How to Migrate a WordPress Site to Bluehost

Migrating WordPress to Bluehost

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.

Why Bluehost?

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!

Check out Bluehost →

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)

  1. Connect to your current hosting account using an FTP client (like Transmit, FileZilla, or Cyberduck).
  2. Locate the directory on the web server that contains your WordPress site files. This could be your public_html folder or a subfolder inside of the public_html folder. (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 “wp-”.)
  3. Using your FTP client, download these files to your computer.
  4. Now you need to upload those files to your new hosting account using your FTP client.
  5. Navigate to the public_html folder or the subfolder where you want WordPress installed on the new web server.
  6. Upload the files from your computer to this new location.
  7. 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

  1. In your current web hosting control panel, open your file manager and locate the wp-config.php file. Open the wp-config.php file. Located in this file is the name of the database that you need to export. (Located roughly on line 25 of the wp-config.php file.

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  2. 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.)

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(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.

  1. In your Bluehost cPanel: Navigate to the Database category and click MySQL Databases.
  2. 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.

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  3. 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.)

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  4. 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.

  1. In your Bluehost cPanel: Navigate to the database category and click PHPMyAdmin
  2. Choose your newly created database, from the left hand side of the page.

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  3. Along the top of the screen, click the Import tab:

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  4. Click the Browse button, and locate the .sql file on your computer.
  5. 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:

  1. Open your File Manager and edit the wp-config.php file:

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  2. You will need to type in the new database information: database name, database user, and the password

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  3. Once you have updated those, click Save Changes

Step Six: Fixing your Permalinks

  1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard, using your original username and password for your WordPress Admin Login.
  2. Under Settings, click Permalinks:

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  3. 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: ns1.BlueHost.com and: ns2.BlueHost.com

That’s it!

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!

Problems? Questions?

If you run into any difficulty along the way, Bluehost has in-house experts who are standing by 24/7 to help you!

Visit Bluehost Support

Comments

  1. Michael says

    Shawn,
    Thanks for the Blog post, however, I use an even better and easier process. I use iThemes’s BackUpBuddy Plugin. It is by far THE best WordPress backup and site migration plugin available.
    Cheers,
    Michael.

    • says

      Thanks for dropping by, Michael.

      I agree that BackupBuddy is a drop-dead simple way to backup and migrate sites, which is why I promote it in the WordPress 101 tutorial series. :)

      It is, however, a commercial plugin, which is not right for everyone. This tutorial (which was created for us by the good folks at Bluehost) covers the steps to migrate a site manually, which is a better solution for many folks, and does not require the purchase of a 3rd-party plugin.

      Still, for anyone who might be looking for an easier way to migrate a WordPress site, you owe it to yourself to check out BackupBuddy.

  2. Brad Dalton says

    Why would you want to migrate to Bluehost?

    You’d normally start with them because they make it the easiest to install WordPress.

    But then you’d migrate away from them to someone like WPengine once your site slows down.

    From the best shared host to the best managed host not the other way around.

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