There are many reasons to transfer domain names. You might have put it up for sale, want to change hosting providers, or simply want to change domain registrars. There are steps and procedures you need to follow to get it done.
These steps may seem a little complicated to follow for beginners, but with the right guide, you will be able to transfer the domain in no time. Let’s go through the steps for easy domain transfer below.
1. Check Your Web Hosting
Transferring a domain name can be pricey according to its TLD. For instance, the fee for a .com TLD name may cost up to $10.99, while a .io name may cost around $60. However, there are ways to skip this fee.
Some hosting companies provide free domain transfer service with the purchase of their hosting package. I recommend checking with your provider or opt for a new provider that offers this service free of charge. A prime example of this is Hostinger web hosting. With them, when opting for an annual plan, you get a premium domain free of charge for the first year.
2. Ensure the Domain Is Eligible
Before everything, you need to ensure that your domain is eligible for the process. According to the ICANN rules, the domain must be registered 60 days ago to allow the transfer. It also has to be hosted under the current registrar for at least 60 days.
To check, sign in to the current domain registrar account and see the initial registration period. Then, make sure that you haven’t transferred the domain anywhere in the last sixty days. If your domain doesn’t fulfil the requirements, you may not be able to move it.
3. Prepare the Domain
There are several things that you need to prepare to ensure a smooth transfer process. First, check and update your contact information with the current and new domain registrars. They will need to contact you during the process, ensure that they have your latest contact details.
Remember that the nameservers will stop working as soon as the transfer process is completed. If you’re using your current registrar’s nameserver, take a screenshot of your current DNS records. This is to set up DNS records and nameservers with the new registrar after domain transfer so that your website can get back online as soon as possible.
Finally, unlock your domain and disable WHOIS privacy protection. You can look for the unlock and privacy settings in the current registrar’s control panel. Make sure to turn off the WHOIS privacy settings to unhide domain ownership information on the database, as it is necessary for verification in the new registrar.
4. Request an Authorization Code
You need an authorization code for the new registrar to verify the transfer. It may be an EPP key, AuthCode, or Secret Code, depending on the registrars. The code serves as a protection to avoid transfer by unauthorized parties and a bridge to ease the transfer process between your old and new providers.
Contact the current domain registrar to receive this code. It will usually be delivered to your email within five days. Alternatively, your registrar may have an auto-generate feature for authorization codes. If you can find the option in the control panel, the process will be a lot faster than manually asking for authorization codes.
5. Create an Account on the New Registrar
After requesting an authorization code, head to your new registrar and create a new account. Find the transfer domain options or menu in the control panel and enter the domain name you want to move. You will be notifying the registrar that you need to use the transfer service.
Then, update your nameserver to point to the new domain registrar. In case you’re using the old registrar’s nameserver, initiate the domain transfer first, then update the nameservers using the credentials you have screenshotted or noted from the previous registrar beforehand.
6. Enter the Authorization Code
Your new registrar will need the authorization code you received from the previous registrar to verify the domain transfer. When prompted, enter the necessary code and make sure it is correct before submission.
After this, both old and new registrars will contact you by phone or email. They will verify your contact details for transfer approval, so ensure that the information you entered is correct. You will also need to answer several questions about reasons for transferring.
7. Pay the Domain Transfer Fee
You will have to pay for the service to get your domain transferred if the new registrar or hosting provider does not offer free domain transfer in the package. Do note that you shouldn’t need to pay the old registrar for moving unless they provided your domain name for free under several terms and conditions.
If you have some time left before your plan with the old registrar expires, try asking your new registrar if they can give it back. Upon purchase, some registrars will give you the unused time you have on your old registrar and the one year you have paid on the service fee.
8. Finalize the Transfer Process
After paying for the transfer fee, all there’s left to do is wait for the new registrar to set up the domain and servers. It may take a minimum of five days to a week to get your domain up and working again. The registrar will contact and notify you once they have completed the transfer.
Finally, make sure that everything works perfectly and your website is accessible from the new registrar. Once everything is set, you can cancel the plan from your previous registrar to avoid getting charged.
You can turn your WHOIS privacy protection setting back on to have a private domain. That way, people will not see your personal contact information on the domain ownership database and get your registrar’s information instead. However, there may be extra costs to pay as you will have to purchase WHOIS privacy protection with the new registrar.
All in all, transferring a domain is simpler than it seems. First, you need to ensure that the domain is eligible and prepare the necessary data for transfer. Then, ask the current registrar for an authorization code to verify the process request.
Then, notify the new registrar of the domain transfer. When prompted, enter the authentication code received from the current registrar. The current and recent registrars will contact you to ask several verification questions for the transfer to be approved. Finally, pay the transfer fee and set up your domain in the new registrar for it to work perfectly. I hope this article helps you learn how to transfer a domain name. If there are any questions, make sure to leave them in the comments below.
About the author:
Juliet is an Editor at PRable.org, all in one content marketing agency. She loves creating articles about technology, innovative product reviews, and technical writing to help scale up digital growth. She is a writer by day and a frustrated singer by night.