Some of you may feel as married to your hosting as you are to your Camera brand, as the transfer process can seem daunting and time-consuming. However, switching your hosting (from Go Daddy or any other hosting service) to Bluehost can be as quick as a couple of hours, depending on the size of your database and the number of files; and you can do so with little to no downtime for your site.

The following methods is based on my experience with transferring 3 different sites from Go Daddy to Bluehost. There are a variety of ways to achieve the same result; and there may be unique situations that I have not encountered. However, the following steps should work, or at least give you a good reference, for transferring your site. So let’s get right into how we can transfer, switch, migrate (or whatever else you want to call it) your hosting to Bluehost.

If you’re using a WordPress site, you can either follow the steps (1 through 8) in the second portion of this tutorial (and migrate your entire site, it’s databases and all of it’s content); or you can go another route that I’ll call the “Alternate Route”.

The Alternate Route – Transfer Content Only

This method does not involve transferring your existing databases; but instead, it only transfers all of your content. Imagine moving into a new home (as opposed to moving your entire house). The negative aspect of this method is that you have to reinstall all of your plug-ins, set all of your permalink preferences again, and make a plethora of adjustments to get your site to exactly match it’s previous state. The time and effort this method takes depends greatly on how much you strayed from the default WordPress settings, how many plug ins you’re utilizing, and how close you want your site to match the previous version.

The trade off is that this method is a bit more straight forward than the one outlined below; and may be easier if you’re not used to working with MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, and FTP Programs.

Here are the steps if you want to use this method.

a) Get a Bluehost hosting account ( Click Here)
b) Assign the domain to your Bluehost account (see step 7 below for instructions)
c) Installing WordPress (see this SLR Lounge Article for instructions)
d) Export Content from Old Blog and Import Content to New blog. (See This Tutorial).

However, if you want to transfer the entire contents of your site, whether it be running WordPress, another CMS, or any other content you can also follow the rest of the steps in this tutorial. Imagine moving your entire home with the entire structure in tact (as opposed to moving into a new house).

How to Transfer your Entire Website to Bluehost

1. Backup your current database

a) For Go Daddy, make your way to your “Hosting Control Center”
b) Click “Manage Account” > Click “Databases” > Click “Mysql” (as shown below)

c) Click “Manage via MyphpAdmin” and Log in
d) Click on your database (on the left side)
e) Click the “Export” tab. You should see the following:

f) Check the first 4 boxes in Structure and the save as file box
g) Enter a name you’ll be able to identify into save name template,” and click Go.

2. Backup your current files

a) Use an FTP Program to connect to your site (If you don’t have a free FTP program, see step 6 in this tutorial).
b) Create a folder on your desktop and transfer all of the files from your site into that folder you created.

3. Create a database in Blue Host

a) First off, create a Bluehost account create (by clicking here) or Sign into your existingBluehost Account.
b) Click “Mysql databases”
c) Enter the name of your database in the create new database  field
d)Add new user  if you would like (or if you don’t have any users) making sure the user has full privileges
e) Under the Add User to Database  section, match up the User with the database you just created.

4. Change Your Configuration Files

In the example of a WordPress site, you’ll go into your wp-config file and change the database name, username, password, and host. Your username and password will be the one set up in the previous step. If you’re not using WordPress, find the file that contains all of your database information.

5. Upload Your Files

Using your FTP program, create a folder for your site in the root directory and upload your files from the folder you created in step 2.

6. Import Your Database

a) From your Bluehost C Panel, go to Myphpadmin

b) Click on the database you created in step 3
c) Click import and browse for the file you exported in step 1.

7. Assign the domain to your account.

1) Follow the instructions in this tutorial Your directory will be the FTP folder you created in step 5.

Note: For Godaddy, the Authorization (EPP) Code is in the domain manager. (See below)

8. Check your site.

If everything went well, your site should be transferred. If you see an “error connecting to the database”, your wp-config file has some incorrect information. Double check the fields and re upload using the FTP.