Move Website from Wealthy Affiliate to HostGator

Follow these steps to move a website from Wealthy Affiliate to HostGator

Move WebsiteThe instructions here are for backing up and moving your website to another host. If you choose HostGator to host your site then you’ll be in good hands.

To ensure that you don’t lose all your hard work when you built your website follow the instructions in the order given. We are using free plugins (therefore no money back guarantees) so please exercise due care.

If you have a large website then the plugin may not work properly. In that case use FTP for your backup.

In case of emergency, if the transfer fails or you miss a step, you can change the DNS back to WA’s servers and try again. I must point out that I have done this exercise many times with zero failures. So let’s begin…

Before you change your DNS back up:

  1. Back upSave your WordPress login username and password in a safe place on your computer.
  2. Install WP Clone by WP Academy plugin. This is the plugin we’re going to use to back up now and then again later to restore the site at your new host.
  3. Use Tools ⇒ Export to download all your pages, posts, comments and some settings to your computer. Note: this does not back up your images, other uploads, plugins and themes. It’s just a quick and easy backup for extra security.
  4. Make sure your themes, plugins and WordPress are all up to date.
  5. Watch this video, rewind and watch again as you do the steps to back up your website to your computer.

All backed up? Time to change your DNS

  1. Create an account at HostGator using this link.
  2. Copy and save your cPanel username and password.
  3. Copy and save your FTP username and password. You may need this to transfer your files if you have a large site or if the plugin fails.
  4. Copy and save your DNS (Domain Name Servers) as listed in your cPanel.
  5. Go to your domain name registrar and change the DNS to HostGator.

After your DNS has had time to propagate

Propagation can take anything from a few minutes to several hours.

Watch this video to install WordPress on your website at HostGator using QuickInstall.

Watch this video, rewind and watch again as you do the steps to restore your website from your backup file.

Install and activate Wordfence plugin to protect your site from hackers (very important).

Check Your Website

Things to check to see if your website is the same as before:

  • Theme
  • Theme Settings
  • Customization
  • Customs Links in Menu
  • Text Widgets
  • Plugin Settings (Pretty Links, TinyMCE, Cookie Law etc.)
  • Pages
  • Posts
  • Comments
  • Images and other media
  • WordPress settings
  • Users

You may have some extras to delete:

  • Default sample page
  • Default Hello World post
  • Default comment
  • Extra Plugins

If the transfer fails or you’ve missed a step:

  1. Change your DNS back to Wealthy Affiliate and wait until propagation is complete.
  2. Download your images, plugins, themes and other uploads using FTP click here for instructions
  3. Copy your text widgets, paste into a Notepad and save on your computer
  4. Copy and save all your Pretty Links
  5. Copy and save the settings from all your other plugins
  6. Copy and save any theme settings
  7. Change your DNS to HostGator.
  8. Wait until propagation is complete.
  9. Use FTP to  restore your httpdocs folder.
  10. Restore your text widgets, Pretty Links and other settings

Congratulations – you did it!

Ask a question, share your experience, or leave a comment…


  1. Interestingly, I followed all of the instructions but when I went to Hostgator and opened my new site, it was already there and complete, even though I had not restored the backup through WP Clone. Is this a normal occurence?

    • If you followed the instructions for FTP and importing the database then you wouldn’t need to use WP Clone as well. WP Clone does the same job as FTP and importing the database, it’s just that it does it in one go. The problem with just using WP Clone is that, as the developers say, it doesn’t work in 10% of cases.

      • I didn’t even have to do the FTP or database portion. I installed WordPress and there was my site. It doesn’t appear to be working properly though as although I can see it and the changes I have recently made to it on my computer in every browser, I cannot find it when searching for it on my phone. Something apparently went wrong, which is too bad as I did quite a bit of updating on Hostgator once the site appeared there.

        • Sorry Chris, it looks like you didn’t wait until your domain name change had propagated throughout the internet before you started adding new content. Your new content is lost. Use WP Clone to restore your original website and then you can redo the new content.

  2. In the filezilla download for ftp.(1) How did you get your website in the Local Site field?. I am getting: C:\Users\leot\ . Do I have to key in my website because I did not see how you manage to have your website appears there because that window was off the screen. Maybe that is why I do not know where my files were saved. I am transferring my hosting to Hostgator because of financial reason

    • Hi Eileen,

      I’m sorry for any confusion. You need to create a folder on your computer to download your files into. I suggest you use C:\users\username\documents\domainname Then when you’re in FileZilla you can navigate to that folder to use for your local site. The reason I make folders in the documents directory is so that Windows backs them up during its normal backup schedule.

      Please let me know if you need any more help with the move.


  3. Thanks so much for this training! So helpful. It worked for me! Thanks!

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