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Comprehensive Guide for cPanel to Plesk Migration

Every web hosting company has to do server migrations, a crucial and routine task in our industry. When moving servers and accounts, it’s vital to plan and execute them perfectly to avoid website downtime and complications. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on migrating from cPanel to Plesk – to help make the process smoother.

cPanel is a widely used and powerful control panel. Migrating from one hosting control panel to another is a strategic decision that can impact your website’s performance, management, and overall efficiency. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll guide you through the process of cPanel to Plesk migration efficiently. This guide is a part of our cPanel server management to guide you about cPanel. Whether you’re a website owner or a server administrator, ensuring a strong knowledge of cPanel and Plesk is key to protecting your valuable online assets. But, first, let’s understand Why cPanel to Plesk Migration is important.

Why Do cPanel to Plesk Migration?

Both cPanel and Plesk are renowned hosting control panels, each with its strengths. However, there are instances where migrating to Plesk becomes a preferred choice:

  • Different Hosting Provider: If you are switching hosting providers and the new provider uses Plesk, migrating ensures consistency in the management interface.
  • Feature Preferences: Plesk may offer specific features or functionalities that align better with your website’s requirements or your preferred way of managing hosting environments.
  • Cost Considerations: Cost can be a factor. Hosting providers might offer different pricing structures for cPanel and Plesk, influencing your decision based on budgetary considerations.

Preparation Steps for cPanel to Plesk Migration

Migrating from cPanel to Plesk is a significant process that requires careful preparation to avoid potential issues. Follow these essential steps to ensure a smooth and seamless cPanel to Plesk migration:

1. Check Disk Space

Make sure both your cPanel and Plesk servers have sufficient disk space. The source server should have space equal to or more than the data being transferred, and the destination server should have at least 5 GB more than that.

2. Verify Compatibility

Use your migration manager to confirm that the versions of Plesk and cPanel are compatible for the transfer. This step ensures a smooth transition between the control panels.

3. Install Plesk Migration Manager

Install the Plesk transfer and migration manager on the destination server. This tool facilitates the migration process and ensures data transfer efficiency.

4. Address IP Issues

To prevent IP-related issues, add one or more shared IP addresses. Confirm the number of dedicated IP addresses on both servers, ensuring consistency.

5. Handle Mailing Lists

If you have mailing lists in the source server, install the Mailman mailing list manager on the destination server. This ensures proper handling of mailing lists during the migration.

6. Configure Firewall and SSH

Allow the IP of the Plesk server within the cPanel firewall, and configure the source server to permit SSH connections. This step establishes the necessary communication between the source and destination servers.

7. Disable SELinux

Disable SELinux on your Plesk server during the migration process. This security measure avoids potential conflicts and ensures a smooth cPanel to Plesk migration.

8. Adjust Virtual Host Location

As 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 seamless transfer.

Executing cPanel to Plesk Migration

Now that you’ve prepared your servers, it’s time to execute the cPanel to Plesk migration:

1. Schedule Migration

Schedule the migration during quiet hours to optimize network speed. Configure the “Transfer and Migration Manager” in Plesk’s interface, updating source server details, including password, IP address, upload path, and other necessary data.

2. IP Address Mapping

Map all dedicated and shared IPs from the source server to their corresponding IPs on the destination server. This ensures proper addressing after migration.

3. Address Migration Agent Downsides

While the migration agent automates the process, be aware of its limitations:

  1. FTP passwords may not migrate; track and update them manually.
  2. DNS zones won’t transfer, so edit domain DNS records post-migration.
  3. Certain data like SSL certificates, PHP extensions, etc., may require manual configuration.
  4. Migration agent may split user accounts with multiple databases; manually copy and consolidate the database dump.

Steps for cPanel to Plesk Migration

Step 1: Assess Your Current cPanel Environment

Before diving into the cPanel to Plesk migration process, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough assessment of your existing cPanel environment. Take note of:

  • Number of Domains: Identify the domains hosted on your cPanel account.
  • Email Accounts: Document the email accounts, including settings and configurations.
  • Databases: List the databases used by your websites.
  • Installed Applications: Note any specific applications or scripts installed via cPanel.

