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Migration Steps
Migration Steps
Updated over a week ago

We offer free migration services for new accounts
Contact us to book your free migration.

Follow the steps below to find how to seamlessly migrate to Hostek

Steps to Changing Hosting Providers

  1. Sign up with

  2. Transfer your site files and databases. Specific details for moving to: Shared Hosting or VPS Hosting

  3. Test your site(s)

  4. Update Your Domain Name's Name Servers NOTE: you will find the Name Server information in the New Hosting Account Email.

Planning Ahead

Transferring hosting companies can be, and should be, easy if you follow the right steps and choose the right hosting company. You have made the correct choice in hosting companies, as we have many years experience in helping customers just like you transfer their hosting to us. We've created this easy-to-follow list for you to transfer your website to

  1. Plan as far ahead as possible, the more detailed the better.

  2. Make sure your customers are well informed of any possible service interruption and changes they should consider well in advance.

  3. Test each site after uploading the files, importing databases and updating connection strings to make sure no errors are occurring. Use the Testing URL provided in the email after setting up hosting.

  4. Complete unfinished business, including tightening security on any ports or protocols that do not need to remain open to the public.

For sites with constantly changing data

The most difficult sites to move are those that have constantly changing data. The is because updates made during the backup & transfer will not be reflected in the data backup being moved.

To resolve this:

Perform the transfer during off-peak hours. In addition display a "under construction" page on both the new and old server while the transition is in progress.

After the site move has been completed, update your DNS as quickly as possible and leave the old site stopped. In some cases pointing the website on the previous host to the database on the new website will allow both sites to run without inconsistent data.

Another solution to insure quick switch over is setting the DNS, TTL to a low value such as 600 (10 minutes) on A records for domains being moved.

Pre-Migration Site Assessment

Domains List
Which domains are hosted and need moved?
Do they require SSL?Are there any other hostnames that point to the site such as a sub-domain or alias?
Special requirements such as a Virtual Directory or Sym Link?

Database List
Types of databases?
User and permissions for each user?
Password for each user?

Domains with Mail
Which domains USE mail?
How do users access email, POP, IMAP, Web?
Server URL for POP, SMTP, IMAP and Web?
Special requirements such as SSL?

Domains with FTP
User and permission such as directory, read/write for each user?
Passwords for each user?

Registrar for each Domain?
Where can the Name Servers be updated?
Login for the Account?

DNS for each Domain
Where is it managed?
Will DNS management be moved?
Should we set the TTL low for any to insure quick switchover?

Sign up for hosting

The First step in transferring is to sign up for a hosting package. We offer a wide range of hosting packages that will fit your needs..

After signing up for a hosting package, you will get an email with a Testing URL and Temporary FTP information. Use this information to complete the next task of moving your site files

Migration steps from "other-provider" to Windows Shared Hosting

Moving Site Files and Databases

  1. Open an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client on your computer. If you do not have one, you can download FileZilla for free at "".

  2. Connect to your site on your old host. Generally, the connection details will either be in an e-mail you received from them or listed in your control panel with them.

  3. Once connected, you should see two sets of files, local (files on your computer) and remote (files on your website). Under your local files, create a folder to store your site files.

  4. Once the folder is created, open that folder on the local side. Then, select all the files on the remote site and download them into that folder.

  5. Wait for the transfer of all files to complete. This may take several minutes.

  6. Once the transfer is complete, disconnect from the server. Then connect to your site on our server using the FTP details that we sent in your account details e-mail.

  7. On the remote side, open the /wwwroot folder. Also, on the local side, if there is a 'www', 'wwwroot', or 'public_html' folder, open that folder as well. #Select all files on the local side and upload them to the remote side.

  8. Wait for the transfer of all files to complete. This may take several minutes.

  9. Done - your site files have been moved.



  1. Request a full backup of your database from your host, or create one through their control panel if you have that option.

  2. Once you have the full database backup (should be a .bak file), login into your WCP control panel at "" using the same e-mail address and password as your billing control panel.

  3. Once logged in, select 'MS SQL', and click 'Add MS SQL database'. Enter name of the backed up database and choose a size larger than the .bak file. Enter a username and password and click 'Save'.

  4. Follow the steps for How to Restore a MSSQL Database.

NOTE: If you have any issues restoring the database due to the size or structure of the database, you may need to upload the backup file to your website and ask support to restore the database. If you do this, it is recommended that you zip the backup file before uploading it as that will make it much smaller.

