How to move WordPress website to Bluehost

Have you ever thought of migrating your website to a different web host? It could be because you had lost too many customers due to your current web host’s downtime. Or perhaps you want to move your website from the free WordPress.com site to a self-hosted website for better flexibility, speed and control.

Whatever reason it is, one thing is for sure. You probably find the move intimidating, especially if you have never done it before. You may have read some tutorials and watched some videos but chances are they left you with more questions. Thus, making you feel worried that you might just mess up the whole thing big time!

Bluehost web hosting

Well, I was there before and in this article, I’ll try to reassure you that moving your website to another host is actually easier than you think. In this case, I’ll be showing you the steps to migrate your WordPress website to Bluehost.

Important Reminders

Do a backup of your WordPress website before you start. Do not cancel your current web hosting account until you have make sure that your website on the new web host is running in good condition. This is another way to ensure that your website do not suffer any downtime as a result from this transfer.

Steps to move your WordPress website to Bluehost

There are a couple of methods to transfer a website. The one that we will be discussing today is to transfer your entire website to your Bluehost account, or any hosting account on a shared web hosting server.

  • Step 1: Export Database from Current Host

    phpMyAdmin export database

    First, log into your current web host’s control panel. Update your WordPress to the latest version if you haven’t already done that. Locate the phpMyAdmin program and export your WordPress database. You will then download the .sql file to your system. Alternatively, you can use a database export plugin to help you.

  • Step 2: Download WP-Content Folder

    WP-Contents folder

    Next, download and save your wp-content folder. This folder mostly stores your WordPress themes, plugins as well as uploaded files and medias. You can use any FTP software for this job, such as the free Filezilla.

  • Step 3: Installing WordPress

    WordPress website builder

    Now log in to your Bluehost account. If you haven’t signed up with them yet, then it is a good time to create one now. It’s only $6.95 $3.95 per month with no contracts.

    The wonderful thing about Bluehost is that you can install WordPress with a single click via SimpleScripts, a free scripts installer application which you get for free. You will find this tool under Software / Services in your hosting’s cPanel control panel. Proceed to install the latest version of WordPress.

  • Step 4: Uploading WP-Content Folder

    Uploading files

    You can also use any FTP program you prefer. For myself, I use my favorite FileZilla free FTP client.

    Connect to your hosting server, and navigate to the “www” folder. Upload the folder wp-content and all its content which you have downloaded from your previous server earlier.

  • Step 5: Importing Your Database File

    Import database

    This may be slightly tricky but don’t worry, it’s not too complicated. Still in your cPanel, go to Databases > phpMyAdmin. On the left column, you will see a list of database names. Select the one that you want to import to, or create a new one.

    In order to find out the correct database name, in your cPanel, go to Files > File Manager. Select the public_html folder. Find wp-config.php and right-click on it. Then click on “Code Edit” and then click on “Edit”. Here, you are able to identify the relevant database. If you are unsure, you can always request the assistance of Bluehost’s support team.

    Select this database from phpMyAdmin. A list of tables will appear. Click “Check All” and then “Drop”.

    After this, click on “Import” at the top of phpMyAdmin. Click on the “Browse” button to locate the SQL database you have exported in Step 1. Select “SQL” format and click “GO”.

  • Step 6: Use Search Engine Friendly Permalinks

    Permalink

    Login to your WordPress Dashboard. Go to Settings > Permalinks. Select the permalink setting which you are using on your previous web host. Click “Save Changes”. This should update all your pages as well as the post URLs with search engine friendly URLs.

  • Step 7: Assigning Your Domain

    Changing nameservers

    You are almost done now. But this step is very crucial to make sure your domain name works. Now, you will need to point your domain name from the previous web host, to the new web host.

    Login to your domain control panel. Locate your domain name and update its nameservers to your new web host’s nameservers. You should get these nameservers information from your web hosting company.

  • Step 8: Testing

    Enter your URL into your browser and see if your website is up. If it is, then you have successfully transferred your website over to Bluehost. If you see any error messages, this means that you may have made a mistake somewhere.

    Anyway, do remmeber that the nameservers change in step 7, may take up to 48 hours to come into effect, although sometimes they can be reflected in as little as a few minutes. If you are absolutely sure, your domain name nameservers are updated properly and have given enough time to propagate, then double check the above steps and reload your database and wp-contents if required.

The whole website moving process can take from anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. The part where it’s most time consuming is when you have to wait for the files to be downloaded and then uploaded at the new host. The more files you have, the longer it will take. Of course, it will help tremendously if you have a faster Internet connection.


There you are, the basic steps that you will need to do when you are moving a WordPress website from a web host to another web host. Hope this article clears some of your doubts in making a transfer to a new host, such as Bluehost. Drop me a note below if you need further clarification.