How to Migrate to GoDaddy WordPress Hosting [VIDEO]

Migrate to GoDaddy WordPress Hosting

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This post is over 2 years old, and there is new GoDaddy Pro WordPress hosting that is far better, and almost as cheap. Read the full review here.

GoDaddy has been in the hosting business for years, but it’s not until fairly recently that they’ve added a managed WordPress hosting option to their suite of products. GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting is different from the typical cPanel interface that they provide with their shared & cloud hosting. A WordPress-specific plan gives you:

  • File permissions & caching that is designed specifically for WordPress sites
  • Security monitoring to protect your site from attacks
  • Automated backups of your files & database, and 1-click restore
  • Staging sites (upgrade)
  • Automatic core updates, to keep your WordPress installation secure
  • A free, automated migration tool to move your site

For a small, single site, the price for GoDaddy WordPress hosting is currently $2 cheaper/mo. than classic cPanel hosting, plus you get the above features.

NEW: Get WordPress hosting for $4/mo. at GoDaddy

If your website currently resides on a classic hosting plan (using cPanel), but you want to switch to GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting platform, let’s take a look at the steps involved. For small sites, you could complete the entire process in about 1-2 hours, depending on how much time you spend on testing (which is important, so please don’t skip that part).

Warning: You can only migrate if 1) you are using the self-hosted version of WordPress (not WordPress.com), 2) your site is NOT in maintenance mode or password-protected from the public, and 3) you are NOT using a custom login page (must use wp-login.php)

WATCH: GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Migration Video »
(use links in description to jump sections)

1. Navigate to your Hosting Control Panel

  • Once logged in, navigate directly to gateway.godaddy.com -or-
  • Click your name in the top-right corner. Click “Visit My Account”. Scroll down to your products, and click “Manage” next to “Managed WordPress.”
  • Then click the “Set Up” button within your Managed WordPress Hosting account

GoDaddy Visit My Account link GoDaddy Account Hosting Control Panel Links

2. Choose the Migration Option

  • Select “Migrate Your Existing WordPress Site”

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Migration Button

3. Enter WordPress Admin & FTP Information

Site Domain

  • I recommend leaving the temporary domain selected. This will allow you to test everything before switching over.

Current Site Info

  • Site URL: Enter your live site’s domain name
  • WordPress Admin Username: Enter the username for any user who has Administrator priveleges
  • WordPress Password: Enter the password for the user you chose above

FTP Credentials

  • Host Location or IP Address: You get this information from your existing host. It is often ftp.yoursite.com. Or just use the IP address of your server.
  • FTP/SFTP Username: Enter your username
  • FTP/SFTP Password: Enter your password
  • Click “Finish”

Your migration is now in progress. For small sites, it could take as little as 5 minutes. Larger sites could take as long as 2 hours. You’ll receive an email when it’s complete.

Get WordPress hosting for $4/mo.

4. Login to Your Testing Site

  • Navigate back to your hosting control panel
  • You’ll see your migrated site listed as abc123.myftpupload.com. You know this is GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting plan because of the little W icon associated with it. Compare that to the cPanel icon on your old hosting plan.

RELATED: What is myftpupload.com?

  • Click “Manage”
  • This opens the WordPress Admin area of your migrated site, in a testing environment
  • You will be logged in as “Managed WordPress Migration User,” a temporary user that GoDaddy creates for you

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Panel GoDaddy Hosting Manage vs. Settings

5. Test, test, test!

Before you switch your domain over to your new GoDaddy WordPress hosting platform, you want to make sure everything migrated over properly. In theory, this site should be an exact replica of your existing site. But as you know, technology doesn’t always work that way. Here’s a quick rundown of the things you should be testing. Use this as a starting point, not an exhaustive list. Pull up both sites side-by-side to compare.

In The WordPress Admin

  • Is the correct theme activated?
  • Are all of my theme options & Customizer settings the same?
  • Are all of my posts & pages listed?
  • Are all of my comments listed?
  • What about any custom post types?
  • Are all of my users accounted for? Are they assigned the correct role?
  • Does my Media Library contain all images, PDFs and other uploads?
  • Are my plugins installed? Are the correct ones activated/deactivated?

The Website Itself

  • Does the design look the same?
  • Is all functionality working properly? Forms? Ecommerce? Maps? Anything else that you’re relying on a plugin to do?
  • Look for missing images
  • Are all menus & navigation working properly?

6. Move From Testing to Live

Once you’re finished testing, you are now ready to make your site live. The example I’ll walk you through here is for those moving from GoDaddy’s cPanel/Classic hosting to GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting.

6a. Release Domain From Old Hosting

Before you can assign your domain to your new WordPress hosting, you have to release it from your old hosting account.

Release Your Domain

  • From your Hosting Control Panel, locate your cPanel hosting, and click “Settings”
  • Choose “Enter a domain or sub-domain”
  • Type in old.yourdomain.com
  • Click “Change Domain”

This frees up your domain name to be used with the GoDaddy WordPress hosting.

6b. Add Domain to New GoDaddy WordPress Hosting

  • From your Hosting Control Panel, locate your WordPress hosting, and click “Settings”
  • Click “Add Domain”
  • Choose “Select a domain from your account”
  • Choose your domain from the dropdown
  • Check the box to “Make this the primary domain for your account”

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting - Add Domain

Back on your Hosting Control Panel, for your WordPress hosting, you’ll now see your domain name listed. Underneath, it will say “Change domain pending.” It could take anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours for this to update. Once it has finished, you’ll see “Up and running with no issues.”

