Are you unhappy with your current hosting provider and want to transfer a website from one cPanel to another? Perhaps you’ve outgrown your hosting services and need a VPS or dedicated server? There’s a variety of reasons for switching hosting providers and a couple of different options for moving your website or blog to another cPanel.
I was once in your position, but since then I have created and transferred hundreds of sites. As you’re about to see, the process is rather simple. However, in order to successfully transfer your site without any hiccups, you’ll need to follow a few key steps. Here’s the rundown on these steps for both quick and manual site transfers.
Quick Website Transfer: Utilizing the Backup and Restore Feature
If you’re switching servers and need to move all of your website files from one cPanel to another, there’s a good chance you can transfer your site quickly and simply by utilizing cPanel’s backup and restore features. Simply backup your site files with the backup option, which hopefully you have already done, and “restore” on the new server.
While going this route is extremely quick and easy, you will need to visit your domain registrar and update the domain name server settings. This will tell your site’s domain name to point to the new server.
Manual Website Transfer: Necessary for Owners of Multiple Sites
If you have multiple websites and want to split your sites into multiple accounts or only transfer one site to a new server and cPanel, the quick transfer option above unfortunately won’t work. Instead, you must transfer your site manually by following these eight simple steps:
1. Download and Backup the Website Files
This can be done using FileZilla or another FTP service. You can also compress and download your site folder via the File Manager in your cPanel. If you have a large website, the site files may have to be downloaded in groups rather than performing one large download.
2. Backup and Export the Database
This step can be done using phpMyAdmin. However, depending on the size of the database, you may need help from your current host. If you have a large site with a large database, you may not be able to fully backup the database due to download size limitations. That being said, this depends entirely on the policies of your hosting provider.
3. Set-Up the Domain and New Database on New Hosting Account
After setting up your site’s domain name on the new hosting account, either as a primary or add-on domain, you will need to set-up a new database for you site with the new hosting provider or account.
You will also need to establish a username for the database. When doing so, it’s best to keep the database username and password the same as they were with your previous host or account. If you decide to change them, you will need to update the configuration file. With WordPress, the wp-config.php file will need updated.
4. Import the Database
After backing up the database and doing the steps above, the next step is to import the data from the database into the new database you just created. This can also be done using phpMyAdmin.
5. Upload the Site Files
After importing the database, your site files will need to be uploaded to your new hosting account. This can be done using FileZilla or the file manager in the cPanel. Before doing so, however, make sure the configuration file settings and the database settings on the new hosting account match one another.
6. Update the Domain Name Server Settings with Your Domain Registrar
Your new hosting provider likely sent an email with at least two domain name server settings, such as: ns1.myhost.com and ns2.myhost.com.
After receiving or locating the DNS settings, you will need to update them with your domain registrar. Different domain registrars work differently. Therefore, if you are unsure of how to do this, simply check the FAQ and support sections of your registrar’s website for instructions.
7. Review the Site Settings in WordPress or Another CMS
At this point, you are pretty much done. However, before resting on your laurels, you should review the site settings in whichever CMS you are using. For instance, if you’re using WordPress, you should make sure any plugins are installed and working properly. You will also need to check to make sure your site theme is uploaded and activated. The permalink structure should also match that of the old site in order for the links to work properly.
8. Delete Everything from Previous Hosting Account
After you have successfully transferred your site to your new cPanel, the last task is to remove the site files and database from the previous hosting account. If there are no other websites on the account, you are now free to close the original account as your site is now up and running in a new cPanel.
While simple, many site owners find themselves needing help when trying to transfer a website from one cPanel to another. If you are uncomfortable going the manual route and the quick transfer option won’t work for you, your hosting provider may be able to take care of the transfer for you. Depending on your hosting provider, they may even do it free. Simply send them an email or give them a call to see if they can get your site set-up and ready to go on their servers. Whether you do it yourself or go the easy route, the process should only take an hour or two at most.