There comes a time in the life of most websites when they need to leave the home they’ve grown to love, or hate, to better and greener pastures. The transition is never as easy as it should be and there is always a fair amount of anxiety, stress and unforeseen problems that threaten to take the site down. This tutorial is meant to make this process a little bit easier for those of you who are migrating from a Plesk server to cPanel.

Note: This tutorial is written for those of you who are on a managed hosting plan and have ssh access to your Plesk and cPanel accounts.

Step 1: Retrieve Plesk Username

You will need to retrieve the site’s username and IP on PLESK. Login to Plesk and click on “Domains” listed under “Hosting Services” in the left column. Find your site in the list, click on it and look for “System Username” in the right column. You will also need the IP address.

Plesk System Username

Step 2: Copy site from Plesk to cPanel

Login to cPanel WHM and navigate to “Copy an Account from Another Server” listed under “Transfers.”

WHM - Copy an Account From Another Server


Fill in the appropriate fields.

Select Plesk from the “Remote Server Type” dropdown.

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Enter Plesk IP. Click “Check SSH Connection” button to test ssh access. Enter Plesk Server IP and uncheck “Use SSL” and “Use Incremental Backups speed-up” checkboxes.

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Enter site username you retrieved in step one. You can change the local username is you wish. I just leave it the same and my FTP setups will continue to work. You can also assign a dedicated IP to the site, which you would need to do if it had an SSL certificate attached. SSL certificates will also be transferred during the process. Express Transfer will edit the DNS zone files to reflect the new transfer. This is optional, you can edit DNS later on. Also if your DNS is hosted elsewhere you can ignore this setting because you will have to edit DNS where it is hosted, usually where the domain was purchased from. If you are not sure you can use this tool: Enter your url and select “NS” from the dropdown. You can use this tool to track propagation as well.

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Finally you select “Root” radio button in the “Authentication” section. Enter your Plesk server SSH password. Click the blue button and the process will begin. Depending on the size of your site this could take anywhere from 5-10 minutes for a small site, to several hours for a large site.

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Part 2

In part two I will discuss how to get the correct permission for your WordPress Install and to finish the migration.

Go to Part 2