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Article ID : # Last review : 2012-06-21 00:00:00

How to safely transfer your domain to another provider


how to safely transfer your domain name to/from another provider

Having moved literally many thousands of domains names on behalf of clients over the last 20 years, here's our recommended _safe_ way to move your domain name. Hopefully, if you follow these steps you won't get caught out with your e-mail or web site going into limbo for a week whilst you wait for your name to transfer. Problems are rare, but best avoided!

The procedure is pretty much the same for all TLD's, though for some like .uk the risks are far less as you are able to generally compete transfers in as little as just a few minutes.

Step 1, Is your dns held with the registrar or provided FOC with your domain name? If so, migrate your dns away to your new provider (us?), first. Get your DNS configured on your new provider and tested. At cloudfloordns we have a migration comparison tool that will check your new dns against your current live one and alert you of any differences. This is useful in checking you've got all your records correctly input. There are also import tools and you can cut and past the bind style zone file if you can get that data from your current provider. Once this is done and you are happy your dns is setup correctly, ask the current provider to change your DNS servers (re delegate your domain) to the new dns servers. Once this is done, pat yourself on the back. The worst part is over. Wait 48 hours. During this time, some requests will go to the old servers, some to the new servers. The exact time will depend on the TTL's etc set by the previous provider, but a couple of days should cover it.

Step 2, unlock your domain (if applicable) at the current registrar. Check the contact data (whois). Make sure it's up to date and that the e-mail addresses listed are ones you can receive or get someone else to respond via (this is used for most domains, but not .uk).

Step 3, Request your EPP or Authorisation code from the current registrar (this is used for most domains, but not .uk).

Step 4, Initiate your transfer with your new provider. They will ask you for the epp code if applicable

Step 5, depending on the TTL (not .uk), an authorisation e-mail is normally sent to the listed admin/owner contact asking them to authorise the transfer. If this is not responded to or one of the contacts rejects the authorisation, the transfer fails at this point.

Step 6, assuming you get this far, the new registrar will now be asking the current registrar for the domain name. Typically the other registrar has a set period of time to respond. This can take some time. Around a week for common names like .com, .net, .org. During this time, if the old registrar sends you an e-mail asking if you would like to approve the transfer, you can accept this and it may expedite the release of the domain to the new registrar. This functionality is also sometimes available on the registrars web site. Some registrars will however simply wait the maximum time then release the domain, so expect it to take around a week for the common .com etc. names.

Step 7, Congratulations - Hopefully you got this far and your new registrar has let you know the domain has moved. If they let you know otherwise, fix the problem and start again. If the domain transferred OK, now is a good time to make sure that the domain has all the correct contact details on it, verify you set the name to auto-renew, etc.

Note - For .uk domains, the procedure is much easier. Steps 2, 3, 5, and 6 generally don't apply. You will simply be asked to change your IPS 'TAG' to something. Normally a name associated with the new provider if they are a Nominet registrar themselves (make sure you input this all UPPER case). Once the current registrar does this (which can be done in most cases via the old registrars web site), the transfer happens immediately. If it doesn't, either the old registrar hasn't done it yet (many say it's done but queue it for later or manual update), or the new registrar hasn't added it to your account yet. If you get a problem getting the old registrar to change the tag for you, they demand unreasonable fees to do so etc., as long as you are the proper legal owner of the domain name, you can go direct to Nominet and request they change the tag to the new provider for you, for a small admin fee.

Please let us know what you think of this guide and if we can improve it in any way.



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