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How to Move CMSMS (CMS Made Simple) to a new server.
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How to Move CMSMS (CMS Made Simple) to a new server.

How to migrate CMSMS to a new server

How to move CMSMS (CMS Made Simple) to a new server/host

This guide has been created to help you move your CMSMS site to a new server with minimal hassle. The guide is split into two sections - Advanced Guide and Beginners Guide. If you are familiar with CMSMS and hosting or are a web designer, the advanced guide will tell you everything you need to know. If you are completely new to hosting or have never moved a site before, simply follow the beginners guide for complete step by step instructions (including pictures of every step).

Please select which guide you would like to view below to be taken to the correct section of this page:

CMSMS advanced guide

Move CMSMS to a new server (advanced guide).

Step 1 : Clear your cache.

In the admin, click "system maintenance" under 'Site admin' in the left menu. Select 'Cache and content' then click 'Clear' under 'clear cache'.

Step 2 : Download your database + Files.

Download a copy of your database (e.g. via export in phpmyadmin) and download all your files from your site (e.g. via FTP.)

Step 3 : Upload your files + database to the new hosting.

Upload all your files to your new hosting and inport CMSMS database download to a new database.

Step 4 : Modify config.php

Open up your config.php (in the root) and edit the below lines to match your new database/hosting:


  $config['dbms'] = 'mysqli';
  $config['db_hostname'] = 'new DB host if dfferent usually localhost';
  $config['db_username'] = 'new DB username if dfferent';
  $config['db_password'] = 'new DB password if dfferent';
  $config['db_name'] = 'new DB name if dfferent';
  $config['db_prefix'] = 'cms_';
  $config['root_url'] = 'http://www.YOURDOMAIN.co.uk';

And update the paths to your new hosting

# The location (filepath and URL) to which files are uploaded using the filemanager
$config["uploads_path"] = "/home/sites/YOURDOMAIN.co.uk/public_html/uploads";
$config["uploads_url"] = "http://www.YOURDOMAIN.co.uk/uploads" ;
# The location (filepath and URL) to which files are uploaded using the imagemanager.
$config["image_uploads_path"] = "/home/sites/YOURDOMAIN.co.uk/public_html/uploads/images";
$config["image_uploads_url"] = "http://www.YOURDOMAIN.co.uk/uploads/images";

Thats it!

CMSMS beginners guide

Move CMSMS to a new server (Beginners guide).

This guide will assume you are new to hosting and have not migrated a site before. It will list every (and we literally do mean every!) step needed to migrate a CMS Made Simple site. Due to listing every step, the guide appears very long! Don't worry though, it is actually quite quick to do and should take no longer than 1 hour (depending on your internet connection speed). Ok, lets begin!

The guide is broken down into the following sections:

Step 1 : Purchase some new hosting

The first thing you are going to need is some CMSMS hosting. This can either be from ourselves (our 1 nut hosting package will run CMSMS quickly) or from another provider. In the below guide, we will assume you have purchased hosting from ourselves. As such, certain steps will have screenshots of our control panel system and references to our hosting system. If you use another provider, you will need to ask your current host for information when you reach these steps.

Step 2 : Clear your CMSMS site's cache.

Log into your current CMSMS site on your current hosting and click the 'Site admin' link from the left.

CMSMS Site Admin

Next, click System Maintenance.

System Maintenance

In the tabs at the top, click 'Cache and content'.

cache and content

Click the 'Clear' button.


You may get a pop up saying "are you sure you want to clear the cache?" Select OK. You should now see a "cache cleared" message appear at the top.

CMSMS HOsting Cache Cleared

Step 2a : Backup your site's files and databases the automatic way.

You now need to backup all your site's CMS Made Simple files and databases. Nearly all hosting companies provide a 1 click backup feature (ourselves included). If your hosting company has this, please use this now to make a backup. Make sure the backup has all your files and database in it. Once you have done this, skip to step 3.

If your hosting company does not have this feature, you will need to use the below steps to manually backup your CMSMS files and database.

