CPanel to Plesk Migration Guide

All web hosting companies need to do server migrations – an essential and routine task in our line of work. When it comes to migrating servers and accounts, you need to do so with proper planning and perfect execution. Otherwise, it can cause website downtime and complications. Hence, we created this cPanel to Plesk migration guide to smoothen the process.

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You may need a server migration for a variety of reasons, but in most cases, it’s either because of security improvements or business growth and expansion. Millions of hosting servers use Plesk and cPanel as their control panels. And that’s why a cPanel to Plesk migration is one of the most common tasks tech support employees do.

Preparation steps for cPanel to Plesk migration

Failing your cPanel to Plesk migration can lose you a lot of time. So ensure your Plesk migration process is seamless with these necessary preparation steps. And make sure you prepare both servers for the process. These are the essential steps that you need to follow to prepare the migration in a proper way.

  1. Make sure that you have enough disk space on both cPanel and Plesk servers. The space available within the source needs to be at least the same as the amount of data transferred. And the destination should have at least 5 GBs more than that.
  2. Use you migration manager to make sure that the versions of Plesk and cPanel you have are compatible for the transfer.
  3. Install the Plesk transfer and migration manager on the destination.
  4. In order to make sure there are no IP issues, add one or more shared IP addresses. Meanwhile, follow up with the exact number of dedicated IP addresses within both servers.
  5. If you have mailing lists in the source, install the Mailman mailing list manager in the destination server. And that way, you can handle them properly.
  6. To connect the destination server to the source server, allow the IP of the Plesk server within the cPanel firewall. Also, configure the source server to allow SSH connections.
  7. Make sure that SELinux is disabled on your Plesk server while the process is ongoing.

Plesk and cPanel store virtual hosts in different paths. If you’re transferring to a new server, change its virtual host location to ‘/home’ for a smooth transfer.

How to execute cPanel to Plesk migration

Migrations need different time frames, depending on the size of the data and your network speed. But do schedule the execution for quiet hours so that the transfer can go faster. Configure your “Transfer and Migration Manager” with Plesk’s interface. Then change the source server details including password, IP address, upload path, data that needs to be transferred, and add some custom rules just in case some conflicts occur while the migration takes place.

One of the important things you need to do is IP address mapping. So remember to map all the dedicated and shared IPs within the source server to all of the corresponding IPs which are in the destination server. When the process is finished, make sure to look at the report to ensure that everything was transferred correctly.

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How to overcome Migration Agent downsides

Although you can use the migration agent for a more automatized migration, you may run into some bumps.

1. Your FTP account passwords don’t get migrated and you generate new ones. Your solution is to track the passwords and update your users.
2. You will not manage to migrate DNS zones. So you have to edit your domain DNS records post-migration to configure them properly.
3. You won’t transfer data such as SSL certificates, PHP extensions, Apache modules, Domain keys and IP blacklists. So you’ll have to configure them manually in your destination server.
4. Often, the migration agent splits user accounts with multiple databases that are under one domain into several user accounts. So, you need to find the database dump within the source server. Then copy all of it to the destination server manually.

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  1. Hi

    We were looking to migrate several cPanel servers to several new plesk obsidian servers however the lack of migration of:

    SSL certificates
    Cron jobs

    This has caused great inconvenience for us and sadly blocked us being able to setup the 6 new plesk servers.

    It would also be good so if a service plan exists with the same name as the package name from cPanel it uses that package rather than assigning them to Custom with unlimited features.

  2. I have run into the same problem as Chris above. The Plesk Migrator does not make this a seemless migration. We had to move hundreds of VPS customers over to DirectAdmin because the amount of manual work to get cPanel accounts transferred over to Plesk was not scalable or realistic. Very sad, I was ready to really enjoy Plesk because it is such a nice control panel

  3. Well, reading the replies of others – it doesn’t wonder me.
    This article itself is very vague, contradicting and appears to have been written by someone in a hurry, to go home.

    Put me right off even thinking about transferring to Plesk.

    You see, showing of a nice looking control panel is easy. Myself I can put on a really good makeup and look like a supermodel but when trying to walk in high heals, I may look like an elephant on rollerblades. Looking and sounding great and working relatively good are two complete different scenarios. Sadly, not least for marketing reasons, the former comes always first.

  4. @Norm
    Well I have just tried the migrator and I had to adjust one (1) thing in de SSH config ion the source server. After this I was able to transfer ALL domains from DirectAdmin to Plesk server. Without even having to go back to the source server. Isn’t that great?
    Yes it is Norm, it’s effing great! First time for me being on a Plesk server, after running away from cPanel’s overpriced licence model. That was to DirectAdmin, which isn’t too bad also, but i am more and more beginning to like Plesk….

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