We get a few domain name transfer requests each month from new clients, and I realized how very few of them have knowledge on the subject or don't even know where to start in order to transfer their domain name somewhere else. I created a FAQ article about domain transfers for our website, but I wanted to post a similar one here in Web Hosting Talk to help educate those who seek some knowledge on the subject. I already posted this on the HD forums first and received some great responses and feedback, so I figured WHT would appreciate it as well.
First of all, most people think they have to transfer their domain name over to a new host in order to have it hosted on their servers. This is NOT
true... You can always leave your domain name with your current registrar or host if you wish to do so
, and simply change the domain's nameservers to point to your NEW host's server.
Now, for those of you who DO wish to transfer your domain name away from your current registrar/host. You will need to make sure you follow the steps below BEFORE
starting the transfer process..
. Have your domain's EPP Code
(Security Key) handy so you can provide it to your new registrar/host. Your domain's EPP Code can be obtained from your current registrar/host, simply ask for it. When you order a domain transfer, you will be asked for the domain's EPP code. The transfer can NOT
be initiated without this security key, so make sure you have access to it!
. Unlock the domain. Make sure your domain name is UNLOCKED
before you initiate a transfer. This can be done from your current registrar's domain control panel. If your domain name is locked, the transfer will fail.
. Don't have WHOIS protection (Domain Privacy) enabled. Make sure to DISABLE WHOIS protection
on your domain name before initiating a transfer. This can be done from your current registrar's domain control panel, or by asking your current registrar/host to do it for you. If your domain name has WHOIS protection enabled, the transfer will fail.
. Make sure the domain's Administrative Contact Details
or WHOIS Information
(email, address, phone, ect..) MATCHES
your own personal info with your new registrar/host. This can be changed from your current registrar's domain control panel. If your domain name's contact details DO NOT match with the new registrar/host, the transfer will fail.
Once you have taken care of these steps and initiated the transfer process, your new registrar/host will then send a transfer request approval notice to the email address listed in the WHOIS details for that domain (your email address). The request MUST be approved by the domain name holder/owner
Once approved, your new registrar/host will then send the request to your current registrar/host so they release the domain name over to them (this can take several days). If your current registrar/host does NOT release the domain, it will NOT be transfered
. Make sure you can contact your current registrar/host for assistance.
That being said, sometimes clients don't know who their domain name registrar is, or their current host has vanished from the face of the earth without a trace.. Most of the time, you can do a simple WHOIS search on your domain name to find out who your registrar is. A good WHOIS search tool is " http://www.domaintools.com/
I hope this post can help some of you feel more prepared for this, sometimes, intimidating task.