If you’re not happy with your current hosting provider or want to switch hosts to get a better deal, GoDaddy is a great choice. It’s incredibly popular, well established, and affordable, too. But if the thought of moving your website feels overwhelming, you’re in the right place.
The good news is that switching hosts is relatively easy, especially if you use cPanel.
How Long Does It Take To Transfer Web Hosting?
The entire process of transferring your site to GoDaddy takes under an hour in most cases. However, it depends on several factors, including:
- How much data your site has
- The type of hosting you’re on
- Your experience managing websites
Can You Move Your Entire Website to GoDaddy Hosting?
When moving to GoDaddy, you’ll be moving all the data from your current server to a new one managed by GoDaddy.
In this process, all of the data will be transferred so that when the process is completed, your site loads up from the GoDaddy servers. If you do it right, it will look exactly the same and your visitors will be none the wiser.
Avoiding Downtime During the Migration
Some peoples’ biggest worries when migrating their website 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.
As long as you plan everything and execute it properly, your site never has to be offline or unavailable to visitors. To transfer a site to GoDaddy without downtime, complete all the steps below before cancelling your existing hosting service.
How to Transfer Hosting to GoDaddy (5 Steps)
These instructions are made assuming your current hosting account and the new one with GoDaddy are both Linux-based with cPanel. This is 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 GoDaddy
Before doing anything else, you need to sign up for GoDaddy. There are various shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans to choose from, although shared hosting is usually more than enough for most people.
Once you’ve signed up and paid, you’ll get an email with all the key information you need to get started.
Backup your cPanel account at your current host
The next step is to access your cPanel account on your current host and back up all your files. This is a simple process that usually only takes 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: Go to the Files section of cPanel and click on the backup wizard. This brings you to the area where you can fully backup your site.
- Click backup and select what to backup: On this page, select the option to create a backup and 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 to the backed-up data as well if you want them moved over.
- Select relevant domains: If you have more than one site you’re transferring to GoDaddy, you can choose to make backups of all of them now. Skip this step if you’re only moving one site over.
Once the backup program has run, note 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
Next, 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, again, click the backup wizard.
This time, choose restore. 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 to ensure 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 browser’s address bar to ensure everything works correctly. Your site should load without any trouble.
Update your nameservers and DNS
If everything is working properly, update your nameservers to point traffic to the GoDaddy servers. Since you likely registered your domain with GoDaddy, you can update your nameservers there. You also need to update your Domain Name System (DNS) information.
On your cPanel, go to the DNS manager and update your primary A Record to point to the IP addresses in your welcome email from GoDaddy.
Now new visitors to your site will begin coming to your GoDaddy-hosted page. It may take 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. Wait for at least a couple of weeks before canceling your old hosting account to avoid any problems — and enjoy the great service from GoDaddy for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I transfer my hosting to GoDaddy?
Yes, it’s easy to transfer your hosting to GoDaddy either on your own or with the help of GoDaddy Support.
How do I transfer my existing hosting account?
You’ll sign up for new services, back up your cPanel on your old account, then restore it on the new hosting account. Test your site, then update your nameservers and DNS.
Does it cost to transfer a domain to GoDaddy?
You can host your domain with any registrar–just because you’re moving hosting to GoDaddy doesn’t mean you also have to move your domain name. However, you can if you’d like. You’ll pay a flat fee of $9.99 to transfer your domain to GoDaddy, but you’ll get a free year of registration in exchange.