How to Migrate Your Website Using cPanel

This article will assist you with migrating your website from another hosting company that uses cPanel to InMotion Hosting. InMotion Hosting offers Shared Hosting Plans, featuring cPanel. If your previous hosting company uses cPanel, then migrating your website(s) can be done easily, using a cPanel backup.

Evaluate Your cPanel Account

cPanel includes an excellent Backup/Restore Plugin that will restore an entire cPanel account from a backup file, created within the same cPanel interface. A full cPanel backup will include the user’s home directory (website files, emails, etc), cPanel settings, and MySQL Databases. Consider the following limits when evaluating your website for migration through the cPanel backup/restore process.

Hosting Plan Limits

While evaluating your cPanel account and websites, be sure to review your hosting plan features to ensure the number of websites and databases included meets your needs. You can always up/downgrade your hosting plan to accommodate adding or removing websites later. However, for example, in order to restore a cPanel account with six (6) websites (6 websites = 1 Primary domain + 5 Add-on domains + 6 MySQL databases) a Power plan would be required. If you purchased a Launch plan, in this case, you would need to upgrade your hosting plan, in order to support the restored cPanel account.

cPanel Account Size

Although all our Business Class Hosting plans include unlimited disk space, only cPanel accounts that are less than 5GB in total size may be migrated using the Backup/Restore functionality built into cPanel. When evaluating your website(s) for migration, you will need to check the total size of your cPanel account. You can find your cPanel account size by logging into cPanel and locating “Disk Space Usage” under the Stats section.

Click on the button below that represents the size of your cPanel account (at your old host), to expand additional details on how to proceed with migrating your website.

If your cPanel account is less than 5GB, please continue to the next section and generate a cPanel backup at your other host.

If your cPanel account is 5GB (or more) in size, the cPanel Backup Plugin may not have the capabilities to generate a backup file. In this case, you can manually migrate your website(s) following the steps in our guide: How to Migrate Your Website from another host to InMotion Hosting.

Generate cPanel Backup

To generate a cPanel backup, follow the steps in our tutorial: Backup Your cPanel.

Then, proceed to the next section to download the old host’s cPanel backup you just created from your old host to your computer.

Download cPanel Backup

After you have generated your cPanel backup from your old host’s server, download the backup file to your desktop using FTP.

Then, proceed to the next section to upload the cPanel backup you just downloaded from your computer to your InMotion Hosting Account.

Upload cPanel Backup

Now, using FTP, upload the cPanel backup file (you just created and downloaded) to your InMotion Hosting server.

Request cPanel Account Restore

Once you have uploaded your cPanel Backup, submit a Website Transfer Request from your Account Management Panel (AMP).

Simply, fill out the Website Transfer Request form and include these details in the Additional information to help us locate your data section.

  • Authorization to overwrite the existing cPanel account, with the restored cPanel account. (See warning below)
  • Location of your cPanel backup file
  • Name of your cPanel backup file
  • Comprehensive list of websites expected to be restored from backup file.
  • Comprehensive list of databases expected to be restored from backup file.

Please keep the following in mind when requesting a cPanel Account Restore:

  1. Customers can request assistance with restoring as-is free cPanel backups from a previous hosting provider.
  2. Website Transfer Service doesn’t guarantee removal of hack content
  3. Website Transfer process doesn’t include the transfer of Domain Registrations or emails accounts. 
  4. Emails associated with a cPanel account backup are restored as-is

Test Your site

Once our Website Transfer Team notifies you that the restoration has been completed, you may test your website(s) to make sure everything is working properly. If you have not yet pointed your domain to our name servers, you can test your site through either your Temporary URL or by making a hosts file modification.

Update Name Servers

The final step in the process of migrating your website(s) from another host using cPanel to InMotion Hosting, is to update the name servers for your domain(s) to point to InMotion Hosting.

Once you have updated the name servers with the registrar of your domain, it can take anywhere from 4-24 hours for these changes to propagate.

Congratulations! You now know how to migrate your website(s) using the cPanel Backup/Restore process to move your website from another host (that uses cPanel) to InMotion Hosting.

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John-Paul Briones Content Writer II

John-Paul is an Electronics Engineer that spent most of his career in IT. He has been a Technical Writer for InMotion since 2013.

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48 thoughts on “How to Migrate Your Website Using cPanel

  1. hi…

    I am developing a website whre we are providng a template, domain and cpanel. is it possible to transfer the files of template to user’s perticular domain  cpanel after he is buy the tempate as well as domain name and cpanel…


    1. Hello.

      This is not a feature of cPanel, unfortunately. You would need to use the cPanel user’s access to add files to the account.

  2. Hello. A very good article. I have run into one problem and hoped you might have an answer. I moved roughly 50 websites using this method. In most cases the site transfer has gone smoothly.