Update your domain’s DNS

  • Update your domain’s DNS settings Once you have tested your site, contact your domain name registrar and change your DNS settings to the Name Servers we provided in the New Account email. Your registrar is the company you purchased your domain name from. You’ll replace your existing primary and secondary name servers with the ones we provided you in the new account email. This change will take about 12 to 48 hours to propagate throughout the internet.

Wait for your domain to propagate

  • Wait for your domain to propagate (approximately 12-48 hours) While your domain propagation is taking effect, some will see your site on our servers and others will see the site on your old host. This will prevent any downtime. In order to receive mail from both locations, you will need to check email from both hosts. You can simply use our web mail interface to get the email that is sent to our servers during

Cancel with your previous host

Cancel with your previous host After the site is pointing to us, you can go and cancel the hosting account you have at your previous host.

Transfer your domain name to our registrar (optional)

Transfer your domain name (optional)If you would like to transfer your domain and consolidate your registration and web hosting to one source, you can request to transfer the domain. The domain transfer itself costs NOTHING; we simply add one year of registration onto the expiration date for a base price for the common .TLD's. After that, you will able to renew your domain name at the same great price. A registrar transfer is the moving a domain name from one registrar to another. A registrar is the company that actually registers a domain name.

  1. You will need to log into your billing control panel at

  2. Click on the domains drop-down menu and click "My Domains".

  3. Scroll down to your domain name and click "Manage Domain"

  4. Click the "Registrar Lock" tab, then click the "Disable Registrar Lock" button.

  5. Click on the "Management Tools" drop-down menu and select "Contact Information"

  6. You will need to update the Admin contact email address to an email address that you can receive emails at and click "Save Changes".

  7. Click "Management Tools" drop-down and select "Get EPP Code". This will display the EPP code that you will need to provide to the registrar you are transferring to.

  8. Once you have initiated the transfer with the registrar and provided the EPP code you will receive a transfer approval email at the email address you specified.

Migration steps from "other-provider" to - any Cloud VPS

We recommend setting up each domain using WCP as you move them, not all at one time. Doing so ensures there are less complications with mail delivery between two domains.

Download this Migration Checklist to keep track of your migration progress.

Moving Domains

Familiarize yourself and your team with our Windows Control Panel. We have prepared a WCP Guide to help.

  1. Create the domain using the "addon domain" icon in the WCP.

    • When initially logging into WCP the domain which was used for referencing your VPS will be listed and new domains added.

    • If you selected a database server be installed locally or remotely it should be integrated with your control panel and databases can be added under each domain using the appropriate Icon.

    • Note if you ordered the FREE SmarterMail edition which only includes mail for a single domain, upon adding your second domain you may encounter an error. If so contact support for upgrading your SmarterMail license or disabling the action for adding new domains to the mail server.

  2. DNS zones are automatically created for new domains, for the name servers which are used for domains added to your VPS click on the "Site Details" icon within the WCP for the domain in question.

  3. Copy files to your VPS. Use FTP directly from your VPS to transfer site files, this is extremely fast and efficient.

  4. Test the domain. Each domain will have a "Testing URL" within the "Site Details" area of WCP, note that if the database is not moved over and or DSN not created you may encounter errors.

  5. Prepare the DNS for moving. Before switching your DNS we suggest a shorter TTL such as 300 (5 minutes), after this change you must wait out the original TTL before the new value will take affect. For example if your original TTL was 7200 seconds (2 hours) you must wait 2 hours after submitting any change before the new TTL will be take effect.

  6. Switch your DNS. By now your site is tested and you're ready to make the switch.

    • In most cases we suggest moving the database first so data will be consistent from the old location to the new.


Our Windows Control Panel has provisions for creating a CSR and installing a new certificate but you cannot "import" an existing certificate. There are two ways to resolve "moving" a certificate to a Windows server easily.

Pkey format

  1. Export the certificate in PKey format. Within the certificate manager, export the current certificate in PKey format, you will be asked for a "passphrase" assign one and remember it.

  2. Copy the certificate to the new server.

  3. Open IIS on your VPS, open the main server node then click on the icon "Server Certificates" found under >> IIS >> Server Certificates.

  4. Click import and follow the prompts.

  5. Edit the bindings for the specific site to assign the certificate

    • Right click on the website in Sites >> select "Edit Bindings".

    • Select "Add" change the type to https, select the IP Address, select the "SSL Certificate" from the drop down.

Re-key the certificate

  • Using this method could render the SSL certificate expired on the old server.

