How to Transfer a Domain Name to a Different Web Host

Found a killer new host and want to transfer your domain? 

Don’t let anyone tell you that transferring your domain is difficult or illegal. ICAAN says it is your right to transfer domain names between registrars as you please. 

The process happens in two parts. First, you leave your old host behind. Then, you get set up with your new host.

Are you ready to learn how to transfer a domain name? We’ll show you how in a few simple steps.

Do This Before You Switch Domain Hosts

You need to do three things before switching domain hosts:

  • updating your contact details
  • setting up a new email (if necessary)
  • check your availability

Update Your Contact Details

Before you initiate the transfer, update your contact information for your domain to match your current contact details.

You need up-to-date information because both your current and new hosts will get in touch and they’ll need it to find you. 

To update your data, make the appropriate changes on your current registrar or host. If you don’t know the name of your current registrar, you can use the domain name search engine WHOIS, which is part of ICANN.

Just enter your domain name (website address) into the WHOIS Lookup function. Be sure to select the “Domain” function. Upon submitting, you’ll see the registrar name. Just visit the registrar’s website to update your details.

Create an Independent Email (If Necessary)

If your contact details include an email address registered with your domain, then be sure to update your email address to one not tied up. You may be unable to access your domain email while you switch, so yo1u’ll want an independent account available for communication.

Checking Your Availability

ICANN doesn’t allow you to transfer your domain on the fly. If you created it within the last 60 days, you need to wait until day 61 to start the transfer process. The same rule applies to recent transfer; you can only transfer your domain every 60 days.

Step-by-Step: How to Transfer a Domain

With housekeeping work done, you’re ready to untie yourself from your current registrar and send your domain over to you awesome new host.

Here’s how to get it done.

1. Unlock Your Domain

Your registrar tied your domain to its service, and you’ll need to request that the registrar unlocks it.

The mechanism required depends on what registrar you use. Typically, a quick visit to your control panel gives you the option to unlock it to prepare for a transfer.

2. Get Your Authorization Code

Your new host will request an authorization code before registering. You’ll get this from your current registrar. Your registrar must provide this – and it needs to be in your inbox five days after you put in your request.

You may get it automatically or via email.

Most big registrars allow you to ask for the code in your control panel. You will likely find it near the same place where you unlocked your domain.

3. Get Ready to Transfer

With your domain unlocked and loaded, you’re ready to request your transfer. 

We can’t provide you with in-depth detail for this step because the transfer instructions vary according to registrars. You’ll need to read the transfer process for your new host to identify the steps required for moving forward. 

You can find the process laid out in the registrar’s resource center or through support.

An alternative to the manual process is to buy a domain transfer as a paid add-on to your new registrar’s service. These add-ons speed up and automate the process so you can get back to running your business.

4. Create an Account with the New Registrar

There are very few circumstances where you won’t create an account before assigning your domain to a different registrar, so do this now.

With an account, you can use the Transfer Domain section within your new control panel. 

You may or may not be able to transfer the domain from the control panel. You may need to ask support staff to initiate the process for you. 

If you use the automatic domain transfer add-on, then you’ll activate that, and it will take care of the process for you. 

5. Provide Your Domain Information

Your new registrar will need your domain information to facilitate the transfer. You’ll need the whole address including the top-level domain (TLD).

Do you still have your domain authorization code from your previous host? You’ll need it now. Be sure to provide the exact code given to you. Any mistakes could slow or prevent your transfer.

6. Let Your Old Host Know

Your old host’s software won’t be shocked that you want to transfer because you already unlocked your domain and requested an authorization code. Even with those two steps complete, you’ll still need to confirm the transfer with your old host.

This is the step where updated contact information becomes key. Your current host may email or call you, so you need access to both.

7. Pay the Transfer Fee and Settle In

Few services offer free domain transfers outside random offers occasionally made available.

You’ll generally pay for a fast domain transfer, and once you the payment clears, your new registrar gets to work.

Over the next few hours or days, your registrar configures the name servers and DNS for you. It may take time for recognition, but your website should be done. Automated processes make the whole system faster.  

Switching Domain Hosts Is Simple

If you didn’t know how to transfer a domain, now you know that it is both your right to do so and it’s simple to exercise that right. 

We’ve said it before, but it’s imperative: always update your contact details before switching your domain. It’s easy to do, and it will make the transfer seamless.  

Are you looking for a new home for your domain? Check out our blog or get in touch to learn more about our automated domain transfer service.