How to Transition and Upgrade 1and1 Website to WordPress

by Laura Thieme

I have a small business website client that is currently on the 1and1 MyWebsite web hosting package.  It’s an inexpensive small / micro business hosting package.  I’ve been working on SEO & Adwords / customer acquisition for the past four years with this client.  They do very well for a small biz but I’ve disliked three things:

  1. No ability to add unique URL to track contact us confirmations therefore no ability to track true leads or contact form submissions
  2. No ability to update something on the website and see it in preview mode BEFORE it’s visible to the rest of the world
  3. No ability to back up the website

Those failures are the reason I finally convinced my client to leave the MyWebsite package.  I’ve mentioned to 1and1, they need to change and get up to 201x.  Most small business sites want to track how they are getting their leads by source, medium and keyword.  It is not enough to know how many page views occurred on the contact us page.

As I work on the WordPress migration, upgrade and site transfer – I’m going to share lessons learned, the good, the bad and the ridiculous!

Getting Started on Your 1and1 My Website Transition to WordPress template:

  • You’ll need to create a NEW WordPress hosting package ($4.99/mo or pay monthly $11.99 just in case you have more problems at – that make you want to leave).
  • Keep your existing website package until the new site is up and running and you’ve copied everything.
  • You will have access to both contracts & websites under a single 1and1 console.
  • 1and1 said I’d not be able to copy/paste but I’m hoping if I have two browsers (Chrome & Safari) open, I can copy/paste even if it’s a tedious page by page process.
  • I’m in search of a new WordPress theme. I’ve been informed by an industry expert, Shari Thurow, that #Canvas is responsive, SEO & analytics friendly, along with Google PageSpeed & all-around code friendly.

My goal is to complete this project within 12 billable hours within one week.  

  • Instructions from the WordPress support team were difficult to comprehend.  Their team is offshore.  There was no issue with English, it was comprehension of my problem and how to adequately solve the problem with creative, efficient solutions.  Each call was greater than 25 minutes. I’ve had over 5 phone calls in one day.
  • We finally created the new WordPress package and I could see it in the control panel within an hour of my call.
  • It will take up to 12 hours for the new account to be created after you place your online order
  • Be very careful you do NOT overwrite your current website meaning you can’t just transfer from 1and1 MyWebsite to WordPress.  You need to purchase two contracts, new packages, and that’s really important to be aware of.
  • You have the option of setting up a protected directory with username/password so that search engines don’t find the URL and duplicate content.
  • Once WordPress site is done – you can move your “MyWebsite” package and connect to new WordPress site
  • I will address page URLs, and if any 301s were necessary but I’m hoping to maintain the URL structure for obvious SEO & PPC reasons.

What templates are included with 1and1’s WordPress Plus package hosting?

It is not yet possible to add a Canvas WordPress template to 1and1’s WordPress managed hosting package.  It appears they have a relationship with CyberChimps.  As of this moment, I’m unsure of something similar to Canvas.  I’ll Tweet my requests for faster response.  There are approximately 20 WordPress templates included in the package, of which one is labelled responsive and one is labelled mobile-friendly.  The two plug-ins I chose informed me I’d need to upgrade to Responsive Pro, for $19.99 on CyberChimps website.

Really Important Question –> Is there any way to back up the website? 

No.  There is absolutely no way to back up via Control Panel, nor FTP.  You’re only way of doing this is a slight hack, but you could copy/paste HTML page by page into an .html file and store in the Cloud.

Learn more about this project on my next blog entry.


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