There are a number of reasons why you may need to change servers. Perhaps your host doesn’t like you or you have outgrown their resources. Either way its time to move on and you need a simple guide to follow. This is your guide.
Step 1 Backup Everything
Few things hurt as much as losing all your data. Before beginning this process, take a full backup of your instance of Interspire Email Marketer. Backup all your files and your database.
Using FTP software connect to your server and download all the files in your Interspire Email Marketer to your local machine. This is a good practice every few months anyway.
In addition to backing up the files, you should also perform a backup of the MySQL Databases.
If you are not sure how to connect via SSH or PHPMyAdmin and backup the databases contact your hosting provider’s support.
Step 2 Secure New Host / Server
Interspire has prepared a Check IEM php Script file that you can put on any server and use to check and confirm that the server has the necessary specs and services to host Interspire Email Marketer. You can download that script here.
Here are the Web Server Requirements:
- Operating System: Linux or Windows
- Web Server: Apache or IIS
- Scripting Language: PHP 5.5 or above (though some newer versions may NOT be supported)
- Database: MySQL 4.1.1 or above
- Other: To use autoresponders, your need access to Cron on your web server (default) or Scheduled Tasks (Windows). To process bounced emails, your version of PHP needs access to the imap_xxx functions (default).
It is important to make sure your new host and server will properly work with Interspire. Otherwise migrating will cause you a lot of headaches, pain, and potential loss of data.
Step 3 Identify Best Time to Migrate
Deciding when to do the actual migration is important. Some considerations include:
- You probably want to avoid migrating right before any important email campaigns need to be sent. If anything goes wrong and it takes some time to troubleshoot your campaigns may not send why you debug and resolve any issues.
- Avoid migrating during any email campaign deployments. If a campaign begins to send mid-migration it may send again on the new server unaware that the campaign has already been sent.
- Pick the lowest traffic time. From the time that you backup the database from the current server, to the point that you change the domain’s DNS (steps 5 & 6 below) any clicks or opens will be lost in your data. They will be recorded by the old database and will not appear in the new database. To limit data loss migrate when the least number of your contacts are likely to be opening emails and clicking on links.
- Pick the time when autoresponders are least likely to be sending. During the migration process, your autoresponders may not be able to send.
Step 4 Migrate Files
The simpliest way to migrate the files is to simply download your intire IEM directory to your local machine via FTP and then upload the files to the new server.
Be sure to do this as close as possible to the moment you will change the DNS settings to minimize any loss of files that may be uploaded by your users to an email campaign or similar.
Step 5 Migrate Database
First download a backup/copy of your current database. Then import this onto the new server.
Via PHPMyAdmin you can generally easily download databases or database tables though depending on the size of your database this may have it’s limitations.
If that is the case you can either contact your host for help or if you have SSH access you can use the command line to do a SQL dump which essentially will create a database backup file somewhere on your server you can then access via FTP. There are plenty of websites with detailed instructions on doing a SQL dump via SSH.
Similarily you can import the database into the new server via PHPMyAdmin or via SSH depending on your access and the size of the file.
Once you have the database duplicated on the new server you will need to setup the MySQL user and grant the user permissions to that database.
Then edit if needed the file located in admin/includes/config.php with the updated database name, database username, and database password.
Step 6 Change Domain DNS
Finally, you are ready to redirect people from the old server to the new server. Update the DNS records for your domain name to “point” to your new server. This is generally done by changing an A record or Cname record to the IP address of your new host server. There may also be some configuration that needs to be done with your new host to set the IP address to the domain.
If you are using a new domain you need to figure out and setup a redirect from the old domain. If you fail to do so, links in all your past email campaigns and autoresponders will no longer work for anyone who has already received them.
Once you make these changes there is often a delay during which the updated DNS records “propogate” across the internet.
Step 7 Setup Cron
Once that is complete and your domain is configured you still need to setup cron. Cron is the server service that runs on a schedule to tell IEM to send scheduled campaigns, autoresponders, etc. Instructions on setting up Cron will vary some by host so check with your new hosting provider.
Also remember to delete/remove the cron job on your old server so it doesn’t continue to send emails.
Step 8 Check File Permissions
Remember to change the file permissions.
If you’re running on a Linux or Unix web host, you can use your FTP program and use the ‘CHMOD’ (‘Change Mode’) function to grant write permissions. If your host is running Windows, you will need to contact them about setting up write permissions on these files/folders. Also, if a folder listed here doesn’t exist, please create it.
Files, CHMOD this file to 646:
Note: Although it says 646, some webhosts may require 664 or 666 instead.
Folders, CHMOD these to 757:
Note: Although it says 757, some webhosts may require 775 or 777 instead.
Step 9 Test
With all that hard work done begin testing your installation. Trying sending a few test emails and campaigns. If it doesn’t work double check all the above steps and then contact your new hosting provider.
**If you have a SSL Certificate installed and are using HTTPS in your IEM install you will also need to get the certificate installed on your new host.