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WHMCS Admin Login Problems - Moving WHMCS

We were faced with a job recently that included moving Joomla, WHMCS, and J!WHCMS from an Apache to lighttpd server, both with different versions of MySQL and phpMyAdmin.

When you move WHMCS to another server, or any website, there are some common things that you must do:
  • Start with a Canonical URL structure
  • Move files or install new
  • Backup and download databases from old website
  • Create new databases on new server
  • Import those tables
  • Edit configuration files or..
  • Edit the configuration table to point to correct URL
  • Do a search and replace of old.domain to new.domain
  • Apply any SSLs
  • Edit J!WHMCS configurations to make sure it's wrapping
  • test test.
Needless to say, sometimes there are common problems. One of those is max_execution_time in the php.ini

Apache permissions are another common bump if you take a .zip file from one server and unzip it in another. The owner and group could differ and whmcs files and directories cannot be written to. Best way to resolve this is not to unzip on server. Unzip locally and ftp logged in as the cpanel user.

WHMCS Admin login problems

Today we ran into a case where the site was completely moved over to the new server but clients or admins couldn't login.

If you entered the correct login information it wouldn't say:

'Login Failed. Please Try Again.
Your IP has been logged and admins notified of this failed login attempt.

It would simply reload back to the same WHMCS Login screen. If you typed in wrong login it would eventually ban you for failing. Enter the correct information it does nothing but refresh and redirect back to login.php.

What it ended up being, what we believe, is the suhosin.session.encrypt=Off setting in suhosin.

WHMCS sessions are based on php.ini file settings and on this particular Debian server with lighttpd there was a problem with saving session cookies in a /tmp directory and then either suhosin encrypting them or attempting to pull sessions from another directory than where they are saved.

So after we had racked our brain and tried different installs and tests we were to the point of changing DNS servers back to old server. This is Steven took a look at the scenario.

We had figured out it was some sort of session error and Steven ended up suggesting we try to either disable suhosin or change that setting. Once disabled, and server restart, the login worked perfectly.

Sometimes we can run into problems when webmastering a website or moving things between servers and though we think we've seen it all, sometimes a problem will bear it's teeth and leave us scratching our heads.

In this case, getting one more person to take a look at something we had been trying to figure out for hours, solved the problem. There's something new to learn each and every day.

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