Once updated, your new site is live! That wasn’t so bad, was it?

7. Confirm Your Site is Using GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting

Just to make sure you’re officially on the new platform, there’s an easy test you can do.

  • Login to your WordPress admin area
  • You should see a “GoDaddy” menu option in both the left navigation, as well as in the admin bar at the top of your screen
  • If you see these options, you are using GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting platform

Confirm GoDaddy WordPress Hosting in Admin

8. Delete the Temporary Migration User

You no longer need the temporary user that GoDaddy created in order to do the migration. Let’s go ahead & delete that account.

Delete WordPress Migration User

  • Navigate to Users > All Users
  • Find the “Managed WordPress Migration User”
  • Click “Delete”
  • You’ll be asked “What should be done with content owned by this user?”
    • Technically, there is no content associated with this user, but just to be on the safe side, choose “Attribute all content to:” and select one of your main Admin users.

9. Cancel Your Old Hosting, or Turn Off Auto-Renew

I recommend keeping your old classic GoDaddy hosting account active for a few days, just in case you run into any issues on the new plan, and need to do an emergency switch back. However, once you’re confident that everything is running smoothly on the WordPress hosting platform, make sure you either cancel your old account, or turn off auto-renew, so that you don’t get charged for hosting that you aren’t using.

9a. Cancel Old GoDaddy Hosting

GoDaddy Hosting Options Modal

Cancel Old WordPress Hosting

  • Navigate to My Account. You should see a list of all your products.
  • You’ll see both “Web Hosting” and “Managed WordPress”
  • Click on “Web Hosting” to open it up
  • Click the “Options” button
  • In the bottom left corner, you’ll see a link to “Cancel this account”

If you have several months, or even years, left on your old hosting, it might be worth giving GoDaddy a call. They might be able to offer you a refund. No guarantees, but it’s worth a shot. Do this before you cancel your plan.

9b. Turn Off Auto-Renew

If your old GoDaddy hosting is expiring soon, or you just prefer to let it expire, here’s how you can ensure that it doesn’t auto-renew.

Turn Off Auto-Renew

  • Navigate to My Account. You should see a list of all your products.
  • You’ll see both “Web Hosting” and “Managed WordPress”
  • Click on “Web Hosting” to open it up
  • Click the “Options” button
  • Click the “Customize” tab at the top
  • The very last option on that screen is “Auto Renew.” Click the radio button for “OFF.”

Your changes are automatically saved. When you reach your expiration date, your old hosting account will be canceled, and all files will be deleted. It’s a good idea to grab a backup of everything before canceling your account.

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting Migration Video


Get Hosting for $4/mo.

I hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide to migrating your website to the GoDaddy WordPress Hosting platform. If you have any trouble migrating, leave a comment so I can help you out.

6 Commentson "How to Migrate to GoDaddy WordPress Hosting [VIDEO]"

  1. /

    Hello Dave, I have a local server with my website almost ended. How do I make to migrate to Godaddy in this way?, because It is not the same from a local server compares an other remote server. I hope your answer, Greetings!

    → Reply
    1. (Author) /

      Hi Rodolfo — My apologies for such a delayed response. Hopefully you’ve figured it out by now, but if not…

      You could try to ask GoDaddy’s support if they’ll help you migrate. In this case, you will need to provide them with 2 things:

      1. a .zip file containing your /wp-content/ folder
      2. a .sql file of your exported database

      Use the default options when exporting your database. It’s fairly straightforward when using something like phpMyAdmin to manage your local database.

      If GoDaddy says that’s not within the scope of their support, you’ll still need the above 2 things, but you’ll have to migrate on your own.

      1. Login to GoDaddy
      2. Use your SFTP info to connect to your site
      3. Upload the contents of your local /wp-content/ folder
      4. Login to access you live database
      5. Import the local database that you exported
      6. Then, in phpMyAdmin (on the live site), update the home and siteurl values in the wp_options database table. Change them from the localhost URL to the live site URL.

      Hope this helps!

  2. /

    What if the domain you were using in the c-panel host is not the same domain as the one you will be using with the Managed WP host? We registered the new domain with GoDaddy. What are the steps for using the new domain after testing? Thanks!

    → Reply
    1. (Author) /

      Good question, Kevin.

      You can still migrate the site just fine. When using GoDaddy’s migration tool, it will ask you if you want to use your own domain or a temporary URL.

      I recommend using the temporary URL. GoDaddy will take care of updating all your site’s URLs from the old URL to the temporary URL.

      And then, once the migration is finished, you will go back to your domain setup, and select the new domain that you want to use. GoDaddy’s system will automatically update all your site’s URLs for you again.

      Holler back if you have any other questions. Good luck with it!

  3. /

    Any chance you have updated directions with Godaddy’s site changes? The steps, sadly, are not the same anymore since the site had some cosmetic upgrades.

    → Reply
    1. (Author) /

      Hi Carrie,
      Unfortunately, I don’t have updated instructions. The process should still be similar for GoDaddy’s basic managed WordPress.

      They did just introduce a Pro Managed WordPress, which I believe the process would be quite different.

      If you can send me a description of where you’re getting stuck, or include a few screenshots, I’d be happy to try and help get you through it.

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