If you want to transfer your hosting and domain from GoDaddy to Bluehost, there is an easy solution to it. I’ve recently switched hosting providers and I was surprised how easy it was. Here I’ll show you how to move a WordPress site from GoDaddy to Bluehost in 11 super detailed steps.
While scouring the web for information about how to migrate a blog or website from GoDaddy to Bluehost, it turned out that most advice was either outdated or incomplete or both.
This is in part due to the fact that both Bluehost and GoDaddy constantly make changes and things get shifted around so their respective websites look different in 2023 than they used to a couple of years ago.
My aim here is to show you how to transfer hosting from Godaddy to Bluehost the headache-free way. I’ll also show you how to move your domain from Godaddy to Bluehost, although this is totally optional.
UPDATE: Bluehost has given me a special discount for my readers! You can now get hosted with them for as little as $2.95/month (including a FREE domain name for the first year!). This adds up to $35.4/year, which honestly, is an unbeatable deal. Claim your discounted Bluehost hosting now.
I know how important it is for you to get this done as fast as possible and without headaches. That’s why I put together this visual guide so you can easily follow the steps.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to change hosting providers manually (without the help of a plugin). I am not tech-savvy at all, yet it took me less than an hour to move my blog from GoDaddy to Bluehost and I didn’t even have this guide to walk me through!
Note: Whether you’re about to change a self-hosted WordPress website or blog from Godaddy to Bluehost, the steps are exactly the same.
How to move a WordPress website from GoDaddy to Bluehost:
- Get hosted with Bluehost
- Download your WordPress files
- Export your GoDaddy database
- Change domain nameservers on GoDaddy
- Assign your domain to Bluehost
- Transfer WordPress files to Bluehost
- Create a new database in Bluehost
- Move database to Bluehost
- Edit Wp-Config.php file
- Save permalinks
- Transfer GoDaddy domain to Bluehost (optional)
In layman’s terms, you need to purchase a hosting plan with Bluehost first. Then you can download your whole blog (including theme, plugins, posts, comments, photos, etc.) from GoDaddy to your computer, connect your domain to your new hosting account, and upload your blog from your computer to Bluehost. Promise it’s super easy!
This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to change hosting from GoDaddy to Bluehost. But the process would be the same if you were to move your WordPress blog between other hosting companies that use a cPanel — say you want to migrate your website’s contents from HostGator to Bluehost, to transfer your blog from GoDaddy to HostGator, or to switch hosting from SiteGround to Bluehost.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll assume you had purchased both your old hosting and domain with GoDaddy.
Step 1: Get hosted with Bluehost
First of all, you need to sign up for a web hosting account with Bluehost. To do so, CLICK HERE — you’ll get up to a 70% discount on the monthly hosting price + a free domain name for the first year + a free SSL certificate + free CDN. This is a special price I personally negotiated with Bluehost, so you can host your blog with them for as little as $2.95/month.
Once you click on the Host Your Site button, you’ll be asked to select a hosting plan (if you only have one blog, the Basic plan is probably all you need).
On the next page, type your existing domain name (the one you’ve been using with GoDaddy) in the Use a domain you own field.
Then type in your details, choose the length of your plan (I recommend the 36-month one because in the long run, you end up saving quite a bit of money – I did the math and it’s over $120 for the first 3 years), opt for Domain Privacy (optional), and pay. Lastly, you’ll be asked to create an account password. That’s it!
If you need step-by-step guidance, read my post about how to start a WordPress blog where I explain in detail how to sign up for a hosting account with Bluehost.
Why use Bluehost as your web hosting provider?
- Cost-effective — only $2.95/month (when using my referral link)
- You get a free domain name with any hosting plan
- User-friendly interface
- WordPress comes preinstalled
- Fast page loading speed
- Good security options
- 24/7 exceptional customer support
- Comes highly recommending and it’s widely used by bloggers
- Still on the fence? Read my Bluehost review to learn more about why I recommend them
Step 2: Download your WordPress files
- Log into your GoDaddy account.
- Expand the Web Hosting tab and click Manage.
- You’ll be taken to your cPanel. Under the Files section, locate the File manager icon and click on it.
- A new page will open. In the left-hand side panel, look for the public_html folder. When you click on it, its contents will open in the panel to the right. These are all your WordPress files.
- Select all the files and click Compress.
- Choose Zip Archive and hit Compress files.
- Take note of the Archive location. By default, the target location should be the very same public_html folder.
- Once the compression is complete, look for the newly created zip file and click Download from the top menu to download your WordPress files to your computer.
Step 3: Export your GoDaddy database
- Go back to your cPanel and scroll down to the Databases section. Click phpMyAdmin.
- On the left-hand side, you will see your databases. Click on your blog’s database. The database will expand to the right, and you will see various tables appearing, like comments, posts, etc.
- Go to the top menu and click Export.
- Choose Export method >> Quick and Format >> SQL. Hit Go. The database will be saved to your computer.
Step 4: Change domain nameservers
- Go back to your GoDaddy account (you can do so by clicking My Products at the top of the page) and this time expand the Domains tab.
- Choose Manage DNS.
- A new page will open. Scroll down until you see written Nameservers.
- Click the Change button.
