Joined: 09 Jul 06
23 Feb 10 10:49 am
I have to disagree, sorry Fara!
What you need to do in either situation, is get all the files for the website. Maybe the seller can download them and zip them up for you, or maybe they can give you FTP access and you can download them to your computer yourself.
Then you will upload them to Hostgator. So you will have an exact replica of the site on your Hostgator hosting.
What you need to do next is set the DNS to point to your Hostgator account.
Yes, as Fara said, it can take some time to propagate (which means "let the whole internet know where this domain points to now") but until propagation is complete, the domain will still be pointing at the old hosting spot.
So long as those files on the old hosting account haven't been deleted immediately, it will be business as usual.
Once the whole internet is clued up that the domain is holding hands with your Hostgator account, the files can be deleted from the old hosting account pretty safely. And it's ok... because you've got an exact replica on your own hosting, remember.
Some things might not be quite so straightforward as this.... for instance, if it's a Wordpress site then you need to grab databases and add them through convoluted geeky measures. Or if there's an active user forum, you have to somehow get that all transferred over. But if it's just a straight site with no blog or forum, it shouldn't be hard at all.