Migrating Accounts Using cPanel Backup

Let’s say a student already has a website set up with another hosting company and would like to bring the content and domain registration over to their school account. This is totally possible, although it doesn’t happen very often. There are a few things to keep in mind when you do migrate an account over to the institution:

Content: The content is basically the files and folders within the file manager account. This has information like plugins, themes, configuration files. Each website is completely different and houses different files within the file manager. Sometimes the site’s file manager might house only HTML files, or the site’s file manager can have a ton of different installations.

Databases: The databases can arguably be some of the most important pieces to an installation. Most of what you see on a website is held within the databases. You can read more about databases under our DoOO advanced documentation: Databases.

There are many variables within a migration, and this can depend on the specific hosting company the student was using previously. Lauren Hanks wrote some great documentation about migrating from Bluehost to Reclaim.

Generally, the idea is the same among all hosting companies. You’ll need to get a full backup of the site, which includes the files from the file manager and the database associated with the installation (sometimes there are multiple installations). Lauren wrote about understanding backups within the Supporting Domain of One’s Own category as well.

Before getting started, the student should sign into the WordPress instance at your institution to create their own account. If your institution supports top level domain names, the student should select Transfer your domain from another registrar. This will create the account within WHM and WHMCS automatically, saving you time during the migration. You can read more about transferring top level domains in our help documentation. We also have other resources on migrations and transfers in our Support documentation, and if you have questions or issues, you can always reach out to our support team.


Once you’re able to get the full backup of the student’s website, you’ll begin to restore the site to Reclaim Hosting. When migrating content from a company outside of Reclaim Hosting the best practice is to upload the full backup to the root of the server using FTP, restore to the account in WHM, and sync everything up within WHMCS.

First, you’ll connect to the server via SFTP, this screenshot is for Coda, but the settings should be used across all FTP clients:


Once logged, in upload the file to the root (home folder):


From here, you’ll log into the server. Search for Restore and select Transfer or Restore a cPanel Account.


Scroll down to the bottom of the of the page and select the backup you just uploaded to the server:


Then check the box for overwrite the existing user, this will get rid of any account creation that happened when the student signed up for an account. Click Restore:


After restoring the content to the server, you’ll need to make sure everything is synced up within WHMCS. Go to the user’s Product/Service tab. Click the Change Password module command. This will change the password within WHM.


Once that’s complete, go to the website to double check that the site is loading correctly.

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