you’d need a plug-in and some extra attention and care).
However, if you are not super-technically inclined, and you are always on SBI forums for technical help, you will absolutely love the community-driven forums and sites dedicated to helping WordPress administrators with all sorts of creative and technical issues.
Sites have emerged dedicated to helping pitch different plugins to create the perfect site that allows you the full range of creative, social and technical options that will make your experience with WordPress soar above what your expectations of your SBI site had been.
WordPress is Secure
As a constantly updated piece of software, you can rest assured that your best interests are at heart and that extremely talented developers are behind the guts that make WordPress work – meaning that they’re ensuring you’re safe from harm along every step of the way.
WordPress is in a Constant State of Evolution and Improvement
With new releases coming available for upgrade or download on a constant basis, the ability and function that comes along with WordPress is being improved and optimized at every turn – which is what allows you to be safe in knowing you’re using top-notch, top-quality software that gets the care and attention it needs to remain the world’s #1 choice for a free and open-source CMS.
Answers to Some Questions on Moving SBI to WordPress
Will There Be Any Downtime?
If you do the steps correctly, there won’t be any downtime. By setting up your new copied website first, you can test it to your heart’s content before setting it up to run live.
Technically savvy people can get this done in about 30 minutes, and there really isn’t more work than that to be done in this process, so that’s why we say this is kind of actually easy. Plus, doing this correctly results in literally zero downtime for your website.
There will be no downtime as you actually will transfer everything on a staging or dummy site. You will make sure search engine do not index your dummy site. Once everything is perfectly created on your test WordPress site, you then point the name server of your domain to the WordPress version of the site.
As soon as the name server is updated, WordPress site will be live. Once you read the rest of the articles, it will get clearer to you.
Will I Lose Traffic?
Not if you transfer your website correctly.
By doing things the right way, you will experience zero downtime by making this switch, so because of that, none of your visitors will probably even realize you made a switch, because it will have been so seamless.
Since you won’t be looking at any downtime, you definitely won’t be losing traffic to that potential risk.
One of the main reasons people actually move their sites from SBI to WordPress in the first place is that literally sites get better traffic typically when on WordPress.
So doing this correctly shouldn’t cost you any traffic whatsoever, and will probably actually tend to increase the amount of web traffic you get.
If you do not change the file name .ie keep the exact file name when you move the site, you will lose any traffic And If you change the file name that is from .html to WordPress version, you will need to implement 301 redirect. If you do that properly, you won’t lose any traffic. This is a Google suggested way of changing file name, so no worry about losing traffic.
What Are 301 Redirects?
Making this change requires using 301 redirects to re-route your links to the new site. 301 redirects are said to pass 90-99% of “link juice” to the new link, meaning you will only lose a small amount of pagerank by doing this.
These links are basically permanent redirect links that let web visitors know that something has been moved permanently.
You will likely need to use 301 redirects to make this transition as smooth as possible.
What about the SBI Tools and Resources?
There are ways to replace virtually every SBI module on WordPress. Most can be replaced using plugins, others require a 3rd party resource. Most SBI modules have at least one free alternative.
Here are a few examples:
SBI Forums: There are webmaster forums all over the internet. There are very helpful and professional WordPress groups on LinkedIn that you can join for free.
BlockBuilder 2: WordPress themes. You create the layout in the theme options then use the text entry screen to write your pages and posts. On the other hand, you can use page builders and their drop and drag features to help you do to structure and style pages without any coding skill. You can use these page builder with any WordPress themes.
BrainstormIt: Keywords tool like Semrush, LongTailPro, KWfinder as far better than SBI brainstrommer. Each of the tools offers some excellent features to find out profitable keywords.
MailOutManager: MailChimp (free and paid), Aweber ($), GoDaddy Express Email Marketing ($).
FormBuildIt: Contact Form 7 plugin (free), Jotform.com (free and paid), GravityForms ($).
Action Guide: There are a multitude of websites that offer website building and marketing tips. You can also find books on marketing your site on Amazon.com. A book I highly recommend is Marketing in the Age of Google by Vanessa Fox, the creator of Google Webmaster Tools.
Moving SBI To WordPress
In this section we will let the readers know the process and the requirements of moving the site. We will tell them that what they will need and then the steps.
Will you change the domain?
SBI domain names are long and with many dashes in between. It was a good advice earlier to have domain with keywords and separated by dashes. Google has changed a lot. Long domains with dashes are no longer recommended. As you are moving the site to WordPress, you should consider to have a short domain name without dash in between. Once again, changing domain name will not affect your site in any ways. You just need to follow the guidelines from Google. Read here.