    However, in about 1 in 10 transfers I will get a call saying that the account owner can now receive email, but can send. This is confusing to me since the other 9 in 10 have no issue, and because the transfered site is identical to the old account.

    But since there should technically be no problem I don’t have any idea of a solutuion. Still, it has happened enough times that I convinced the problem can exist. Any help is appreciated.

  3. Hi can you tell me how many days it should be roughly that I receieve some kind of response when I submit a ticket, I just ask as initially I never receieved my welcome email and it’s been 3 or 4 days now since I submitted a ticket and haven’t heard anything so just wondering if that’s normal or not.


    1. You should usually get a response within 4-8 hours, Usually less, When you submitted the ticket you should have gotten an email with a ticket number in response, I would recommend contacting support via Chat or Phone to check the status and make sure the emails are going to the correct addresses.

  4. Hello,

    I’m assiting a client in transfering all of their existing accounts from HostGator over to InMotion, they do have a reseller account.

    I have a few questions before we proceed,

    I’ve begun to create an account for each website they have on HostGator using the WHM page. And from my knowledge for any reseller account you offer free cPanel transfers from our previous host to InMotion, correct?

    The question I have is while HostGator offers cPanel it appears that all of the websites are under one cPanel, not seperate cPanel configurations like you offer here. They apepar to be add-on domains to their main domain.

    How should I proceed?

    Thanks for the assistence,


  5. Hi, once I upload my previous host cpanel back up to inmotion cpanel and once I email inmotion to restore the back up, how long does it usually take for the website to restored and running?

    1. It really depends on the size of your files and how busy the Website transfer department is. I recommend contacting Live Support team for specific information regarding our site.

      Thank you,

  6. I am lookling for new reliable host for my three websites – all of which are CPanel websites – last time I tried to transfer ( not to you)  it all went horribly wrong. Before I start the process again can you please confirm that I can back EVERYTHING up including email account settings and passwords, wordpress site etc and that once it has been restored using the process listed above then all i need to do is repoint my namesserver to the new location and eveything will work perfectly once the dns has propogated?

  7. I followed the instructions above.  Specifically I emailed support to restore my cPanel backup.  I got an email response that emailing the request was the WRONG way to do it, and that I should go to my AMP and use a Data Restoration Request.  I didn’t buy that, so I did a live chat and was to that NEITHER way was correct, and what what I REALLY needed to do was submit a support ticket to request restoration.  I don’t know what’s right, but I can guarantee you that IMH has either a documentation problem, a training problem or both.  This is unlike IMH.  You are usually totally on the ball!!!

    1. Randy, I’m sorry that you’ve gotten conflicting information. While I’m not able to know for sure the reason for the miscommunication, we have been hiring a lot of new people, but are always striving to improve our reliability. Technically, there are only two options of the ones you mentioned. “support ticket” is the same as emailing our Support team. Also, requesting a restoration from Account Management Panel( AMP ) is a valid way to request restoration from an already existing backup, but this is typically not the preferred method because the data restoration request is typically for restoring pre-existing data from our own backups. If you’re trying to restore a cPanel account from a valid cPanel backup that you already have a Support ticket/email to Support is the best way to proceed. When you do hear back from us, please feel free to reply to the email with the name of the person that initially misinformed you so that we can help clarify this process for them and avoid misinforming anyone else. Thank you for your time! Have a great day!

  8. Hi,

    I’ve just created a full cpanel backup of my website and I’m about to migrate to inmotionhosting. 

    Now my question is, do i need to register for another domain name to access to inmotion cpanel before i can start the migration to inmotionhosting?

    Or i just need to set up a new account and start the migration process

    1. You do not need to have a domain set or pointed to the server to access it. You can simply use the server name. Example: (change the ‘server123’ portion to your actual server number)

  9. I’m migrating my site which was a subdomain to a primary. Both are on hosted with inMotion. Do I still use the Cpanel backup and restore? 

    1. Hello Ilene,

      That will be your decision because if you do restore a copy of the cPanel, then your subdomain will still be a subdomain to the primary. The good thing is that if you do that, it’s much easier to transfer it from subdomain to primary domain.

      If you have any further questions, please let us know.

      Kindest regards,
      Arnel C.

  10. I am thinking all I want transferred is the IMAP email. What do I need to do? Full backup and state I only want the email? I can set up my forwards myself for the other emails, and I am wanting to take this time to create a new website presence with the transfer…

  11. Hi 

    I have just signed up for a hosting account and am now in the process of migrating my 2 websites from the existing host.

    I see you have 2 options – cPanel backup and by downloading and uploading the database and wordpress files separately. 

    Which is the preferred method?

    1. The main benefit of doing a full cPanel backup is that it includes the emails, forwarders, etc. as well as the WordPress website.

      But if you just want to migrate the website alone (without everything else in cPanel) migrating the database and site files is just as good. This is also nice since you can restore the home directory and database yourself.