Step 2b: Manually back up your database

You will need to log into your hosting database control panel and access your database. This can usually be accessed via PHPMyAdmin via your hosting control panel (look for a link to 'databases' or 'phpmyadmin'). If you do not see these, you will need to contact your curent host and ask them how you can access PHPMyAdmin to backup your CMSMS database.

As virtually every host has PHPMyAdmin, we will show the steps below needed to back up your database using this.

Open PhpMyAdmin and click your CMSMS database from the left menu (if not already selected).

Select your CMSMS database

You should now see a list of your CMSMS database tables (e.g. cms_additional_htmlblobusers, cms_adminlog, cms, cms content). If you do not see these (or something similar depending on your CMSMS version) then you have selected the wrong database.

Click the 'Export' tab at the top of the page.

Export CMSMS database

Click the custom radio button.

Custom button

Make sure all your CMSMS tables are selected. If not, click the select all button.

select all cmsms tables

Next to compression choose 'zipped'.


Finally click the 'Go' button at the bottom and save the database to your computer. Make sure you know where you have saved it to as you will need it later.

click go

Step 2b: Manually back up your site's files via FTP

Now you have the database, you will need to get your files. You will need to get a FTP program and ask your current host for your FTP connection details (usually found in your hosting control panel). In this guide, we will use FileZilla Client (it's a great free FTP program and can be downloaded from https://filezilla-project.org).

Open up FileZilla and enter the FTP details your host provided at the top then click connect.

hosting ftp details

You should now see some text appear at the top of FileZilla showing that it is connecting/connected. Once connected, your server's files will be displayed. Most servers will have a public_html or htdocs folder where your site will be stored (if you don't see either of these, contact your host to find out the equivalent folder).

Double click to open up your public (public_html/htdocs) folder.

open public_html

If you have installed your CMS Made Simple website into the root of your hosting (e.g. so it loads up when you type www.yourwebsite.com) then you should see a list of CMSMS files (admin folder, config.php, version.php etc). If you have installed your CMSMS website into a sub folder (e.g. so it loads up when you type www.yourwebsite.com/CMSMS) then you will need to navigate to the 'CMSMS' folder.

Once you see your CMSMS files, select them all (Windows CTRL+A) then drag them onto a folder on your desktop (or other location). This will then start the download of your CMS Made Simple files and you will see the connections/download logs appear at the top.

Drag CMSMS files

One thing you need to watch out for is failed transfers. You can see the queued files, failed transfers and succesful transfers at the bottom of FileZilla.

Failed transfers

If you see any failed transfers click the 'failed transfers' tab, right click on the files and choose 'Reset and Requeue all'.

Reset and Requeue

Then click the 'Queued files' tab, right click on any of the queued files and choose 'process queue'.

Process queue

Once all your files have been downloaded sucesesfully, you can close FileZilla and move onto step 3.

Step 3 : Upload your database to your new hosting

OK, so by this point you should have a backup of all your CMSMS files and database. Now you need to upload these to your hosting starting with the database. The reason you start with the database is so you can collect any database access details that you will need later when you update your CMSMS config.php file.

The below will give exact details on how to do this with Squirrel Hosting. For other companies, you will need to ask your host for details on how to create a new database then follow the below to import your CMSMS database.

SquirrelHosting customer, log into your eXtend control panel (see your welcome e-mail for instructions) and click the 'MySQL Databases' icon.


Next, you will need to create a new database. Enter a username and password in the 'Create a MySQL Database' box then click 'create'.

Create database

You will now see your new database below. Make sure to write down the username and password as you will need these later. Click the 'Manage' button next to your database to load up PHPMyAdmin.

Manage Database

Once you have loaded up phpMyAdmin, click your databse from the left. Again, write this database name down as you will need it later.

Select Database

Click the Import tab from the top.

Import CMSMS database

Next, select the 'choose file' button and find/select your CMSMS database that you backed up in step 2. Then click the Go button.

Choose database

You should now see an 'Import has been successfully finished' message.

Import has been successfully finished

You can now close your phpMyAdmin.

