How to Transfer a Domain Name – A Beginners Guide

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So how do you transfer a domain name? Maybe you registered a domain name through a web host or a website builder and are shocked to be paying $17.99 to $20 a year for a domain name that would cost $12.99 or less at a domain name registrar.

Maybe you bought a domain name from someone and now want to move the domain name from their account to your account. It’s quite an easy process but you do need a step by step guide on how it’s done.

What is a domain name transfer?

First, a domain transfer is when you move a domain name from one registrar to another registrar. There are a few reasons why you would need to do this.

First, maybe you bought a domain name from a domain name squatter and they had the domain you bought at a different registrar. They would need to transfer it to your account.

The second reason is beginners often register through a web host or website builder and then decide they want to move their domain to a proper domain name registrar.

How do you transfer a domain name

You simply need to unlock the domain name at your current registrar, get the authorization code for the domain name, then go to the registrar where you want to move the domain name too and put in the authorization code and pay the transfer fee.

Let’s break it down step by step:

  • Make sure your domain name is eligible for transfer in the first place.
  • Unlock your domain name.
  • Get an authorization code.
  • Log into your new domain name registrar and begin the transfer.

1 – Make sure the domain name is eligible to be moved

According to ICANN, you’re not able to move a newly registered domain name within the first 60 days.

You also can’t transfer a domain name if it is within 45 days of it’s renewal date.

2 – Unlock your domain name and prepare it for transfer

Next you will need to unlock your domain name. This will enable you to make changes to the domain name and allow you to move it to a new registrar. Normally, domain names are locked by default to prevent unwanted, unauthorized or even accidental changes to a domain name.

To unlock a domain name is simple. Within your domain name registrar admin, find where your settings are and change the domain name from locked to unlocked.

Notice how it says domain lock “off.” Also notice the “get authorization code” link as well.

3 – Request an authorization code

All registrar must provide you with this code within 5 days. Some will email you the authorization code, others will allow you to generate it yourself like GoDaddy.

You will need this code to move your domain name from one registrar to another.

Copy the authorization code.

5 – Log into your new domain registrar and initiate the transfer

You’ll need to create a new account with your future domain name registrar. For example, if you’re wanting to move to Namecheap go ahead and create a Namecheap account. Then, find a page where you can transfer domains. There you will need to enter the domain name you want to move and the authorization code.

Once you begin the transfer process your old domain name registrar may contact you to verify you do in fact want to move your domain name. Once you confirm you want to move your domain to a new registrar, you’ll simply pay the transfer fee.

This fee is the fee to transfer, it’s not a renewal fee.

6 – Wait for the transfer to complete

Once your domain name has been transferred, it will take 3 to 7 business days to complete the transfer. Your new registrar will update the DNS settings but always check and verify.

If you have a website, you may need to update the DNS setting to your nameserver but typically everything should transfer over without issue.

All in all your website should still be up and working during this time.