Q. I've browsed through the template designs at Wix.com, and absolutely love what I see. The only problem is, I already have a website through GoDaddy. How do I transfer everything over? -Maria S. from Philadelphia, PA. Listens on 990 AM WNTP.
A. Great question! We're sure many out there are wondering the same thing. Our sponsor, Wix, offers hundreds of templates to choose from, and a drag-and-drop builder that makes customizing your site easy. (For anyone who hasn't checked Wix out yet, click here and see just how easy it is to get your site up and running for free!)
Many people are just getting started with their own websites. But there are those, like you Maria, who created their websites years ago. And, the good news is, you don't have to leave your old site behind and start over from scratch. In this tip, we'll outline the steps you'll need to take to transfer an existing site to Wix.
Content vs. domain names
Before we dive into the details of transferring to Wix, there's something we need to clarify. Websites are created with two different components: Your content management system (CMS) and your domain name.
Your CMS is the software application you use to generate the content for your website. Your domain name is the actual address you've reserved for the website itself, such as Komando.com, CableGone.com, etc.
For an easy way to think of it, just picture your house. Your website's domain name is like your home's street address, whereas the content that makes up what you see on your website is like the furniture, artwork and decor inside it.
When moving day comes, you'll want to pack up your things and move them over to your new home. But, you can't forget that critical step of forwarding mail that's sent to your existing address. Just think of all the missed opportunities that you could create!
Now, let's apply this analogy to the topic at hand. Services such as Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress are popular content management systems for personal websites and blogs. On the other hand, services such as GoDaddy, BlueHost, JustHost, etc., are often used to host domain names. These services are also referred to as "registrars," and route web traffic to your site when someone searches for your address.
It's important to keep in mind that setting up a custom website wasn't always as simple as it is now with Wix, which offers a hassle-free, drag and drop web builder, built-in CMS and hosting for custom domain names. In the past, many who created websites had to use two services to get the job done.
Why this matters
The answer to your question is going to depend on the services you use for both content management and domain hosting. Transferring your website will also likely entail two separate steps: the transfer of your content, and the transfer (or redirecting) of your domain name.
Since you've mentioned GoDaddy specifically, we'll focus on the steps of transferring a domain name from GoDaddy to Wix. Transferring your content, however, will require additional steps.
Since we're not sure which CMS platform you currently use, we'll focus on WordPress for the purposes of this article since it's one of the most commonly used blogging platforms out there.
If WordPress isn't the CMS software you use, these steps will still point you in the right direction. Just keep in mind that they do vary for each platform.
What Wix account do you need?
Before you begin, you'll first need to set up a Premium Plan with Wix. Premium plans cost between $5 and $25, depending on the services you need for your website. The Unlimited Premium Plan is the most popular option. It comes with unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage, form builder and site booster apps, and the option to connect your custom domain name. The Unlimited plan costs $14 per month, but as a Kim Komando listener, click here for more details on the Premium plans available, and the features they offer.
Domain names: Transferring vs. connecting
It's important to point out that transferring your existing domain name over to Wix isn't your only option. If you'd prefer, you can always "connect" your domain name to your Wix website instead.
Connecting your domain name means that GoDaddy will remain the host of your web address, however, all web traffic will be directed to your Wix site. When it comes time to renew your domain, with this option, you'll renew through GoDaddy to reserve your web address for another term (typically, around 12 months).
Transferring your domain name means that Wix will become your domain host. Traffic still goes to your Wix site, however, renewing your domain name can all be managed through your Wix account.
Whether you're connecting or transferring your domain name to Wix, there are some general guidelines you'll need to keep in mind. First, you need to wait until at least 60 days have passed since you first registered your domain name with GoDaddy.
Also, be aware that Wix only supports the following domain types: .com, .org, .net, .biz, .info, .co, .tv, .guru, .email, .expert, .photography, .pictures, .space, .rocks .tokyo, .xyz., .company, .club, .solutions, .today, .technology, .tips, .center, .directory, .ninja, .photos, .land, .agency, .gift, .holiday, .christmas. If your site's extension is not found on this list, you'll need to connect your domain to your Wix account, as it cannot be transferred.
Finally, after you've completed the steps to either connect or transfer your domain name, please note that connecting your domain can take 24-48 hours to complete, and transferring can take up to seven days. You'll receive an email notification from Wix once the process is finished.
Note: Due to the processing time required, Wix recommends that you connect your domain name prior to transferring. This way, your web traffic will automatically be redirected even while the transfer is processing.
How to transfer your domain to Wix
Transferring your web domain requires several steps. But, the good news is that Wix makes it easy. This helpful video walks you through each of the steps listed below and offers tips on how to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Press play to watch:
- Click to go to the My Domains page.
- Click Connect a domain you already own and then click Transfer your Domain at the bottom of the pop-up window.
Note: If you already have a domain in your account, click Add Domain, and then click Transfer a domain to Wix.
- Read the instructions and click Continue.
- Enter the domain name and click Submit.
- Click the drop-down menu to select where the domain was purchased from and click Continue.
- Follow the step-by-step instructions, selecting the checkboxes.
- Select an extension period.
Note: When transferring a domain, you need to extend your domain registration by at least one year.
- Click Continue.
- Check and/or edit your contact information.
- Click Continue.
- Select a privacy option:
- Private Registration: Your contact details won't appear in the WHOIS domain information records. You can turn the privacy protection option on and off whenever you want.
- Public Registration: Your information always remains public in the WHOIS domain information records. You can only change it to private when manually extending the domain subscription.
- Click Continue.
- Select your payment method.
- Click Submit Purchase.
How to connect your domain to Wix
The process to connect your domain is very similar to that of transferring. However, the steps do vary slightly. Follow the directions from the list below, and your domain name will be rerouted to your new site within days.
- Click here to sign in to your Wix account.
- Hover over the user panel at the top right and click Domains.
- Click Connect a domain you already own.
Note: If you already have a domain in your account, click Add Domain, and then click Connect a domain you already own.
- Select the site that you want to connect the domain to.
Note: If you've already connected a domain, you might not see this step.
- Click Next.
- Enter the domain name.
- Click the drop-down menu to select where you purchased the domain from.
- Click Next.
- Follow the instructions in the step-by-step instructions provided.
Note: Click the arrows to move from step to step.
- After completing the last step, click Next.
- Click Close.
Adding your website's content
If your website only has a few pages, copying and pasting the content over to your new Wix website can be done manually with very little effort. However, if you've been blogging for years and have archives of posts, you'll want to use a different option. Fortunately, Wix has solutions so you won't have to part with any of your past content.
Blogger and Tumblr
If you're currently blogging on Blogger or Tumbler, just download the free apps Wix offers. These apps allow you to incorporate your existing blog into your new Wix website and even manage the content from your Wix dashboard. You can even customize your existing blog so that it matches the look and feel of your Wix website.
For WordPress users, creating a subdomain for your existing blog is a great option. To do this, you'll need to contact WordPress and ask for the "DNS" record. (This may be an A record or a CNAME record.)
Once you've received the DNS record, follow these steps to add the subdomain to your Wix website.
- Click to go to the My Domains page.
Note: If you have more than one domain in your account, select the relevant domain.
- Click the Advanced tab.
- Click Edit DNS.
- Add or edit the relevant records.
- Click Save DNS.
For more information on transferring your existing website, visit Wix's Help Center for tips, videos and tutorials.
Ready to get started? Wix makes it easy to get online and offers hundreds of gorgeous templates to choose from! Click here to find yours, and create your new Wix website today!