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Overview

cPanel offers Migration tools and technical assistance for migrating your websites from third- party control panels to cPanel. The process of migrating 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 migrating.


Migration Services

cPanel offers free migration services if you are migrating from a third-party control panel. For more information about these services, open a support ticket and our migration team will contact you.

Using our migration services

  1. Submit a request – To begin a migration, you must have an operational cPanel server. Submit a support ticket via https://tickets.cpanel.net/submit/ 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 available disk space vs. the amount of data that will move, operating system version, system software versions, database management system versions, available memory, and average CPU usage, and will test the 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, migrations are scheduled in advance. In your migration plan, our migration specialist will indicate available windows for beginning the transfer. Due to network, hardware, and other variables outside of our specialist’s control, we can only make an estimate on the actual duration of your migration. (I would put this in the ‘note’ macro)Observed Holidays and Release Schedules may impede migration scheduling. 
  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 will remain pointing at the original server until the transfer is verified and complete. If your server’s DNS records are controlled, or hosted by the domain registrar, you should transfer them to a local DNS server before migrating to avoid delays. We do not make DNS changes for you, but we will be happy to advise you on how to make these changes..
  7. Confirmation of completion – Once the migration process is fully complete, our migration specialist will confirm your satisfaction with the process

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION

ANSWER

What level of access do migrations require?You must obtain root-level access on the server 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 actual 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 my emails be transferred too?

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

How can I be alerted as each account is being added to the cPanel server?

Log into WHM as root and click the "Contact Manager" link. You can configure an email alert (and others) for the "Account Creation" alert type.

Do you prevent email from being sent to the source server after accounts have been migrated?

No. Our migrations scripts do not stop any services.

Some databases have been added manually, and not from within the control panel. Will they be copied?

No. Only databases created with the control panel can be associated with users when the migration scripts run.

What versions of PHP do you support?

We fully support PHP 5.3 to PHP 5 currently, and we have documentation, which details how to add other versions. We encourage you to upgrade your software if it requires a lower version of PHP.

Why are there options missing in EasyApache that were there before?

The amount of technologies that rely on these options have diminished over the years and we are no longer maintaining them within our distribution. As an example, Microsoft discontinued support for FrontPage extensions on Linux servers in 2006. There are custom Opt Mods available, which may allow you to add additional functionality to EasyApache. See our documentation here: http://documentation.cpanel.net/display/EA/Custom+Modules 

Control Panel Specific Caveats 

Each third-party control panel is different in the way it behaves. We have put together a list of the common changes and caveats to be aware of during and post migration.

Parallels Plesk

AREA

CAVEAT

Horde Address Books

Only the default Horde address book copies during migration. You can, however, export any additional address books from Horde, and then import them into Horde on the cPanel server. This can be done via 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, they should be inspected manually post-migration to ensure that all custom records were retained.

Software Configuration

Custom configurations of your current panel will need to be replicated on the cPanel server. This includes email Smarthosts, MySQL optimization, etc.

Packages

We do not currently support the transfer of packages from competing control panels.

Packages will be set to unlimited and will need to be adjusted once 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.”

There is currently no functionality for converting Majordomo mailing lists to Mailman, or copying that data to the cPanel server. This means that if you have mailing lists, you will need to recreate them via cPanel >> Mailing Lists. Populating the lists with data from Majordomo is not something that we are able to do at this time.

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, they should be inspected manually post-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

Custom configurations of your current panel will need to be replicated on the cPanel server. This includes email Smarthosts, MySQL optimization, etc.

Packages

We do not currently support the transfer of packages from competing control panels.

Packages will be set to unlimited and will need to be adjusted once transfer completes.

Reseller Accounts

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

Forwarding / No Hosting domains

While we support bringing over forwarding if it is underneath a domain, we do not have a convention that will bring over forwarding domains that exist under a client.

If you would like us to copy a No Hosting domain, you must turn it into a hosting account first. 

Transferring with Minimal Downtime

Obtaining zero downtime during a server or account migration is difficult unless you have multiple servers serving content and operating different services (such as E-Mail, etc). This can be very costly, and requires extensive maintenance and monitoring to execute. That said we want to set proper expectations and state that while we will work tirelessly to make sure the migration is as smooth as possible, a number of factors surround a successful migration with minimal downtime.

Through this document, we will discuss a number of those factors.

Testing websites after a Migration

Testing your website on the destination server as soon as the migration has been completed will increase your confidence in a successful migration. Not only will this let you know if you're ready to switch the DNS to the new server but you can identify any problems before the site is live.  Common issues that could cause problems on a recently migrated site include improper file permissions. htaccess troubleshooting, and absolute linking but these can be fixed quickly and should not deter you from switching DNS to the new server.  Besides examining the file system itself there are two ways you can test your website in a browser to make sure your websites are working how you expect.

Option One:

The Apache User_Dir tweak allows you to access to your websites through a "temporary" URL in the format of http://IP/~username. For example, if your new server was hosted on the IP of 1.2.3.4 you could visit http://1.2.3.4/~cpanelusername to visit the website before the DNS is pointed to that new server. Full documentation about this function is located here: http://documentation.cpanel.net/display/ALD/Apache+mod_userdir+Tweak

Viewing websites through the temporarily URL may result in pages not loading properly if they require the domain name in the address. Most CMS software, such as Wordpress, will experience this issue.

Option Two:

For sites that will not work with the temporary URL, method described above you can direct your local computer to the IP address of the new server so you can view the site directly in a browser. This is done by temporarily modifying your computer's hosts file to reference the domain and IP address of the destination server.  Once you've made this change you can simply browse to your website normally without any special URLs needed. This allows you to view your website in the way you and your visitors would after your DNS has been switched. If you do test your site with this option it is important that you follow all the steps in the links below (such as restarting your browser, if necessary) and that you make sure to remove the entries from your hosts file once you've completed your testing. Details on how to make these changes for various operating systems are listed below:

Please be sure to remove the entries to your local host file after you have reviewed your websites. 

Switching DNS to the New Server

Switching the DNS to the new server should be done as soon as possible after the migration has been completed and the sites have been tested.  Since there is the possibility of additional data reaching your old server, such as incoming email or database changes, you want to make sure this time is kept to a minimum to avoid losing data or having to sync changes.

Making DNS changes often seems like the largest hurdle for a migration but if planned properly, you should have just a few configuration changes to make. The most common way people handle this is to change the IP addresses of their nameservers so they point to the new system.  The advantage of this method is that you only have to make one change at the registrar level instead of making a change to each domain that you host.

You can find more information on how to update your nameserver IPs below:

Checking your DNS changes 

Once the nameservers are pointed to your new server, you can check the DNS settings to make sure everything is working as you expect.  The easiest way to do this is with a ping test, which can be performed on the command line of any server. Enter "ping yourdomain.com" and note the IP that responds. Here is an example below:

If you see the IP of your new server then your machine is ready to access to websites on the new IP address. If you still get the old IP address, the DNS is likely "propagating" which just means the updated data hasn't reached your location yet.

For a more in depth guide on Nameservers and testing please refer to: Nameserver configuration on cPanel servers

 

You can always double-check the DNS settings by using external tools - the following sites are great resources for DNS troubleshooting:

For any other questions regarding the cPanel Migration Services feel free to submit a ticket at https://tickets.cpanel.net for help.

 

 

 

 

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