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Overview

Important:

cPanel, Inc. only provides migration services for Linux®, FreeBSD®, or Debian-based operating systems. cPanel does not provide migration services for Microsoft® operating systems.

cPanel, Inc. offers migration tools and technical assistance to help you transfer your websites from third-party control panels to cPanel & WHM. Some caveats and concerns exist in the data migration process. While we aim to make the process as seamless and transparent as possible, we will need to ask you for some important information before your migration.

We offer free migration services for customers who use the following third-party control panels:

  • Odin Plesk (formerly Parallels)
  • DirectAdmin
  • Ensim®

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

Note:

For other control panels, read our How to Manually Migrate Accounts to cPanel from Unsupported Control Panels documentation. 

Migrate your server

For a successful migration process, your servers must meet the following requirements:

  • A source server that runs Plesk, DirectAdmin, or Ensim on a Linux operating system.
  • A licensed and freshly-installed cPanel & WHM server that runs CentOS 6 or 7, CloudLinux™ 6 or 7, Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® (RHEL) 6 or 7, or Amazon® Linux. For more information about the requirements for cPanel & WHM installations, read our Installation Guide - System Requirements documentation.

Notes:

  • Both servers must use MySQL® 4.1 or higher and Perl 5.6.2 or higher.
  • You must possess root-level access to both servers.
  • No accounts exist on the destination server.

 To migrate your server, perform the following steps:

  1. Submit a request. Submit a support ticket in the cPanel Customer Portal with the following subject, where Company Name represents your company name and Server Hostname represents the full hostname of the server:

    Migration: Company Name: Server Hostname  


  2. Initial evaluation. Our migration specialist will evaluate the source server to determine whether we can migrate its contents successfully. 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 source and target servers.
    • Whether the source server uses remote services or data.

      Note:

      We only transfer data from the source server. We do not transfer remote databases or data from other remote services.

  3. Customized migration plan. Our migration specialist will generate a customized plan for the migration based on the size and quantity of sites that you plan to migrate.
  4. Scheduling. In order to provide the highest level of service, we schedule migrations in advance. In your migration plan, our migration specialist will indicate available time windows in which they can begin the transfer. Due to network, hardware, and other variables outside of our specialist's control, they can only estimate 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 can call for your migration status: 1-877-288-1492
  6. Coordinate DNS switchover. Your DNS records will point at the original server until we complete and verify the transfer. If you use controlled DNS records or the domain registrar hosts your DNS, transfer those DNS records to a local DNS server before the migration begins.

    Important:

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

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

Control panel-specific caveats

You must understand the following changes and caveats for each third-party control panel 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 & WHM server. You can find the import and export features in the Horde webmail interface under 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 your DNS zones include custom records, inspect them after your migration to ensure that the migration retained all custom records.

Software Configuration

You must replicate any custom configurations of your current control panel on the cPanel & WHM server. For example, you must replicate configurations for email Smarthosts or MySQL® optimization.

Packages

  • We do not support the transfer of packages from other control panels.
  • We set each account's package options to unlimited. Adjust the package limits after the transfer finishes.

Reseller Accounts

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

Mailing Lists
  • We can transfer mailing lists from the account's main domain.
  • We do not transfer any mailing lists from any of the account's addon domains.

DirectAdmin & Ensim

Area

Caveat

Mailing Lists
  • DirectAdmin uses the Majordomo software for mailing lists, while cPanel & WHM uses Mailman. For more information, read our Mailman documentation.
  • We do not convert Majordomo mailing lists to Mailman or copy that data to the cPanel & WHM server. If your server contains mailing lists, you can recreate them with cPanel's Mailing Lists interface (cPanel >> Home >> Mail >> Mailing Lists). We do not populate the lists with data from Majordomo.

Custom DNS Zone Files

  • We do not make an exact copy of DNS zone files. Instead, we generate a new zone based on zone templates that you can modify in cPanel & WHM. If your DNS zones use custom records, inspect them after your migration to ensure that the migration retained all custom records.
  • 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 & WHM server. For example, you must replicate configurations for email Smarthosts or MySQL® optimization.

Packages

  • We do not support the transfer of packages from other control panels.
  • We set each account's package options to unlimited. Adjust the package limits after the transfer finishes.

Reseller Accounts

We cannot identify resellers from other control panels at this time.

