How To Transfer a Domain
You’ve got this amazing idea for a new business, or maybe you want to start a new blog or simply invest in some domains. The process of finding and buying a domain is relatively simple thanks to services like Cloudname but one challenge some still face is finding the right hosting service.
In some situations, you may wish to transfer your domain to a different registrar and hosting service because that will allow you to manage everything in one place or utilise a better system.
It can be confusing trying to work out how to transfer a domain and that is why we created this article full of top tips and helpful instructions.
What is a domain transfer and why would you need to initiate one?
Owning a domain name means purchasing it via a registrar. They are the custodians of the domain name, providing you access and offering additional services.
Once you have registered your domain, you can decide to switch it from one registrar to a different registrar. This is known as a domain transfer but it is important to note that you must have been with your existing one for 60 days or more.
This is a requirement set by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and is known as the 60-day Change of Registrant lock. You can find out more information about this particular restriction here.
If it is within 60 days, you may still be able to complete an account change. This is a simple process of changing the domain name from one account to a new account at the same registrar and can be done instantly.
Some domain names on the Cloudname aftermarket can be transferred and some may need to be started from the current registrar.
Why you might need to transfer a domain
There are a number of reasons why someone would decide to transfer a domain and it is a much more common process than many realise. In an ever-evolving era of technology, services and solutions there is increasing competition for customers.
We’ve highlighted a handful of the reasons for transferring a domain below:
A highly relatable reason given the current cost-of-living challenges faced by many parts of the world right now. It may be that you registered a domain with one service because they had a special offer and when it comes to renewing that domain the price jumps up a great deal.
It is important to shop around and make sure you pay the best price, for the most relevant service.
It may be that the service you use is causing your website to load slower than is optimal, or perhaps another service allows you to utilise plugins for a specific type of site. All of this will have an effect on the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your domain.
Some domain registrars offer services like a managed website, special hosting packages or discounts on renewal fees for transferred domains.
All of these can be very appealing and offer a way of improving the performance and value of a domain if you’re looking to use it to run a business or sell on for a profit. It may be necessary to transfer a domain in order to utilise these more optimal services.
Consolidating your domains
If you’re interested in investing in domains or have a portfolio of domains then it makes a lot more sense to manage them all in one place. This not only could save you money, but save time and effort by only having to log in to one location and see all of the information you need.
Anyone wanting to start trading domains should check out this beginner’s guide as it will provide more detail on why we recommend consolidating your domains.
The key steps required to transfer a domain
All domain registrars will allow you to transfer a domain if you wish, but it is important to be aware of the steps involved in doing so. There are certain criteria that must be met, actions required with both the old and new registrar and pitfalls that if you’re not aware of could stop the transfer from going through.
Let’s look at the key steps required to transfer a domain
Step 1: Update contact information and email accounts
One of the most common reasons for a domain transfer failing is the lack of contact information or inaccurate information.
The first step should always be to make sure that all services you will be transferring from have the most up to date contact information. During the process, they will use this to confirm everything with you and request action be taken.
It is also important to note that in most cases when transferring a domain, any emails linked to this domain will become disabled. So as to limit the impact on your business or the transfer itself, set up a backup email to ensure you stay in communication with people.
Step 2: Confirm the domain is transferrable and unlock your domain
Whilst you will have likely done this already, it is important to double-check that your domain is transferrable and there are no reasons for it being blocked. We have summarised some of the common reasons for this happening below this section so take a moment to read through them all.
Next, once you have confirmed that your domain is transferrable, you will need to unlock your domain. This is normally done in the control panel of your existing registrar. Whilst each control panel will look slightly different, they will normally have a section called domain or security. If in doubt, look for an FAQ or support section from your registrar for a step-by-step guide.
Step 3: Request the authorization code
Once your domain is unlocked, you will be able to transfer it and the way this works is by requesting an authorization code. This is a safety feature that reduces the chances of someone accessing your domain and transferring it without your permission.
It is also important to note that this authorization code is the connection between the new and old providers. Depending on the service you use, this code is provided via email within five days or it may be generated on the dashboard.
Step 4: Create your new account and add the authorisation code
If you haven’t already, it is now time to create an account with your new registrar. Most services will have a special section for transferring domains so once you’ve got into your account, look for this section.
As part of this transfer process, it will ask for the authorization code that you obtained in Step 3. Make sure to get this code right as it will fail without it and will delay the process as you will need to start again.
Step 5: Approve the transfer and pay all fees
As long as you have provided all of the contact information correctly, you will be contacted by both providers. This is part of the security protocols in place to ensure you are genuinely trying to transfer your domain and it is not someone else doing it.
Answer all of the questions they ask correctly and efficiently so as to not hold up the process. Once this has been done, you will need to pay any of the transfer fees charged. If you’re changing providers due to a special offer, it may be you don’t need to pay anything for the first year but you will still likely need to add in your financial details (e.g. a credit card or PayPal).
Step 6: Finalise the process
You’re finally getting to the end of the process and it’s now just a case of waiting for the transfer to be complete. The new registrar will set up everything for you and this can often take up to one week.
Please note that if you have a website linked to this domain it should stay available for people to access so you don’t experience a stop in service.
By following this process, you should have your domain transferred to your preferred provider and you can then focus on using your domain to its full potential.
What are the reasons why a domain transfer might fail?
There are a number of reasons why a domain transfer might fail and it is always important to read through the specific instructions for your new and old registrars before commencing with the transfer. To give you an idea of some of the most common reasons for a domain transfer failing, see the following:
- Incorrect information: If there is a discrepancy between the information you’ve provided about you and the domain then they may not be able to verify that you are the verified owner. Always make sure to have everything correct and up to date before you start the process.
- Outstanding fees: A common reason for a domain transfer failing is that the owner owes money to the registrar. As a result, they may put the domain transfer on hold until any outstanding amounts have been repaid.
- Domain locked: As highlighted above, all domains must wait 60 days before being transferred, as part of ICANNs 60-day Change of Registrant lock. It could also be that you haven’t unlocked it properly or paid any fees. If in doubt, contact the support team to find out the exact problem.
As you can see, the process for transferring a domain is relatively straightforward! As long as you take the time to read the instructions provided by each service and use the correct information. If you do this, you can enjoy the benefits of switching a domain including saving money and consolidating your domains in one place for more efficient management.
Take a moment to explore the domains at Cloudname and how you can manage them with our intelligent dashboard.
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