Bluehost and SiteGround both are recommended hosts by official WordPress.org website. Bluehost was so popular years back and lost most of their customers to SiteGround. This was primarily due to the poor customer support by Bluehost which is the major strength for SiteGround. Recent days, SiteGround raised the price to multifold and does not offer better support like before. However, you can get blazing speed with Google Cloud and SG Optimizer. If you are looking for migrating WordPress site from Bluehost to SiteGround then here is a guide for you.
Why You Should Migrate?
There are few reasons for migrating from Bluehost to SiteGround:
- Bluehost servers are slow compared to SiteGround.
- When your initial contract is finished with Bluehost, it is good idea to look for a new host instead of renewing for $8.99 per month for next 36 months. You can move to SiteGround for $6.99 per month on a yearly plan. Remember, you may need to migrate back somewhere else if price is the main reason for your decision as SiteGround’s renewal rates much higher than Bluehost.
- Bluehost does not offer caching plugin which you can get free from SiteGround. SG Optimizer plugin is equivalent to premium WP Rocket and save you money for you.
- Bluehost servers does not support WebP image creation and you have to purchase VPS plan for this. However, SiteGround’s lowest StartUp plan will support this feature as it is part of SG Optimizer plugin. So, you don’t even need to install additional plugin for this purpose.
How to Migrate WordPress Site from Bluehost to SiteGround?
Whatsoever is the reason for your decision, migration is very simple process without much hassle. SiteGround offers multiple options for migrating your site to your existing hosting plan.
- Using SiteGround Migrator plugin
- Request website transfer from SiteGround support
- Manually transfer the website and content yourself
All three options are free and we will explain the first option in this article which is easy among all three.
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SiteGround Migrator Plugin Process
This is a free plugin available in WordPress.org plugin repository. You have to first get the migration token from SiteGround. After that you can install the plugin on your Bluehost site and initiate the transfer using the migration token. Below is the summary of the entire migration process from moving your site from Bluehost to SiteGround.
- Get SiteGround migration token
- Installing SiteGround Migrator plugin in Bluehost site
- Initiating website transfer
- Verifying site in SiteGround
- Setup DNS for SiteGround site
- Installing SSL in SiteGround
- Test your live site
- Caution with caching, security plugins and Cloudflare
1. Getting Migration Token in SiteGround
Login to you SiteGround hosting account. If you have already added your domain name and installed WordPress in SiteGround then go to “Websites” tab and click on “Site Tools” button against your domain name. when you are in Site Tools interface, go to “WordPress > Migrator” section. You should see the website name under “Generate Migration Token” section and click on “Generate” button. This will create the migration token key which you can copy from the bottom section.
If you did not add your domain then click on “New Website” option when you are under “Websites” section of the hosting account.
On the next step, click on “Existing Domain” and type your site address which is available with Bluehost at this point. Click on “Continue” button to proceed further.
If you have not purchased the domain from SiteGround, you will see a warning message for missing DNS setting. You can setup this DNS after migrating the site content from Bluehost to SiteGround and click on “Continue” to go to next step.
On the next screen, click on “Select” button under “Migrate Website” section.
You will see two options like below showing “Superfast WordPress Automigration” and “Manual Transfer by our Team”. Choose the first automigration option and click “Continue” button.
On the next screen, you will the offer for adding additional features like SG Scanner. If you like include the add-on, otherwise simply click on “Finish” button.
SiteGround will start creating your website to include in your hosting account.
Finally, you will see the options to download plugin, migration token and SiteGround DNS server details.
2. Installing SiteGround Migrator Plugin in Bluehost
You can either download the plugin from the above step and upload on your Bluehost site. alternatively, go to “Plugins > Add New” section in your Bluehost site’s WordPress admin panel. Search for “siteground” and install the SiteGround Migrator plugin from WordPress repository.
3. Initiating Website Transfer
Activate the plugin and go to “SG Migrator” menu. Paste you migration token from SiteGround and click on “Initiate Transfer” button. Make sure to check the send notification option so that you will receive an email after completion of the transfer.
Now that the migration process will start running on your Bluehost site. The plugin will first all the files and then start the migration to SiteGround. This may take long time depending on the size of your site.
You will see a success message after finishing the migration.
You can move to other screens and carry on other work while the migration process runs. However, make sure not to publish content till completing migration and setting up DNS in SiteGround. At any time, you can cancel the migration by clicking on “Cancel Transfer” button and reinitiate again with the same migration token.
4. Verifying Site in SiteGround
After finishing the migration, SiteGround will send you an email with the preview link of your site. you can preview the site and test everything is fine before changing the DNS settings.
5. Setup DNS for SiteGround Site
The final step is to change the DNS nameservers from Bluehost to SiteGround. You have to do this step with your domain registrar from whom you purchased the domain. In this article, we will explain with GoDaddy and you can follow similar steps with your registrar account. Login to your GoDaddy account and navigate to the DNS section of your domain.
Scroll down to nameserver section and click on “Change” button.
Type your new nameservers from SiteGround and save the changes. It may take up to 48 hours for the DNS changes to propagate and your site may be down on some countries till the propagation completes. You will see DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error till the time your site is completely accessible.
6. Installing SSL in SiteGround
When adding new site, SiteGround will not automatically install SSL certificate for your domain. At this point when you open the site in browser, in most cases you will see privacy error due missing SSL.
Go to the Site Tools section of your SiteGround account. Navigate to “Security > SSL Manager” section and install Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for your domain. Make sure to click on “HTTP Enforce” link and enable to force all traffic through SSL.
This will help you to fix your connection is not private error when viewing the site.
7. Test Your Live Site
Now that you have completed the process of migrating your WordPress site from Bluehost to SiteGround hosting account. Login to your WordPress admin panel and check whether you have SG Optimizer plugin installed. This is an indication that now your site is migrated from Bluehost to SiteGround server.
8. Caution with Caching, Security Plugins and Cloudflare
We recommend you to disable caching plugin, security plugin and Cloudflare setup on Bluehost before you initiate the transfer. This will help to make the transfer simple and setup DNS properly. You will get a DNS resolution error with Cloudflare, if not properly changing the site’s server to SiteGround.
If you are already using Cloudflare with Bluehost, then first disable Cloudflare and use Bluehost nameserver. After finishing migration to SiteGround, change the nameserver to SiteGround’s servers. Finally, wait for some time for the DNS propagation to complete and then change to Cloudflare nameservers.
We hope the above guide will help you to understand the entire process of migrating WordPress site from Bluehost to SiteGround hosting. However, do not worry if this is difficult for you or something did not work. You can choose to migrate with the help of SiteGround support team instead of you try with the plugin. This is also a free of cost method and their support team will help you to migrate the site and setup everything for you.