[Support Guide] How to Migrate from Builder.io to Netlify Create

This guide explains the high-level technical process required to move your website code and content from Builder.io to Netlify Create.

Assessing Migration Complexity

As with most migrations, this process is highly variable based on:

  • Size and complexity of your code and content
  • Number and type of content sources
  • Degree of integration with Builder’s APIs and SDKs

Fortunately, unlike many legacy systems, Builder sites have the potential to follow modern best practices, often making the migration process less painful.

See below for the recommended approach for migrating from Builder to Netlify Create, followed by answers to common questions. Reach out at any time for guidance on your migration or more information about Netlify Create.

Migrating from Builder to Netlify Create

Many Builder websites have both code and content intertwined in Builder’s APIs and SDKs, it’s often more effective to migrate your entire site at one time. (Although gradually migrating is certainly possible — see FAQs below for more information.)

Here is the recommended process.

Export Content via Builder API

Some of your content may live in various external content sources. If you prefer, that content can stay where it is, although you’ll be updating the code used to fetch the content in a later step.

However, some of your content likely lives directly in Builder’s system, including page-specific content. You’ll want to export this content via Builder’s Content API. Here is some additional context on the process.

Import Content into a New Content Source

Once you’ve exported the content from Builder’s API, transform it into a structure that is conducive to building pages in your site’s code. How exactly the content should be structured is a matter of both preference and the state of your code.

If you aren’t already using a CMS to store your content, talk to us — we can recommend the best fit for your needs.

Migrating Assets

Assets like images can be exported from Builder.io using URL values returned from querying the Builder Image API. You can then import these assets into your chosen CMS. (Most CMS providers enable you to programmatically upload assets.)

Once content and assets are imported to your CMS, be sure to upgrade old asset URLs to reference the newly-uploaded asset.

Migrating Content from External CMS

Content that is already in external CMS(s) can remain where it is because Netlify Create supports just about any API-based content source, so you do not need to move your content from your existing external CMS.

Remove Builder Code and Logic

Builder requires that your component code be wrapped in its JavaScript libraries. Remove these libraries from your project, which will include (but is not necessarily limited to) the following:

  • Delete .builder files (usually in the components directory).
  • Components built inside Builder may be easier to rebuild manually, though most should be reusable.
  • If fetching content from external CMS(s) through Builder’s API, use the CMS SDKs (if available) to fetch content directly from the CMS’s API.

Add Netlify Create to your Project

Next, it’s time to get familiar with Netlify Create. Follow the getting started tutorial and read how Netlify Create works. Then begin integrating Netlify Create into your site by adding a configuration file, specifying page models, and adding annotations.

Deploy New Website

Depending on where you’re hosting your site, you may also want to find a new build and hosting provider. If you already have full ownership over the hosting account, you can likely keep your site where it is.

Otherwise, you’ll want to open a new account with your preferred vendor, deploy the site, and wire up DNS.

If you need help launching your site or if you get stuck during any part of this process, contact support.

Builder to Netlify Create Migration FAQs

How much effort is this going to take? The time and effort are highly dependent on your situation, which is unique to other Builder.io projects. It also varies based on whether you decide to migrate gradually or all at once. Contact us for a more specific estimate based on your site.

Do I have to rebuild all my code and rewrite all my content? Probably not. Content already in external providers can remain where it is. Content living in Builder can be exported, transformed, and then imported into a CMS of your choice.

Is there a gradual migration process or do I have to do it all at once? For this particular migration, it is recommended to consider a one-time migration because every part of your code and content is most likely connected to Builder.io. Migrating gradually is possible, but is often best accomplished by also rebuilding the site.

Does this migration require development skills? Yes. But if you don’t have a developer, we can help pair you with the right one.

Do I have to rebuild the site? No — at least not in most cases. Builder sites are usually built with modern technologies and can be adapted for new systems and services. The main challenge is moving the pieces that are specific to Builder to another service.

Is vendor lock-in a thing to worry about after the migration? No! Not at all! One of our core values is that you avoid vendor lock-in when working with Netlify Create. The content sources we support all have capabilities to export your content and move it elsewhere. And you have 100% ownership over your code, so you can move, customize, and migrate it however you’d like. Working with Netlify Create requires just a little configuration and markup.