Update for 2017: eHost was sold to new management and rapidly deteriorated as you can see reflected in my updated eHost review. They shut down in 2017, so the guide below should be viewed as generic website transfer guidance only.
As you may already know, eHost does not currently accept incoming domain transfers.
In other words, if you have your domain registered with FatCow, for example, and you want to transfer your website to another host like BlueHost (our top pick), you’ll need to keep your domain name somewhere else and point it to your eHost account using the DNS settings at your registrar.
For many people, that probably sounds so confusing. Let’s make it easier, step-by-step:
Here’s what you’ll need:
- access to your existing hosting account at another host.
- a cPanel Hosting account (no longer available at eHost)
- Possibly need an account at a domain registrar such as NameCheap (coupons here)
Let’s Get Started!
Step 1 – Download Website Files
Connect to the old hosting hosting account via FTP and download all your files.
Step 2 – Download Database (if applicable)
Download backups of your database(s) from your old hosting account. This can be done by logging into phpMyAdmin, selecting the database you want to back up, and then exporting it, which will download an .sql file to your computer.
Step 3 – Upload Files To Your eHost Account
Connect to your eHost account via FTP and upload all the files you backed up in Step 1.
Step 4 – Import Your Database(s) into your eHost account (if applicable)
- Log into your eHost cPanel account, and find “Database Creation Wizard”
- Follow the steps to create a new database and new database user, and give the user all default permissions.
- Make sure to save the username and password you create for this new database, as you’ll need them later.
- Go back to cPanel and find phpMyAdmin. Go to phpMyAdmin and select the database you just created. Then go to “Import” and click choose file. In the window that pops up, choose the database backup file you downloaded earlier in Step 2
- It should import successfully, and you’re done.
Step 5 – Check Config Files For Database Users/Passwords
If your site uses a database, it almost surely has a config file somewhere. In WordPress sites, for example, that’s wp-config.php in the main folder of your site. Open the file and check for any mention of database name, database user, and database user password. Change those to match the name and credentials for the database you created in part of Step 4.
Step 6 – Determine Whether You Need To Transfer Your Domain
If your old hosting provider allows you to cancel your hosting account but keep paying for your domain name registration only, then you can move to step 7.
If your old hosting provider doesn’t allow you to keep your domain name unless you pay for a hosting plan too, you should transfer your domain name to another registrar such as NameCheap, which I recommended in the “What You’ll Need” section at the top of this page.
Step 7 – Set Your Domain’s DNS (domain name servers) to point to eHost
When you signed up for eHost, you should have received and email from eHost confirming your account details and telling you the nameservers you’ll need to point your domain to. They might look something like….
“ns1.ehost.com” and “ns2.ehost.com” for example. But they could be different. If you don’t have that original email for some reason, follow the steps below:
- Log into your eHost account and click on My Sites in the left hand menu.
- Locate the cPanel account you want to point your domain name to, and click the Manage button
- From inside cPanel, locate and click the “Server Information” link in the left hand panel. If you can’t see it, click “Expand Stats” to show it.
- Here you’ll find your Server Name.
- Go to this page (new tab) and type/paste your server name into the table. It will show you your nameservers.
- Note down those nameservers.
Now, go your domain name registrar and edit the DNS settings for your domain name. Change the nameservers to the ones you got from eHost.
Tip: Wait around 24 hours before you do any work on your site. It can take up to 24 hours for the nameserver changes to propagate through all the ISPs around the world. The reason I emphasize this is that even though you changed your nameservers, it might still be serving your site from your old hosting account when you visit in your browser, so any edits you did would disappear once the DNS propagated fully.