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Overview

cPanel offers migration tools and technical assistance to transfer your websites from third- party control panels to cPanel. The migration process of data comes with caveats and concerns, and while our aim is to make the process as seamless and transparent as possible, there is valuable information to know before your migration. cPanel offers free migration services if you wish to transfer your websites from one of the following third-party control panels.

Important:

cPanel only provides migration services for the Linux®, FreeBSD®, or Debian based operating systems. cPanel does not provide migration services for Microsoft® operating systems. 
  •   Odin Plesk (formerly Parallels)
  •   DirectAdmin
  •   Ensim

For more information about these services, open a support ticket and our migration team will contact you.
 

Migrate your server

  1. Submit a request — To begin a migration, you must have an operational cPanel server. Submit a support ticket in the cPanel Customer Portal with the following format:
    Subject: Migration: Company Name: Server Hostname
  2. Initial evaluation — One of our migration specialists will perform an evaluation on the source server to determine whether it is a suitable candidate for a successful migration. The specialist will analyze the following items:
    • Available disk space vs. the amount of data that will move.
    • Operating system version.
    • System software versions.
    • Database management system versions.
    • Available memory.
    • Average CPU usage.
    • Network connection between the target and source servers.
  3. Customized migration plan — Our specialist will generate a customized plan for the migration based on the order and quantity of sites you plan to migrate.
  4. Scheduling — In order to provide the highest level of service, cPanel schedules migrations in advance. In your migration plan, our migration specialist will indicate available windows to begin the transfer. Due to network, hardware, and other variables outside of our specialist’s control, we only make an estimate for the duration of your migration.

    Important:

    Observed US Holidays and cPanel Release Schedules may delay a scheduled migration.

  5. Progress updates  We provide a migration hotline that you may call for status updates on your migration: 1-877-288-1492
  6. Coordinate DNS switchover  Your DNS records point at the original server until the transfer is verified and complete. If you use controlled DNS records or the domain register hosts your DNS, you should transfer them to a local DNS server before the migration begins.

    Important:

     We do not make DNS changes for you, but we will happily advise you on how to make these changes.

  7. Confirmation of completion  Once our migration specialist completes your migration, they will confirm your satisfaction with the process.

Control panel specific caveats

You should be aware of the following changes and caveats for each third-party control panel both during and after your migration:

Odin Plesk (formerly Parallels)

Area

Caveat

Horde Address BooksThe migration process only copies the default Horde address book. However, you can export any additional address books from Horde and import them into Horde on the cPanel server. You can find the import and export features within the Horde webmail interface under Horde >> Address Book >> Import/Export.

Custom DNS Zone Files

We do not make an exact copy of DNS zone files. Instead, we generate a new zone based on our zone templates that you can modify in cPanel & WHM. If you have custom records in your DNS zones, you should inspected them after your migration to ensure that all custom records were retained.

Software Configuration

You must replicate any custom configurations of your current control panel on the cPanel server. For example, this includes email Smarthosts, MySQL optimization, etc.

Packages

  • We do not support the transfer of packages from other control panels.
  • We set each account's Packages (Home >> Packages) options to unlimited. You should adjust the package limits once the transfer completes.

Reseller Accounts

We do not have a method to identify resellers from other control panels at this time. 

DirectAdmin & Ensim

Area

Caveat

Mailing Lists
  • DirectAdmin uses the software "Majordomo" for mailing lists, while cPanel uses "Mailman.” For more information, read our Mailman documentation.
  • We cannot convert Majordomo mailing lists to Mailman or copy that data to the cPanel server. If you have mailing lists, you can recreate them with cPanel's Mailing Lists (Home >> Mail >> Mailing Lists) feature. We cannot populate the lists with data from Majordomo on your behalf.

Custom DNS Zone Files

  • We do not make an exact copy of DNS zone files. Instead, we generate a new zone based on our zone templates that you can modify in cPanel & WHM. If you have custom records in your DNS zones, you should inspect them after your migration to ensure that all custom records were retained.
  • If you have not modified the zone files on the DirectAdmin server, you have no need for concern.

Software Configuration

You must replicate any custom configurations of your current control panel on the cPanel server. For example, this includes email Smarthosts, MySQL optimization, etc.

Packages

  • We do not support the transfer of packages from other control panels.
  • We set each account's Packages (Home >> Packages) options to unlimited. You should adjust the package limits once the transfer completes.

Reseller Accounts

We do not have a method to identify resellers from other control panels at this time.

Forwarding / No Hosting domains

  • We can migrate a forwarding domain if it is underneath a domain. However, we do not have a convention that can migrate a forwarding domain that exist under a client.
  • If you would like us to copy a No Hosting domain, you must convert it to hosting account first.

