Moving BANS sites to WordPress

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imageAh the gold ole days.  Google would rank your sites, eBay would pay nice affiliate commissions and you could do it all by using Build A Niche Store (BANS).  Those were the days.

Today its all about WordPress.  And many of us still have BANS sites out there.  But how do you migrate your sites from BANS to WordPress without making a total mess of your website?   It can be a little tricky.   So here are a few tips to help show you how you can move to a WordPress blog without too much headache.

Do BACKUPS!

Before you do any work on any of your websites you need to back things up. I can’t stress it enough. Always, always, always do a backup! Simply ftp into your site using filezilla (or your favorite ftp software) and copy down the entire contents of your website folder.  If you have an addon domain or subdomain, just copy the folder of your addon domain.

Now that you have everything backed up, if anything goes wrong you can just copy it back and things should be back to normal.

THERE’S NO EASY WAY

There isn’t an EASY button to push to move everything from BANS to WordPress.  It’s a very manual process. The two systems are not compatible.   The easiest way to move things from BANS to WordPress is to do it by hand.  First build a WordPress site.  Then copy all of your articles and content (either cut and paste or just type it in) to a new WordPress posts. Finally rebuild any of the product pages.  It can take a while do to, but look at it this way, it will give you a chance to really make the site better.

So the first thing we can do is begin by installing WordPress in a new directory under your BANS site.  I usually call this new directory “blog”  or “newsite” or something that isn’t used.  What this does is it allows you the freedom to build and design your new WordPress site without disturbing the live BANS site, especially if the BANS site is making money.

Once you get your new WordPress site built and everything is tested and looks good, we need to do another backup. This time we need to include the new WordPress site you just built.   You don’t have to copy everything down if you don’t want to.  Just copy of the new “blog” folder (or whatever name you gave it)  to your home computer.

Now comes the fun part

What we are going to do delete (scary part – scary music) everything in your website folder EXCEPT the new “blog” folder. Be very careful. Go to the folder that has your website,  select all files except the “blog” folder and hit delete. Your heart should be racing right about now!   Don’t worry you have everything backed up right?

This next step is critical – Log into the admin dashboard of your new WordPress site and go to the settings tab.  Change the WordPress address (URL) and the Blog address (URL) to be at the root of your domain (removing the “blog” directory name).

Next move all of the files from the “blog” directory up to the root of your website.  This would be the folder above your blog folder.  Do this by select all files in your blog folder (not the blog folder itself) and move them to the parent folder above your blog folder.

Once your finished open up your site in your browser and  you should see your new WordPress site where you BANS site once was.

This sounds more complicated than it really is and really is a bit hard to type out so I’ve recorded a quick video showing exactly how I move a WordPress blog from a directory called blog to the main folder for my site.

I have to say I really love working with WordPress.  It’s so flexible, versatile, and easy.


2 Responses to “Moving BANS sites to WordPress”

  1. rob says:

    Joe,

    I have a bans site which has done well. Your article is the best I have seen regarding the conversion to WP. One question first. My site is a .com and I also own the .net version. Would it be easier to create a .net version of my site in WP, then just drop the bans site? Also, would it be possible to place my .com back into the WP root once it’s complete so my domain is back to being a .com?

  2. Joe says:

    Hi Rob and thanks.

    Yes, You can do that. Since you own the .net it would give you a great place to setup the wordpress version of your site. I’m assuming you’re not getting any traffic to the .net domain name?

    Create a new subdomain for the .net version of your in your cPanel, install wordpress and build your site.

    You could also download a free desktop application called XAMPP that will install and run Apache, MySQL and PHP on your local computer. This maybe more than you want to do but it’s an option.

    When you’re done and you’re site is all ready to go…

    On the .com side, backup your entire BANS folder to your local desktop computer(as an archive) . Then, (still on the .com side) move BANS to a subdirectory called “/oldsite” or “/bans” or whatever name you like. Make sure you don’t link to it from anywhere. This will give you another backup on the server that you can still access it by going to this hidden directory. It will also help if things go terribly wrong and you need to recover quickly.

    Once BANS is moved, Go to Fantastico and do a new install of WordPress on the .com root. Then simply move everything from the .net to the .com. Check out this post on moving WordPress.

    Let me know if you run into any issues or have any questions.

    Good luck!

    Joe

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