If you’re unhappy with the way your website is running on your current hosting provider, you may be thinking about transferring to somewhere new.
For many people, migrating their site to GoDaddy makes sense because this company is so well-established and has been providing web admins with excellent services for a very long time. In addition, GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain registration companies globally, and having your domain registered and hosted in the same place can be quite convenient.
Once you’re confident that you want to move your website from its current host to GoDaddy, read through this page to learn how it’s done. Keep in mind that the precise steps that need to be taken may vary somewhat based on where your site is currently hosted, what type of hosting you’re using, your content management system, and more.
If you ever run into something that isn’t covered on this page, reach out to the technical support team at GoDaddy and they’ll help you through the process. In this high-level overview of how to transfer hosting to GoDaddy, however, you’ll learn about things like:
- How long does it take to transfer hosting to GoDaddy?
- Can your entire website be moved to GoDaddy?
- How much downtime will your site experience during the transfer?
- What steps need to be taken to transfer your site to GoDaddy?
Find What You’re Looking For
Can Website Hosting Be Transferred and How Long Does it Take?
GoDaddy is widely recognized as a top-tier hosting company that has great services for just about every type of site. While you definitely want to consider all your options carefully for web hosting services, it’s surprisingly easy to switch to another company if you find that you’re dissatisfied with the hosting you have.
Once you know the steps you need to take and have your new hosting account operational, you can expect the process to take around an hour to complete.
If you decide to migrate from one hosting company to another, you want to take your time to make sure to choose the right hosting provider based on your needs. This helps ensure that you not only get the great hosting you need after the migration but that you also have great services for years to come.
Whether you choose to transfer to GoDaddy or another top hosting provider, follow the basic steps below. The amount of time it takes to migrate from one host to another depends on a number of factors, including how much data your site has, the type of hosting you use, such as shared, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated, your experience managing websites, and more.
Can You Move Your Entire Website to GoDaddy Hosting?
When migrating, you won’t just redirect your website’s URL to a GoDaddy hosting account but will actually be moving all the data from your current server to a new one.
In this process, all of the data will be transferred over so that when the process is completed, your site loads up from the GoDaddy servers so that it looks like it did on your old hosting company.
Avoiding Downtime During the Migration
One of the people’s biggest worries when migrating their website to GoDaddy is how long their website will be offline. This is a big deal when moving business websites, especially since visitors are given an error message when a site is down and may move to a competitor’s website.
Fortunately, as long as you plan everything out and execute it properly, your site never has to be offline or unavailable to visitors. To transfer a site to GoDaddy without any downtime, you want to complete all the steps below while your site is still running on your current hosting server. After all the data is copied over to GoDaddy and verified to be working properly, you update your nameservers and begin directing traffic to the GoDaddy servers.
Even after you have your nameservers updated, you want to leave your old hosting account up and active for at least a couple of weeks to ensure visitors who are using old cached location data won’t experience any interruption of service. If you aren’t sure how to take these steps, don’t hesitate to reach out to the GoDaddy support team for assistance.
How Do You Transfer Your Site to GoDaddy?
These instructions are made assuming that your current hosting account and the new one with GoDaddy are both Linux-based options with cPanel available. This is by far the most common setup, especially for individuals and small business websites. If you’re using a Windows-based hosting solution, the specific steps will be slightly different, so keep that in mind.
Sign Up for Services on GoDaddy
The first thing you want to do is choose which GoDaddy hosting package is right for you. It has several different options, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. Once you pick out which hosting works best for you, sign up for the service.
Depending on which hosting type you choose, it may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for you to get all the details of your hosting account. It will send you key pieces of information like your temporary domain, the link to your cPanel account, and your login information. You have to have all of this ready to go to complete the transfer, which is why you must complete this step first.
Backup Your cPanel Account at Your Current Host
The next step is to access your cPanel account on your current host and make a backup of all your files. This is a simple process that will usually only take a few minutes to complete, although it could take a little longer if your site has a large amount of data.
To complete this step, simply follow these instructions:
- Access the backup wizard: The step is to go to the Files section of cPanel and click on the backup wizard. This brings you to the area where you can perform full backups of your site.
- Click backup and select what to backup: On this page, select the option to create a backup and then pick what you need to be backed up. Typically, you want your home directory, which includes all files under that directory and all your MySQL databases used for your site.
- Add email information if needed: If you have created email accounts and forwarders for your site, you can add them into the backed-up data as well if you want them moved over.
- Select relevant domains: If you have more than one site that you’re transferring over to GoDaddy, you can choose to make backups of all of them at this time. Skip this step if you’re only moving one site over.
Once the backup program has run, make a note of where it placed the backup files. It’s generally best to have the backup file stored on your PC to be uploaded easily to GoDaddy in the next step.
Restore Your cPanel Account on GoDaddy
You now want to log into the cPanel on your GoDaddy account. The link to this and your account information should have been emailed to you. To complete this process, go to the files section of cPanel and, once again, click the backup wizard.
This time, choose restore. For restoring, start by restoring the home directory, then go through and restore your MySQL databases and email accounts if needed. Once done, the data for your site has been transferred to GoDaddy and is technically ready to go.
Test Your Site on GoDaddy
Before you start sending traffic to your new GoDaddy hosting account, test everything out to make sure it’s working properly.
In your welcome email from GoDaddy, you’ll have been given a temporary domain or an internet protocol (IP) address to access your site. Put that domain into your address bar in your browser to make sure everything is working correctly. Your site should load up without any trouble.
Update Your Nameservers and DNS
If everything is working the way it should, you can now update your nameservers to point traffic to the GoDaddy servers. It’s quite likely that you registered your domain with GoDaddy, to begin with, in which case you can just update your nameservers in your GoDaddy account.
You also need to update your Domain Name System (DNS) information, which is done in your cPanel. On your cPanel, go to the DNS manager and update your primary A Record to point to the IP addresses provided in your welcome email from GoDaddy.
Now that you have updated and saved this information, new visitors to your site will begin coming to your GoDaddy hosted page. Remember that it may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for all DNS servers and browsers to get updated, so they send traffic to GoDaddy instead of your old host.
However, make sure to leave your old host active for at least a couple of weeks to avoid any problems. After a couple of weeks, you can cancel your old hosting account and enjoy the great service from GoDaddy for years to come.