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Do you know what would be terrible? If you built this great and attractive website, with lots of excellent content built on a nice little community, and then suddenly you get an issue that your domain registrar can’t seem to solve, or worse yet, aren’t willing to help you with.
That’s where domain transfers come in and save the day. By being able to move your domain across different registrars, you can really pick the one that best fits your needs, not only in pricing but in features and even customer support.
Of course, the process may seem daunting for those who haven’t dealt with domain transfers before. But don’t worry, the process is relatively simple.
Why Should You Transfer Your Domain
The truth is, there are quite a lot of good reasons to transfer your domain from one domain registrar to another.
For starters, one registrar might actually be a lot cheaper than the other and offer better features. This can include things like email, DDoS protection, SSL certificates, best WordPress hosting, or privacy protection.
Since there’s quite a bit of variation between registrars, there are enough options out there for you to pick your perfect package.
Bonus Reasons to Transfer Domain
Another good reason for transferring a domain is a change of ownership. It’s possible that when the domain was originally registered it was done under a personal account. And now needs to be transferred to the name of the company that was built on it.
Another reason is that you may want to buy a domain from another company or person. With some registers like GoDaddy offering a sort of middle-man service for it.
Regardless of the reason, keep in mind that transferring a domain does not also transfer the website or the files on it. That will be another thing you’ll have to take care of if you’re purchasing a domain with a website attached to it.
How To Transfer Your Domain
Before we get started, we do have to warn you that rules by the ICANN, that’s the organization that organizes IP addresses, means that there could be a lock on your domain. There are two main situations that may cause your domain to be locked:
- If your domain has been registered within 60 days
- If your domain has already had a transfer within 60 days
Unfortunately, there’s no real recourse to get around this issue other than waiting.
You should also be aware that some domain registrars may still refuse a domain transfer. Even if it doesn’t fall under these two ICANN rules. Let’s not jump ahead though, we’ll get to that issue in the FAQ section.
Related Read: Web Hosting vs Domains
Disable Registration Locks
Pretty much every domain registrar locks your domain for the sake of security, and so removing said registration lock is required to move forward.
Each domain registrar handles disabling differently. Some may only require you to log in to your account, others may require two-factor-authentication.
Whatever it may be, complete their security steps and then find your domain management page. Lastly disable the registration lock.
Get Authorization Code
After disabling the registration lock, you’ll have to get the EPP code, which is essentially like password-protection for your domain.
Yeah, domain registrars take this stuff super seriously.
Again, how your registrar goes about this can vary, but for the most part, there should be a button you click that either reveals the EPP or sends it to your email.
Start Domain Transfer and Verify
The last step is to do the actual domain transfer, so log in to your new domain registrar and find the domain transfer screen.
Some registrars and cheap website builders like WordPress actually have easy one-click buttons that automatically transfer the domain or help you with the process.
Usually, after you start the domain transfer process on your new registrar, you will need to log in to the old registrar to confirm the transfer.
Once the transfer is complete, you should receive an email with the transfer and any other pertinent information.
While the vast majority of domain transfers should go out without any problems, there are certain situations where your registrar may decline the transfer of your domain. Or, maybe the issue is that you aren’t even sure who your registrar is if you’ve inherited a domain from somebody else.
As such, we’ve compiled a quick FAQ to help answer some of your most important questions.
How Do I Find Out Who My Registrar Is?
Thankfully, finding out who your registrar can be easily done by going to https://lookup.icann.org/lookup and typing in your website’s URL.
On the new page, you’ll find a section that says ‘Registrar Information’ which is where you’ll find who your registrar is.
Why is My Registrar Refusing To Transfer My Domain?
So aside from the previously mentioned issues of your domain being recently registered or transferred within a 60 day period, there are a few other reasons that they might deny a transfer.
One example is that there is an issue with verifying the identity of the person asking for the transfer.
They might deny it if they suspect some type of fraud, or even if there is a direct, written objection from the person who currently holds the domain. There also might be an issue with previous payments and therefore they won’t allow a transfer until that payment is cleared.
Thankfully, ICANN requires registrars to give you a reason as to why your transfer has been denied.
What Can I do If I Don’t Agree With a Registrar Refusal?
If you believe that your registrar’s refusal is incorrectly applied, then you can appeal that refusal with ICANN directly through their transfer complaint form.
ICANN is a neutral 3rd party, so they will certainly do their best to help.
Do I Have to Pay a Registrar to Transfer My Domain If It Expired?
Absolutely not. Registrars are not allowed to make you pay anything for transferring an expired domain, although they can deny it if there is an outstanding balance from before the expiry.
So if your domain expired and you don’t owe the registrar anything, they can’t ask you to pay any money for that transfer.
While transferring a domain may seem a bit daunted and overly technical at the outset, the truth is that most registrars have great guides and even tools in place to make it as easy as possible.
As such, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed or worried about starting the transfer domain process, as at this point, it’s almost as easy as logging into an account, which we do daily.