How to transfer a website to Hosting Solutions

The following guide outlines the main steps to follow when transferring a website to Hosting Solutions. In particular, it is developed on a frequent case and that is the transfer of a website on the best-selling Silver Linux hosting plan, but can be extended to any of the hosting plans offered.

The procedure consists of 5 steps:

Purchase of the Silver Linux plan and transfer of the domain

Starting from the page dedicated to the Silver Linux service, enter the domain name of the website to be transferred in the box at the top (figure below). Don't forget the domain extension, which in our example is .it.

After selecting the Dominio esistente (Existing domain) option, complete by clicking on the Ordina (Order) button. This will take you to the Hosting Solutions Control Panel, where you will have to provide the details of the domain holder ("Customer Details"): at the same time, you can decide whether to start the domain transfer procedure immediately and also whether you want to use the Hosting Solutions DNS servers or the old ones.

The next image shows the best way to handle the transfer. Select Avvia subito il trasferimento (Start the transfer now) and usa i miei DNS (use my DNS) (the data provided by the old provider must be entered): in this way, until the transfer of the files, MySQL database and testing of the new website is complete, users will always be directed to the previous hosting plan.

Once the order for the new hosting plan has been completed and payment has been made, please wait for the activation confirmation email which will contain all the information necessary to proceed to the next step.

Transfer of the files to Silver Linux plan

An activation confirmation email containing all the details of the new account and hosting plan will be sent to the email address entered during registration and order of the service (see image below).

For the various transfer operations (between the old and the new hosting) it will be necessary to use a program with an FTP client. For this guide, we have used the free FTP client FileZilla (here is the link to download the version suitable for your operating system), which is one of the best known and most popular one (the guide was created with version 3.18.0 for Windows 10 64bit).

Then download the website files from the old hosting plan to your PC using a program with an FTP client (e.g. FileZilla).

Now proceed, using the same FTP client, to upload the downloaded files to the server of the new hosting plan, as shown below.

After installing and starting FileZilla, you will see the following screen:

Using the data indicated in the confirmation email under "FTP ACCESS", complete the empty boxes as follows:

  • Host: enter the data given in the email under "IP address"
  • Username: enter the data given under "Username (login)"
  • Password: enter the data given under "Password"
  • Port: enter 21
Finally, click on Quickconnect and wait for a connection to the server to be established. You can then proceed to upload the files previously downloaded from the old hosting: browse your computer from the Local Site section and drag the files on the Remote Site to start the procedure. It is important to note that the location of the files - and their folders - remains identical from the old to the new server.

Export of the MySQL database

In order to transfer the MySQL database from the old hosting plan to our Silver Linux plan, you will first need to export it by creating a file with the extension .SQL ("Export" function of phpMyAdmin). To do this, you will need to access the control panel of your old hosting plan, locate the section responsible for managing/creating databases and click on phpMyAdmin. Once logged into phpMyAdmin (see image below), look for the "Export" option in the tabs at the top right and, without changing any settings, confirm to start the creation of the .SQL file (obviously, more experienced users can also choose the custom method).

Creation of a MySQL database in Silver Linux and import of the old database

Go to the Hosting Solutions customer area by connecting to the address and log in to the control panel by entering the credentials received in the service activation email (user and password) in the appropriate form (see figure below).

On the main screen, select the Hosting & Dedicati (Hosting & Dedicated) tab and click on the Apri (Open) button next to the Silver Linux service you have purchased. This will take you to the resource management tab:

In the second-to-last line of the section, click on the MySQL button. Now all that remains is to start creating the new database in Silver Linux: click on the Aggiungi (Add) button and select, if necessary, the version of the MySQL database to be created.

Then click on Continua (Continue). In the new screen, enter the name of the database (it is recommended to use the same name as the old database), the user name and the user password (the data you will need shortly to log into phpMyAdmin) and finally click on Applica (Apply) (see figure).

At this point, the database has been created, so you can import the data stored in the previously exported .SQL file. Click on the phpMyAdmin icon shown next to the new database and log in. In the main screen, select the Import item, then click on Choose File to browse your computer and select the SQL file. Finally, click OK to complete the import process.

After importing the database, it is necessary to manually edit all the configuration files relating to the scripts or other applications that use the database (e.g. WordPress will require editing the wp-config.php file) by entering the data of the new database: name of the new database (which is probably the same as the old one), IP address of the new database, username and password of the new database (these data are the same as those used in the previous steps of the guide).

Website test and DNS change

If, when signing the contract (ordering the Silver Linux plan), you chose to start the domain transfer immediately but to continue using the DNS of your old provider, then you would also need to change your DNS to use those of Hosting Solutions to complete the website transfer. Before changing them, however, it is highly recommended to thoroughly test the website to ensure that everything is working properly.

The test procedure is very simple to perform and involves modifying the hosts file which can be found:

  • in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc​ on Windows​ systems;
  • in ​/etc/ ​on Unix/Linux​ systems;
  • in ​private/etc/ ​on macOS​;

ATTENTION: this is a file without an extension, make a backup copy for safety.

Then open the hosts file with a text editor (e.g. "Notepad" on Windows systems, gedit on Linux systems). Immediately after the last hash character (#), insert a line with the IP address of the new website (in the image XX.XX.XX.XXX) and the name of your domain (in the example, as shown in the following figure.

Please note that a space must be left between the IP address and the domain name. Then save the file and access the website from your browser to start the test session. Once you have checked that the website is working properly, simply direct all visitors to the new website (this means that the old DNS must be replaced with those of Hosting Solutions, since the DNS of the previous provider are still active).

To change the DNS, you need to go to the Hosting Solutions customer area and log into the control panel. From the Hosting & Dedicated section, click on the Apri (Open) button next to the Silver Linux service you have purchased and select Gestione DNS (DNS Management) and then the Server DNS tab, filling in the boxes as shown in the following image:

Finally, click on the Applica (Apply) button. The change will be instantaneous, but you will have to wait for the DNS servers to be updated to redirect visitors to the new website.

Once the test is complete, the hosts file can be restored to its original condition by deleting the inserted line and saving this last change.