In this article, I will share with you exactly what I experienced when migrating my WordPress website from Bluehost to SiteGround. If you're planning on moving host providers yourself, here's how to do it.
Way back in 2015, I made the decision to change web host providers for Magnet4Blogging.
Before that, I had been with my previous hosting provider, Bluehost, for five years.
Reason for changing?
Well, sadly, I simply had enough of Bluehost's depreciated level of service as a web host provider.
Now, I don't want to use this post to completely slate Bluehost (Affiliate link). They have been a great host until the last few years. And for the record, I still recommend them as a starting point for a small blog project.
For me, though, I was experiencing way too many frequent downtimes for my sites. Some of these downtimes were so long that it was beginning to hurt my bottom line.
At one point, my website was down for 3 whole days with Bluehost. Can you believe that? That would be unheard of today for most hosting providers. And today happens to be 2020. At least at the time of updating this post.
So anyway, shortly after migrating Magnet4Blogging from Bluehost to SiteGround (Affiliate Link), I made the decision to migrate another website that was hosted on Bluehost.
I thought it would be useful for you to share the exact steps that I took to make this move a successful one. After all, you're not going to be migrating your website from one host to another all of the time, right?
Migrating Magnet4Blogging was a pretty smooth process; however, migrating my second website didn't go quite as smoothly. I'll explain later on in the post why. But it all worked out great in the end.
In May of 2015, after almost 5 years of being a loyal paying customer of Bluehost, I decided to leave for good.
I wasn't actually searching for a new host at the time, either. SiteGround actually got my attention by leaving a sympathetic response to a tweet I made complaining about Bluehost's service, or lack of it.
OK, so let's start the migration process.
Important note: Most of the screenshots below are new since SiteGround's UI has recently changed. When I originally migrated in 2015, none of the pages looked the way it does today.
From the home page, click on the Websites tab. If you are already familiar with SiteGround (Affiliate Link), you should see the list of websites that you have here. If this is your first time using SiteGround, this page is where all your sites will be accessible.
Simply click on the New Website tab on the right-hand side of the page. See the images below.
Next, you will see three options for adding a new website. You will need to click on the Existing Domain option since your domain won't be hosted with SiteGround.
OK, so next, you'll need to select the Migrate Website option and WordPress as shown below.
When it comes to migration, you have a couple of options. The first option is free, and you can migrate using the WordPress Migrator Plugin.
The second option comes at a premium as the SiteGround technical team will do all of the leg-work for you, as shown below.
If you decide to request for manual transfer of your site by the SiteGround team, you'll have to fill in a short form with information that will provide SiteGround access to your website for transfer, such as -
The option I went for was the manual transfer.
Once you have filled the form and submitted it, you simply have to play the waiting game.
For my own migration, I didn't have to wait too long after.
A few hours later, I got an email from SiteGround's tech support staff to say the process was complete. Wow, I thought, happy days, right?
From a new customer signing up to a new web host provider, I was thrilled and satisfied with how SiteGround conducted themselves. They were professional, and they clearly valued my time.
They understood what I wanted to achieve, and nothing was too much trouble, so I was happy.
Of course, the first part was done. Now I needed to transfer my domain name from Bluehost to SiteGround. I didn't have to do this, but I wanted to close my VPS account with Bluehost.
To migrate the domain name for the website SiteGround just transferred (JusticeForDadsUK.com), I had to unlock the domain from my Bluehost account. See the image below to see how I did this.
Important note: Some of the screenshots below are out of date. However, the process of migrating a domain name from Bluehost remains the same.
After doing this, I then went back into my SiteGround hosting account and clicked on the Add Services tab, then scrolled down the page to Order Extras, then clicked on the Domain Transfer button.
I filled in the domain transfer form, which was self-explanatory, but I'll walk you through the process nevertheless. Here is a screenshot of the form below.
Product Information - Here, you simply enter the domain name you want to transfer and select any additional options.
Domain Transfer Information Required - In this field, you need to enter the EPP authorization code and administrative email address. In Bluehost, you can find your EPP code under domains, then select the domain you're transferring.
In the domain information box, you'll see a tab called transfer EPP; that's where you will find your EPP code. Here's a screenshot of what mine looked like.
Domain Owner Info - This is where you place domain owner information such as name and address, email, phone, and country. You must keep this information up to date at all times.
OK, so for me, once I was done filling all the fields on this page, I simply confirmed the terms and hit 'Submit Order' with my payment details.
If you're doing this for the very first time by yourself, the process isn't over yet. You will be sent an email from SiteGround to authorize the domain transfer.
When you receive this email, open it and click on the "approve transfer link" within this email.
A page will load in your web browser, and you will need to enter your EPP code again and simply agree to the terms of the transfer.
Once submitted, you'll see this follow-up page:
I'd highly recommend saving the page or printing it for later reference should you need it.
Additionally, you will need to go back into your Bluehost domain info page (Affiliate link) to confirm the transfer there too.
The process is complete, the transfer usually takes 7 days, but I've found this to happen much sooner.
If you log into your SiteGround account and go to My Account, under Domains you should see that the domain transfer is pending. See the image below.
One last thing I want to mention quickly is that you will probably need to change your domain DNS, as it will still be pointing to the Bluehost server your site was hosted on still. Or where ever you were hosted before.
If you didn't move your site (as shown at the start of this post) and only moved the domain name, leave this part well alone.
OK, so that's my little experience with migrating my WordPress website from Bluehost to SiteGround.
I now have both my blog and my niche website proudly hosted with SiteGround.
I hope you found this post useful in some small way—the best of luck with your website migration.
Do I recommend using SiteGround?
Well, at the time of updating this post, I've been with them for five years. So the answer is a resounding yes.