- Replace the GoDaddy nameservers with the Bluehost nameservers that you received by email when you signed up for the Bluehost hosting. The Bluehost nameservers usually look like this NS1.BLUEHOST.COM and NS2.BLUEHOST.COM
- Save the changes. Now your domain will point to Bluehost. If you want to transfer your domain to Bluehost as well, so you would have everything under one account, you can do that later, after completing step 10 and your website is up and running on Bluehost.
Step 5: Assign your domain to your Bluehost cPanel
- Log into your Bluehost account
- Scroll down to the Domains section and click Domain manager
- Choose Assign from the top menu
- Pick the second option Use a domain that is not already associated with your account and type in your domain name like MyDomainName.com
- Scroll down to step 3: choose addon vs. parked and make sure Addon domain is selected.
- Next, in step 4: choose addon directory and sub-domain, select Create a new directory like this: public_html/MyDomainName. As a subdomain use MyDomainName (replace with your own domain name)
- Click Assign this domain.
Step 6: Transfer WordPress files to Bluehost
- In your Bluehost account, go to Hosting in the top menu.
- Scroll down to the Files section and click File manager. A popup will open asking you to select the directory you wish to open. Tick Document Root for and select your domain name from the drop-down list. Hit Submit.
- Click Upload in the top menu to upload the zip file you downloaded from GoDaddy in Step 2. This is where it gets a bit tricky. If your zip file is more than 150Mb, you will have to upload it via FTP. In this case, go back to the hosting menu and select FTP from the top menu. You will have to create a new FTP account and download FileZilla to your computer (it’s a free software).
- Once the upload is complete, select the zip file and hit Extract.
Step 7: Create a new database in Bluehost
- Back to your Bluehost dashboard, look for the Database section and click MySQL Databases.
- Create a new database, ie. database1. Click Create database and write down the name of the database (including the prefix) because you will need it in step 8. Your database name will look like this prefix_database1
- Next, scroll down to add a new user, ie. user1. Add a password and write down your username, prefix included – prefix_user1 and password. Hit Create a user.
- Add the newly created user to the database you’ve just created and hit Add.
Step 8: Move database to Bluehost
- Go back to the Database section, but this time select phpMyAdmin.
- In the left-hand side panel, look for the database you created in step 7 and click on it (if you can’t see it, click on the + sign to expand the folders). The right-hand side panel will be empty.
- Import the database you downloaded from GoDaddy in step 3.
Step 9: Edit Wp-Config.php file
- Go to Hosting in the top menu.
- Just like before, scroll down to the Files section and click File manager. A popup will open asking you to select the directory you wish to open. Tick Document Root for and select your domain name from the drop-down list. Hit Submit.
- Select wp-config.php and open it with Code editor.
- Now find the DB_NAME, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD and change the parts highlighted with the database name, username, and passport created in step 7.
- Save it.
Step 10: Save permalinks
- Log into your WordPress dashboard as usual.
- Go to Settings >> Permalinks
- Simply click Save.
And that’s it! Your blog should now be up and running on Bluehost.
Step 11: Transfer Godaddy domain to Bluehost (optional)
At this point, your domain is still registered with GoDaddy. You can leave it there or transfer it to Bluehost as well. It’s entirely up to you.
To transfer your domain name from GoDaddy to Bluehost, you have to complete the following steps.
- Log into your GoDaddy account.
- Go to Domains >> Manage
- Scroll down to where it says Domain lock and make sure it’s set to off
- If you’ve purchased Private registration with GoDaddy in the past, turn that off as well. You might have to wait for a few hours now for this to take effect.
- Scroll down and click where it says Get authorization code. This will be emailed to you to the email address you have on file with GoDaddy (it might take a few good minutes).
Once you have the authorization code, login to your Bluehost account.
- Go to Domains and scroll down to your list of domains and check the little box next to your domain
- Click the Transfer options tab
- And click again on the Transfer this domain to your account link
- Paste the authorization code you got from GoDaddy
- Choose if you want domain privacy or not and if you want your domain to auto-renew and complete the purchase. You will be charged the domain registration for 1 extra year. This year starts the moment the domain registration you’ve already paid GoDaddy for comes to an end (have a look at the dates). So you don’t lose anything.
This is it. The domain transfer might take up to a few days to complete but it’s all stuff that should take place behind the scene.
At this stage, you should have successfully migrated your blog from GoDaddy to Bluehost.
Also, if you have a custom email address and you’ve been using GoDaddy’s webmail, you will need to transfer it as well.
I don’t see the point of paying GoDaddy for the email service when you have several/unlimited email accounts already included in your Bluehost hosting plan.
To do this, simply look for the Email tab in your Bluehost account and create the same custom email addresses you used to have with GoDaddy. Then connect your custom email addresses to Gmail, Outlook, or whatever service you are using to send and receive emails.
Congrats on moving your WordPress hosting (and domain) from GoDaddy to Bluehost! Woohoo! Way to go!
THINGS TO READ NEXT
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- How to Choose the Perfect WordPress Theme for Your Blog or Business
- 5 Blog Design Hacks To Grow Your Personal Brand like WHOA!
About the author:
Hey there, dream chaser! I’m a writer and designer on a mission to inspire and empower you to create a highly profitable minimalist online business and show up for your dreams in a sustainable way.