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Site Transfer Saga




The Web Site Transfer Saga

Start 10/18/11 -- End 10/28/11

         In retrospect, part of the problem was my operating under the, apparently incorrect, assumption that the SITE transfer process would be similar to the transfer of an IRA account from one mutual fund company to another. Yes, the mutual fund industry approach is very cold and impersonal: just sign a paper and give them an old statement and you will be notified when the transfer is complete. Obviously the Web Hosting industry has developed a much more personal process that allows for intensive participation on the part of the web site owner. I’ve made so many new friends in the Tech Support operations at Yahoo and InMotion, and with all the bonding that took place during those long phone calls, I fully expect to be invited to one of their next company parties. It has been years since I transferred an IRA and Fidelity has never invited me to anything.






1.      On 10/18 I noticed that when trying to upload a new file to my web site, FrontPage could not connect with the servers at the remote site.


2.      Yahoo never answered my first e-mail and so four days later I sent another one that wasn’t quite as polite as the first.


3.      Yahoo finally responded - they no longer supported FrontPage Extensions. Yahoo advice - Get a different web development software program or try FTP transfer.


4.      Yahoo had never told customers it wasn’t going to support FrontPage Extensions anymore. They actually stopped FrontPage support in early September 2011. You only noticed this when you couldn’t upload files to your site anymore.


5.      I would have needed to rename many of my files to use FTP at Yahoo. This was due to restrictions (no spaces in file names) that Yahoo had purposely placed on the transfer. I told them that their FTP restrictions were unnecessarily strict (on the Internet someone had described them as medieval) but they didn’t seem to care. This was the burning of the bridge and Yahoo had started the fire.


6.      Began the movement of the site to a new Web Hosting company: InMotion.


7.      It turned out there are two levels of transfer. The transfer of the Site Registration and then the transfer of the file content of the site itself. No one explained that - I had to figure that out myself. Confusingly, everyone would refer vaguely to “transferring the site,” as if it was just one thing.


8.      InMotion tried but couldn’t transfer the Site Registration because the site was locked.


9.      Unlocked the site at Yahoo and got an Authorization Code from Yahoo.


10.  InMotion didn’t know what the Authorization Code was - they wanted a Registration Key (RK).


11.  Yahoo’s FAQ’s sent me to Melbourne IT (actual holder of the Site Registration) for the RK.


12.  Melbourne sent me back to Yahoo for the RK.


13.  On the phone Yahoo admitted they shouldn’t have sent me to Melbourne and gave me the RK.


14.  Tried the RK with InMotion but they couldn’t make the transfer because the Site Registration info was PRIVATE. Note: Both Yahoo and InMotion use Melbourne IT as their Site Registration company. Melbourne considers them re-sellers. The Site Registration transfer was to take place entirely within Melbourne.


15.  Went back to Yahoo and made the Site Registration info PUBLIC.


16.  InMotion tried again and the Site Registration info was still PRIVATE.


17.  Yahoo checked and said the Site Registration info was PUBLIC.


18.  InMotion tried again - the Site Registration info was still PRIVATE.


19.  Got Yahoo and Melbourne on a conference call and they both SWORE the Site Registration info was PUBLIC. The Melbourne rep told me to have InMotion refresh their WHOIIS server.


20.  InMotion tried again - the Site Registration info was still PRIVATE. In their e-mail they wanted to know if Yahoo had relinquished their “management rights.” Yet another degree of freedom? In response to Melbourne’s refresh suggestion InMotion pointed out that there were no WHOIIS servers. InMotion had an account on Melbourne’s servers.


21.  Finally, Yahoo admitted there was ONE FINAL FLAG (the management rights flag?) that should have been set, before the Site Registration information REALLY became PUBLIC, but it hadn’t been set.


22.  With Yahoo and InMotion on a conference call, Yahoo set the flag and gave InMotion the RK and the Site Registration transfer took place.


23.  Went to the InMotion Account Management Panel (AMP) - my site didn’t show up.


24.  InMotion checked from their side and they indeed had control of the Site Registration. The AMP software must have been “struck.”


25.  InMotion found a software bug in their AMP - they fixed it by hand.


26.  Now I had a Site Registration and the site ( was re-pointed at the InMotion servers and no longer at the Yahoo servers. However, InMotion said it would take 4 to 24 hours for this server re-pointing to “take hold.”


27.  Twenty-six hours later FrontPage still couldn’t find the site.


28.  InMotion admitted that they had forgotten to set the FrontPage Extensions on their servers.


29.  As I reviewed what I hoped would be the last details of the process, InMotion discovered that they had forgotten to tell me that to upload files to the site required another UserID and password in addition to the one needed to access the AMP. The InMotion Tech Support guy said they should have sent those to me when I first set up the service, but they hadn’t. The InMotion Tech Support guy acknowledged that they knew this problem existed.


30.  On the evening of 10/28 the files were finally uploaded from my computer to the InMotion server and the site was back on the air. If I had tried to transfer the files from Yahoo to InMotion, as was suggested to me by InMotion Tech Support, I am sure that this list would have been much longer.