If you have a website up and running but have issues with your web hosting company, it might be time to transfer to a new service. Bluehost is one of the largest and most successful hosting companies today, making them an obvious choice for many sites. Bluehost has done a great job at providing top-notch services for many years now, and they continue to innovate and improve to meet the needs of their customers.
If you want to transfer your hosting to Bluehost, this article will give you basic instructions on how to do it. On this page, you will read about:
- When Does Changing Hosting Providers Make Sense?
- What Steps Need to be Taken to Migrate to Bluehost?
- What Type of Bluehost Hosting Package is Right for You?
When Should You Change Web Hosting Providers?
Switching hosting companies takes some work and is not something people want to do regularly, so make sure you think it through. The following are a few of the most common situations when it makes sense to find a new hosting provider and migrate:
- Poor Service – The most common reason to switch hosting companies is that your existing company is not meeting your needs. This could be slow response times, frequent outages, or other issues.
- Unreasonable Price – If your hosting provider is charging you more than is reasonable, you can save a lot of money by transferring to Bluehost, which has very reasonable prices.
- Existing Host Cannot Meet Your Requirements – If your website has grown beyond the capacity of your current hosting provider, it is time to upgrade to something new.
Of course, there could be any number of other reasons why you want to switch. No matter what is causing you to want to move, just make sure you think it through so you are happy with the results.
How to Transfer Hosting to Bluehost
Once you have decided that you definitely want to transfer hosting to Bluehost, you need to understand how to do it. With the right planning, you can migrate from one host to another without any downtime to your site.
The following steps are going to provide you with a good outline of what you need to do. These instructions are geared toward migrating a WordPress-based website since that is what the vast majority of sites today use.
While not terribly difficult, this process is somewhat technical and requires you to perform a number of steps that need to be done properly. If you run into any issues at any point, make sure you reach out to the technical support team at Bluehost.
Their experts are more than happy to assist you with the migration.
What Types of Hosting Does Bluehost Offer?
Before you take any actual action to migrate, you will want to make sure you pick out the best hosting package for your particular site. Bluehost offers great hosting options for any type of site ranging from small personal blogs to large business sites. Based on your specific requirements, you can pick from basic shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated servers.
Most individuals and small businesses will want to select one of the shared hosting options that they offer. If your site gets a lot of traffic or you just want something more advanced, you can opt for a VPS hosting package, which will be sufficient for all but the largest websites.
If you need help choosing the exact type of hosting you need, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Bluehost. Their sales staff will ask you some questions about your current website and recommend which of their hosting packages will be perfect for you.
Sign Up for a Bluehost Account
The first thing you want to do is create an account with Bluehost and pick out the type of hosting that you want to use. Once Bluehost provides you with all your account details, log on and Install WordPress.
This gets the site up and working. You can even access the generic WordPress site using the assigned IP address (provided by Bluehost) for testing before you actually move your existing site over.
While setting up WordPress, you will need to create a SQL database account and an actual database. Make sure to take note of these account details as you will need them later. Ideally, you should also name the database the same thing you have it named on your existing hosting provider for easy migration.
Create a Full Backup of Your Site
From your existing hosting provider, you will want to run a full data backup of the site. This ensures that if something goes wrong at any time in this process, you can always recover quickly and without losing any valuable data.
Download the WordPress Folder Content
Open an FTP program (download one, such as Filezilla, if you don’t already have it installed). Once open, connect to your existing web hosting account and browse to the “WP-Content” folder. This is where all of the non-generic files for your site are kept. Download all of those files onto your local computer.
Upload Files to Bluehost Server
Once the download has completed, disconnect from your old hosting server and establish a new connection to your Bluehost server. Once connected, upload all of the files you just downloaded to the same folder. When it asks, instruct the FTP program to overwrite any existing files that are already there.
Access phpMyAdmin on Bluehost
After copying the files to your new hosting account, you will need to finish configuring everything to operate properly. Select the database; then, you will see all of the tables in the database on the right side of the screen. Select all the existing tables and drop them all.
Import New Database
Next, near the top of the screen (still in phpMyAdmin), you will see an option for “Import.” Click that tab, then hit the ‘Browse Your computer’ button. Locate the database file that you downloaded from the previous site (it will end in .sql).
Once that database is selected, you will have the option to choose what format to use. Make sure that is set to SQL and click the bottom that says not to use AUTO_INCREMENT for zero values, then click go.
Depending on the size of your site’s database, it could take several minutes to complete this process. Once this is done, your site should be ready to go on Bluehost. You can browse to the IP address or temporary URL provided by Bluehost to test it.
Keep in mind that some things will not work properly because you are still using a temporary domain name rather than your permanent one. This results in broken internal links until you have moved to your actual site address.
Once you have confirmed things are working (other than links, etc.), you are ready to start sending traffic to your Bluehost account. To do this, you need to update your nameservers wherever your domain is registered.
The nameservers for Bluehost will be in the welcome email you receive from them. They will look something like: NS1.Bluehost.com and NS2.Bluehost.com. Once you have made that change at your domain registration company, it may take some time for traffic to start coming to Bluehost, so make sure to leave your old host up and running for a few days.
Once everything is updated, test your site with your actual URL and make sure everything works.