If you are a customer of a host that does not use the cPanel as it’s interface for managing your website, then there are few basic things that you should do when you want to move your site to a new InMotion Hosting dedicated server for your hosting solution. If you are not familiar with the structure of your website, then it is highly recommended that you hire a website developer to ensure that everything is transferred correctly. InMotion Hosting also provides a service for moving websites or managed hosting support services to assist as necessary.
Note that cPanel creation is no longer unlimited. For more information, please see cPanel Pricing Changes. You can see the pricing that now applies to cPanel licenses. To learn more about the change, please see our FAQ on cPanel Pricing.
Planning your Website Transfer
Thoroughly plan your transfer! The main question you’re asking yourself is, “How do I get my website transferred from the old host to the new host?” Make a checklist of the items that you need to transfer your website. Typical website transfers may include the following items:
- Website files
- DNS Settings
- Domain name
- SSL certificate
If you are transferring the site yourself, remember to give yourself the appropriate time to transfer all the parts of your website. This will differ based on the size and complexity of the website or websites involved in the transfer. Another consideration may be that you need to have your website running while you are transferring the site. If that is the case, then you will need to plan to make sure that your old host is still running while you are making the transfer. Use your checklist to help you schedule and track the website transfer process.
Steps for Transferring your Website
- Website files – Normally, the first part of the transfer involves moving your website files. The time to complete transfers will depend on the size and number of files involved with your website or websites. You may also need to create cPanel accounts in WHM. The typical method of moving the files from server to server is using an FTP client. Before you transfer files, you should turn off any caching or search-engine friendly settings.
- Database – The process of transferring the database from your old server starts with creating the database on the new server, then exporting you old database. After exporting your database, you may need to move files using FTP as you did with the website files in the first step. Once you have the exported file in place, you can then import the database file using phpMyAdmin in you cPanel.
- Email – keep several considerations in mind if you must transfer email accounts from your old non-cPanel host. Email accounts may need to be created within cPanel before you can move email accounts to the new server. This may be a time-consuming process based on the number of accounts and emails involved. If you have other administrators managing email/websites with your account, then communicate with them about the server move so that they can provide assistance and inform their users of the pending move. When you move email accounts, remember that some moves may be easier depending on the protocol used by the account. You can find more information on moving email accounts in our tutorial Transferring emails from your old host to InMotion Hosting. Remember that the server will not handle the mail from your old server until the domain name has been pointed to our hosting service.
- SSL certificate – If you are using an SSL certificate, then you can move the certificate from your old location provided that it is using the exact same domain name. The process for transferring a typically takes less than an hour, but if you require a dedicated IP address then you will need to request it from InMotion support. If you have a need for multiple dedicated IP addresses, make sure to plan your requests for them ahead of your transfer process.
- Domain name – once you have completed moving over your website files, databases and emails, then your next step is to point your domain name to our hosting server or request transfer of your domain name. If you intend to transfer your domain name from another domain registrar keep in mind that the transfer can take from 7-10 days. Domain transfers are not required for your website transfer. The main advantage to having the domain under the InMotion Hosting domain registrar (Melbourne IT) includes centralized billing and control of the domain’s DNS under one interface. Note that there are only a limited number of top level domains that are supported by InMotion Hosting, so it is possible that you may need to keep your domain hosted with its current domain registrar. If you are not transferring the domain, and simply pointing the nameservers to the new host, the time to complete the change is typically up to 24 hours.
- DNS Settings – Once you have the domain name pointed or transferred to InMotion Hosting, then you may need to make DNS changes that are required for your website. You can make DNS changes using WHM. DNS changes can also be done in the cPanel using the Advanced DNS editor. DNS settings typically take up to 24 hours to apply after you make a change.
Once you have completed all of the steps involved in moving your website, your final step will be to make sure that all of your website pages and functions are working. Create a checklist that you can use to verify that your website has transferred successfully. Make sure that you include all of your website pages and functionality in your checklist. Once you have confirmed that everything is working properly, you can close down any old services that may be running. When you have checked everything to your satisfaction, your website transfer is complete!