  1. Click on the "Dedicated SSL" icon in WCP.

  2. Fill in the appropriate information to generate a CSR.

  3. At your certificate provider request a "rekey" using the CSR provided from WCP.

  4. After receiving the new certificate back from your provider, complete the installation in WCP.



  1. Add the database and user in MSSQL using the WCP under the correct domain.

  2. Set the database to single user mode on the new server.

  4. Using SQL Studio Manager restore from backup selecting the file you exported from your previous server.

  5. Set the database to multi user mode on the new server.

  7. To fix user a created user which existed before the database was restored.

  8. USE database_name Exec sp_change_users_login 'auto_fix','USERNAME'
  9. In some cases you may continue to receive errors. Try adding double slashes for the file restore paths. Here's a scripted example:

RESTORE DATABASE [exampledatabase] FROM DISK = N'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.SQLEXPRESS\MSSQL\Backup\exampledatabase.bak' WITH FILE = 1, MOVE N'old_database_name_Data' TO N'c:\\Program Files\\Microsoft SQL Server\\MSSQL10_50.SQLEXPRESS\\MSSQL\\DATA\\exampledatabase.mdf', MOVE N'old_database_name_Log' TO N'c:\\Program Files\\Microsoft SQL Server\\MSSQL10_50.SQLEXPRESS\\MSSQL\\DATA\\exampledatabase.LDF', NOUNLOAD, REPLACE, STATS = 10 GO

Don't forget

  • Scheduled tasks, add them on the new server remove them from the old.

  • Change the DNS TTL back to default.


SmarterMail to SmarterMail

  1. See the Steps for Simple Mail Migration for preparing the MX record and SSL (if applicable). You can however skip the step for creating users / passwords on the new server since you will be moving everything at once.

  2. Zip the contents of the {SmarterMail root}\domains\

  3. FTP the files from the old server to the new, this can be done by installing a simple FTP client such as FileZilla on the VPS and connecting to the old server.

  4. On the new VPS unzip and overwrite the contents {SmarterMail root}\domains\

  5. Login to the SmarterMail Webmail interface, "Reload" the domain. This should cause all the users to be revealed, with their inbox, calendar and other assets intact.

  6. Complete the "Final Steps" mentioned under Steps for Simple Mail Migration.

Any Provider to Windows & SmarterMail

Easily migrate from any mail service. Move a single mailbox, or an entire domain, from mail services like:

Gmail Yahoo! Hotmail / Windows Live Microsoft Exchange Or even mail servers like Merak, iMail and MailEnable

We suggest following the "Preparation Steps" under the Steps for Simple Mail Migration. Then follow the steps provided by SmarterMail.

Why move one domain at a time?

If you setup domain X, Y, and Z via WCP, then migrate X from your old server to Hostek. If a user on X tries to email someone on domain Y or Z they'll get a kickback saying "No such user." This is because you haven't migrated the data over into these other accounts yet. The server will try to send the message locally before it goes "outside" to resolve it's IP address. Setting up new domains "as you go", will avoid this possibility.

If mail is not involved in the migration, then you may not need to worry about this issue.

Migration steps from "other-provider" to - Mail (POP)

There are various ways to migrate mail from an existing provider. In cases where POP is the method for retrieving mail then simply switching providers in a thoughtful pre-planned manner is sufficient.

Keys for simple POP/SMTP Mail Migration

Preparation Steps for Mail Migration

  1. Create domain on the new server.

  2. Setup users & passwords in advance on the new server.

  3. Take note of the specific DNS details and modify the TTL.

    • Note the MX record.

    • Set the TTL for the MX record to 600 (10 minutes).

    • If the MX is set to "", then also change the TTL for the A record "" to 600 (10 minutes).

  4. Does your mailserver use SSL? Note, if the SSL mail encryption works for "" and you're moving to a VPS then you will likely have to also purchase and have the certificate installed and insure the exact same type of SSL support works before proceeding.

Final Steps to complete the Mail Migration

  1. Plan and prepare users with what they should expect.

  2. Be sure your mail server is listening on the IP Address you will point the A record to

  3. We suggest to create or modify the A record "" if it already exists, when you are ready to make the switch change that A record "" to point at your VPS.

  4. When finished change the TTL for the MX record and applicable A record back to it's default (Usually 14400).

  • You can use the standard ports for POP/SMTP or IMAP with or without SSL.

  • Alternate Ports for SMTP (26) is pre-configured in our firewall and will just need configured in either SmarterMail or cPanel.

Migration steps from "other-provider" to - Mail (IMAP)

This can easily apply to migrating from any mail service to Linux with Cpanel.

We suggest following the "Preparation Steps" under the Steps for Simple Mail Migration above. It also may be possible to find an application to migrate IMAP mail including calendars & contacts. We suggest checking into "IMAPSync".

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