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:
@Virb why would you guys close down without giving customers any warning so they could make smart plans…shouldn't management say something or allow people to at least figure out what to do next rather than have businesses looking for sites that are no longer there??really bunk
— Jay Shapiro (@JayShapiro3) July 9, 2020
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.