You’ve bought your first domain name and you’re really happy with your purchase. You finally found what you’ve been looking for!

Except there’s only one problem. You want to transfer the domain name to another registrar, and you don’t really know how to go about it. The process can sound overwhelming and cumbersome to some, which is why I’ve put together this article to help you prepare for the process.

In this article, I’ll show you why you might want to transfer your domain name, what you need to know to make the transfer happen, and how long it takes.

Let’s dig in.

What is a domain name transfer and why do I need one?

Simply put, a domain transfer is when you change the management of your domain name from one registrar to another.

There are many reasons why you might want to make this move. Perhaps you find a registrar that offers better service at a cheaper price. Or maybe you find certain political events disturbing, and you want to take a stand.

This is what happened back in 2011, when GoDaddy officially supported the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). They lost 20,000 accounts in one day and 29 December became better known as Dump GoDaddy Day. (Needless to say, GoDaddy’s support for SOPA was short-lived).

Whatever your reason for the transfer, there are a few things you need to know before you can complete it.

What do I need to transfer my domain name?

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Make sure you prepare for the domain name transfer by reading up on the most common guidelines. Before you transfer your domain name, you need to make sure your domain meets the following criteria:

  • The domain name is more than 60 days old.
    If you’ve just purchased your domain name and it hasn’t been active for more than 60 days, then you’ll need to wait. Domains cannot be transferred until they’ve been with your current registrar for at least 60 days.
  • The domain name does not expire within 7 days.
    Likewise, the domain name can’t be transferred if it’s about to expire. The current limit is usually a week, so make sure you renew your domain name before you make the transfer.
  • The domain name is unlocked.
    Most registrars lock your domain by default. This is a security measure to prevent others from hijacking your account. Before your transfer, contact your current registrar and ask them to unlock your domain.
  • Your administration details are correct and up-to-date
    You need to have access to your admin email associated with your account, because this information may be used to obtain your authorization code to complete the transfer.
  • Remove any private registration
    You may also need to lift the private registration for the domain name before the transfer can take place.

How long does it take?

Now that you’ve prepared for your domain name transfer, it’s time to go ahead and contact your new registrar. So, how long does it take to make the actual transfer? This depends on several different factors, including your current and future registrar, but also if you’ve successfully followed the steps above. After you’ve authorized the transfer, the time period varies from a few hours to a few days.

Having problems with your domain transfer?

The domain name transfer is usually a smooth process with few obstacles. There are, however, cases where you might run into some issues. If you’re having problems with your transfer, make sure to turn to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). They answer the most common questions on their FAQ page, and if need be, you can even issue a complaint with them.

More resources

Transferring your domain name is of course only the beginning. Here at Flippa we’ve got more resources to help you make wise decisions about buying and selling your domains. Check out the useful resources below.

If you’re looking for helpful domains tools, check out domain expert Bill Sweetman’s popular article:

Want to sell your domain name? Don’t miss out on these smart domain name sales tips.

Do you want to buy and sell domain names to make a profit? Of course, you do. Well, here’s your chance.

Starting as early as this fall, hundreds of new domain name extensions beyond the .com will be made available to the general public in the single biggest expansion of the Internet namespace to date. Read the full article here:

Over to you

Have you transferred any of your domain names lately? What are your best tips and practices? Please share your experiences in the comments.

Flickr Photo: Jason Samfield 

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