We have moved a couple of sites that also have changed domain name. Here are some of them:
- weddings-abroad-guide.com to weddingsabroadguide.com
- all-pet-birds.com to allpetbirds.com
Tips: If you change the domain name, you will need to change the internal links. Rather than having an absolute url, I would recommend you choose relative url when you change the domain name.
Migrating Content 2.0 and the Comments
SBI Content 2.0 pages are stand-alone pages. So you will also create either posts or pages on WordPress to recreate the content that originally existed, and I recommend you create them as posts. The comments on the SBI Content 2.0 you can then add as WordPress comments
Having guest post provision is the content 2.0 alternative To accepts users content
Submitters will register on your site and submit their stories or other relevant content. You can set the options in such a way that the submissions will be held for your review, or are automatically approved. Following articles we can help you source or are freely available in a Google search will help you to configure everything that you need to accept guest posts.
WordPress Comment vs. Facebook Comment
Both WordPress comments and Facebook (or other social) comments have pros and cons. WordPress comments will be added to the existing content, in a pleasing way that all of your site’s visitors will be able to see. They will be treated as fresh content by Google and other search networks, meaning that it may help your site rankings on Google or those networks to improve.
Facebook and social comments do not get indexed by search networks or Google. When someone comments on your site, it also is shown on their Facebook/social profile. Their followers and fans find that comment on their news feed and will come to know about the existence of your site – along with whatever personalized review or wording their friend had used to describe the content of your site. This may drive some people – or hundreds, maybe even tens of thousands – to visit your site through social media.
So if you want to do well in search engine rankings, go for a WordPress comment and if you want to do well in social media presence, go for a Facebook or social media commenting system. You may even opt to have a combination – which may lead to better rankings as well as a potential social stream of traffic.
What You will Need to Move SBI To WordPress
One common great question is what is need in order to complete the transfer to WordPress from SBI.
First thing’s first, you need to get your own domain purchased and taken care of.
Domain: If you change domain name, use as similar of a domain name as possible to your SBI site, to reduce visitor confusion and to avoid penalties in search results
Hosting: You need hosting company where you can install WordPresss. Most of the hosting company provides one-click installation. There is a huge amount of literature out there about how to pick the best hosting company, but it is better to choose the company that has a good reputation.
I personally recommend bluehost. Many of our clients also use bluehost and BDHire.com also on bluehost. For transferring site, you will need a temporary location to create the WordPress version of the site.
It is easier with Bluehost. We have also worked with clients who have accounts on other companies. Even though we sorted out,but we had faced problems. Bluehost is easier to work with.
Theme: You will need a theme. You have two options here. You can keep your existing site design or you can create a new design. If you use your existing site design, you have to create a theme based on the design.
I strongly recommend creating Genesis child theme based on their framework.If you need WordPress designer to create child theme for you based on your design, please click here to contact us.
If you want to change the design you can use free or paid themes. Generally paid themes are better. They are created professionally. With paid themes, there is also a problem as well. They are created to cater to the needs of broad ranges of sites resulting in many features and functionalities that you do not need.
SBI sites are primarily information sites. So you better choose something minimal, clean and professional. Once again I strongly suggest genesis child theme.
We recommend Genesis Framework
Choosing the right theme for your WordPress site is critical. Whether or not you want to keep the original look and feel of your SBI site – or maybe you want to revitalize the entire user experience, while also providing new and useful tools and integrations for your viewers – the first step is choosing a theme (or set of themes, collectively referred to as a ‘framework’). We have, in the past, usually recommended the Genesis Framework or Thrive Theme to the majority of our clients. Let’s begin by looking at why.
The Genesis Framework has many benefits for the potential new WordPress administrator. We can review a few of these here:
It has great support
Should there be any issue in your extensive use of the Genesis Framework, or you have any technical question whatsoever – their support system is truly admirable, and will find you an answer or solution that meets or exceeds your needs. They’re timely, effective, and have in the past truly outperformed support expectations of our clients.
It’s coded very, very well
Although this might not show any immediate benefit – as you may not be looking at the code yourself – the Genesis Framework is put together by experts with the core values of WordPress in mind. What we mean to say is, they’ve managed to build a framework that proves, time and again, to be fully extensible by integrating with other plugins or child themes.
This can be a huge benefit depending on what particular uses you have in mind for your WordPress site, or it may simply be a benefit that works in the background allowing for your site to run smoother, faster and more reliably than other potential options. Either way, this is a sure-fire pro for the Genesis Framework that continues their trend of over-delivering on their promise of truly empowering WordPress users.
