Are you frustrated with your web hosting provider and planning to transfer website to new hosting provider? Or you may want to migrate to another host to explore more benefits like targeting country specific traffic or to boost your affiliate income?
Recently I have switched from previous hosting provider to Bluehost.com and I am going to share my entire experience here with a detailed step by step guide so that you can also follow the same easily in case you are looking for a comprehensive tutorial. My website mypassiveincometips.com is now hosted on Bluehost shared hosting plan.
Why I Have Transferred My Website To Bluehost.com
Previously my website was hosted on Hostgator India web hosting plans and I have to say that Hostgator India is really a good hosting provider and I am having few of my micro niche websites still on that hosting plan only. Then suddenly why I am planing to change my hosting provider to Bluehost?
Here are my reasons to transfer website to Bluehost.
To Attract International Traffic: Over the period of time, I have realized that the traffic for which I am working to make money from affiliate marketing is not India. But I have started this blog on a India based hosting provider. As Hostgator India is mainly concentrating on India based traffic, I wanted to migrate my website to a USA based hosting provider. I know there are websites who are fetching good international traffic even if they are hosted on India based hosting. But still this is what I felt so far which is one of the web hosting myth as well.
Best Web hosting Affiliate Program: In this blog I am talking mostly about affiliate marketing programs related to blogging niche, SEO products, internet marketing & how to make money from affiliate marketing. In fact I am able to make some money [check out my Bluehost affiliate income report] from this internet marketing business so far and now want to experiment more on this segment. I have read many inspirational and successful affiliate stories like Pat Flynn income, PinchofYum affiliate income report and that’s one reason for me to transfer to Bluehost so that I can share my real-time experience with my readers and help them to decide whether to go with Bluehost or not.
Best Shared Hosting Provider: There are many good web hosting providers to start with like Hostgator, ASmallOrange, Bluehost, inmotion, knownhost etc to begin with. In fact I was thinking to migrate to Hostgator.com as my experience with Hostgator India so far was really amazing so far. Then I thought to try a different web hosting with which I can expand my knowledge as well as confidence of handling various issues in coming days related to web hosting. That’s why among all I thought to try Bluehost shared hosting plan.
Is Website Migration An Easy Task?
If you are planing to migrate your WordPress site to Bluehost.com and you want Bluehost to help you, then you will be charged an amount of $149 by Bluehost professional team. Not only that, even if you ask for anyone’s help, they will also charge you money, definitely there is no free lunch :). And over all, in case there will be any further issues, you have to ask for their professional help again & again. That means more expense.
I love to learn new things and experiment to explore more. And one more thing, if you want to stay long in this blogging business whether full-time or part-time, you have to learn to handle these kind of technical staffs to reduce your blogging expenses and keep more control to manage things.
But the journey is not always rosy. I have tried to migrate my first Blogspot website to WordPress few years back and then failed badly and later on took professional help. It costs me more than INR 25,000 to fix things and finally kick start my WordPress blogging journey. Although I have not tried this later, but I am planning to learn this also and then will take another attempt to transfer blogger to wordpress.
My WordPress Migration Attempts, failures & at last Success….
In last few months, I took couple of attempts to transfer few of my testing websites to new host to learn the process of website transfer to new host. But I failed all the time and the reason behind that was my fear and not trying to understand the basic concepts.
I was simply following few articles available over internet and then tried to follow them step by step. After couple of failed attempts, I gradually realized why my WordPress migration attempts were failing. Finally one fine day I have decided to try WordPress hosting migration for my main website MyPassiveIncomeTips.com to Bluehost.
I have purchased Bluehost Shared hosting Plus plan using an awesome Bluehost discount coupon and saved good money for 1 year package. I have also shared an exclusive step by step guide on how to buy a hosting plan from Bluehost.com and also how to install WordPress in just few minutes using 1 click WordPress installation feature.
Anyway, let’s back into the point. My migration attempt was not only a successful attempt, it has answered so many questions in my mind and made me so much confident that now I can move any existing website to wordpress without using any plugins. So, let’s start the process of WordPress site transfer to Bluehost with all the relevant screenshots & images.
Beginners Guide To WordPress Site Migration to a New Host
Before proceeding with the step by step process of Bluehost migration, I will explain the basics of moving wordpress site to another host and what are the key checklist you need to follow. Here are the simple steps you should understand first and then follow.
- Take a back up of your main database from the source hosting. [In my case, Hostgator India]
- Take the website files backup from the source hosting. [In my case, Hostgator India]
- Change the DNS records of your domain name with the new host DNS. [In my case Godaddy.com]
- Create a new database in target hosting and then add a new user to it. [In my case, Bluehost.com]
- Upload the zip of web hosting files in the new hosting public_html directory specific website folder. [In my case, Bluehost.com]
- Extract the files and delete the zip file.
- Change the wp-config.php file and update the information like database name, user name, password.
