How to Switch from HostGator to Regular Hosting

HostGator is one of the biggest, if not the biggest host providers in the world. They also have a very popular affiliate program which is how I found this product. You will learn more about their affiliate program later in this article but now let’s talk about how to switch from HostGator to a regular hosting plan.

The Best Way To Move Your Website To A Different Host

If you are looking for the best way to move your website to a new host then you have come to the right place. Here is the best, and in my opinion only, way to do it. The steps listed below will guide you through the whole process which only takes about 10 minutes to complete. All you need is a credit card. You will not be asked to provide any sort of financial information during this process.

1. Log In To Your Control Panel

This is pretty self-explanatory. You will need to log in to your control panel and click the “Move” button. From here you will see the options to move your site. You can choose HostGator as your current provider and then choose your new provider from the drop-down menu. When you log in you will see the following message:

“Welcome to We are currently experiencing some downtime due to hardware changes in our datacenters. We are working to get this fixed as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience!”

This is simply a sign that your site is going through some maintenance. Don’t worry, this is completely normal and something you need to see frequently when moving sites to a new host.

2. Switching Domains

This step is crucial if you are using a free host like HostGator because it will allow you to keep your existing domain. If you are using a shared hosting package with cPanel and you want to keep your existing domain then you can leave this step out. The process here is exactly the same as Step 1 except you will be asked to enter a new domain instead of a new hosting plan. When you enter the new domain it will ask you to verify that you are the owner of the domain. Once that is done you can hit “next step” to move your site.

3. Backup Everything

Now that you have transitioned to your new host you need to make sure that you have backupped all your files. This is important because you never know what could happen to your site if there is a hardware failure or a server crash. Having a back up will help you recover quickly and without any issues. There are a number of online tools that you can use to perform a simple back up like SpiderOak One or Backblaze.

4. Configure Your New Host

Now that you have your backup complete you can configure your new host as you see fit. Feel free to use the same CMS (Content Management System) as you have on your current host. Most hosting providers allow you to install and use the same CMS you have on your current host. Do not install any additional plugins or themes unless you are sure that they are required for your site to function properly. Some hosting providers like SiteGround require you to use their CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) which you can use to create a more personalized look for your site.

5. Activate Your New Host

Once you have installed and configured your new host you will need to activate it. To do this click the “Activate” button on your control panel. You will then be prompted to enter a code that was sent to you via email. Once you enter the code you will be able to log in to your new host and begin building your site. If you have any problems please contact your hosting provider directly rather than going through a third-party support request system like Google.

6. Choose A Free Hosting Provider

You have a couple options here. If you are looking for a free host then you can use platforms like HostGator, DreamHost, or Bluehost. All of these hosts offer free plans with a limited amount of storage and bandwidth. If you have a limited budget then this is what you should go for.

7. Customize Your Site With A Free CSS Kit

If you are looking for a way to create a visually stunning website then you need to check out the free CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) kits from StudioPress. These are great for people who want to create a unique, professional-looking site without having to spend lots of money. Free CSS kits are available for download from their web site and then you can install them on your site to begin customizing it.

8. Install A Small Business WordPress Plugin

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in existence and it is powering millions of websites around the world. The fact that it is free and open source makes it even more appealing. If you are looking for a free option to power your site then you can’t go wrong with WordPress. It will give you everything you need to build a professional-looking website.

9. Install A Free SSL Certificate

A free SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is an important part of keeping your website secure. When someone makes a purchase on your site they expect to feel safe and secure transmitting personal information to you. An SSL certificate will encrypt all information transferred between your site and customer, preventing hackers from watching your every move.

10. Get A Free Domain

Once you have a free SSL certificate installed you can get a free domain. Go to this website and click the “Get Started” button to see all the domains available. You should immediately try to grab version of your desired domain. Most importantly, make sure that you register this domain name with your new hosting provider. Also, make sure that you pick version as opposed to because they are more commonly registered.

11. Use Your New Domain

Your new domain will be connected to your new hosting account and it will be able to use all the features that it can. You can use the same login information that you used to login to your HostGator control panel to log in to your new domain. From here you can fix any issues that may have come up during the setup process or customize the look of your site as much as you like. The only downside to this approach is that you will need to rebuild your site from scratch (plus install WordPress, if you haven’t already) if you ever decide to switch hosts again.

What If I Don’t Want To Rebuild My Site?

If you have built a sophisticated website with lots of content then you may not want to rebuild it from scratch every time you switch providers. In that case you can use a tool like WP Migrate to move your site with all its content over to your new host. WP Migrate is a free tool that will do all the work for you and will create a database dump of your site so that you can easily load it up onto your new host. All you need to do is choose your destination URL and then click the “Migrate” button. This will initiate the transfer process. If you decide later on that you want to switch hosts then you can remove the migration plugin and your site will continue to function normally.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that if you are using a free host like HostGator then be sure to check their terms of service (TOS) and privacy policies (PP) frequently to make sure that you are not being monitored by any third-party companies. The fact that you are getting a free service does not mean that HostGator is looking to peek into your business. As long as you are not breaking any laws or terms of service you should not have a problem.

Final Considerations

Now that you have your own dedicated server with lots of storage and bandwidth you may wonder if you should continue to use a free host or move to a paid plan. The answer here depends on you. If you are looking for a place to experiment with a new design or theme then using a free host is the way to go. You will be able to upload whatever you want and change things around as often as you like. However, if you are looking for a reliable, secure place to do business then you should move to a paid host. They will take care of all the security requirements so that your site is always protected from hackers and unauthorized users.