How to Transfer your Domain Name to InMotion Hosting

In this tutorial:

For the hearing impaired, please click here to view the transcription of the above video.

Hi this is Brad with InMotion Hosting and in this tutorial I’m going to walk you through how the domain transfer process works.

Now there are quite a few items involved here, so I want to make sure everyone understands exactly what happens when you transfer domain names.

The internet is comprised of web servers across the entire globe.  These web servers belong to web hosting companies.  There are also domain names like your-domain.com.  The web browser needs to know which of these web servers to contact when you type in a web address.  This is handled by DNS. A section of DNS is name servers.  Your domain name points to a set of name servers, and those name servers control which hosting company your domain name points to.

When you type in your-domain.com, it points to NS and then to inmotionhosting.com and those name servers route your website traffic through an InMotion Hosting server.

Domain names are registered through a registrar.  Registration is separate from hosting.  Registration is basically registering a domain name with a domain registrar and you generally renew your domain name yearly, keeping it active.

Hosting, on the other hand, is renting a web server so you have a place to put your website files.  There are many domain registrars but many more web hosts.  Not all web hosts are a domain registrar.  It is very common that a hosting company does not register domain names for you, but instead they register the domain names on your behalf.  This is how InMotion Hosting functions.

Domain names that we register for customers, we register on their behalf.  We register with Melbourne IT, a very popular domain registrar.

The domain transfer process moves the domain name from your old registrar to your new registrar, which is Melbourne IT if you’re with In Motion Hosting.  Your domain name is still going to point to the same name servers and those will point to the same web hosts.  The domain transfer only affects who you pay your yearly fees to.  It won’t affect your website at this time.

Now that you know what a domain transfer entails, we will go through the steps in a little more detail.

So the parties involved are yourself, your current registrar, InMotion Hosting, and Melbourne IT, which is who InMotion Hosting uses to register domains.

The first thing that will need to happen is you will need to contact your current registrar, and you’ll need to unlock the domain name.  All domain names are locked and this prevents someone from stealing your domain name.  The second thing you need to do is retrieve the authorization code.  This is a password.  Even if a domain name is unlocked, you can’t initiate a domain transfer without the password.  This is another security measure.  You will also need to confirm that you have access to the administrative email address in the WHOIS.  All of these steps can be taken care of with your current domain registrar.

After you have all of that information, you’ll want to contact InMotion Hosting.  You’ll log into your account management panel and you’ll submit the domain transfer request.  You’ll need your authorization code so be sure that you have that handy.

And what InMotion Hosting is going to do is begin the transfer process for you.  We’re going to contact Melbourne IT, and what’s going to happen is Melbourne is going to send you an email.  The email address they’re going to email is the administrative email address listed at the current registrar, and this was in step 1, which is where we wanted to make sure you have access to that email address.  So again, Melbourne IT is going to send you an email just to confirm that you want to transfer the domain name.  And generally they are going to send you a link to a page on their site where you can enter in your authorization code to continue the transfer process.

So once you do that, it’s going to take a couple days and that’s just migrating your domain name from your current registrar to your new registrar.  The entire process can take up to 10 days to go through, and as soon as the transfer has been completed, we will send you an email to keep you updated.  We’re going to let you know that the domain transfer has succeeded and at that point you’re done with the domain transfer process.

If you have any questions at any time during the domain transfer process, feel free to contact our support department and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions that you have.

What does it mean to transfer your domain?

When we talk about transferring a domain, we are referring to changing the company that you pay yearly for the domain’s registration. Domain transfers do not affect your website in any way, they affect who your domain is registered through. If you want to have all your domains and hosting in one place so you can pay for them and manage them all in one place, you will want to transfer your domain. More information about this can be found in our article, the difference between transferring a domain name and changing the nameservers.

If you’re looking for information on how to transfer your website to InMotion Hosting, please see our New Customer Website Getting Started Guide.

Important Details to Understand Before Transferring Your Domain:

  • Get the Authorization code (sometimes called AUTH, or EPP code) from your registrar.
  • Remove Domain Privacy if you have it on your domain.
  • If you plan to change your nameservers, please do so either before or after requesting a domain transfer, not during the transfer process. It is not recommended to update your nameservers during the transfer process (which can take up to 10 days to complete).
  • Make sure the domain is unlocked with the old registrar prior to making the request. “Unlocking” a domain name is the removing of the lock on your domain name that prevents transfers, and must be done with your current registrar.
  • Make sure you have access to the administrative email address listed in the whois for your domain prior to making the request. You will be sent an email to this email address, and failure to receive this email will result in a failed domain transfer. Please contact your current registrar to manage your whois details.
  • While we can host any domain, we can only transfer .com .net .org .biz .info and .us domains.
  • If the domain you would like to transfer was just registered, please be aware that you will need to wait at minimum 60 days since the initial registration before you can change registrars.
  • If your domain name is set to expire within 14 days, you will need to first renew the domain with its current registrar. This is to help prevent a loss of your domain name in the event the transfer request fails the first time.

Steps for Transferring your Domain Name:

  1. Login to AMP.
  2. Roll your mouse over the DOMAINS menu, then click the DOMAIN TRANSFERS link.
  3. Next type in the domain that you want to transfer and click Submit

    NOTE! If you get an error stating, “Domain is expired and must be renewed with the current registrar before transferring” Then you will need to contact tech support to have the domain manually transferred via email request. This is an error with the WHOIS lookup in AMP.

  4. The next screen will tell you if your domain is locked. The domain transfer will not initiate if the domain shows as locked. Make sure that you have access to the admin email and select “Yes” from the menu. Enter the Authorization Code for the domain and click Save
  5. You will then be on the Billing Information screen. Domain transfers cost $11.99, if you have a transfer credit available, it will be listed. Confirm the account information is correct and click Submit
  6. In 5-10 minutes, you will receive a confirmation email, click the link to confirm your transfer:
    view of domain transfer confirmation email
  7. You will be redirected to the Accept Transfer page. Fill in your name, agree with the terms of service, and click the Proceed with this Transfer button. You will then see a message stating “Thank you for confirming your request to transfer your Domain Name to Melbourne IT.”
    Melbourne IT domain transfer confirmation page

The transfer process has now begun. Remember that domain transfers can take up to 10 days. You will be notified via email when the domain transfer process completes.

How to Check the Status of your Domain Transfer

  1. Login to AMP.
  2. Roll your mouse over the DOMAINS menu, then click the DOMAIN TRANSFERS link.
  3. Scroll down to the Existing Domain Transfers sections, and you will see the status listed.

Hosting Unlimited Domains

Did you know that with a dedicated server, you can host unlimited domains? With a dedicated server, you get all the features you need to manage your websites. But you also get the support you need when you need it. You can learn more here.

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