There may come a time when you need to move your WordPress site to a new web host. If you’ve selected Bluehost to host your WordPress site, here are the step-by-step instructions to migrate your site to your hosting account on their servers.
Bluehost is the only hosting service officially recommended by WordPress and has been the number-one recommended hosting service for their platform for almost 10 years. Their service includes:
- Unlimited websites, email accounts, and domains
- 1-Click WordPress install by MOJO Marketplace
- Automated Backups
- Premium customer service
- Expert, in-house 24/7 technical support
- Easy-to-use control panel
- Custom-built servers for stable, reliable hosting
Bonus just for WP101 readers!
Get shared hosting for only $3.95/month for 36 months, plus a free domain name for a year!
These instructions were kindly provided to us by our friends at Bluehost, so if you run into difficulty with any of these steps, visit Bluehost support, where they’ve got in-house experts standing by 24/7 to help you!
Step One: Transfer your Files
While Bluehost does offer a Website Transfer Service you can certainly transfer your website yourself. Here are the instructions for migrating your WordPress site to Bluehost. (Note: If you run into any issues, feel free to contact Bluehost Technical Support toll free. 888.401.4678)
- Connect to your current hosting account using an FTP client (like Transmit, FileZilla, or Cyberduck).
- Locate the directory on the web server that contains your WordPress site files. This could be your
public_htmlfolder or a subfolder inside of the
public_htmlfolder. (Note: If you are unsure how to access your site files, please contact your current hosting provider. Typically, you will need to download all of the files and folders beginning with “
- Using your FTP client, download these files to your computer.
- Now you need to upload those files to your new hosting account using your FTP client.
- Navigate to the
public_htmlfolder or the subfolder where you want WordPress installed on the new web server.
- Upload the files from your computer to this new location.
- In order to upload your files through an FTP client you will need to know your host name, FTP username, and FTP password. (These credentials can be found in your Bluehost Welcome Email.)
Step Two: Export the WordPress Database from the Current Web Server
- In your current web hosting control panel, open your file manager and locate the
wp-config.phpfile. Open the
wp-config.phpfile. Located in this file is the name of the database that you need to export. (Located roughly on line 25 of the
- Most cPanel-based hosting accounts should provide a copy of phpMyAdmin to access your database. You can use this to export the database as a .sql file. (Note: You should not have to change any setting in the export database page.)
(Note: If you don’t have access to PHPMyAdmin, you can use a plugin to export a backup of your database.)
Step Three: Create a New Database on the New Web Server
Now, you’ll need to create a new database on your Bluehost web server for the WordPress install.
- In your Bluehost cPanel: Navigate to the Database category and click MySQL Databases.
- Create a new database by typing in a name for it. This will be something like:
username_wp1, with ‘wp1’ being the name given to the database.
- Next, create a user for the database. You will choose a password for this user, which is important to remember for a later step in configuring WordPress. (Note: This and the following step are done on the same page.)
- Important: Once you have created the user, you will need to assign it to the database. When you do this, give the user “All Privileges.”
Step Four: Import the Database
Now that you’ve created the new database, you’ll need to import the
.sql file that you downloaded from your previous host into the new database you created in the steps above.
- In your Bluehost cPanel: Navigate to the database category and click PHPMyAdmin
- Choose your newly created database, from the left hand side of the page.
- Along the top of the screen, click the Import tab:
- Click the Browse button, and locate the
.sqlfile on your computer.
- Once you select the file, click Go to start the import.
Step Five: Update your WordPress Configuration File
Now you need to ensure your WordPress installation is connected to the correct database. To do this:
- Open your File Manager and edit the
- You will need to type in the new database information: database name, database user, and the password
- Once you have updated those, click Save Changes
Step Six: Fixing your Permalinks
- Log into your WordPress Dashboard, using your original username and password for your WordPress Admin Login.
- Under Settings, click Permalinks:
- You don’t have to make any actual changes, just click the Save Changes button.
Step Seven: Changing the URL
Once you are done with the migration, you will need to visit the registrar for your domain name (GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc.) and change your name servers to point the DNS to Bluehost instead of your previous host. The Bluehost name servers are:
It can take some time for your changes to the DNS records to propagate across the Internet, but when that’s done, you should be able to visit your site on its new home on Bluehost’s servers!
If you run into any difficulty along the way, Bluehost has in-house experts who are standing by 24/7 to help you!