Ensure a Successful Website Transfer

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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.

Don’t have time to read our full article? Watch our walk-through video.

Prepare Website

Evaluate Site

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.

Download Backups

  1. Create backups using cPanel backups, FTP, or other methods from your current hosting provider. Ensure it includes any applicable database SQL files.
  2. Download the backups to local storage.
  3. Verify the checksum of your backup files.
  4. Test that your backups work by reuploading them.

Maintenance Mode

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

Submitting website transfer in AMP
  1. Log into your Account Management Panel (AMP).
  2. Click on Website Transfer Request
  3. The next page will allow you to enter information to facilitate the transfer process. To help ensure a quality transfer, we will explain a few of the entries on this form below:

    Are You Migrating From Another InMotion Hosting Account or From an External Host? – This question is to determine if you are transferring your data from one InMotion Hosting account to another or from a separate hosting provider entirely. If you are transferring from an external host, you will be prompted to provide the login credentials for the hosting provider you are transferring from.

    Is this hosting account managed with cPanel? – This question is to determine if your hosting account is managed with cPanel, the popular control panel software used by many different hosting providers. If you are unsure if your account uses cPanel, check with your hosting provider to learn more.

    Is 2FA enabled on this account? – This question is to determine if your hosting account has two-factor authentication enabled. This generally involves the use of a connected device to verify login attempts. In the event of a website transfer, you will want to temporarily disable this functionality to allow our technicians to access your data.
  4. Once you have entered all the data, click the Continue button.
  5. The next 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. 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.

Request Confirmation

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.

Check for WTR status in AMP

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.

Test Migration

After the WTR is complete, you’ll need to review the website to confirm everything migrated correctly. Things to test include:

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.

Transfer Email

If your email is stored in a separate server from your website, there are two steps to transferring email from your old server:

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.

Launch Assist

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.

Learn More

After your website and email are set up, you should take time to learn your AMP, cPanel, and WebHost Manager (WHM) (for reseller and VPS/Dedicated).

Alyssa Kordek Content Writer I

Alyssa started working for InMotion Hosting in 2015 as a member of the Technical Support team. Before being promoted to Technical Writer, Alyssa developed expertise in the fields of server hardware, Linux operating systems, cPanel, and WordPress. She now works to produce quality technical content featuring cutting-edge topics such as machine learning, data center infrastructure, and graphics card technology.

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