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


This article provides the best way to move a domain between two (mt) Media Temple accounts. In this tutorial, we will move between Account A and Account B. If you perform these steps correctly, you should experience little downtime.


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/ 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, login 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

Now that the verification is complete, you can safely move the DNS zone with the following steps:

    1. Sign into your Account Center for Account A.
    2. Select your domain from the Domains drop-down menu.
    3. Click on Remove Zone File to remove the zone file from Account A.
    4. Log out of the Account Center for Account A.
    5. Sign into the Account Center for Account B.
    6. Click the Domains button at the top of the screen and select Add New Domain or Service.

    7. Under Add Domains, click the Add Domain button.

    8. Type in your domain name and select "I already down this domain" Click Use Domain at the bottom to continue.

    9. On the next screen, you will see a list of all services on your account. Select the radio button next to the service you want to point the domain to. If your service has multiple IP addresses, use the choose IP drop-down to select the one you want to use for this domain.
Select Service
    1. Click Continue Order at the bottom of the page. You will be returned to the "Overview" page of the Account Center. Your domain will now be listed under your selected server.


There is no cost for adding a zone file. If you reach a payment screen, return to the Add Domain menu and make sure you have selected “I already own this domain”.

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 make sure all your content was moved properly, including your databases.

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

If you registered this domain with (mt) Media Temple, you will need to log into the Account Center for Account A and submit a support request, specifying your release of the domain registration to Account B.

The owner of Account B will also have to submit a support request, accepting the registration service and all associated fees (typically $12.00 per year).