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What’s involved in transferring a domain name?

Gary Oosterhuis | October 20, 2012


Transferring a domain name can be a tricky and frustrating undertaking. Especially if the domain is currently under someone else’ domain.

Step 1 – Log in to your Registrar. Domain names are purchases from registrars. Your registrar would have provided a username and password for your domain name(s) when you purchased them. If the domain is currently under someone else’ control, they must complete step 2 and 3 below.

Step 2 – Unlock the domain. When you initially purchase a domain, it is locked. A domain are locked to stop others from trying to steal it.

Step 3 Create an EPP key. An EPP key is created within the current Registrar’s log in area and must be provided to the new registrar when requesting a domain transfer. Consider it a secret handshake between the current registrar and the new registrar. Note that an EPP is not required for a .ca domain name.

Step 4 – Create an account or log in to an existing account with the new registrar. Not sure which registrar to work with? If you’re looking for the cheapest registrar, go with godaddy.com. I personally don’t recommend godaddy though as their control panel is clunky and is extremely overwhelming and cluttered.  For .ca domains I recommend domainsatcost.ca, and for all others I recommend mydomain.com.

Step 5 Request the transfer. While logged into the new registrar you’ll find a tool that allows you to transfer the domain name. During this process you’ll have to provide the EPP created in step 3.

Step 6 – Wait patiently for an email to be sent to the technical contact listed for the domain name. You can usually determine the email address set for your domain name by visiting http://domaintools.com/your-domain-name-here.com  An email sent to the technical contact will request authorization for the domain transfer. This is yet another step involved in ensuring that your domain name does not get stolen. This email will contain a link that when clicked takes you to a page on the original Registrar’s site. This page will have an acceptance button. Click this button to take the next step.

Step 7 – The domain is transferred. Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far, your domain has been successfully transferred.

I Don’t know who my registrar is. Help!

Finding your registrar can be quite tricky. In most cases you can visit http://domaintools.com/your-domain-name-here.com and see the name of the current registrar. Occasionally you will find that the registrar listed is a reseller such as tucows or enom. In this case, you’ll have to contact them and hope that they’re willing to tell you who the real registrar is. If you run into trouble, free to contact us.

How long does it take to transfer a domain?

It depends on a lot of factors. If you don’t have log information for the original Registrar and have to acquire it, you may be out a few extra days. If someone else has control over the domain you’re at their mercy and it could take a while for them to take care of their part. If all things line up in your favor, a domain transfer can be completed in a few hours. If they don’t, you could be looking at a few weeks.

Link Web Development is a Barrie Website Design and Development company committed to providing quality websites to business owners and other Graphic Design Firms and SEO Experts.

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