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Transferring Your Domain: How to Switch from enom (Google) to Bluehost

When I switched my blogging platform from Blogger to WordPress, I also transferred my domain hosting service from enom to Bluehost.

This article describes:

  1. How to transfer your custom domain from enom (Google-supported) to Bluehost
  2. How to maintain Google Apps gmail for your custom domain

Why Bluehost?

I bought my domain through Blogger/Google, which meant that I couldn’t communicate directly with enom, the actual domain host and registrar, but instead had to go through Google Support, which meant somewhat slow and frustrating service. But, you get what you pay for.

With Bluehost, you get phone support 24/7 and a bunch of tools to go with it, including the ability to easily install WordPress.

This article covers the domain transfer. I wrote another article that documents the subsequent steps I went through to transfer my blog from Blogger to WordPress.

When I say WordPress, I mean self-hosted WordPress, the one you pay for, not the free version which provides a URL with the node “wordpress” in it. wordpress.com is for creating free blogs, whereas wordpress.org is your reference for creating self-hosted (and non-free) blogs.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Get a Bluehost Account

You can choose a different hosting service, but this article describes the process for Bluehost.

NOTE: If you wish to sign-up with Bluehost as your domain hosting service, and you haven’t done it yet, consider using my affiliate link: CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM

Tell Bluehost you want to transfer your domain

Login to your Bluehost account. There are a series of tabs on Bluehost’s main cPanel. Select the one marked Domain Manager and select “Transfer a new domain to your account”.

They will ask you to provide an EPP authorization code and to unlock the domain. If you bought your domain through Blogger (aka Google), then you have to request this information from Google Support Services (as opposed to enom).

Send request for EPP Authorization code to Google Support Services

Send a request to GoogleClients@enom.com with the following information: domain name, password and a brief description of your request.

To get your domain name and password, log in to your enom DNS account (by going to Google Apps, Dashboard [home page], Domain Names. If you can’t find Domain Names, click on Domain Settings then click on Domain Names). Then click on Advanced DNS Settings which will show you your domain name, and password. (More Info: Google Apps Help Page on How To Get your domain’s authorization code.)

Enter EPP authorization code on Bluehost

After Google Support Services responds with the EPP authorization code, enter it on Bluehost. (It took about a day to get the code from Google). Now you have to wait for enom to approve the transfer. For me, I had to wait 5 days. Meanwhile, you can assign the domain and add MX records on Bluehost.

Assign the domain on Bluehost

On your Bluehost cPanel page, click on the link that says “Assign a new domain to your cPanel account” and follow the steps to assign your soon-to-be-transferred domain to Bluehost. If you get stuck, you can always call Bluehost Support.

Add MX Records on Bluehost

(Note: There’s an update at the bottom of this section that is an easier alternative to manually adding MX records as described below. See: “easier Google Apps alternative”)

The reason I had to add MX records (mail exchange records) was because I had a Google Apps account managing my email for nannygoatsinpanties.com and wanted to continue to do so. Google Apps requires that you add the following specific MX records:

Priority Mail Server
1 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
5 ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
10 ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.
10 ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM

On your Bluehost cPanel, click on the MX Entry icon under the Mail section on the right-hand side of your screen:

Bluehost MX entry icon

On the MX Entry screen start adding new MX records according to the table above. For example, under “Add New Record”, enter a “1” under priority and “ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.” under destination. NOTE: Be sure to include the period after “COM”. Click on the Add New record button until you’ve added them all shown below:

bluehost MX records

Remember, this step is only required if you have Google Apps handling your mail.

By adding the MX entries before the domain transfer occurred, my gmail service was never interrupted and I did not lose any of my old mail.

(More Info: Adding MX records for Google Apps mail handling.)

And now, you just keep waiting for the domain transfer to take place.

Easier Google Apps Alternative

UPDATE:  Adam of Think Plan Run, pointed out a new feature on Bluehost that eases this process of handling Google Apps email. Instead of manually adding MX entries from teh Bluehost cPanel, you go through the Google Apps wizard on your Bluehost cPanel (which you’ll find in the Domains section).

google apps wizard, bluehost cpanel

Thanks, Adam!

