Transfer a website to Hostgator

So you’ve decided to move a site from your previous web host to Hostgator. In this article, we’ll give you the basic guidelines and tips to help you get past obstacles you might encounter. We’re going to talk a look at how to move site files and databases over to Hostgator, point domain to Hostgator. To round things off, we’ll provide a few bonus tips to help you get used to your new web hosting service provider.

Before the site migration

You’ve have to double check to ensure the site you’re going to migrate will be compatible with the new server. For example, Windows hosting or IIS server is required for sites, WordPress sites run the best on Apache servers. Contact hostgator support for assistance or check out their hosting details here.

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Backup website files & database

You can use FTP to download files from old server to your computer, then upload them from computer to new server also through FTP. cPanel provides us easy ways to backup sites. If your previous web host also supports cPanel, do not miss out this guide to backup sites in cPanel. It’s also possible to make site backups with the File Manager tool in cPanel. It allows users to compress files and folders in cPanel. Zip your site folder first in the File Manager. Then download your site backup file directly from cPanel File Manager to your PC.

If you use a CMS, you can make use of its built-in backup utility if any. For example, you may refer to this tutorial to backup WordPress sites.

Do not forget to backup your databases if any. cPanel has the phpMyAdmin you can use to backup MySQL databases. Again make sure to export your database as ZIP file so as to speed up the downloading and uploading processes to come.

Transferring site files and database to Hostgator

We recommend an FTP client for uploading site files to your new server with Hostgator. Check out our guide on how to create an FTP account in cPanel with Hostgator. After that can connect to your new server using an FTP client to upload site stuff.

create ftp accocunt in cPanel with hostgator

Hostgator offers us cPanel for server management. The Backup & Restore tool in cPanel can also help us upload a site backup from computer to remote server. We have included the link to the page which shows the steps to create site backups using the Backup tool in cPanel above. The Restore tool in cPanel works the other way around. So we will not discuss into the details here.

File Manager in cPanel is another great option for file uploading to web server with Hostgator. Make sure to zip your site stuff first on local machine or remote server with your previous web host upfront. The File Manager can unzip files online very easily and quickly.

Transferring a database is different. FTP will not work. Log in your hosting control panel, then follow these steps to setup a new MySQL DB in cPanel. After that make use of phpMyAdmin, the free DB management tool in cPanal, to restore MySQL databases using phpMyAdmin. It is very fast and easy.

Point domain to Hostgator

If your domain was registered elsewhere, the last step to move a site over is to point your domain to new server. We have discussed how you can point domain name from GoDaddy to Hostgator before. You can follow previous linked post for more details. Note that domain registration and hosting can be separated, also you will need to manually add the domain to your hosting server with Hostgator. If you have used the domain to sign up the new hosting account, your domain was added as the primary domain in your hosting account, no need to manually add the domain. If not yet, you can add it as add-on domain now. See how to add extra domains to Hostgator here.

addon domain configuration setup with hostgator

Last but not least, make sure to upload files to the right folder of your domain name on the new server. When adding a new domain to your hosting account, you have the option to assign it to a specific folder. For primary domain, the account root will be the home directory.

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