Step 4 : Upload your files to your new hosting

Now you need to upload your CMSMS files to the new hosting. As your domain name at this stage is still likely to be pointing to your old hosting, you will need to connect to your new hosting using the FTP IP address (instead of ftp.yourdomain.com). If you are using ourselves for hosting, you can simply follow the first few steps below, if not, contact your new host and ask them for your FTP connection details.

For Squirrel Hosting customers, the first thing you will need to do is unlock your FTP. Log into your eXtend control and scroll down till you see 'unlock FTP' on the right hand side. Tick the time you would like to unlock the FTP for (e.g. 1 hour) then click unlock.

unlock ftp

Next, scroll down and collect your FTP username, password, and IP address.

ftp login details for cmsms

Now, enter the new server FTP details into FileZilla and click connect.

FTP IP Details

Navigate into your new hosting public folder (on SquirrelHosting it's public_html) by double clicking it.

open public_html

Next, you need to drag the files you downloaded earlier onto the new host. Open your CMSMS backup on your computer and find the section which contains your CMSMS files (you should see a config.php file, if not, you are in the incorrect folder). Once you have the correct files, select them all and drag them into FileZilla (onto the remote site section).

Please note, if you had CMSMS in a sub domain (e.g. yourdomain.com/cmsms) then you will need to create this folder first (right click 'create directory') then upload the files to it.

upload cmsms simple

Once uploaded, check for any failed transfers and if any requeue, process them as you did before.

Failed transfers

Step 5 : Modify config.php

The last step you need to do is update your config.php file to use the correct settings. In the backup of your CMSMS site on your computer, find the config.php file. This will be in the root of the backup (not in any folders).

IMPORTANT : When editing a website related file, make sure to use a non rich text editor such as notepad (not Microsoft Word).

Open up config.php and find the below lines:

  $config['dbms'] = 'mysqli';
  $config['db_hostname'] = 'TEXT-A';
  $config['db_username'] = 'TEXT-B';
  $config['db_password'] = 'TEXT-C';
  $config['db_name'] = 'TEXT-D';

You will need to change the following:

  • Text-A
    Change what ever you have in 'Text-A' to your new database host. On SquirrelHosting, this is localhost. For other companies, contact your host for this
    e.g. $config['db_hostname'] = 'localhost';
  • Text-B
    Change what ever you have in 'Text-b' to your new database username. This is what you made note of in step3
    e.g. $config['db_username'] = 'username';
  • Text-C
    Change what ever you have in 'Text-c' to your new database password. This is what you made note of in step3
    e.g. $config['db_password'] = 'password';
  • Text-D
    Change what ever you have in 'Text-c' to your new database name. This is what you made note of in step3. For Squirrel Hosting customers, your database name is the same as the username.
    e.g. $config['db_name'] = 'database-name';

Next, you need to update your paths. For Squirrel Hosting customers, your path will be:


Replace YOURDOMAIN with your domain name e.g. for www.mysite.co.uk you would replace YOURDOMAIN with mysite.co.uk.

For non Squirrel Hosting customers, you will need to contact your host for this information.

Whilst you still have config.php open, find the following lines and change them to match your new host's path:

# The location (filepath and URL) to which files are uploaded using the filemanager
$config["uploads_path"] = "/home/sites/YOURDOMAIN.co.uk/public_html/uploads";
# The location (filepath and URL) to which files are uploaded using the imagemanager.
$config["image_uploads_path"] = "/home/sites/YOURDOMAIN.co.uk/public_html/uploads/images";

When you have finished making the changes, save this file.

Now you need to upload the config.php file to the server. Connect via FileZilla as you did before and drag the config file into your public folder (or where ever you have uploaded CMSMS to).

upload cmsms config.php

You will be asked if you wish to overwrite the current config.php file. Choose OK.

Overwrite config.php

You have now successfully moved your CMSMS site over to the new hosting.

All you would need to do now is update your domain's nameservers to point to the new hosting (ask your host for help with this, for Squirrel Hosting customers our nameservers can be found here). Once the nameserver update is complete (it can take up to 48 hours), your domain will load your new hosting!

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