Checklist for Moving to A New Webserver

Does anyone have a checklist of the things they do when moving client websites to a new server? This is a quick list I threw together from memory. The next time I do this, I will keep exact notes and update this post. This info applies to a dedicated server or a virtual private server (VPS) hosting account running Windows 2003.

If you have a similar checklist, please leave me a link.

As you'll see below, I set up some very limited access user accounts and there are a few extra steps because of this.

  1. rename all standard user accounts such as “Administrator”; and make sure “Guest” account is disabled
  2. change Remote Desktop Connection port (see -- ONLY takes effect after a REBOOT!)
  3. set up Windows firewall on new server. Add exceptions for:
    1. RDC (custom port)
    2. FTP
    3. HTTP
  4. create a special very limited Windows account for FTP use.
  5. get FTP working on new server
    1. set up logging and upload folders for FTP
  6. create folder structure on new server. Here are some examples I use on a system with three drives:
    1. D:\InetPub\Subtext
    2. D:\SQLData\Subtext
    3. E:\SQLLogs\Subtext
    4. E:\Logs\WebLogs\
    5. E:\Settings\IIS (for config files, etc.)
    6. Etc.
  7. install NTFS Link and set up junctions for Community Server as per
  8. add Windows user account for LimitedWebAccount and make it a member of IIS_WPG on web server
  9. add read permissions for LimitedWebAccount account to:
    1. C:\WINDOWS\Temp (and maybe C:\temp) for LimitedWebAccount account
    2. Logging folders
    3. Website folders
  10. install MS SQL
    1. add login for LimitedWebAccount account
  11. Add custom trust policy as per or
  12. create config files for IIS web sites and app pools on existing server
  13. edit IIS config files:
    1. change server name
    2. change logging folder
  14. create database backups on existing server
  15. copy website applications (CommunityServer, DNN, Subtext, etc.)
    1. zip up all stuff on existing server
    2. FTP it to new server
  16. add security login for LimitedWebAccount to MSSQL
  17. restore databases to new server
  18. add custom app pools in IIS (use config file)
    1. set app pool Identity to LimitedWebAccount account & set password
  19. add web sites from config file (after checking edits for new server)
  20. copy website applications
  21. edit web.config files for db connection string and folders
  22. Set up backup jobs
  23. Set up offsite backup (FTP transfer)