Godaddy Shut Down Its Virb Site Builder Platform With No Notice – Here’s How to Pick Up the Pieces

 

Here’s some frustrating news for authors and industry freelancers. It seems Godaddy has seen fit to turn off the lights on one of its website builders, Virb. According to several sources, Virb shut down without notifying users nor giving them a chance to move their sites or even download a copy of their sites.

Edit: The Wayback Machine shows that the Virb home page got its current EOL message some time between 14 June and 28 June.

The sites are just gone:

I could say a lot about how Godaddy screwed up here, but that won’t get your website up and running again.

That’s going to take some work; you’ll need to find a new host for your site, get a copy of your content, and set up the new site.

I can help you take care of this, but I will also give you the basic steps so you can DIY.

Here’s how you can do that.

1. Find a Web Host

We’re operating under the clock, so I am going to point you to two possible hosting companies. If you want to build a WordPress site, you should get an account with Siteground. If you want a pagebuilder service service similar to Virb, you should choose Squarespace.

  • Squarespace – There are many services like Virb, and Squarespace is the easiest to use and has the prettiest themes. I have worked with several different pagebuilder services like Virb, and Squarespace is literally the only service of this type that I would recommend.
  • Siteground – There are many companies that can host your WordPress site (even me).  Siteground is not the cheapest but it does have best tech support and customer service. (Well, I am better but then again I try harder.)

2. Get a copy of your content

If you don’t have a backup of your site, you might be able to recover the content by visiting the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. The IA has been backing up the web for a couple decades now, and there’s a good chance that they scanned your site at some point.

If you find your site there, bookmark the link so you can find it again.

3. Set up the new site

If you have a backup copy of your site, I could get it online in an afternoon. But if you don’t it will take a little longer.

What you will need to do next is decide if you want to design a new site or recreate your old site using a new website design and the content you found on the Wayback Machine.  If you choose the former then it will take longer but you will end up with a refreshed website that will look better than before. But if you just want to get your site up fast, the quick option is to simply remake what you had before.

A new site will involve either designing it yourself or hiring a designer to build it for you. Recreating your old site will involve finding a similar website theme, and then copying and pasting your content from the Wayback machine to the new theme, one page at a time.

The choice is up to you.

But no matter which choice you make, I can help.

image by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

12 Comments

  1. Blair Barnette13 July, 2020

    I just discovered this today when I was told (scolded) for not having my website current, as I was being put forward for a job and they wanted examples of my work. Not having a website active through my links made me look unprofessional and an absence of an immediate way to contact me meant the client went to the next on their list. That was £12K worth of work, even more poignant that I’ve been out of work because of Covid since March 13th. I’m so angry I could spit. I don’t understand this decision for them to not only not warn us, but not even tell us afterwards! Thanks for the solid advice though. I know what I’m doing for the rest of the week!

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder13 July, 2020

      I’d recommend that you contact a solicitor, because it sounds like you have viable lawsuit against Godaddy.

      Reply
  2. Peg16 August, 2020

    I just discovered my virb website is GONE! Help!

    Reply
  3. Cerille @ Only Reviews9 September, 2020

    I’m not personally a fan of these really basic web builders. I understand that they serve a purpose for someone to get a website up and running quickly, but surely if the service the provide is good they should put the effort in to make sure their site represents that quality?

    Reply
  4. Jorge Viera21 September, 2020

    Just stumbled on this site while trying to determine how to change my SSL cert from VIRB.COM to my current host. Thanks to Virbs sudden disappearance I know need to update everything.

    Reply
  5. Jeff Daniels23 September, 2020

    Jorge,
    Seems like you have not done your research and are writing a very biased article. MEDIA TEMPLE, not GoDaddy shut down their VIRB and they absolutely notified everyone prior to shutting it down, along with offering them a solution of using a free GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing plan. I know this because…..I received the email letting me know what was happening and when. This happened all the way back in April. Expect better journalism than this.

    Reply
    1. Jeff Daniels23 September, 2020

      Previous comment was meant for Nathan not Jorge

      Reply
    2. Nate Hoffelder23 September, 2020

      You are literally the first person I have met who said that users were notified. I know at least a dozen who did not find out until afterwards.

      And since MediaTemple is a Godaddy subsidiary, saying one shut down Virb and not the other is meaningless semantics.

      Reply
      1. Jeff Daniels23 September, 2020

        Except for the fact that they are different entities. If I have a problem with my Media Tempe accounts I wouldnt call GoDaddy. If I did they would not be able to help me since they are not one in the same.

        Reply
        1. Chuck Dee23 September, 2020

          I think that the point is that it is a subsidiary of GoDaddy. As a subsidiary, it’s fair to say that the parent company has responsibility for your actions. The actions of Marvel for instance, are not divorced from the actions of Disney.

          Reply
  6. Matthew V McGregor-Mento9 October, 2020

    I found this app helpful when we found my friend’s site on IA and wanted to make a copy of it. https://github.com/hartator/wayback-machine-downloader

    Reply
  7. Ken Arends16 October, 2020

    Is there a class action suite we can join for loss of business?

    Reply

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