How do I migrate a website manually?

Austin B.
Published: 16 June 2017

20i provide an automatic 'one click' Migration Centre that supports migrations from the largest hosts and most popular control panels. This is available to all customers for no extra charge.

However, it's not always possible to migrate a website automatically. For these cases the process of a site migration has 3 key stages:

  • downloading the data from the old provider
  • importing the data into 20i
  • updating the website configuration file

We've laid out the steps usually required for a manual site migration below.

1. Create the hosting package at 20i. This provisions the website to our platform, lets you access the site over the temporary URL, and ensures that you have FTP access.

2. Start downloading your website files from the old provider: make an FTP connection using your previous FTP account details, and download all files from the web space to your local computer.

3. Download your database. You'll need a backup of all databases the website is using. All major hosts will be running the phpMyAdmin management software that lets you import and export your databases via a website. The steps are:

  • First, access phpMyAdmin (My20i > Manage Hosting > [select package] > phpMyAdmin)
  • Click the database you wish to backup down the left-hand side
  • Click the 'Export' tab at the top of your page
  • Leave 'Quick' selected under Export Method
  • Select your desired format: we recommend SQL for most cases
  • Click 'Go'

4. Upload the files to 20i. To access 20i FTP before you change the nameservers or update DNS for your domain, you'll need the FTP hostname displayed in the 'Nameserver Check' section. This automatically appears for any domains not using our nameservers as the last section down the right-hand side when you're managing your hosting packages.

5. Create a database at 20i. You can do that via My20i > Manage Hosting > [select package] > MySQL Databases. Note down the hostname, database name/username and password for your new database as you'll need these details later.

6. Import your database backup to the newly-created database. Once again we recommend using phpMyAdmin for this purpose:

  • My20i > Manage Hosting > [select package] > phpMyAdmin
  • Automatically login to phpMyAdmin for each of your databases. Click the 'Import' tab at the top of your page.
  • Browse your computer for the database export you have taken previously
  • Select the format that matches the export: this will be SQL for most cases
  • Click 'Go'

If the import fails, you may wish to try again with 'Enable foreign key checks' unchecked.

7. Update the credentials in the website configuration file. The exact file you need to update depends on the software the website is running, but we've listed the most common configuration files below:

  • WordPress: wp-config.php
  • Joomla: configuration.php
  • Drupal: sites/default/settings.php
  • Magento: app/etc/local.xml

8. The website will now be fully functional on our platform. To test the website, we provide a Temporary URL that will be visible down the right-hand side of the control panel. For a more complete test you can modify your hosts file, which allows you to override the domain name at your PC, so you can visit your domain at 20i while the rest of the internet still reaches the current website.

9. Time to go live! Once tested, you can change the nameservers of the domain and (optionally) transfer the domain in.