Lets dive quickly into the hosting control panels that are used in the market and how we can switch our website from one server to another.
Migration between hosting accounts that are using cPanel based control panel is very easy. You can either request your hosting provider for the data migration if it is a shared hosting or if you have a VPS or a dedicated server with cPanel installed, then you can migrate the account over yourself using the WHM manager. From whm, you can use the service “Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account” and you just need to enter the hostname, username, password of the old hosting and the migration will begin. It may take few minutes or longer depending on the size of your website. Once the data switch is complete, you can point the DNS over to the new server. Two ways to accomplish the DNS pointing, either you move the complete name servers which may take 24-48 hours for complete propagation or you may use a third party DNS service where you point the domain and then just update the IP address of A record on the DNS service provider control panel. Also review our cPanel modifications for improving website speed and allow you website to run faster and smoother.
Second most popular Web Panel is Plesk and it also allows moving website between one server to another. The transfer system allows moving websites from Plesk as well as cPanel, so you can easily switch a cPanel account to a Plesk server without manually moving the files. One thing to note is that the email migration is only possible between cPanel to cPanel migration and if you are moving to a Plesk server, you may need to start afresh. Also, it is a good idea to not to use cPanel or Plesk for hosting you email and use a dedicated email service such as provided by Google G Suite. Not only it is a professional approach, it also allows greater reliability and you do not need to worry about moving emails when you switch your hosting provider.
If you are on a custom setup, the best solution is to manually transfer files and database from old server to new server. While, many users try to FTP into their server and manually transfer files to local computer and then transfer it to destination server, this is not a quick one. As a web company, we value time and money, and we try to utilize solutions that allow quick turnaround. Same with the hosting migration, the quickest approach would be to create an archive of you website files and then backup to your PC. While we told you to back to your PC, we would not be using the same local backup to upload to the destination server. Instead, we would remote fetch the archive from old server to new server thus bypassing any slowness caused by the users internet download or upload speed. After finishing extracting the files on the new hosting account, lets move to migration of database.
To migrate the database, for a smaller database that is under 100MB, we can use PHPmyadmin, which allows exporting .sql file and then we can use PHPmyadmin on destination server to import the database file. If the database is huge, lets say, more than a gigabyte, we would try to export using command:
mysqldump -u database_user -p database_name > backup-file.sql
and then once we have the exported file ready and moved to the new hosting server, we would use the following command to import the database:
mysql -u database_user -p database_name < backup-file.sql
Remember to have the database passwords handy as entering above commands even as root may require you to enter the db password.
If you still have any doubts and do not want to risk messing up with the system, get a professional involved for your website migration. At Zycoon Media, we perform complete migration, including the above mentioned data migration, to more complex issues such as DNS record correction, repair broken db or file system, CDN setup, setting up server security, website security improvement, server optimization and tweaking system for speed.