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Overview

This document describes how to migrate your web accounts from unsupported third-party control panels to cPanel & WHM.

Warning:

  • We strongly recommend that only advanced system administrators who understand migrations perform this process.
  • Your websites will likely experience downtime during this process.

cPanel, Inc. offers free migration services from the following third-party control panels:

  • Odin Plesk (formerly Parallels)
  • DirectAdmin
  • Ensim

cPanel & WHM supports the following services:

Any other services on the third-party control panel require that you customize them to function in a cPanel & WHM environment. For more information, open a support ticket and our migration team will contact you.

If you do not host your account on one of these control panels, you must manually migrate your web accounts to a cPanel & WHM server.

If you experience difficulties with this process, open a support ticket and our migration team will contact you.

Migrate your accounts


Lower your DNS Time to Live.

Decrease your DNS records' Time To Live (TTL) on all of your account's domains. This forces clients to update their copy of the DNS zones that your nameservers host. We recommend that you perform this action several days before you begin the migration process. For information about how to lower your DNS records' TTL, read Virendra's TalkTech's Migrating Servers article.

 


 

Install cPanel & WHM on your new server

Before you transfer the accounts, install cPanel & WHM on your new server. To do so, follow the steps in our Installation Guide.

During the installation process, select a hostname and main IP address for the new server. You can perform this action in WHM's Basic WebHost Manager Setup interface (WHM >> Home >> Server Configuration >> Basic WebHost Manager Setup). The system configures the DNS zone files of restored accounts with those settings.

Important:

  • Select a main IP address that is not your old server's main IP address.
  • Select the same hostname, shared IP address, and nameservers as your old server.

Note:

cPanel, Inc. automatically provides you with free 15-day trial license when you install cPanel & WHM on a new server. However, if the Trial License Interface shows that your IP address is not eligible for a trial license, contact Customer Service.

 


 

Migrate the files.

After you create a new cPanel & WHM account, migrate your old account's files and directories to your new account's appropriate files and directories.

The following table describes files and directories that you commonly use when you transfer an account to a cPanel & WHM server:

DirectoryDescriptionNotesExamples
/home/user/public_html

This directory contains all of your files, directories, subdirectories, and content.


  • This directory may appear as the home/user/www directory or the /home/user/vhost directory on some systems.
  • The account user must own the files and subdirectories in this directory.
  • The subdirectories in this directory must possess 755 permissions.
  • The files in these directories must possess 644 permissions.
 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-x---  7 user nobody   4096 Jan 11 08:35 ./
drwx--x--x 41 user user    4096 Mar 14 02:18 ../
drwxr-xr-x  2 user user    4096 May 20  2014 cgi-bin/
drwxr-xr-x  2 user user    4096 Sep  4  2014 entropybanner/
-rw-r--r--  1 user user       2 Jan 11 08:35 example.html
drwxr-xr-x  2 user user    4096 Jul 16  2013 scgi-bin/
/home/user/mail

This directory contains all of the email files for every email account on the cPanel account.This includes any addon domains, parked domains (aliases), and subdomains.

A directory for each domain, subdomain, addon domain, and parked domain exists in the /home/user/mail directory. These directories include subdirectories for each email address associated with the domain.


Users who migrate data to cPanel & WHM servers must convert any mbox data to the Maildir format. To do this, follow the directions in our How to Convert mbox Accounts to Maildir documentation.

 

 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-x--x 12 user user 4096 Sep 24 11:07 ./
drwx--x--x 41 user user 4096 Mar 14 02:18 ../
drwxr-x--x  3 user user 4096 Mar 23  2015 archive/
drwxr-x--x  3 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 colin.com/
drwxr-x--x  2 user user 4096 Apr 22  2014 courierimapkeywords/
-rw-rw----  1 user user   36 Apr 30  2014 courierimapsubscribed
-rw-r--r--  1 user user   14 Apr 22  2014 courierimapuiddb
drwxr-x--x  2 user user 4096 Jul 15  2013 cur/
-rw-rw----  1 user user    0 Jun  8  2015 dovecot-acl-list
-rw-r-----  1 user user  244 Jun  8  2015 dovecot.index.log
-rw-r-----  1 user user   50 Jun  8  2015 dovecot-uidlist
drwxr-x--x  5 user user 4096 Apr 22  2014 .Trash/
 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-x--x  3 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 ./
drwxr-x--x 12 user user 4096 Sep 24 11:07 ../
drwxr-x--x  9 user user 4096 Jun  8  2015 servo/
 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-x--x 9 user user 4096 Jun  8  2015 ./
drwxr-x--x 3 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 ../
-rw-rw---- 1 user user   43 Apr 30  2014 courierimapacl
drwxr-x--x 2 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 cur/
drwxr-x--x 5 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 .Drafts/
drwxr-x--x 5 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 .Junk/
-rw-r----- 1 user mail    18 Jun 30  2014 maildirsize
drwxr-x--x 2 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 new/
drwxr-x--x 5 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 .Sent/
drwxr-x--x 2 user user 4096 Apr 30  2014 tmp/
drwxr-x--x 5 user user 4096 Apr 28  2014 .Trash/
/home/user/tmp

This directory contains the temporary files for the account, as well as bandwidth and web statistics data.