Frequently asked questions

QuestionAnswer
What level of access do migrations require?You must obtain  root -level access on the servers from which you wish to migrate and to which you wish to migrate. Our migration scripts require that  root -level permissions exist on both servers.

How long will the migration take?

Due to network, hardware, and other variables outside of our control, we can only make an estimate on the duration of your migration. Estimations are only done after some data has been copied. Migrations may take longer than expected due to unforeseen circumstances.

Will you transfer my emails?

Yes. All account data is copied: website files, email, databases, and etc.

How can I be alerted as each account transfers to the cPanel server?

Yes. Use the following steps to enable notification for the Account Creation alert type:

  1. Log in to WHM as the root user.
  2. Click Contact Manager (Home >> Server Contacts >> Contact Manager).
  3. You can configure an email alert (and others) for the Account Creation alert type.

Do you prevent the receipt of email to the source server after you migrate the accounts?

No. Our migrations scripts do not stop any services.

I manually added some databases to my server and not from within the control panel. Will you copy these databases?

No. The migration script only copy databases that a user created within the control panel.

What versions of PHP do you support?

You can read more about which version of PHP that cPanel & WHM supports in our PHP versions documentation. We encourage you to upgrade your software if it requires a lower version of PHP.

I cannot find options in EasyApache that were there previously. Where can I find those options?

The amount of technologies that rely on these options have diminished over the years and we do not maintain them within our distribution. There are custom Opt Mods available, which may allow you to add additional functionality to EasyApache. You can read more about custom modules in our EasyApache documentation.

Minimize your downtime

Without multiple servers to serve your content, you may experience downtime while we migrate your server. Read this section to learn the factors that result in a successful migration with limited downtime.

Test your websites after you migrate

Once we complete your migration, you should verify that each website successfully migrated before switching the DNS to the new server. We can help you resolve these common post migration issues:

  • File permissions
  • .htaccess configuration
  • Absolute link configuration

Other than examination of the file system, use the following methods to review your websites in a browser:

Option One:

WHM's Apache mod_User_Dir Tweak interface (Home >> Security Center >> Apache mod_userdir Tweak) allows you to access to your websites through a "temporary" URL in the http://IP/~username format. For example, if your new server uses the IP address 1.2.3.4, you could use the http://1.2.3.4/~cpanelusername URL to view the website. For the purposes of verification, the feature allows you to view the website before you switch the DNS to the new server.

Important:

If your content requires the domain name in the URL, the temporary URL may not load certain website content correctly. Most Content Management System (CMS) software, such as Wordpress, experience this issue with the temporary URL.

Option Two:

For sites that do not work with the temporary URL, you can configure your local computer with the IP address of the new server. You can modify your computer's hosts file to use the domain and IP address of the destination server.  Once you have made this change you can browse to your website normally without any special URLs. This process allows you to view your website in the way you and your visitors would after your DNS has been switched. To learn how to modify your computer's hosts files, read the appropriate guide:

Important:

  • You should follow all the steps listed in the appropriate guide. 
  • Once you have completed your tests, you should restore your hosts file to it's original state.

Update your DNS for the new server

Important:

You should switch the DNS to the new server as soon as possible once we have completed your migration and you have tested each website. Until you migrate your DNS, it is possible for additional data, such as email or databases changes, to reach your old server. You should limited the time spent to move your DNS to the new server to prevent data lose or additional sync changes.

The transfer of your DNS to the new server could seem like the largest hurdle in migration process. However, if you properly plan, you should only need to make a few configuration changes. The common way to process the transfer is to change the IP addresses of their nameservers to point to the new system. The advantage of this method is that you only make one change at the registrar level, rather than to each domain that you host.

The following URLs contain guides for how to update your nameserver IP addresses:

Temporarily adjust your DNS TTL

You can lower the TTL of your DNS records to force clients to update their copy of the DNS zones hosted on your nameservers. To minimize downtime, you could lower the TTL of your DNS zones to 300 seconds. You can read more about how to lower your DNS record's TTL this Migrating Servers article.

Important:

You should restore the TTL of your DNS records once you have completed your migration. The standard TTL timeout is 3600 seconds.

Check your DNS changes

Once you have updated the nameservers for your new server, we recommend that you verify the DNS configuration. Use the ping command at the command line of any server to check each domain resolve to the correct IP address, as seen in the following example:

If you see the IP address of your new server, you have correctly migrated the DNS of the domain. If you still get the old IP address, the DNS is likely propagating which means the updated data has not reached your location yet.

Note:

For a more in-depth guide for nameservers and DNS troubleshooting, read the Nameserver configuration on cPanel server tutorial.

You can verify the DNS settings with external tools.  Use the following websites to troubleshoot DNS issues:

For any other questions about the cPanel Migration Services feel free to submit a ticket in the cPanel Customer Portal.

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