How to Migrate a WordPress Site from Godaddy to Siteground

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How to Migrate a WordPress Site from Godaddy to Siteground

Planning to move to Siteground?

Today, I will show you how to migrate a self-hosted WordPress site from Godaddy to Siteground.

Not using Siteground or Godaddy? it’s OK; this guide works for any host to any host.

So, the proper title would have been “How to migrate a WordPress site to another hosting server?” But as I am using Siteground and Godaddy, I will stick to the title I have used.

When you’re starting a blog or any website, the loading speed of your site matters a lot; especially when it’s a blog. where you are supposed to get a lot¬†of traffic.

Speed is also one of the ranking factors in SERP.

Now, the speed depends on many things, but the most important one out of all is the hosting space, where you’ve hosted your¬†blog.

I started my first blog (not honingbird.com) on a shared hosting from GoDaddy. The speed was not that bad initially, but over the time it got from “not that bad” to “worst” when I installed 2 more blogs (one of them was honingbird.com).

I thought upgrading the plan would help, but nope! … it didn’t. I mean it improved a bit but not as expected.

So, I had decided to move my main blog (honingbird.com) to a different host.

In the past, I had used HostGator¬†for a few of my clients. It was good, but, the problem is, in a normal scenario, most company websites are just to showcase the company’s profile, their products or services, there are not many changes you see on the website.

So, the traffic doesn’t increase that much, unless you add a blog to it.

But none of my clients were interested in SEO, so, no blogs. They wanted quick results, so we suggested paid ads and they were happy with it.

So, it means, I can not be sure about Hostgator either.

So, I did some research and found out Siteground and Bluehost are the only two best hosts that many well-known bloggers are talking about, and also claimed to be using them for their own blogs.

I finally decided to go with Siteground over Bluehost.

There are several factors that influenced my decision to go with Siteground eventually. But Bluehost is also good if you’re just getting starting, their pricing is also affordable.

You can read my full Siteground Review to know more about its amazing features.

Although, I would still like to mention three things I liked most about Siteground; their customer support, the transparent¬†pricing and the speed (I had heard it’s very good and it’s true).

So, coming back to my main topic for today’s post, How to migrate or transfer your existing WordPress¬†site or blog to SiteGround (or any host)

While I was doing the process myself, I thought why not document it; might come handy for someone like you.

So, let’s get right into it:

How to Migrate Your Existing WordPress Site from Godaddy to SiteGround?

The plugin I have used for the whole migration is All in One Migration Tool by ServMask.

Before I start the tutorial here’s one Warning

Do not delete or uninstall your existing WordPress site or blog from Godaddy (or wherever it is) until¬†you have crossed checked everything is transferred¬†accurately to Siteground (or any host you have picked) without losing any data from the site/blog. If you are the owner of the blog or site then you’ll easily identify if there’s anything missing. But if you’re not the owner then ask the owner to first verify everything is present as it was, then only think of deleting the old site.

Moving on…

If you have read my other posts then you’de know I like to keep things as simple as it can be.

So, I am going to classify the whole process into 5 parts:

  1. Exporting the WordPress Blog.
  2. Creating an addon domain.
  3. Installing WordPress on Siteground.
  4. Redirecting your Domain to Siteground from Godaddy.
  5. Importing your WordPress Site or Blog to the new installation.

First thing first, go ahead and install the All in One Migration Tool plugin on your site/blog.

Need Help? Refer to this guide on How to install a WordPress plugin? 

Step 1: Exporting the WordPress Blog or Downloading it.

Once the All in One plugin is installed, you will see a new tab appeared on the sidebar, inside your WP dashboard.

Just hover over it and a side menu will pop in, click on Export.

Transfer your blog to Siteground

A new screen will show up, inside that you will see an option that says, EXPORT TO.

Click on that and select the first option you have, and that would be FILE.

As soon as you click it, a lightbox pop up will pop out and will do a thorough checkup of your blog’s current settings and configurations and finally will create a full back up for you to download.

So, it might take a few minutes depending on your site’s total file size.

Export your existing site's files

Once the download file is ready a green button will appear which says, DOWNLOAD WWW.YOURSITENAME.COM

backing up your site from godaddy

Click that green button and it will start downloading the backup to your computer. The exporting is complete.

Step 2: Create an addon domain

Before you can start the importing you’ll first have to create an addon domain on SiteGround (your new host) and install WordPress on it.

Don’t know how to create an addon domain? refer to the video below, skip to the part where I have shown you the steps.

However, I didn’t have to create one for myself coz I have registered my Siteground hosting plan with honingbird.com. So, by default, my domain is assigned to the features.

But if you haven’t purchased a brand new Siteground account and don’t have it registered with your main domain, then you will have to create an addon domain.

Why add an addon domain?

I won’t get technical.