For example, you can migrate your original server's AWStats data to the /home/user/tmp/awstats directory.

When you migrate the bandwidth and web statistics data to a cPanel & WHM server, the system uses the data to create web statistics files.

 

 

 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-xr-x 11 user user  4096 Mar  2 12:26 ./
drwx--x--x 41 user user  4096 Mar 14 02:18 ../
drwxr-xr-x  3 user user  4096 Apr 18  2015 analog/
drwxr-xr-x  3 user user  4096 Apr 18  2015 awstats/
drwxr-xr-x  2 user user  4096 Sep  6  2013 cpbandwidth/
drwx------  2 user user  4096 May 12  2014 cpcsvimport/
drwx------  2 user user  4096 Jun  9  2015 horde/
drwxr-xr-x  2 user user  4096 Oct 22  2014 logaholic/
drwxr-xr-x  3 user user  4096 Oct 30  2014 pear/
drwxr-xr-x  3 user user  4096 Apr 18  2015 webalizer/
drwxr-xr-x  2 user user  4096 Oct 22  2014 webalizerftp/

 

 

/home/user/etc

This directory contains the email account password, shadow, and quota files for current email accounts.

For example, you can migrate your original server's email account quota data to the /home/user/etc/quota directory.


N/A
 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-x---  5 user mail  4096 Oct 21 10:23 ./
drwx--x--x 41 user user 4096 Mar 14 02:18 ../
drwx--x--x  3 user user 4096 Apr 22  2014 passwd/
-rw-r--r--  1 user user    0 Apr 22  2014 quota
-rw-r--r--  1 user user    9 Feb  4 09:33 cacheid
drwxr-x---  5 user user  4096 Mar 12 03:11 shadow/
/home/usr/ssl

This directory contains the SSL certificates associated with the domains on the cPanel account.

After you migrate the SSL certificates, you must activate them in the Manage SSL Hosts section of WHM's Manage SSL Hosts interface (WHM >> Home >> SSL/TLS >> Manage SSL Hosts).
 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-xr-x  5 user user  4096 Aug  3  2015 ./
drwx--x--x 41 user user  4096 Mar 14 02:18 ../
drwx------  2 user user  4096 Feb 16  2015 certs/
drwx------  2 user user  4096 Feb 16  2015 csrs/
drwx------  2 user user  4096 Mar 25  2015 keys/

 

 

/var/lib/mysql

This directory stores the MySQL® databases for every account on the server.

  • You must create the empty database on the cPanel account first, and then restore it on to that database.To do this, use cPanel's MySQL Database Wizard interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> MySQL Database Wizard).
  • You must create a dump of your database and import it via cPanel's phpMyAdmin interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> phpMyAdmin).
 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-x--x 30 mysql mysql     4096 Mar 14 02:57 ./
drwxr-xr-x 26 root  root      4096 Nov 11 03:11 ../
drwx------  2 mysql mysql     4096 Jun 17  2014 apitest_hammock_r_d/
drwx------  2 mysql mysql     4096 Jun 17  2014 apitest_jason/
drwx------  2 mysql mysql     4096 Jun 17  2014 apitest_newestaddition/
-rw-rw----  1 mysql mysql    16384 Feb 20 03:07 aria_log.00000001
-rw-rw----  1 mysql mysql       52 Feb 20 03:07 aria_log_control
-rw-rw----  1 mysql mysql       56 Feb 11  2015 auto.cnf 
/var/lib/pgsql

This directory stores the PostgreSQL databases for every account on the server.

  • You must create the empty database on the cPanel account first, and then restore it on to that database.To do this, use cPanel's PostgreSQL Database Wizard interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> PostgreSQL Database Wizard).
  • You must create a dump of your database and import it via cPanel's phpPgAdmin interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> phpPgAdmin).
 Click to view the directory's contents...
drwxr-x--x 30 pgsql pgsql     4096 Mar 14 02:57 ./
drwxr-xr-x 26 root  root      4096 Nov 11 03:11 ../
drwx------  2 pgsql pgsql     4096 Jun 17  2014 apitest_hammock_r_d/
drwx------  2 pgsql pgsql     4096 Jun 17  2014 apitest_jason/
drwx------  2 pgsql pgsql     4096 Jun 17  2014 apitest_newestaddition/
-rw-rw----  1 pgsql pgsql    16384 Feb 20 03:07 aria_log.00000001
-rw-rw----  1 pgsql pgsql       52 Feb 20 03:07 aria_log_control
-rw-rw----  1 pgsql pgsql       56 Feb 11  2015 auto.cnf

 


 

Migration completion and DNS updates.

After you migrate your content to your new cPanel & WHM server, perform the following steps:

  1. Confirm that all of your content and credentials migrated properly and that they function in the new environment.
  2. Update your domain's nameservers to match the new nameservers on your cPanel & WHM server.

    Note:

    We recommend that you also edit the DNS records on your old server to point to your cPanel & WHM server so that all content forwards to the new server.

Additional documentation