Performing a cPanel server migration may seem intimidating. If you have Linux-based Web hosting, chances are you are using the popular tool to manage your hosting services. Perhaps you are moving to a new server and need to configure cPanel to reflect the new changes.
The following covers the basics on how to perform a cPanel migration, tools you will need as you go along, and some helpful tips and advice. The cPanel’s graphical user interface (GUI) allows users to easily perform most administrative tasks like adding and removing FTP accounts, file/folder and email account management—among others—without using the command line. Fortunately, migrating cPanel accounts is also mostly a point-and-click affair. It is a bit involved, though, so be sure to have technical assistance in case of a need for urgent help.
Web Hosting Preparation
You will need the FTP information for your new cPanel Web hosting account, as well as an FTP client application for uploading and downloading files. Many free options exist such as FileZilla and CyberDuck. It’s also advisable to ensure that your original Web host’s version of cPanel matches that of the new hosting provider. This can be confirmed by logging into cPanel and checking “cPanel version” under “Stats” in the left-hand column. If both versions are the same, you’ll be less likely to encounter problems.
Backup and Download of Existing Site
After logging into cPanel, navigate to a section called “Backup.” Under “Partial Backups,” you will see two options: “Download a Home Directory Backup” and “Download a MySQL Database Backup.” Click the “Download” button under “Download a Home Directory Backup” and save the file somewhere on your local computer.
Backup and Download of Existing MySQL Databases
Under “Download a MySQL Database Backup” you will see a list of current MySQL databases installed on the server. Clicking on each link will download the backup file for that particular database instance. As in the previous step, the downloaded files will be used in restoring the website to the new server.
It’s worth noting that both files may be quite large and are compressed for easier manipulation and faster uploading and downloading. These files must remain in their compressed format. Upon downloading, some utilities such as WinZip may prompt you to unzip or decompress the files. Do not select this option, as the destination Web host requires the files to be in their downloaded format. Simply download and save the files as they are.
Uploading Site and MySQL Databases to New Web Host
After logging into cPanel on the old site, navigate to the “Backup” section. You will see options to “Restore a Home Directory Backup” and “Restore a MySQL Database.” Under “Restore a Home Directory Backup,” select “Browse” to navigate to the location of the website backup file. Clicking “Upload” will copy your old site’s file to the new server, keeping intact all folders and file locations.
The last step is to restore any MySQL databases associated with your website. Under “Restore a MySQL Database,” select the “Browse” button and navigate to the location where the website’s MySQL database backup was saved. Clicking “Upload” will restore the database—you will need to do this for each MySQL database that was saved (and needs to be restored on the new server).
In short, cPanel to cPanel migration is mostly painless with the provided migration tools. For cPanel to Plesk migrations, similar tools such as the Parallels Plesk Migration and Transfer Manager tool can also aid in easy, error-free migrations of your website.