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Hosting Migration: How To Transfer Website From One Host To Another

You may want to transfer your website to a new web host for several reasons, including getting a better price, finding greater reliability, receiving better customer support, or accessing more features. Whatever your reason is for transferring, you must perform a web hosting migration and learn how to transfer the website from one host to another.

Before transferring your website to a new web host, it's important to know some essential things to avoid issues like lost data or downtime. That's why we've created a guide that describes the step-by-step process of transferring your website to Bluehost. Although the guide is for Bluehost, the process should be similar across most web hosting providers. By reading this guide, you can migrate your website without any hiccups.

It's common for website owners to wonder if transferring their website from one hosting provider to another is possible. The answer is yes, it's possible. Many website owners may change their minds about which hosting provider they want to use, making transferring a website a common one.



Can I Transfer a Website from One Host to Another?

Yes. It's possible to move your website to a different web host. It's quite common for website owners to change their hosting providers. However, before you begin the process, there are a few things that you need to consider. But don't worry. This article will cover everything you need to know about hosting migration.

You have a few options if you want to transfer your website from one hosting company to another. One way is to do it manually, which involves downloading your website backups and uploading them to the new server. You will also need to point your domain name to the new server. However, this approach requires some technical knowledge and can be time-consuming.

Another way is to request transfer assistance from the new web host. This is the most accessible and convenient approach, especially for beginners or busy site owners needing more technical knowledge or time to spare.

You can use a migration plugin to switch web hosts if you have a WordPress site. This is a quick and easy way to transfer your website, and we'll explain how to do it in this article.

How to Transfer a Website From One Host To Another

Before you start manually transferring your website to Bluehost, there are a few things you need to have in place. Let's discuss them now to ensure a successful hosting migration.

  • Domain: This is a memorable link or shortcut to the IP address, making accessing the website without remembering its numeric address easier. To learn more about domains, read this article: About Domain Names. To transfer your domain to us, follow the steps outlined in this article: How to Transfer A Domain To Us
  • Hosting Plan: This type of service a hosting company provides allows individuals or businesses to make their websites accessible online. Hosting plans typically include storage space for website files, bandwidth to handle website traffic, and various features such as email accounts, website builders, and security features. Different hosting plans are available, such as shared hosting, virtual private servers, and dedicated servers, each with advantages and disadvantages. The hosting plan choice will depend on the website's size, traffic, and budget.
  • Website Files and Database: These are essential components of any website. The files consist of all the code, images, and other assets that make up the website. At the same time, the database stores all the information required to run the website. These two components work together to ensure the website functions properly and delivers a seamless user experience.
  • FTP client (like FileZilla): This software application enables users to transfer files to and from a remote server. It allows users to easily upload, download, and manage files on the remote server. FTP clients usually require users to provide their username and password to access the remote server. 

Select and Sign up for a New Hosting Provider

When creating a website, choosing the right hosting provider is crucial. You want a reliable, secure provider that offers the features you need to make your website successful. In this regard, signing up for a new hosting provider like Bluehost can be a great choice. 

Bluehost is a popular hosting provider that offers various hosting plans to fit your needs. Whether you're just starting with a small personal blog or creating a large-scale business website, Bluehost has a plan to meet your requirements.

To learn about our web hosting plans and choose the right one, visit our blog on Types of Web Hosting and How to Choose.

Save and Export Website Backup Files

Creating a backup can vary depending on your web hosting provider. Still, typically, you can use the file manager tool in your hosting account to download a copy of your website files to your computer. For step-by-step instructions on creating a backup, visit your current hosting service provider's knowledge base for guidance or contact their support. Once the backup is done, download it to your computer. If you have multiple backups, always download the most recent one.

Alternatively, if you don't have access to the file manager or prefer not to use it, you can download the files using an FTP client such as FileZilla. You can connect to your hosting account using this tool. If you want to learn more about FTP, you can refer to this article on Intro to FTP.

To learn how to save and export website backup files using Bluehost, please refer to File Manager - How to Compress Files into an Archive (GZip)

Export Database

Not all websites require a database.

  • If your website is a static page, you can skip the next steps. However, it's best to check with your host for clarification.
  • If your website has a database, you will need to export a copy of it to transfer your website to Bluehost. This particularly applies to websites that use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal. Fortunately, most hosting accounts have a cPanel that allows all accounts to export their database.

The most widely used type of database is MySQL. To export your MySQL databases, you can utilize phpMyAdmin, which is generally found in your hosting account's dashboard. Nonetheless, if you don't have a cPanel or a different type of database, you should request instructions from your host.

Are you looking to export your database with us? You can easily do that by following this article: How to Import or Export a MySQL Database using phpMyAdmin.

Create a New Database

After exporting your database, you should create a new database on your Bluehost hosting account. You can visit this article for instructions on creating MySQL Databases and Users.

