When you transfer a domain name, you tell ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) that you want a different registrar to manage your domain. You may also change your hosting provider at the same time.
Change of hosting provider vs. transfer of domain name only
If you decide to switch hosting providers, you need to make sure that you have a full backup of your website on your own computer before you start the process. Also, you'll need to make sure that all server-side scripts can be installed and work on the new hosting platform, since you'll have to upload your website to the new server. If you're not sure how to do that, ask your new hoster if they can help you.
If you transfer only the domain registration, your hosting account will remain unaffected and you won't need to transfer files between servers. Although the DNS (Domain Name Server) information should be transferred as well, it is always a good idea to write it down.
How to implement a domain transfer
Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Prepare your domain: Before you start the transfer, make sure that your domain is ready for transfer. The domain should be at least 60 days old, and you should have waited at least 60 days since the last registration or transfer. Also check if your domain is not locked. You can check this in the domain management section of your current registrar. If the domain is locked, unlock it there.
- Get the auth code: To perform the transfer, you need a so-called auth code, also known as EPP code or transfer code. You can get this code from your current registrar. Log in to the administration area and look for the auth code. Sometimes you may have to request the code and it will be sent to you by email.
- Choose a new registrar: Choose a new domain registrar to transfer your domain to. Pay attention to the prices, the services offered and the customer support. Some popular registrars are Namecheap, GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS.
- Start the transfer at the new registrar: Once you have selected the new registrar, log in there or create a new account. Look for the domain transfer option and enter your domain address and auth code. You will then be asked to confirm the transfer and pay the fee.
- Confirm the transfer: After you have started the transfer with the new registrar, you will receive an e-mail to the e-mail address you have registered with the domain. In this email you will find a confirmation link, which you have to click to confirm the transfer.
- Wait for the transfer to be completed: The domain transfer can take a few days, usually between 5 and 7 days. During this time, both registrars check the transfer and perform it. Look for emails from both registrars indicating the status of the transfer.
- Make sure that the DNS settings are correct: Once the transfer is complete, check your domain's DNS settings with the new registrar to make sure they are correct and point to your website or email server. Make sure that all settings, such as A records, CNAME records and MX records, are correct.
That's it! You have now successfully transferred your domain to a new registrar. Note that you may need to adjust some DNS settings at your web hosting provider to make sure that your website and email services work properly.
How the domain transfer process works technically
When you request the transfer of a domain name, this is the first step in a chain of events associated with the transfer of a domain:
- You apply for the transfer to the new registrar
- The new registrar sends an email to the administrative contact in the WHOIS database to approve the transfer.
- The administrative contact will confirm the transfer request and provide the AUTH code for the domain. It is best to make sure that you are listed as the administrative contact and receive the unlock code from your current registrar before requesting the transfer to ensure that the request is confirmed. If you do not receive the confirmation within five days, the transfer request will be rejected and you will have to resubmit the request.
- The new registrar then sends an email to the organization that has TLD (Top Level Domain) is administered.
- Unless there is a reason not to release the domain, the administrative body will send an email to the old registrar to confirm the release. If you do not receive a reply within five days, the domain will be transferred to the new registrar by default.
- Your new registrar will send you an email informing you that the transfer is complete. In most cases, the DNS information will be copied from the old registrar to the new one. However, if this does not happen, you may need to log into your new registrar's control panel and enter the DNS information manually.
Reasons why a domain transfer may fail
The domain is locked, pending deletion, in a redemption period, or inactive. Domains cannot be transferred for 60 days after initial registration or transfer. They will also not be released if they are subject to legal disputes, such as ownership or payments due. Before you initiate a transfer, make sure your domain is in order and ask your old registrar to remove all domain locks or log into the control panel and remove them manually.
- Consolidation of domains under one registrar: If you have registered several domains with different registrars over time, you may want to consolidate them under a single registrar. This can simplify the management of your domains and help you keep a better overview of all your online presences.
- Business acquisition or merger: When two companies merge or when one company acquires another, it may be necessary to transfer the domains of the companies involved to a common registrar. This facilitates administration and ensures uniform processes within the merged organization.
- Domain sale or purchase: When you buy or sell a domain, it usually needs to be transferred to the buyer's registrar. The domain transfer in this case is an important step to ensure that the buyer gets full control over the domain and can manage it according to his requirements.
- Change of web hosting provider: When you change your web hosting provider, it can make sense to also transfer your domain(s) to the registrar that is associated with or recommended by your new hosting provider. This can simplify the integration and management of your domain and hosting services.
- Domain portfolio management: If you own and manage a domain portfolio, it may be necessary to transfer domains between registrars on a regular basis to get the best prices, features or support services. In this case, domain transfer is a recurring process that helps you manage your domains effectively and efficiently.
- Rebranding or changing the domain name: If you are making a change in your website domain name or branding, it may be necessary to register a new domain and transfer the existing domain to another registrar that offers special services or features required for your rebranding or new domain.
In all of these cases, a domain transfer may be necessary or helpful to effectively manage your online presence and ensure that you get the best services, prices and features available.
Domain transfer offers an easy way to transfer an existing domain to a new provider. Domain transfer has both advantages and disadvantages, and can be useful in various situations. However, before performing a domain transfer, the domain owner should make sure that all necessary documents are available and the domain has been verified.« Back to Glossary Index