Domain Transfer isn’t something that one does frequently. Why would anybody need to transfer the domain ? Well, there can be many reasons behind it such as frequent unauthorized Name Server changes, issues with the domain name registrar and so on. I too, had my first experience of transferring a domain just a couple of days back and it isn’t something very complicated. So, here’s a Complete Guide to Domain Name Transfer.
Before I begin,there are some terms that you must be aware of. (If you know these already, feel free to skip this section)
- Domain Name: This is the name by which your website is known on the web. Eg. www.thisismywebsite.com
- Registrar: The company from whom you bought your domain. Eg. GoDaddy, BigRock etc.
- Current Registrar: The registrar with whom your name is currently registered with. You can get this detail by looking up the WHOIS details of your website.
- Gaining Registrar: The Registrar to whom you will be transferring your domain name to. I.e. If you are transferring your domain name from Manashosting to GoDaddy then Manashosting is the current registrar while GoDaddy will be the gaining registrar.
- Domain Status: This is the status of your domain. Usually this is clientTrasnferProhibited meaning your domain can’t be transferred. So make sure the domain status reads OK before the transfer starts.
- Authorization Code / EPP / Domain Secret: This is a secret code – usually an Alphanumeric code – provided by the current registrar. Without this you won’t be able to initiate the Domain Transfer.
- Name Server: This is address where your domain name points to. All your files are hosted on this server whose name server you will add. Usually this is like ns1.yourregistrar.com and so on. Generally, you will be asked for at least 2 Name Server details.
Now that you are familiar with the terms, we can move ahead. Before you actually begin the transfer process, there are a few prerequisites.
- The Domain Name must be at least 60 days old to be eligible for transfer.
- The Domain Status must be OK or Unlocked before you begin the transfer process. This can be changed from the Domain Control Panel.
- Change the Name Servers if you want to, because you cannot change Name Server once the transfer request has been received.
If these things are in place, the transfer process can be started.
- Go to your Domain Control Panel and remove any locks present on the domain. This can be found under Theft Protection, Unlock Domain etc. This will change the status of the domain to OK.
- Now visit the gaining registrar’s website whom you wish to transfer the domain to. Place an order for domain transfer.
- The Gaining Registrar will fetch the details of admin from the WHOIS details and send an authorization mail to the email address mentioned. Please ensure that a working email address is provided in the WHOIS.
- Once you receive the authorization mail, you will be asked to authorize the transfer. A link will be provided where you will be asked to key in the Authorization Code / EPP / Domain Secret. You are supposed to authorize this within 5 days.
- Once authorized, the Gaining Registrar will send a mail to the Registry to inform about the transfer. The Registry will then inform your Current/Losing Registrar about the same.
- You will soon receive a mail from your Current Registrar with a link to cancel the transfer. You can ignore the mail IF you want the transfer to continue, else check the link. Here also you will be given 5 days time to respond. If you don’t respond, the transfer will proceed.
- Once the period of 5 days is over, you will receive a mail from your Current/Losing registrar that the domain transfer is complete.
- Soon another mail from the Gaining Registrar will inform you that the domain has been successfully transferred, which signals the end of the Domain Transfer Process.
The process lasts from a minimum of 6 days and a maximum of 10 days. In rare cases, it can extend this duration.
- Usually an extra year will be added to the validity of your domain by the Gaining Registrar as per ICANN guidelines.
- Also note that, if you have just renewed your domain name, then don’t process the transfer as the validity will NOT be extended.
- Further, if your domain is about to expire within 5-10 days, Don’t transfer it as there might be a chance of the transfer being unsuccessful.
So this is all that is required to be done to transfer a domain. Once transferred, you can simple change the Name Servers to point your domain to a hosting provider. This is an easy process but people tend to assume that its way to complicated. Hope this Complete Guide to Domain Name Transfer helped you. If you have any queries/suggestions feel free to comment below.