Now this is the core process and if you ask me whether really I was able to make it in 10 minutes, then I will say it took even less time as I have failed couple of times and now know how to do this smoothly. But believe me, I had spent hours to sort it out for the first time and searching for reasons of various errors I faced during the website migration process. Now it’s time to show you the step by step process exclusively for Bluehost.com migration.
Now in this section, I am going to repeat the steps mentioned above with proper screen shots and proper detailing wherever required so that you can simply follow them to migrate your website to the newly purchased Bluehost shared hosting plan. If you are migrating to any other host, then you may follow the same concept and work accordingly with your new host.
Take database back up & website file backup
First of all login to your current web hosting cpanel, for my case it is Hostgator India. We have to access file manager and Backup Wizard area. You can easily find them as per the screenshot below.
From the backup wizard, choose the MySQL database backup and then simply click on the database linked with your website to download. It will be downloaded in your PC as sql.gz extension. If you don’t know which database is linked with your wordpress site, then I will say just visit your WordPress installation area and check out the details.
Next, go to file manager and click on Public_html folder from the left side area. In that you have to point out the website folder and compress the same in .zip format. You can see in my case the file name is mypassiveincometips.com.zip. Then download the same in your PC and make sure you have deleted the zip file from your web hosting folder, otherwise it will simply eat your disk space.
Change DNS Records and add the domain as Addon domain in Bluehost.com
Changing DNS record is very easy thing to do and as a blogger I think you are aware about this. If you are not aware then here I am sharing it briefly. Just login to your domain name registrar, for my case it’s Godaddy.com. Then click on the domain name and then click on manage DNS records. Now change them with the new Bluehost DNS records which are mentioned below. You will find this details in your first email of Bluehost shared hosting purchase also.
You have to change the DNS records first, otherwise Bluehost will not be able to verify the domain name ownership while you are adding as addon domain on Bluehost cPanel. Don’t worry, your website will not go down immediately, as it takes time to complete the DNS propagation and by the time we will accomplish this migration.
It will also ask you to provide a directory name where the DNS will map with Public_html folder. It will by default suggest the website name as the folder name and I would recommend you to keep it as it is.
Create a New Database & Upload the Files to Bluehost File Manager
Now it’s time to create a database first and then add a user to the same. For keeping few things private, I have not shared the real-time screenshots in this step, I hope you understand the same. Rather I took the screen shots from official Bluehost blog tutorials about the WordPress migration manually. In fact this article has helped me to understand this process of migration properly which I have referred while migrating my site.
Login to the Bluehost cPanel and find out the database area to create a new MySQL Databases first by clicking on the same. Choose a unique name and keep it secret.
Next you have to create a MySQL User & Password. Make sure you choose something tricky so that no one can guess that user & password. But at least you should be able to remember. 🙂
Add the user to the database created just now and provide all the access as per the screenshot below. Make sure you have not created the default ADMIN user while installing wordpress for the first time. Anyway we are not installing WordPress on Bluehost as we are migrating everything from Hostgator server to Bluehost.
Next, go back to your Bluehost cPanel home page and then look for myPHPadmin area. Click on that and you will find a screen where all your databases created under this hosting plan will be listed out in the left side.
Click on the same and then choose the database created just now for the website transfer. In the right side, you will find out internal files of that database with many other options.
Click on the import option and now select the database you have already downloaded from your old web hosting provider to your desktop PC. After that your database migration is done, make sure you are not clicking anything inside the files or deleting anything. Just close the window.
Next, visit Bluehost file manager area and find out the wp-config.php file and open the same in EDIT mode.
Provide the new database name, database user name and password as per the screenshot below. You may find many tutorials describing they have changed the Table Prefix value too. But it is not required here as we are importing entire table as per the previous hosting name space only.
Do it carefully here and save the changes. A single mistake will make your entire website down and you may find errors like “unable to connect to database” etc.
This is the end of your Website migration process. One more step is left that is to check the permalink structure. Just go to your WordPress dashboard and then settings >> permalink and simply click on save button without doing any changes. And you are done!
Conclusion of this WordPress Site Migration Tutorial
I would recommend you to create a test WordPress site first and then try the WordPress migration process. It will take time to get comfortable with the process, but once you have done it successfully you will be able to transfer any website to any new host within minutes. One more thing, it is better to perform this task in off-time or in week ends when your website may not be having more traffic.
You may find some down time sometime if you have not done anything wrongly. Don’t panic, just repeat the steps. After migration I was facing some 404 page errors for few of my pages and I was not able to find out why that was happening. Then I have contacted Bluehost Live Chat option and they simply advised me to re-upload the files again. This worked great for me and I am really thankful to Bluehost chat support team to assist my queries whenever I was in need.
Now it’s your turn to try this and share how was your experience or any kind of issues you are facing. I am sure that you would like to do this migration activity on your own in case you have any plan to switch hosting provider & at the same time save money on website transfer.
Feel free to ask me any question and also do share this article with your blogging friends, who may also find this extensive guide useful. Thanks for reading & sharing the same in Facebook, Google+, twitter.