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What's the easiest and safest way to migrate my whole site (databases, email accounts, emails, files, my whole phpBB forum, worpress, etc.) from one server to another when both use cPanel (while keeping the same domain name).

I know cPanel has a backup feature, and also a restore feature but apparently you cannot restore from a full backup, so I guess I'll need to make every possible partial backup and then restore them in the other server. The only reason why I'm changing server is because my current server is a cheap one that tends to fail and I want to migrate to liquidweb which seems more professional.

Customer service told me they'd give me a free migration service as long as I have root access, which apparently I don't. I'm a total noob on all server and networking related stuff (DNS, IPs, etc.). I have an idea of how to transfer files and databases but no idea what am I going to do with email accounts and how am I going to setup my old domain name to point to the new server, as well as all other internet networking related stuff I'm probably forgetting.

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Backup, migrate, restore. –  mailq Dec 23 '11 at 21:06

2 Answers 2

First, do you have WHM access to both machines? If so, this is trivial. cPanel has a 'Copy account from remote machine' feature that causes the destination machine to SSH into the source machine, generate a backup, and restore it. It works pretty well, and should be what you try first.

If not, you can generate a backup and copy it to the new machine. Restoring this should get you 99% of the way there.

If you can't generate/restore a backup, then you're stuck doing things the manual way. This involves dumping all your data (MySQL is easy, you may have to write down things like email addresses/hostnames) and restoring it manually on the new machine. This is less then ideal, and will likely take a lot of time to do (For example, I can transfer 500+ accounts in 6 hours via the 'Copy account' feature, but doing one semi-complex site manually may take 6 hours by itself).

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Restoring from a full backup is possible on cPanel. If you don't have root access you'll need to have your host perform the backup(you might be able to create a full backup from cPanel yourself), and then have your new host restore from the full backup.

You could also go the hard way, by moving all your files, databases and settings manually, but by letting your host restore the full backup, things will probably move along much faster, and you will likely just need to change your nameservers and the database connection info for your web apps (username/db name).

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