How to Transfer Your Domain

A domain transfer is a concept that often confuses and intimidates people, particularly because they don't know what it means and are fearful that their websites will be negatively affected from it. Transferring a domain is simply the process of paying another company to keep your domain registered. This process does not have any effect on your website, it is rather a matter of just changing the company that hosts your domain.

People choose to transfer their domains for various reasons. However, the two most popular reasons are to either get a lower annual cost for domain registration, or to have their hosting plan and domain under one company. Transferring a domain is quite easy, and the process is often similar across the board.

Preparing the Transfer

Before you start clicking around and attempting to start the domain transfer on your own, make sure to take care of a few things. Be aware that you cannot make a domain transfer if the domain in question was initially registered less than 60 days ago.

You will also need to "unlock" the domain so that it can be transferred from your current registrar to the new one. This generally entails navigating to your administrative settings for the domain and following the particular instructions for unlocking it.

Your registrar, the current company that your domain is registered through, will also give you an "authorization code" in order to facilitate the transfer. Be sure to note this somewhere. Additionally, if domain privacy is enabled for your domain, remove it.

Lastly, ensure that you have access to the email address that is associated with the domain registration and WhoIs. The domain transfer will be facilitated via this email address, and not having access to it will hinder you from successfully making the transfer. Be sure that you also keep all emails sent to you throughout the correspondence of transferring your domain. These emails will likely contain important information that will be used to permit the transfer.

Transferring the Domain

Create a new account under the registrar that you plan to transfer your domain name to. Start the process by logging into the new account. Under the management settings in the domain's account, there's should be a section entitled "Domain Transfers" or "Transfer Domain." Click it, and read the instructions. You might be instructed to provide the domain name that you wish to transfer. If so, type it into the field and move onto the next page. This might also be the point at which you are asked to provide the Authorization code.

Any information that the new registrar requests can typically be found in the emails that were sent to you by your old registrar.

If you were successful in initiating the transfer, you should see a "Billing" screen or receive a confirmation email that the transfer has started. Once you've read any confirmation emails, signed agreement(s), and/or paid for the transfer, it will begin.

Checking the Status of the Transfer

A typical domain transfer takes around five business days to complete, from the point of authorization. If you do not have access to the administrative email associated with the domain registration, the transfer will automatically decline after two weeks of no response from the owner of the email address.

Provided that you have access to the email address and the transfer was initiated, you'll be able to track the domain transfer easily with your new registrar. They should provide you the ability in the settings to track any current transfers. Log in to your account, navigate to your "Domain Transfers" section, and look around for an area that lists existing transfers.

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