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In the latest release of WHM comes a seriously handy tool which allows domains within one cPanel account to be migrated to their own cPanel account. In an ideal and perfect world, every domain would be contained under its own cPanel account as this allows much more granular reporting when using tools such as New Relic or command line resource usage commands such as atop. In reality though when dealing with many different web servers which have a lot of history and often non-optimal configurations, often you find that multiple domain names are contained within a single cPanel account. This is bad for a whole host of security reasons, primarily because if one website gets hacked into, it’s possible to access all of the websites under the single cPanel account which is an inherent risk. And if those websites are WordPress, if they get hacked into after then have been built badly or aren’t maintained securely then a quick install of a certain plugin allows the hacker to gain access to absolutely every file under this cPanel account. So it’s really important to structure your web servers for optimal security.

So now that’s clear, here’s how to use the Convert Addon Domain to Account tool within WHM.

 

Convert Addon Domain to Account within WHM

Open WHM and navigate to Home > Transfers > Convert Addon Domain to Account. This will list all Addon Domains listed within all cPanel accounts on the server. Select the one you wish to migrate to its own account and press “Convert”;

 

Start using Convert Addon Domain to Account Tool

 

Here you will then be presented with a list of options. Make sure you check through everything and make a note of what the new settings are.

Create an account name for the new cPanel account;

 

Start using Convert Addon Domain to Account Tool - Step 1

 

Check through your settings which have been automatically selected;

 

Start using Convert Addon Domain to Account Tool - Step 2

 

 

What likely hasn’t been picked up by default is your database table(s) so make sure you click on the Configure option and select which databases belong to the website being transferred to its new account.

 

Start using Convert Addon Domain to Account Tool - Step 3

 

Then let it do its thing by clicking on the Start Conversion button. Depending on the size of your website will depend on how quickly, or slowly, this transfer happens. Once everything is completed you’ll see a completion message along the lines of;

 

Complete after 90 minutes

 

Transfer Complete

It really is as simple as that to use. Once the migration is complete you’ll need to modify the password for the account via WHM;

 

Update cPanel account password for new account

 

Performance Challenges

While this is a great tool, something to mention is around performance. Performance wise for one project we were working on, the resources completely maxed out on one web server and took a total of 90 minutes to migrate a small website of around 10GB in size for files and databases. This is something to bear in mind and it’s probably best that you run these kinds of migrations at low points during the day to prevent issues impacting people using the websites in question. Below are a select of screenshots which clearly shows the performance difference at a normal point in time compared to when the process was running to put this into perspective.

 

CPU Usage During Migration

 

Physical Memory During Migration

 

Load Average During Migration

 

Disk IO During Migration

 

Network IO During Migration

 

Summary

All domains should be under their own cPanel account for security reasons. If you have multiple domains contained under a single cPanel account, start to get things set up properly as they should be. Recovering one hacked website is time consuming and costly enough for you as a business, recovering multiple just multiples the problem. Do not leave this until it is too late. If you are unsure how your web server infrastructure should be set up then get in touch and we can help you with getting things set up correctly.

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Michael Cropper

Founder & Managing Director at Contrado Digital Ltd
Michael founded Contrado Digital in 2013. He has experience working with national and multi-national brands in a wide range of industries, helping them achieve awesome results. Michael regularly speaks at local universities and industry events while keeping up with the latest trends in the digital industry.