Transferring to a new hosting provider can be frustrating. We want to ensure you understand everything that happens within the website transfer request process. There are four general stages – prepare website, submit website transfer request (WTR), test migration, and update DNS.
While InMotion considers itself a leader in Website Transfers and we take special care to ensure that your site will be as fully operational as possible, we’re unable to provide support for in-depth programming, dependencies of your site, or other issues not directly server-related. For such issues, we recommend you contact our Managed Hosting team.
- Prepare Website
- Submit Website Transfer Request
- How to Check Website Transfer
- Test Migration
- Update DNS Records
- Transfer Email
- Launch Assist
- Learn More
You’ll need to evaluate your website to figure out which hosting plan you should use – Shared, Reseller, VPS, WordPress, or Dedicated. You’ll need to find out where the website files are stored, any applicable databases, and how to obtain a backup of them. It is best to contact your current hosting company to obtain this information.
Note that if later you realize you need more or less in your hosting plan, you can easily downgrade or upgrade your hosting plan in your Account Management Panel (AMP). We’ll assist you with the process.
- Create backups using cPanel backups, FTP, or other methods from your current hosting provider. Ensure it includes any applicable database SQL files.
- Download the backups to local storage.
- Verify the checksum of your backup files.
- Test that your backups work by reuploading them.
You’ll need to communicate with our support staff about the best time to complete the process. Also, before transferring your website, you should decide whether to set up a maintenance page to prevent data loss during the migration. E-commerce website owners will want to set this up to halt orders. This ensures no new content is added during the transfer. You can achieve this with a basic page or something fancy. Many content management systems (CMS) have applicable plugins – e.g. Under Construction for WordPress and PrestaShop 1.7 built-in maintenance mode.
Submit Website Transfer Request
- Log into your Account Management Panel (AMP).
- Click on Website Transfer Request
- This brings you to a screen to enter your account information from the other host.
- Once you have entered all the data, click the Continue button.
- This page will present all the data you entered for confirmation. If you find a mistake, simply use your browser’s Back button to go back and change it. At the bottom you will see a section for you to select which credit card you want to place the charge against.
Once confirmed, be sure you check the price approval checkbox at the bottom. You will not be able to continue until this is done. After that, click on the Submit Website Transfer Request button.
You will now be presented with the confirmation screen. Your website transfer request is now in the appropriate queue and will be worked on by our Support Technicians in the order it was received. You will receive an email from our Support Team when the transfer is complete.
Be sure to plan ahead and submit your request in advance of your previous hosting plan expiring. We also recommend that you ensure that you have backups of your website stored locally.
If you need to have expedited service, you can do so for an additional fee. The system defaults to the regular transfer, which has no additional fee.
How to Check Website Transfer Status
Website Transfer Status can be determined by logging into your Account Management Panel (AMP). Simply click on the Billing Menu and then look in the far right corner for the status of your transfer.
Note: Please keep in mind that while we try to complete all requests in a timely manner, the volume and difficulty of prior requests directly impact the time to completion.
After the WTR is complete, you’ll need to review the website to confirm everything migrated correctly. Things to test include:
- Internal and external links
- Backend tasks and checks
- Database checks and repairs in cPanel
You can test your website with the temporary URL, but for WordPress and other CMS’s the best method is to edit your hosts file. Using the temporary URL may cause some aspects of your site to not display properly, so it is generally recommended to edit the hosts file.
Update DNS Records
Once you’ve confirmed the website works, you’ll need to update the DNS settings for users to be redirected to the migrated website. To accomplish this, you’ll need to edit your nameservers to the following:
Resellers should use the following settings:
Those unable to change the nameservers can change the A record for your domain to your server IP, found in cPanel. DNS changes take approximately 24 hours to fully propagate. You can use private web browsing sessions or online tools such as WhatsMyDNS.net to check the progress.
Those unable to change the nameservers and wanting more control over DNS settings or to consolidate billing may want to consider transferring the domain.
If your email is stored in a separate server from your website, there are two steps to transferring email from your old server:
- If you didn’t change the nameservers to InMotion Hosting, you can change the MX records to InMotion Hosting.
- If you had email on a separate server from the old hosting server, you can move the actual email files using an email app such as Thunderbird.
- Those looking to use another email provider should check out our 3rd party email article.
Afterwards, you can configure your email client with the new email accounts using our email configuration tool. We recommend secure SSL IMAP or Standard IMAP.
Let InMotion Hosting’s Managed Hosting team transfer your site for you. With Launch Assist there’s no need to worry about transferring content, databases, or configurations. An expert system administrator will give your website and email content first class treatment and let you know when the transfer is complete.