Quite simply, by adding an addon domain you’re just telling your host (in my case that is Siteground) that you want to host a site or blog on this domain which is registered with another vendor.

You might also like:  How to install a plugin in WordPress - A Beginner's Guide

And doing so will automatically give you the option to install the WordPress blog on the addon domain when you run the installation on Siteground,

Step 3: How to Install WordPress on Siteground?

Log in to your Cpanel and navigate to AUTOINSTALLERS inside the cPanel dashboard.

If you’re on Hostgator or Godaddy you can follow the guide on How to Install WordPress?

You should see a few other applications alongside WordPress.

Locate the WordPress icon and click it.

How to install WordPress on Siteground

Inside you’ll find an Install tab, click it, a new section will appear.

Please refer to the video below, skip to 4:55 minute and fill out the details accordingly and click on the Install button found at the bottom.

If you see the congratulation message, then it means your WordPress site is successfully installed.

However, your site is still being hosted on your existing host; if you try to access, it will not take you to the newly installed WordPress site, it will take you to the old site only as we haven’t yet mapped the domain to the new hosting.

Step 4: How to Redirect your Godaddy Domain to Siteground?

So, to redirect your domain to the new hosting, head over to Godaddy (or wherever you have the domain name registered currently).

In my case, I have my domain name registered with Godaddy.

So, I will log in to GoDaddy.

Once you’re inside, click on the manage button found against the domain that you want to redirect, then go to DNS Management.

Inside DNS Management you’ll see and bunch of information under a heading called Records.

Don’t get terrified, if you can’t figure out what those are; I don’t even understand most of them.

Just scroll down and locate the¬†Nameservers. Here you’ll find the already exist Godaddy’s nameservers.

Now since we are redirecting the domain to our hosting in Siteground we will have to replace the existing Godaddy’s nameservers with the new Siteground’s nameservers.

Again head back to Siteground, log in to cPanel, if logged out, and locate the nameservers on the top left. Copy them, go back to Godaddy and change the existing nameservers with these two.

Once you saved the nameservers, it will take some time for it to get activated. So, your site might go down for a few minutes.

Anyways, when your site is successfully mapped to Siteground you’ll see a default page from Siteground.

It might look something similar to this:

If you’re seeing this page, then it means your domain is now hosted with Siteground.

Next step, upload your backup to your new server.

Step 5: Importing Your WordPress Blog and Uploading it

Log in to the new WordPress installation and install and activate the All in One migration plugin.

Now go to its import option;

Click on IMPORT FROM and select FILE. Locate the backup we downloaded in step 1 and upload it.

The process would automatically start, it might take a while depending upon your server and internet speed. Just give it some time.

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Wait until the uploading is done. Once it’s finished you will see a warning message that will ask your permission to overwrite the database and files. Click on PROCEED and next you should see a success message.

Now, check if the permalink structure is change. If needed make the required changes and save it. Even if you don’t make any changes still hit the save button.

Note: since we have just restored and overwritten our new site’s database and files with our old website, the passwords and usernames will remain the same as you used with the old site.

Once the whole process is done and you’ve verified the content and everything you can now uninstall the old WordPress from GoDaddy.

That’s it! you’ve successfully migrated your site to Siteground.

And since SIteground provides a free SSL, you can now enable it to load your site in HTTPS by following the steps below:

How to enable SSL in Siteground?

Check your inactive plugins, if you see a plugin called SG Optimizer then great, activate it. If you find no such plugin in the inactive plugins then go ahead and install it.

Once installed and activated, locate the plugin settings from the sidebar.

Inside you’ll see three options to configure, the Siteground’s in house SuperCacher feature, HTTPS and option to upgrade to the latest PHP version.

Click on each configure button and enable the options from inside and your site is ready to rock again.

The whole process of migration and activation of SSL is recorded in the video below. In case if the video is not playing or you’re not able to see it; here is the direct link to the video on Youtube:

Wrapping Up:

The process of migrating or moving a WordPress site from one host to another is a bit overwhelming, but if you’re not happy with the current hosting provider then it’s an absolute necessity.

Coz, if you’re being the content creator is not happy with the site’s performance in terms of hosting, then how can you expect your readers would be happy anyways?

Don’t stay stuck to your old host just because it’s a long process. Change is a¬†necessity in every aspect. So, change it if required.

Since your audience will grow with time it is important to that you find a reliable hosting provider. And so far in my experience, I have found Siteground to be a great service provider.

You can read the review here > Siteground Review 2019

So, are you planning to change your hosting provider; if yes which one you’re gonna go with?

P.S. If you found the guide helpful, please share it with your circle. 

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The man behind Honingbird. A full-time Blogger and Digital Marketer. A late bloomer in the blogosphere; but I am finally finding my way in and I am here to help you find yours. Join me for the Laptop Lifestyle. Subscribe above!

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