 

After the enom to Bluehost transfer

When you receive notification via email that the enom to Bluehost transfer occurs (and again mine took 5 days), your website will be down and a Bluehost page will be up in its place. This is because your blog’s content is not on Bluehost, it’s still over on Blogger. If you want your old blog up and running for your users to see without interruption, you can temporarily redirect your custom domain (now hosted on Bluehost) to your blogspot blog while you get your WordPress blog set up, or you can leave it down, it’s up to you.

Cancel redirect on the Blogger side

If you do decide to temporarily redirect your custom domain to your blogspot URL, this would be a good time to remove the redirect from the Blogger side that you presumable set up back when you bought your custom domain. If you don’t remove it, and you do add this temporary redirect from the Bluehost side, you’ll end up in some crazy infinite looping thing.

To remove the redirect on the blogger side, go to your Blogger Dashboard, to the Settings tab, to the Publishing section, and click on the link to “Switch to: blogspot.com”.

blogger custom domain screen

Create a temporary redirect on Bluehost

Now you can create a temporary redirect on Bluehost: go to cPanel and look for the Redirects icon under the Domains section on the right-hand side.

bluehost redirect icon

On the redirects screen, select “Temporary (302) for the type”.

bluehost redirect screenThere is a pull-down for you to select your domain to redirect FROM.

In the section labeled  “redirects to –>”, enter your old blogspot URL:

http://www.yourdomain.blogspot.com

There is a lot of talk out there about “changing the nameservers”. I pulled my hair out worrying about how, when, and why to do this and it turned out that I never had to do such a thing. When I got on the phone with Bluehost support, they walked me through the step above to do the redirect as a temporary measure while I finished getting my blog set up on WordPress.

If you get stuck at any point while working in Bluehost, don’t be afraid to contact Bluehost support. It’s what they’re there for. Keep in mind, however, they are not WordPress support people, they are domain hosting people.

And that’s it! OK, your domain is transferred and your blog is back up and running. If you wish to learn how to move your blog from Blogger to WordPress, you can go to my article entitled: Blogger to WordPress: How to Make the Switch.

NOTE: Remember to remove the temporary redirect once your WordPress blog is up and running. You will be reminded of this if you go through my Blogger to WordPress article.

 

P.S. Hey, guess what? I wrote a book about writing better blog posts, written to help you kick it up a notch and make them more engaging. It’s educational as well as entertaining. It’s called Sticky Readers: How to Attract a Loyal Blog Audience by Writing More Better and you can buy it just about anywhere online. There’s more info at the Sticky Readers website, including where to buy it.

Sticky Readers, margaret andrews, write better blog posts, blogging tips

 

 

32 Comments

  1. Krista says:

    This is seriously helpful, the best tutorial I’ve found for moving my domain after already having bought it through blogger!

    The only thing I’m a little worried about is the MX Records. I also want to keep using google apps for my mail. When I entered my dns record there was also a mandatory field for “host record,” and I entered “@” for all of them. Hope that’s correct.. for some reason there wasn’t a Google Apps Wizard on my cpanel, I would have been much more comfortable using that : /

    Anyway, thanks again! Great post, and as soon as my domain is switched I’ll be using your other post about switching content to WordPress!

    1. Margaret says:

      Krista,

      I’m so glad this helped you. This whole process can be so scary. I wish you the best with your new WordPress blog, and thank you for your comment! I really appreciate it!

  2. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine
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  3. Dawn says:

    Margaret,

    I am hoping you can help me! I have been pulling my hair out scouring the internet trying to find an answer to my problem.

    This post came up this evening and addresses exactly what I am trying to do, including the issue with MX records! If only I had found your post earlier! However, here is my other issue. I have moved my domain name over to Bluehost and now want to transfer my Blogger blog over to a WordPress site. Blogger won’t let me log in to my dashboard! It keeps telling me the domain isn’t hosted by Google apps.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Dawn

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi Dawn,

      I’m so sorry – I thought I replied to this earlier. I’m afraid I would not have been much help anyway, and I do hope you resolved your issue!

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    1. Margaret says:

      Akismet works great for me. 🙂

  7. Kay says:

    Do you happen to know if you can delete your Google apps account after the domain transfer has been accomlished? I might need the email transfer thing. Thanks for the post.

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi Kay – I don’t know about that. Sorry!

  8. kik for computer says:

    Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative.

    I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.

    Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.
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  9. Eliot Landrum says:

    If the “Advanced DNS Settings” link is not on the site (or you don’t want to wait for the password), just go to this link: http://access.enom.com . Put in your domain name and leave the password blank. It will ask if you want to recover the password after you click Submit. They emailed it immediately!

    1. Margaret says:

      Awesome. Thank you, Eliot!

  10. Rae says:

    Good Lord, Margaret! You have helped me so much. I started my blog with Blogger over a year ago and bought my custom domain right away. But I could never figure out how to switch to WordPress AND keep my Gmail address. And finally I found this article…not being able to make the switch stumped me so badly that I all but quit for months and months. But now I am gonna start moving the content over using your other post, and I can’t thank you enough. (I did try to use your affiliate link to purchase my BlueHost hosting, but then I hesitated for a few days, then I got a Google ad for an even bigger discount, so I just bought your ebook (the Nook version) instead). Thank you so much. The last thing I want to do was pay a designer to do it because I really want to be self-sufficient, and I am sure they would have charged me an arm and a leg for what turned out to be a not very painful procedure! Thanks a million.

    1. Margaret says:

      Wow, Rae! Than you so much. And I’m so glad your blog will survive – yay! I wish you the best with it, and I really appreciate you grabbing “Sticky Readers” – I hope it helps and that you enjoy it!

  11. befitting says:

    Hey there, I’m a new blogger coming from Proleb, Austria who found you on https://www.nannygoatsinpanties.com/how-tos/transferring-your-domain-how-to-switch-from-enom-google-to-bluehost. Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m working on beginning my own blog soon but I don’t really know where to begin. Do you believe I should begin with a free site like Open Blog or invest some money into a pay site? I’m facing a lot of options and it’s all so daunting… What would you say?

    1. Margaret says:

      If you haven’t started a blog yet, I would recommend that you go with either WordPress or Blogger. They are both free and the most flexible and powerful. WordPress would be even better to already have in place should you one day decide to upgrade to a nonfree blog. You can start a free wordpress blog at wordpress.com. If you find WordPress too difficult at first, I think Blogger has a slightly easier to learn interface which you can start at blogger.com. I actually wrote an article explaining how to start a free blog on wordpress here: http://www.stickyreaders.com/how-to-start-a-free-blog-on-wordpress.html

  12. Chris Barrett says:

    Thank you for this – exactly what I needed!

    1.  You’re welcome. I’m so glad this thing is still helpful for people!

  13. […] Here you can find part two of that article […]

  14. Adam says:

    This is such a great article … just went through the whole thing with my Google Apps bought (hosted on GoDaddy) domain –> Bluehost.  There is a new tool in Cpanel called “Google Apps Wizard” under Domains … creates the appropriate CNAME and MX records for all applications you want – docs, mail, calendar, blog, etc. ….. The power of Google Docs now being hosted by Bluehost …. YES!!!!!!!

    1.  Thank you, Adam, for commenting here. I appreciate the update about Google Apps Wizard and will update this article as soon as I get a chance.

      1. It it easy to set up Microsoft’s services? I wonder if you can do a tutorial on that.

  15. Leriley says:

    i cannot even tell you how much this post helped me! thank you so much! before I found your post I was screaming nasty words at my computer.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad this post helped you. And I’m no stranger to screaming nasty words at my computer either. 🙂

  16. Sherry says:

    Whew!  If only knew then what I know now… LOL.  I don’t think I’ll buy another domain through any other place than Bluehost anymore.  HUGE difference.  THANKS for the step-by-step post.  

    1. You are very very welcome. As long as Bluehost doesn’t pull a fast one on me, I’m sticking with them forever.

      1. Mansibshah says:

        Hi Margaret, I did the temp 302 redirect from bluehost to my old blogspot URL. but it only redirected the home page. All of my post pages are broken and still give 404 error. Is there a way to fix this??

        1. Hi Mansi,
          Does this mean that right now your custom domain has been transferred to Bluehost, but you don’t have any content on it so everything is still sitting on blogspot?

          I’m not quite sure where you’re at, so I’m going to throw a questions out here.

          When you say all of your post pages are broken, what exactly are you doing to get the 404s?
          What URL is being pointed at when you hover over a link before you click on it to get a 404 (if that’s what’s happening)?
          Have you already activated the “Maintain permalinks” plug-in?

  17. Tim Lepczyk says:

    Thanks for the post! Very useful.