Changing from GD website builder to WordPress?? Problem.

Hello--I need clarification please. I understand I need to save everything, text, images, etc. However, I saw on one response to a similar inquiry that I will need to get my "theme and wp installation ready."  I am not sure what this entails. I have tried to DL a theme or two but cannot open them. I need to be able to "test" the theme I choose to be sure it can be customized for my needs (simple site) without taking my site down. I keep seeing that I have to open or upload/install my theme first.  How am I supposed to do that and where?  

Super User II



Once you have your Managed WordPress hosting account established you can then upload the theme of your choice in your WordPress dashboard.


Themes come in zip files that you don't open -- you upload that zip file via your WordPress dashboard (Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme).


Managed WordPress hosting also gives you a temporary domain to work with until you have your new site ready to go.  The old site is then live until you are ready to move the domain to your new hosting/site.


Stay away from free themes.  They are not well supported and tend to not keep up with WordPress or security bugs/threats.  So gravitate toward premium themes. Keep in mind that when you buy a theme you own it.  That is why going through the theme demo with a fine tooth comb will let you know if that is a theme you can use for your project.


I have an article that may help you know what to think about before you invest in a theme: Choosing the Right WordPress Premium Theme


HTH! 😉


"Be a voice. Not an echo." ~ Anon

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Super User III

Website Builder is only compatible with Website Builder.  You'll need a plan capable of running WordPress like Web Hosting or Managed WordPress.  You can set this up on a temporary domain or sub-domain (like  There you'll be able to install WordPress, upload the theme and develop your new website.  Then change the domain over once it's ready to go live.

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Thank you Nate!  That's exactly what I needed to know.  I know I need to set up with a WordPress capable host, but I'm not willing or able to set up and pay for a brand new hosting plan without knowing if I can make it work first, just to test out themes.  Since my current site is already with GoDaddy I want to just move everything over eventually without starting all over money-wise, and end up paying for 2 GD plans.  Will I have to pay for another year of GoDaddy?

You'll need some overlap to transition the site, but the time left on the plan you're canceling can be credited or refunded.


WordPress is a 'server-side' application, it doesn't install on your own computer like a normal program.  It is possible to create a test server environment on your own computer and run WordPress that way.  Though it is moderately advanced, and the conditions are not quite the same as that of the hosting account.  Here is an article on the subject, you can find more with your favorite search engine for 'install wordpress locally [windows/mac]' or something similar.

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GD will NOT offer you a subdomain  of your current domain on WP concurrent with a WebsiteBuilder contract, in order to develop your WP site before switching GD plans.  I asked exactly this question of two different support staff and they both confirmed this. So, why stay with GD?

Super User III

Each domain or sub-domain can only be associated with one hosting product at a time, but you can use a different domain or sub-domain to set-up different hosting products.  Also with Managed WordPress you can start with a temporary domain and then switch to your own domain when it's time to go live.  Since WordPress is a server-side application it must be associated with a working domain, sub-domain, or temporary domain to function.

Godaddy support have been very explicit: associated with websitebuilder, and subdomain associated with wordpress, is NOT a supported migration strategy on Godaddy.