How do I transfer a domain to a server on another account?


  • Applies to: All Service Types
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 60
    • Tools Required: FTP client, Account Center access

Overview

This article provides the best way to move a domain between two Media Temple accounts. If you are migrating from a host other than Media Temple, use these instructions.

In this tutorial, we will move example.com between Media Temple Account A and Media Temple Account B. If you perform these steps correctly, you should experience little downtime. Please note that the final step will require support requests to be opened in both Account A and B to verify the transfer. 

Instructions

Step 1: Make sure your website's software can run under Account B

Are they both the same server type/version? If you are moving from one Grid hosting service to another, or between like DV services, you should be fine. You may need to account for site path changes, database connection strings, etc. in any other situation. For example, the Grid hosting service may have a MySQL GridContainer with heavily customized MySQL settings; this may require complementary changes to a DV's default MySQL configuration to run optimally.

Step 2: Backup your Files

Before proceeding please make sure to preserve your site's content. These links may be helpful:

Step 3: Add the domain to Account B and upload your content

  • Grid: Since the zone file for the domain is associated with a service on account A, you will NOT be able to add the domain(s) via the Account Center to Account B.
    • On Account B, simply create the directory structure for the domain, e.g. /domains/example.com/html/. Then upload your content.
    • You can preview the domain with the Access Domain for your service on Account B.
  • DV servers: Simply add the domain within Plesk and upload your content, or use the Plesk Migration manager to create the domain before adding your content.

Step 4: Verify the domain is displaying properly on Account B

Grid customers can use the access domain to preview and test the domain. DV customers can use the default IP Address feature in Plesk to preview the domain.

Step 5: Lower TTL Value for the domain

Now that your domain is added, log in to Account A. Select the domain from the Domains drop-down menu. Click on Edit Zone File, and then click on "Lower TTL Value." Please wait at least 24 hours before proceeding to step 6. To learn more about DNS, please see: DNS Explained.

Step 6: Move the DNS Zone File to Account B

The final step is to create support requests for the actual transfer. As mentioned in the Overview, Media Temple must manually transfer domain zone files between Media Temple accounts. This process will be handled in a timely manner by a Media Temple support agent and you will receive confirmation upon completion.

To ensure the security of your domains, separate support requests must be created from both Account A and Account B. 

Each support request must include:

  • The name of the domain being transferred
  • The primary domains of the accounts in question

Example Support requests:

Account A:
"Please transfer the DNS zone file for EXAMPLEDOMAIN.com to the account with the primary domain ACCEPTINGDOMAIN.com."

Account B:
"I accept the DNS Zone File for EXAMPLEDOMAIN.com from the account with the primary domain SENDINGDOMAIN.com"

Once processed, the zone file will be moved to the receiving account (Account B). Once your support request has been processed, you should expect traffic to be routed there within 24 hours. 

NOTE:

There is no cost for adding a zone file. You will now have a zone file on Account B for your domain. Shortly thereafter, all your traffic will be routed to your new service. Please verify once more that all content was moved properly, including your databases.

Step 7: (Optional) Move the Domain Registration to Account B

If the domain's registration is also handled by Media Temple and you wish to transfer it to Account B, you will also need to specify that in your support requests. Account A specifies the release of the domain registration to Account B. The owner of Account B will need to include an acceptance of the registration service and all associated fees (typically $15.00 per year) in their support request. 

Resources

Creating a Media Temple Support request
DNS Explained