Import the Database into the New Database

After creating a new database, you can import a copy of your old database by following the instructions in these articles:

Upload Website’s Files

You can use the file manager tool to upload your website's files or connect to your hosting account via FTP. If you're wondering how to find your FTP Setting, we've got some instructions for you in this article: FTP - General FTP Settings. And if you're considering moving your website with FTP and FileZilla, we've got you covered with step-by-step instructions.

To upload your files using FTP through FileZilla, please follow the steps below:

  1. Open FileZilla and click on Quickconnect.
  2. In the Remote Site section, navigate to the root directory of your website.
  3. In the Local Site section, go to the folder on your computer where you have saved your website files.
  4. Select the files and directories of your website in the Local Site section.
  5. Finally, initiate the upload process by dragging the selected files and directories from the Local Site section to the Remote Site section.

Modify Website’s Files

If you have recently made any changes to the database name, username, or password, you should reconfigure some settings. This is necessary to ensure your website files are properly updated to point to the new database. The process may vary depending on your content management system (CMS). We highly recommend contacting Bluehost support for assistance with this step.

  1. Open the .sql file in a text editor like Notepad or TextEdit.
  2. Replace all instances of the old domain name or IP address with the new domain name.
  3. Save the file and then close it.
  4. Now, open your website's configuration file in a text editor. In the case of WordPress, the file is wp-config.php, while for Drupal, the file is settings.php.
  5. Save and then close the file once you're done.

Make sure to assign a database user when creating a new database. Refer to this article for instructions on defining user privileges.

Test Website

Great job! You have completed the initial steps of uploading your website's files and importing your database. It's time for the final step—testing your new site to ensure everything works perfectly. Remember to check your website's front-end and back-end and detect any issues as early as possible to prevent downtime. Also, take some time to explore your new control panel. Once you've confirmed that everything is working as expected.

Update Website’s DNS (Domain Name System) Settings

Once you have moved your website to Bluehost, the final step is to update your website's DNS settings. This process tells the internet where to find your website's new hosting account. To do this, you will need the nameservers of Bluehost.

DNS, short for Domain Name System, translates domain names to IP addresses, allowing browsers to load your website. Each website has a DNS record that maps a URL to an IP address.

If you purchased your domain name through Bluehost, you can easily update your DNS settings by following the steps in this article, How to Change Your Name Servers. If you need assistance locating Bluehost hosting domain's nameservers, refer to this Our Name Servers (NS) helpful guide.

For more help managing DNS settings within Bluehost, visit this article: DNS Management: How to Add, Edit, or Delete DNS Entries.

After updating your DNS settings, the changes can take up to 48 hours to propagate across the internet. Once the changes have propagated, your website should be accessible from its new hosting account.

Follow these simple steps to ensure a smooth web hosting migration. Once everything runs smoothly, cancel your old hosting account to avoid being charged.

Other Ways on How To Transfer a Website From One Host To Another

One of the most common ways to migrate your website is to export website files and the database from the original host and import them into the new host. Although this approach is effective, it may take considerable time to complete.

Fortunately, there are other ways to migrate a website that can streamline the process. One of these options is to use plugins that can make the migration process smoother and faster. Some website hosts offer plugins that can automate the entire migration process. In contrast, others may require the use of third-party plugins.

Another way to migrate a website is using the Bluehost free migration services. These services can save time and effort and are usually offered as part of a hosting plan. However, it's important to note that not all websites are eligible for free migration services, and those that do may have specific requirements and limitations.

Transfer Website Using a Plugin (WordPress)

Migrating an existing WordPress website to a new provider can confuse and challenge many WordPress users. WordPress currently powers almost 35% of the internet. As more people are looking to migrate their websites to the platform for its open-source marketplace for design and functionality, finding secure and trusted services to meet their needs is becoming increasingly important. Although several free plugins and paid services are available to help customers with the migration process, it can be difficult for customers to determine which ones are reliable. This can allow customers to remain with a website provider they aren't satisfied with or attempt to migrate their website independently.

If you want to learn more about how to move your website using WordPress Migration Plugin, read our blog here: Best WordPress Migration Plugin: Moving Your Website Just Got Easier.

Bluehost Free WordPress Migration

Bluehost offers free WordPress migration services to its customers. With this service, you can easily transfer your WordPress website from another hosting provider to Bluehost without hassle. The team handles the migration process and will handle everything from backing up your data to transferring it to your new account. This service is free for all eligible Bluehost customers, and it's a great way to save time and effort when moving your website to us.

To learn more about the free WordPress migration, kindly refer to the article Free WordPress Migration.

Summary

Knowing how to transfer website from one host to another is essential for enhancing performance, reliability, and security. Begin by backing up your website files and database to avoid data loss. Choose a new hosting provider and decide on the transfer method: manually, using a migration plugin, or with the new host's assistance. Manual transfers require technical know-how and time, while migration plugins offer a simpler, faster option. After transferring, update your DNS settings to direct traffic to the new server. Following these steps ensures a smooth transition to a more reliable and secure hosting environment.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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