In this article we'll discuss the basic process of an account migration or move from one server to another. Sometimes this is necessary if your account requires access to a certain software version, you'd like to switch data centers from one coast to the other, or for a few other reasons.
Note: WordPress and BoldGrid users should follow our WordPress migration guides.
Account migration process
Typically account migrations are handled by our system administration team, here are the common steps that they use when migrating your account from one server to another:
- Transfer all account data from the old server to the new one.
- Package up your cPanel account which includes all settings and transfer that to the new server.
- Restore your cPanel account to the new server.
- Move all of your transferred data into place on the new server.
Shared IP address migrations
If your account has been using a shared IP address, when your account is moved to a new server your site's IP address will get updated. There won't be any downtime associated with this account migration since we leave your account up and running on the old server as well.
When your account is restored onto the new server, this automatically updates your DNS (Domain Name System) records associated with the domain, so long as you have your domain pointed at our name servers.
These DNS records tell visitors what web-server they should go to when requesting your website, and an update to them can take up to 24 hours to fully propagate around the Internet. If your domains are not pointed at our name servers, you'll need to update your DNS records manually to the IP address of the new server, and we will alert you that this needs to be done on your end.
During the 24 hour DNS propagation period, visitors requesting your website or trying to e-mail you, will end up on either the old or the new server depending on their local ISP's DNS caching settings. During this 24 hour period if you were planning on making a website update, or were looking for an important e-mail, you'll want to keep in mind that your own computer will only be pointing at one of the servers, so that's the only server the update would be applied to, or the e-mail would be available on.
Dedicated IP address / SSL Certificate migrations
If your account has been using a dedicated IP address for running an SSL certificate, then so long as your server move is going to be on the same coast your account's IP address shouldn't update. With these types of account migrations your account might have a few minutes of downtime while the IP address is removed from the old server and assigned to the new server.
If you're requesting an account migration from one data center to the data center on the opposite coast, this would require us to assign you a new dedicated IP address as the old one wouldn't be able to route any longer. Under this scenario your account migration would be essentially the same as a shared IP address one, as you would have the 24 hour DNS propagation period.
Once your dedicated IP address has been moved over to the new server, all website requests and e-mails should start flowing to that new server right away. Because your account's IP address didn't change there would be no DNS propagation period that you have to worry about.