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 it an obvious choice for many sites. The company has done a great job at providing top-notch services for many years now, and continues to innovate and improve to meet the needs of its customers.
This article will give you basic instructions on how to transfer your hosting to Bluehost.
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.
- Unmet requirements – If your website has grown beyond the capacity of your current hosting provider, it is time to upgrade to something new.
There could be many other reasons why you want to switch. No matter what is causing you to want to move, make sure you think it through so you are happy with the results.
What Types of Hosting Does Bluehost Offer?
Before you take any actual action to migrate, 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 select one of the shared hosting options. If your site gets a lot of traffic or you want something more advanced, you can opt for a VPS hosting package, which will be sufficient for all but the largest websites. For help choosing the exact type of hosting you need, reach out to the team at Bluehost.
The sales staff will ask you some questions about your current website and recommend the perfect hosting package.
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 will provide you with a good outline of what you need to do. These instructions are geared toward migrating a WordPress-based website — what the vast majority of sites today use. While not terribly difficult, this process is somewhat technical and requires you to perform several steps properly. If you run into any issues, reach out to the technical support team at Bluehost. The experts are happy to assist you with the migration.
Sign up for a Bluehost account
The first thing to do is create an account with Bluehost and pick out the type of hosting you want to use. Once Bluehost provides all your account details, log on and install WordPress to get 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 move your existing site over.
Create a SQL database account and actual database
While setting up WordPress, create a SQL database account and an actual database. Take note of these account details, as you will need them later. Ideally, name the database the same thing you called it on your existing hosting provider for easy migration.
Create a full backup of your site
From your existing hosting provider, you will run a full data backup. This ensures that if something goes wrong 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). After it’s 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
After the download, 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 must finish configuring everything to operate properly. Choose 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), click on the Import tab, then hit the Browse your computer button. Locate the database file downloaded from the previous site (it will end in .sql). Once that database is selected, you can 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.
Moving site onto Bluehost
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. 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 your website works, you can send traffic to your Bluehost account. You must update your nameservers wherever your domain is registered. The nameservers will be in the welcome email you receive: something like: NS1.Bluehost.com and NS2.Bluehost.com. Once you have changed that at your domain registration company, it may take time for traffic to start coming to Bluehost, so leave your old host up for a few days. After everything is updated, test your site with your actual URL and make sure everything works.
Frequently Asked Questions About Transferring to Bluehost
How long does it take to transfer website hosting?
It usually takes a few days to about a week to transfer your website hosting but the process varies depending on the type and size of migration being completed.
How much does it cost to transfer web hosting?
Aside from purchasing a hosting plan with your new host, there shouldn’t be any other costs if you do it on your own. Some hosting providers offer free migration services while some charge anywhere from $99 to $400 depending on the complexity of your site.
Do you need to transfer your domain when you transfer hosting?
You don’t have to move your domain name to the same company where you have your web hosting done, but it could keep things simpler to do everything in the same place.