The community is wonderful
Honestly, there are so many users and different community-driven sites that exist to help new Genesis Framework users get the full potential on the site. Try searching Twitter for #genesiswp or clicking that link – at time of writing, there are hundreds of different posts from people around the world enjoying (or asking for, and receiving support for, Genesis issues) the framework.
The price is ‘right on the money’
What we mean to say is that the Genesis Framework comes at multiple different price points, allowing you the benefits we listed above for as little as $30-$50. Or, theoretically, you may want access to all 60+ currently available child themes (which are just different ways the Genesis Framework might appear to look on your new WordPress site) for $400 – either way, it’s relatively cheap compared to alternatives (and especially compared to fully customizing an SBI site).
Another Option is Thrive Theme
Another option for the inner workings of your biggest customization choice for your WordPress site is the Thrive Theme. This may be more beneficial for one reason or another for your particular needs. Let’s review, and if you’d want to contact us today, we can discuss these two options – or, potentially, other possibilities.
Conversion optimization is built into everything the Thrive Theme does
If your landing pages and supporting content are designed to sell, sell, sell – then you’ll want Thrive Theme as it can handle scientifically proven methods of ensuring the best content is served to the right people, to maximize the chance of that eventual sale.
Landing pages – as sales tools – are built right into the Thrive Theme
What’s more is that, with their simple drag-and-drop page builder and editor, the Thrive Theme may even be the perfect fit for the non-sales applications that are visually intensive and may benefit from having an easy to learn and use system for developing landing pages.
However, the real benefit of this feature is that you can build pages that demand attention, along with scientifically-proven methods of maximizing sales – things like focus areas, evergreen countdown timers, and the like. Should you be looking to build a sales funnel involving your landing pages, Thrive Theme is ideal for you!
Thrive Leads – another premium offering by Thrive – is included with membership
You can collect, manage and communicate with your newfound leads using Thrive Leads – which is included with your membership. Moreover, the Thrive Theme can include opt-in forms pretty much anywhere you could want one. Specifically, exit pops or contact pages, or maybe a pop after a user visits some pages are all possible using Thrive Theme’s opt-in form options.
Thrive optimizes everything for speed
All of your media is now fully optimized to be delivered as fast as the system of computers involved can achieve the result. This means that your site’s images and other media will render and be displayed faster than if you’re using a theme that doesn’t necessarily do as good a job as Thrive does – if it even tries to at all!
Installing and Configuring WordPress And Plugins:
At this stage, you can install WordPress on your temporary location and configure settings and install theme and plugins.
Is It Hard To Install WordPress?
Installing WordPress is definitely one of the easier things there are out there to do online. Many webhost offers one-click installation. You just need to click and then follow steps and enter the information.
What Are Plugins?
Plugins are the WordPress add-on to your website. A plugin on WordPress is a specific piece of actionable code that you download and install in your own personalized WordPress, which changes your website in the desired, specific way.
You can search around and find plugins for just about anything, and WordPress sites even come with some certain plugins already downloaded, some of which you may actually want to delete off your website.
Given below are the plugins that almost every WordPress site needs:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
- W3 Total Cache
- Floating Social Bar
- Envira Gallery
- Google Analytics
Ever since its introduction it has grown and developed, providing new and better ways of tracking and of showing you all the statistics you might want.
With both WordPress and Google Analytics growing at such a rapid rate it was only a matter of time before someone found a way of combining the two. Hence, Google Analytics plugins.
These plugins allow you to easily customise and monitor everything from within your WordPress admin area. Let’s have a look at 5 of the top Google Analytics plugins for WordPress (in no particular order).
Do I have to learn PHP to customize my WordPress theme?
If you do not need to learn to customize WordPress theme: it is a developer job. You can need to choose a theme closed to your existing design or based on your site type. It is easier to do the customization. If you change the color, font, logo, arrange the sidebar and menu based on your site, you will have a unique design. You can also consider hiring a WordPress programmer to do the job, if you want to outsource this part.
How Will I learn Using WordPress?
WordPress is very easy to use and because of that WordPress is popular. Almost every bloggers without any technical knowledge uses WordPress to create their blogs and sites. Once you create the site on WordPress, the next thing is to use it.
Learning to use WordPress is very easy. Like anything, people ‘learn by doing’ and you will master the use of WordPress and WordPress technology by simply using WordPress. If you want to do the whole migration by yourself, you will need to learn installing the WordPress core technology, as well as the theme or framework along with plugins.
On the other hand, if you hire professionals to do the migration and site set up, then you will only need to use WordPress – initially you will need to learn how to login and create posts and pages, which is as simple as using an interface on any other major platform on the Web.