Understanding your current setup will help streamline the cPanel to Plesk migration process.

Step 2: Set Up a Plesk Hosting Account

If you don’t already have a Plesk hosting account, sign up with a hosting provider that offers Plesk. Choose a plan that suits your needs, considering factors like disk space, bandwidth, and the number of domains you plan to host.

Step 3: Backup Your cPanel Data

Data backup is a critical step in any migration process. Use cPanel’s backup tools to create full backups of your:

  • Files: Backup your website files.
  • Databases: Export your databases.
  • Emails: If your email accounts are critical, ensure you have backups of your emails and configurations.

Step 4: Transferring Data to Plesk

Files and Databases

  • FTP Transfer: Use FTP to transfer your website files from cPanel to Plesk.
  • Database Import: Import your cPanel databases into Plesk.

Email Migration

  • Manual Setup: Recreate your email accounts in Plesk and manually transfer emails if necessary.
  • IMAP Migration: If your email provider supports IMAP, you can use this protocol to migrate emails seamlessly.

Step 5: Configuring DNS Settings

Update your domain’s DNS settings to point to your new Plesk hosting provider. This step ensures that visitors to your website are directed to the correct server.

Step 6: Testing

Before finalizing the migration, thoroughly test your websites, emails, and applications on the new Plesk environment. This includes checking:

  • Website Functionality: Ensure all your websites function correctly.
  • Emails: Test sending and receiving emails.
  • Applications: Verify that any installed applications or scripts are working as expected.

Step 7: Finalizing the Migration

Once you are satisfied with the testing phase, you can finalize the migration:

  • Domain Transfer: Update your domain’s nameservers or DNS records to complete the migration.
  • Cancel cPanel Account: If you are changing hosting providers, consider canceling your cPanel hosting account to avoid unnecessary charges.

Migration via CLI through SSH

Migrating from cPanel to Plesk through the command line via SSH involves a series of steps for a smooth transition. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

1. Log in to Plesk:

  • Access Plesk and navigate to Extensions.
  • You can use the search box to find Plesk Migrator or open it under Server Tools.
  • Click Install.

2. Connect to the server via SSH:

  • Establish an SSH connection to the server.

3. Create the conf directory:

mkdir /usr/local/psa/var/modules/panel-migrator/conf

4. Change the working directory:

cd /usr/local/psa/var/modules/panel-migrator/conf/

5. Create the configuration file config.ini:

cat /usr/local/psa/var/modules/panel-migrator/conf/config.ini

Add the following content to config.ini, replacing placeholders with actual values:

source-type: cpanel
source-servers: cpanel
target-type: plesk

ip: <destination_server_IP_address>
os: unix

ip: <source_server_IP_address>
os: unix
ssh-password: <source_server_root_password>
# Uncomment ssh-port string below if the SSH port is not 22
# ssh-port: <replace_with_ssh_port_number>

If migrating PostgreSQL databases, include the PostgreSQL administrator password in the config.ini file:

postgres-password: <password>

6. Generate the migration list file:

/usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/modules/panel-migrator/plesk-migrator generate-migration-list

7. Edit the migration list file (optional):

vi /usr/local/psa/var/modules/panel-migrator/sessions/migration-session/migration-list

The domains that weren’t supposed to be migrated should be removed, and service plans should be assigned to the domains.

8. Start the migration:

/usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/modules/panel-migrator/plesk-migrator transfer-accounts

9. Resynchronize the content:

/usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/modules/panel-migrator/plesk-migrator copy-content

10. Check operability after migration:

/usr/local/psa/admin/sbin/modules/panel-migrator/plesk-migrator test-all

These steps ensure a controlled and effective migration from cPanel to Plesk via the command line. For additional information, refer to the Migration Guide’s Migrating via the Command Line section. If professional assistance is needed, explore Plesk’s professional services options.


Migrating from cPanel to Plesk is a meticulous process that requires careful planning and execution. By following this comprehensive guide, you can ensure a smooth transition, minimizing downtime and ensuring the continued optimal performance of your websites. By the given steps you’ll understand about the process of cPanel to Plesk migration easily. If you want to know more about cPanel and other services, we’re available 24/7 to assist you with the issues you may face.

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