Migrating a WordPress website from Bluehost to iPage (Part 1)
Migrating a WordPress website from Bluehost to iPage
I’ve just successfully migrated this website (www.bbqinsanity.com) from Bluehost to iPage. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it should be, so I’ve written this article to help others trying to do the same thing.
Why did I do it?
Primarily the reason was down to cost. iPage were offering a very tempting $2.25 per month for a three year sign up. When I first set up this website three years ago, the rate I got with Bluehost was $3.95 which seemed quite reasonable. However, with the three years coming to an end, Bluehost offered me a new rate of $9.99! When I complained that this was too much they offered me a lower rate of $5.95 but still this was quite high.
Apart from cost, I also wanted to get the experience of migrating a website from one hosting company to another. You are now in a position to take advantage and learn from this experience!
Get your timing right. Don’t wait until the last minute when your existing contract expires. Give yourself a month leeway so you are not stressed out working against a deadline. Create your ipage account before the bluehost one runs out!
Migrate your domain. There is actually a difference between moving your domain and moving your website. You don’t actually have to move your domain when moving to a new hosting company. Bluehost and iPage are web hosting companies. Your domain is actually held by Domain registrars. When I first created my website with Bluehost 3 years ago, they set up my domain, but the company that held the domain was called FASTDOMAIN. This is a domain registrar.
While I didn’t need to transfer my domain to another domain registration company, I wanted to avail of the one year’s free domain fee that ipage offered. The domain registrar that iPage use is called DOMAIN.com
Part of the setup for ipage is to associate your hosting account with a domain. In my case, I specified that bbqinsanity.com was the domain that I wished to associate with my account and that the domain already existed.
In advance of this, I made sure that my domain was “UNLOCKED”. To do this, I went to the domain section of bluehost. I also changed the name servers for the domain from the default bluehost name servers. The domain name will needs to be configured to work with your new hosting account by setting the name servers at your registrar. You can do this from within the bluehost domain section. Navigate to the Nameserver section and change the following values for the nameservers:
One disadvantage of making this change before setting up the rest of the site on the ipage account is that it effectively brings down your website (there are no WordPress files set up on your ipage account yet!)
Hostgator have a good article explaining name servers and transfering domains in more detail..
Another important step is to make a note of the EPP/Authorisation code. This is obtained from your Bluehost account and you’ll need to provide it to iPage in the transfer process. The reason I made these changes up front was because you can’t make any of these changes once you initiate the transfer process.
Check out this article for more details. I found it really useful.
In my next blog post I’ll go through the steps I took to backup and transfer my WordPress files from my bluehost account to my new ipage account. Until then, feel free to browse the rest of my site and learn more about barbeque. I hope you are hungry!