arnold on Apr 23, 2023
This guide is for my students who want to move their websites from Google Cloud Hosting To other hosting. (Namecheap, dreamhost, Bluehost, Justhost, etc.)
Currently student websites are on a url that has their first name and last. For example: Johnsmith.me. These websites need to be moved to a better url. For example: ABCgym.com.
Additionally, the websites were installed with the Bitnami installer. Even though Google Cloud hosting is stable, the way Bitnami installs the websites is very finicky and prone to problems such as viruses and websites breaking unexpectedly.
Moving a website is not a simple copy and paste. It is very difficult to do if you do not have experience with it. My recommendation would be to go to a freelancer website and hire a developer to move your website for $20ish dollars. Common freelance websites include fiverr, PeoplePerHour and UpWork. You can go to these websites and search for something like “Move Website To New Hosting” or “Migrate Website To New Hosting.”
One freelancer that I highly recommend is Muhammad.
His link on PPH is below:
Before hiring a developer to move a website you need to first have all your login information ready to go and your new URL and new hosting set up.
Step 1: Purchase A URL or Get Your New URL ready
The first step in moving a website is to have a url for the website. If you have a URL, then make sure you have access to the URL. You will need to change the DNS of the URL once the website is moved. Common places to register URL’s include Godaddy and Namecheap. If you do not have a URL I would suggest buying a URL from one of those two places.
Step 2: Grant Access To Your Google Cloud Hosting To The Developer
Your developer will need access to your Google Cloud. Unfortunately Google Cloud is usually linked to your personal or business Gmail so you can not share your credentials without giving access to all your Google properties. To get around this you can grant access to your Google Cloud Project to the developer. What I like to do is create a new throwaway gmail account and give access to that account. That way you do not have to worry about getting their information, adding them, waiting for them accept invitation etc. Then when you give them all the information to move the website, you can just give them that gmail address and that will be all they need to get access to Google Cloud.
For the purposes of this post, I went to gmail and created a new email called firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next you need to go to IAM admin of your Google Cloud. Make sure you are logged in to Google Cloud and go to:
At the top of that page click on GRANT ACCESS.
Then you need to add your new email address (Or your developer’s email address). You also need to set a permission level. I am not sure if editor gives enough access so I am choosing owner for this demonstration. You can always start with editor and see if your developer can access the needed database.
I then get an email to accept the invitation. Go to your new email and click the link accept access.
If you go back to your IAM you should see the new email address added.
Step 3: Set Up New Hosting or Give Access To Your New Hosting To Your Developer
You will now need to set up new hosting. For the websites my students make, shared hosting should be adequate for them.
Namecheap has one year of WordPress hosting packages for about $35. You can access this deal here.
You can just select this product here:
When setting up make sure you use a generic password that you can share with your developer. They will need access to your new hosting.
Step 4: Grant admin access to your WordPress website that you want moved
With this step you need to give your developed access to the site you want moved. You need to go to Users -> Add New. Then set a username, email address, copy the password and grant them Admin access. If you do not know their email address then you can just use your email. It does not matter.
Step 5: Create A Document With All The Information Neatly Displayed To Make It Easier For Your Developer To Access Everything
You could send something like this:
1. We are moving a website from johnsmith.me to ABCstore.com
2. The website is currently hosted on Google Cloud.
3. We are moving the website to Namecheap.
4. Our Current website can be accessed here:
Step 6: Send All The Information To The Developer
Send all the info to the developer do they can move the website. It should take at least an hour if they start right away.
Step 7: Switch The DNS Of Your URL Registrar To Your Hosting
You can do this before the website is moved, or after. It shouldn’t matter at this point. If you purchased your URL and your hosting at separate companies then you will need to change your DNS. For example if you bought your URL at GoDaddy and set up the hosting at NameCheap then you will need to change the DNS of you URL at GoDaddy to point at Namecheap. (Google “How Do I change My GoDaddy DNS”). If you bought both your url and your hosting from Namecheap then you will not need to change your DNS. Obviously it may be easier to just purchase both from the same company. Remember, it takes a few hours for the DNS to propagate so your site might not show right away after it is moved.
Step 8: Check the code of the website to make sure your images are loading from the new website.
Right Click on your website and then click view source code. Make sure all image are loading from the new URL. Sometimes developed forget to change the URL’s after moving. When your old site goes down, the images will not load on the new website. Let your developer know if the images are not loading from the new site.
Step 9: Delete Your Google Cloud Hosting
You want to delete your hosting and then go back to your new website to make sure everything is up and running. This is a double check for the images and their URL’s. Also, you do not want duplicate content out there and you do not want to be charged by Google every month.
Once you delete your old hosting you are all set!