      Thank you,

  12. Hello,

    I’ve successfully downloaded the cPanel backup from my previous web host. However, when trying to upload to inMotion via FTP there is always an error and the upload is cancelled:

    “Error -135: socket write error”

    My backup is 16.5GB. Is there any kind of size limit or can you advise a different way to upload?


  13. Hi, We are considering looking for a new host for our existing business email addresses as currently we cannot receive or send attachments from our Samsung Galaxy mobile phones. Is this a common issue? Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.

    1. Hello Peter,

      According to this article, there is definitely an issue with sending attachments. It does not appear to be related to the host providing email service. Please review the article for the possible solutions.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  14. Hello… how can i configure source code of  livesite on our localhost appache server.  advanced thank u very much for providing me solution.


    With Warm Regards


    1. Hello Swati,

      Thanks for the question about configuring the source code of your live site. However, we do need a little more specific information about what exactly you’re trying to do. Please advised that providing programming/development work is beyond the scope of our technical support. We do try to point you in the right direction to a solution, but we can’t provide you code. If that is your need then you may want to employ the services of a programmer or developer. If you wish for us to look further into your problem, please provide us more specifics on what you’re trying to do with your configuration issue.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

    2. Hi, I’m ready to upload the backup using FTP but what folder should it be uploaded to? It does not say in the guide above.
      Can the restore functionality under the backup tab not be used to restore a full site backup?

    3. You can upload the backup your home directory or public_html, whichever you prefer. Just let us know where you decide and we can take it from there. I’m not sure what you mean by “backup tab”?

    4. That is great thanks. I’ll do that.
      By the “Backup tab” I mean the place in cPanel where you do the Backups, it’s in the files section. I see now that there is a difference between “Full Backup” and “Home Directory Backup”. So to answer my own question – I cannot restore the full backup from the cPanel backup section, this has to be done by an admin.

  15. Two questions:

    1) I am a new client and I am just trying to find my way around your site. When I signed up WordPress was installed for me. How do I access the WordPress panel from CPanel and how can I tell what is “live” and what is in development mode in WordPress?

    2) I did a full CPanel backup from my previous service provider and I am ready to do a restore. However, the files that I brought over are WordPress files that are only in development mode and not ready to go live. How do I make sure that when it is restored it doesn’t show up on the live website?

    Thank you.


    1. Hello Cam,

      Thank you for contacting us. Here is a link to our guide on how to Login to the WordPress Dashboard.

      Everything by default is Live and accessible, you can password protect the WordPress folder to make it unavailable to the public.

      If you do a full cPanel restore, it will overwrite all existing files in your cPanel. You can password protect the files after they are restored, to make them inaccessible.

      Thank you,

  16. I understand that my hosting account allows me to host more than one domain. Please tell me how to do that.




    1. Hello Mark,

      Thanks for the question about using multiple domains. You would first have to register the domain, then have it point to our hosting service. Then you could add it as an add-on domain. Check out this tutorial for more details.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  17. Please tell me if i take cpanel backup then doest it contain database backup also .  if i install cpanel backup to u r hosting will this restore my entire database . i have 5 website running in my current host and i wanna transfer those sites form there.

    1. Hello piyush,

      Thank you for contacting us. Yes, if you perform a Full cPanel backup, it will include all the site files, and databases.

      If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.

      Thank you,

  18. Hello, I just bought a reseller account on inmotion. Does what is covered here deal with multiple sites movement from my old reseller account? It seems this only addresses single websites. Is there a way to move all sites from a cpanel reseller to my new inmostion reseller? Thank you.

    1. Hello Ayodeji,

      Thanks for the question. Unfortunately, only the technical support team here could do a mass migration to reseller accounts. It’s not possible from the user standpoint at this time.

      Arnel C.

  19. I intend to do a Cpanel to Cpanel migration however I want to have a new root domain at inmotion and have set up the new root domain name.  This root domain name is an existing site at my old host. If doing a CP to CP migration at what stage can this change be taken into account?

    1. Helo Russ,

      Thank you for your question. AMP stands for the Account Management Panel, and it is where you can reset passwords, view/change billing information, submit tickets, etc.

      When you sign up with us, you will receive an AMP login email which lets you access your account including cPanel.

      Thank you,

  20. May I know the typical response times for such migration? I have uploaded the Cpanel backup and would like to know when it would be restored? As the site is a live site, it is important for InMotion to expedite the case, as I have let the customer support know. However, it has been two hours and no response form the InMotion team. Thanks!

    1. Hello Jeremy,

      Thank you for contacting us. All requests to Live Support are answered in the order received, so it depends how many request they have at that given time.

      Also, the size of the files they are restoring can affect the time it takes to complete.

      Since this is just the public forum, I recommend contacting Live Support for more account-specific information.

      Thank you,

    2. Since I’m not a customer (I am looking for a new host site and am considering yours) , I am not sure what an AMP password is. I’m guessing that it is the cpanel password on your system. Right?

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