Forwarding / No Hosting domains

  • We can migrate a forwarding domain if it exists under a domain. However, cannot migrate a forwarding domain that exists under a client.
  • If you would like for 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 possess root-level access on the source and target servers. Our migration scripts require root-level permissions on both servers.

How long will the migration take?

Due to network, hardware, and other variables outside of our control, we only estimate the duration of your migration. We will make the estimate after we copy some of the data. Migrations may require additional time due to unforeseen circumstances.

Will you transfer my emails?

Yes. Migrations copy all account data (for example, website files, email, and databases).

How can I receive an alert after each account transfers to the cPanel & WHM server?

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

  1. Log in to WHM as the root user.
  2. Navigate to WHM's Contact Manager interface (WHM >> Home >> Server Contacts >> Contact Manager).
  3. Configure an email alert 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.

Do you support Plesk Automation?No. Plesk Automation runs multiple services, such as DNS, Mail, and Apache, on different servers. In order for us to perform a migration, each account's services must run on a single source Plesk server.

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 copies databases that a user created within the control panel.

What versions of PHP do you support?

EasyApache 4 supports a MultiPHP system. For more information, read EasyApache 4's PHP documentation.

EasyApache 3 supports PHP versions 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6. For more information, read our EasyApache 3 PHP documentation.

EasyApache 4 supports PHP versions 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2.

We strongly encourage you to upgrade any software that requires an older 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. Custom Opt Mods exist, which may allow you to add additional functionality to EasyApache 3. You can read more about custom modules in our EasyApache documentation.

Note:

EasyApache 4 does not support Custom Modules.

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

After we complete your migration, verify that each website successfully migrated before you change the DNS records to point to the new server.

We can help you resolve these common post migration issues:

  • File permissions.
  • .htaccess file configuration.
  • Absolute link configuration.

You can use the following methods to review the migrated websites in a browser:

Option One:

WHM's Apache mod_userdir Tweak interface (WHM >> Home >> Security Center >> Apache mod_userdir Tweak) allows you to access to your websites through a temporary URL in the http://IP/~username format, where IP represents the target server's IP address and username represents the account's name. 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 you cannot review with the temporary URL, you can configure your local computer with the IP address of the new server. Modify your computer's hosts file to use the domain and IP address of the destination server. After you make this change, you can browse to your website normally without any special URLs. To learn how to modify your computer's hosts files, read our How to Modify your hosts File documentation.

Important:

  • Follow all of the steps that we list in our How to Modify your hosts File documentation.
  • After you complete your tests, restore your hosts file to its original state.

 

Update your DNS for the new server

Important:

Switch the DNS to the new server as soon as possible after we complete your migration and you test each website. Until you migrate your DNS, visitors can still reach the source server, which will cause unmigrated email or databases changes.

If you plan properly plan, you should only need to make a few configuration changes for the necessary DNS changes. Most customers change the IP addresses of nameservers to point to the new system. This method only requires a single change at the registrar level, rather than a change to each domain that you host.

The following guides describe how to update your nameserver IP addresses:

Temporarily adjust your DNS TTL

You can lower the TTL (Time To Live) of your DNS records to force clients to update their copy of the DNS zones that your nameservers host. To minimize downtime, we recommend that you lower the TTL of your DNS zones to 300 seconds. You can read more about how to lower your DNS records' TTL in Virendra's TalkTech's Migrating Servers article.

Important:

Ensure that you restore the TTL of your DNS records after you complete your migration. The standard TTL timeout is 3600 seconds.

Check your DNS changes

After you update the nameserver records to use your new server, we recommend that you verify the DNS configuration. Use the ping command at the command line of any server to confirm that each domain resolves to the correct IP address, as the following example demonstrates:

ping cpanel.net
PING cpanel.net (208.74.125.13): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 208.74.125.13: icmp_seq=0 ttl=56 time=94.964 ms
64 bytes from 208.74.125.13: icmp_seq=1 ttl=56 time=99.201 ms
64 bytes from 208.74.125.13: icmp_seq=2 ttl=56 time=99.415 ms

If the command returns the IP address of your new server, you have correctly migrated the DNS of the domain. If the command returns the old IP address, the DNS requires more time to propagate, which means that 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, submit a ticket in the cPanel Customer Portal.

Additional documentation