Moving a website from a non cPanel hosting provider
This article was posted in: Getting Started
This article describes the steps involved in moving a website from a non cPanel hosting provider to Krystal. We heartily recommend that you read this entire document before making a start.
Most websites comprise a combination of :
- Files - these include things like html files, php scripts, images (jpg, gif, png etc), css files and so on.
- Databases - these are usually required for most modern websites based on Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, forum systems, and eCommerce applications. Krystal offer MySQL database services, which is the most commonly used database platform for linux based web hosting.
The trick in a successful move is getting all of this stuff transferred without losing anything along the way.
If you don't already have a Krystal cPanel account, then now is the time to purchase one! Just go along to our website https://krystal.co.uk/ and sign up to one of our plans.
Step 1 - Purchasing your Krystal cPanel account
While purchasing your Krystal cPanel account, you will be asked about which domain name you wish to associate with your cPanel account. You can make the following choices:
- Register a new domain - You can of course register a new domain, but if you are transferring a website, then you probably want to keep the existing domain and choose from 2, or 3 below.
- Transfer your domain from another registrar - Choose this if you want to move your domain to us, so that you pay us for renewals in future.
- I will use my existing domain and update my nameservers - Choose this if you intend to leave your domain with the existing registrar, and just reconfigure it to point at our nameservers.
If you choose your website's existing domain name, that's fine (and recommended!) - This doesn't mean that your website will suddenly stop working, it just tells our systems to get ready to serve a website under your production domain. Continue through the purchase process in the normal way and your account will be created once you have paid.
Step 2 - Backup your files
Most hosting providers will offer you a way of backing up your website's files. This will often mean that you end up downloading a file with a zip, tar, tar.gz, or tgz extension to your computer. The file may be quite large and may take some time to download, so be patient.
If your hosting provider does not offer you any such tools, then you will have to connect to your web space using a suitable FTP application. Your website files will normally be located in a directory called public_html or htdocs. Just download the entire directory to your local computer. Make absolutely certain, you have copied everything because a single missing file could spoil your whole day. Once you have downloaded all of the files, then pack then into a zip or tgz archive.
Important Note : If you have to use the FTP method, then please make sure that your FTP software is set to show hidden files (on linux, hidden files all have names that begin with a dot e.g. .htaccess)
Step 3 - Backup your databases using phpMyAdmin
Most websites only require a single database, but just in case yours has more, be sure to backup each one of them.
Again, most hosting providers (I would say ALL here as it really is essential) offer a way for you to dump (this sounds kind of drastic, but it leaves your existing database unaffected - it just takes a copy) your databases to an export file (usually with an sql extension).
Quite often, the provided tool is called phpMyAdmin, a popular web based MySQL management tool. Once you have selected your database in phpMyAdmin, just click the Export tab (as shown below), and go for the Quick Export Method. In the vast majority of cases you can just hit the Go button, and the file you download will be perfectly suitable for importing into your new Krystal account. So for now, let's just hit Go and download the dump file.
Step 4a - Upload your files using FTP
Using your FTP software create a temporary directory in your home directory and upload into it the packed zip, or tgz archive you created in Step 2. Once you have uploaded your file, continue to Step 5.
Step 4b - Upload your files using cPanel Filemanager (250Mb Max)
If your backup file is less than 250Mb then you can use the file upload function that is part of the Filemanager facility built into your cPanel account. Log into your cPanel account using the temporary connection details given in your Welcome email. Once logged in, click on the File Manager icon in the Files section.
You will be prompted to decide which directory you wish to open, and whether or not you want to Show Hidden Files. Choose Home Directory and Show Hidden Files as shown, then click the Go button.
Once Filemanager is open, make sure your home directory is selected (1) and then click the New Folder button (2) to create a temporary folder.
Note : Folder and Directory are interchangeable terms - for some reason the technology industry can't make its mind up which to use!
Create a new directory (the example shown creates a directory called my_restore_folder) by entering a name in New Folder Name. Leave the New Folder will be created in box blank. Click Create New Folder.
Select the newly created folder from the list of folders on the left (1). Then, click on the Upload button (2).
The file upload screen will now appear. Leaving all the default settings, click the Browse button and choose the backup file from your computer's local storage. Once you select the file it will immediately begin uploading. Once the file has finished uploading, return to the main Filemanager screen.
Step 5 - Unpacking your uploaded archive
Using Filemanager, select the folder (1) and backup file (2) you just uploaded, and click the Extract button (3).
Once the files have been unpacked, you need to move them into your public_html directory (or the physical root of your addon domain if you are restoring an addon domain). The extracted files may have been placed directly into your temporary directory or into a sub-directory. Whichever, locate your website files, and then click the Select all (1) tick box. Then click the Move File button (3).
Make sure the path is set to the public_html directory (as shown - 1), or to the physical root of your addon domain. Then, click the Move Files button (2) to finally move your files into their new home! Remember to start your path with a forward slash as shown.
Step 6 - Importing your databases
Follow the guide - How to import a database using phpMyAdmin or How to import a large database into MySQL to learn how to import your database backup.
Step 7 - Adjusting your web application's configuration files
Most websites that use a database have a special configuration file that stores the details of the database server location, database name, and username. It is likely you will have changed the database and/or database username once you have restored your database into your cPanel account.
Therefore it is usually necessary to update the configuration of your web applications to connect to the database under its new name, and parhaps via a new username/password.
While we can't give you an exhaustive guide to reconfiguring every system out there, here are the locations of some common configuration files.
WordPress - wp-config.php
Joomla! - configuration.php
Drupal - sites/default/settings.php
Magento - app/etc/local.xml
osCommerce - includes/configure.php
SMF Forums - settings.php
Once you have made these changes, your application should continue to work normally. You can test your newly copied website before you change your domain names nameserver settings by following this guide:
How can I test my website before changing nameservers?