Most of the cases you publish new content. You then just to need to login and create post which is very easy. Good news is there are hundreds of videos on YouTube on WordPress. You just need to search there what you want to do and then follow the step by step video.
Download the WordPress User Cheat Sheet for SBI Users by clicking here. In this cheat sheet, we have arranged the information logically so that it will make everything easier for you. We make it our goal to ensure SBI to WordPress migrations go smoothly, without data loss and with minimal downtime.
How Do I Transfer From SBI To WordPress?
Should I Keep My .HTML Page Extensions On WordPress?
There is no harm if you do want to keep the .html extension. You can do that with the help of WordPress plugins. But having WordPress default file name is better because you do not need to depend on any plugins. If you decide to keep .html extension, you won’t need to change the internal link.
Should I Use Pages Or Posts In WordPress?
WordPress default feature is to publish content as posts and static content as pages. About, contact, home, privacy, and adding pages are static pages that you can create as pages. But I would suggest creating information pages as posts. WordPress themes and plugins are created based on WordPress default features. If you transfer SBI pages as WordPress page, many plugins and WordPress features will not work as expected.
What about the categorization?
Category –WordPress posts are added under categories. You generally organize SBI pages as tier 2 and tier 3. You can create a category with a name something close to your tier 2 page. You then add posts to that category. You also add your tier 2 page to that category and add it to the category as sticky posts.
WordPress Menu System
WordPress menu is very easy to create the navigation. In SBI site, you generally create the navigation menu on top bar and left side-bar. You can do the same using the WordPress menu system. Most of the WordPress themes have primary and secondary navigation which generally you will find on the header area. To create menu on left or right sidebar, you can use the custom menu widget.
Transferring the SBI Pages to WordPress
After preparing the WordPress site, your next step will be to move the pages. You actually have to do that one by one. SBI creates a lot of extra html codes when you create pages. I would recommend you clean the codes while you create the pages on WordPress.
If you have Image galleries in you SBI site, I would recommend use gallery plugins to create the gallery on WordPress. To add images to WordPress site, you first need to download the image on local computer and then upload to the WordPress.
Creating Forms on WordPress
There are some excellent form builder plugins which you can use forms on WordPress. Some of the plugins are free but some are paid too. Those plugins also have add-ons using which you can create feature-rich plugins.
5 Best Contact Form Plugins For WordPress
Before going live with your site, you will definitely want to test every single aspect of your whole website before making it public.
You definitely want to test your website on different machines, different devices, a tablet, a phone, a desktop, and you may even want to try loading web pages from desktops at different locations, like a friend’s house or library just to make sure everything is loading properly and quickly.
Contacting SBI To Unlock Your Domain To start the transfer
Once you make the same site on WordPress and ready to make the site live, you now need to transfer the domain to a new registrars like Godaddy, namecheap, moniker etc. You will need to have an account with any of them.
To transfer the domain to new registrar, you will need auth code and unlock the domain. You will need to contact SBI support to unlock the domain. They will reply ask you information about your order. Once you pass the information, they will send you another mail.
Once your domain is unlocked, you get the auth code. You then start a transfer-in process at your new registrar. You will need the auth code. Once this step is done, you need to wait for the completion of the transfer process. You will get a notification when this is done. You need to change the name server of the domain.
Login to registrar account and update name server which you get from your host. For bluehost it is ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com.
The last step is make a change at your WordPress site. From Dashboard go to setting. Choose ‘General’. Replace the name of site with your domain name.
Outsourcing SBI to WordPress Migration
Moving an SBI site to the WordPress CMS involves a couple of necessary skills and sometimes exceptional technical expertise. Aside from that, it takes some people hours – regardless of any complications or not – to move the pages and content. You might consider hiring us to move your site to WordPress. You can save time, money and avoid any drastic mistakes that can hurt your site badly, causing potential downtime and potentially lost visits or returning users.
We have helped hundreds of SBIers to transfer their websites to WordPress. Click here to learn more about our service.
No matter how you slice it, moving an SBI site to WordPress takes a great deal of effort and attention, and is only super-easy for people who have already spent hundreds or thousands of hours becoming familiar with web stuff.
However, staying with SBI can be too expensive for certain people, so there will always be a crowd out there looking to make the switch.
Emotionally being attached to the present state of a website is the worst mistake you can make at this point. You want to do what is the best rational choice for your business, and that doesn’t involve letting emotion into the decision making analysis.
Ultimately, the quality of your site and its content will determine its success. If your SBI site had intrinsic problems, then transferring those problems over to WordPress won’t make them disappear.
However in the end, WordPress has a great deal of extra functionality and economy over SBI and that’s why people will always be looking at making the switch.