Moving your data to a new server
It’s inevitable that most websites will move their server from one host to another at least once. This is often done because the new host will provide better service, features, or is cheaper.
While most individuals can’t physically pick up their server and move it to another location, there are other options if you’re renting server space (which, of course, most companies do).
When it comes to moving data, there are a number of ways you can do it for free, or by spending a bit of money on a third party program.
For this article, we will be looking at moving over data from a server running cPanel as well as its built-in features.
Before you move…
When selecting a new host for your website, be sure that the features of the package meet your minimum requires. After all, you don’t want to upgrade to a system that limits the amount of email accounts or SQL databases.
For this, you will need all of your cPanel and webhost login details, an FTP program (like FileZilla), as well as planning for your website to be down for a while.
Though the process of moving data is easy, it can be time consuming.
If the new home of your website has a different domain name, there are a few additional points to take note of:
- If the website was built from the ground up and the domain name is hard-coded into the files, you will have to change each and every instance of it to the new name.
- For pre-built website software, such as Joomla or WordPress, this information can be changed in the config files. Once the name is changed, it will reflect throughout the website, which eliminates needless coding.
- There is a good chance you will need to redirect the old website to the new one for a few months. This will push visitors to the new site, and give you time to change all of the manual tags in articles. The process can be handled in cPanel, under ‘Domains’ and then ‘Redirects’.
The data backup method
One of the easiest ways to move data from one server to another is to create a backup of everything on the server, which is then uploaded to the new domain. It’s an easier process, and because backups are compressed, faster as well.
- Log in to cPanel with the details provided to you by the hosting company.
- Navigate to ‘Backup Wizard’ in the ‘Files Category’.
- You will be presented with two options. Select ‘Backup’.
- On the next screen, select ‘Full Backup’ – this will create a backup of your files, SQL databases, users, and emails on the server. It should also backup data that is not in the root of your website, such as important files that users cannot access
- Click on ‘Generate Backup.’ Once it the process has been completed, , you will be notified via email.
- Now, download the newly created backup from the ‘Backup Wizard’. Depending on how your new server has been set up, you may need to extract all of the contents.
- Log in to the new website’s cPanel and navigate to ‘Backup Wizard’ under ‘Files’.
- Click ‘Restore’.
- You can now restore your files, databases, and emails. Run as many checks as possible before the website goes live in order to be sure it is operating correctly.
Keep a note of file permissions as they may have changed during the process. If they are incorrectly configured, users may be able to access sensitive information.
Another common issue is that of images not displaying correctly. Ordinarily, these are kept in their own folder. Be sure that the new file structure (if there is one) is copied over to the configuration files.
And that’s it, you’ve just successfully moved your server to a new host!