Picture this: You’ve created an attractive and functional website on a server owned by a company that you once thought of as a reliable web host. Then weeks, months, or years later, the service goes wrong for you. These could be hacks, slow load times, inconsistent availability, high prices, or unreliable customer support. Either way, you’ll want to get out of there for greener pastures. To do this, you need to transfer the domain name of your website to a new host.
If you already have a domain name, you’ve probably dealt with a registrar, a company that handles URL acquisitions. A registrar can be a standalone URL vendor like NameCheap or a web hosting service that also offers domain names, like GoDaddy ($ 2.99 per month with free domain at GoDaddy). If your domain name is linked to a web hosting service, the desire to move it could be for one of the reasons mentioned above, or it could be due to uptime, load times, or bundles. superior functionality of competing hosts.
Don’t assume, however, that people who have NameCheap domains never forward their URLs. For example, if you are making a deal to sell your website, you might need to transfer the domain to the new owner’s preferred URL host. Or maybe you are switching to a new hosting service that offers a good deal on the annual cost of domain registration for new registrations.
If you’ve gone this far in the article and don’t know what I’m talking about, my article How to Register a Domain Name for Your Website has all the hefty details about registering for a URL. It can also be a handy reminder if you registered your domain name so long ago that the details are unclear, or if someone else did it for you.
The domain transfer process is not difficult, but it may not be obvious. Fortunately, there are only a few steps to take to initiate action. Note, however, that transferring a domain name requires approval from two companies, which slows things down a bit. You can expect your domain transfer request to be processed within hours or days, depending on the companies involved. Don’t worry if the domain isn’t moved within minutes of your request, although sometimes the process can be completed quite quickly.
This article deals only with transferring a domain name. Moving all of the website files you uploaded to a host’s servers i.e. moving your actual site to a new host is a whole other matter, which will be the subject of another. article. Also, be aware that these tips are written as broadly as possible, as the referenced sections and icons vary by registrar. The process is similar enough from vendor to vendor that you can work it out using the guide below.
Let’s get started.
1. Disable Registrar Lock
The first thing you need to do before transferring your domain is to turn off registrar lockdown. Most registrars keep your domain highly secure to prevent unauthorized transfers. After all, you don’t want someone else to be able to grab it.
To deactivate the lock, visit the domain management section of your registrar, select the domain you want to transfer and click the deactivate lock icon (or check the box or press the button, you see the ‘idea). That’s it!
3. Initiate and verify a domain name transfer
Log in to the new registrar that will soon host your domain name. Many web hosts have a section dedicated to dealing with domain-related issues. Look for an option that lets you enter the domain name to move and the authorization code you acquired using the previous step. Click the Transfer icon.
After initiating a domain name transfer, you should receive an email with the details of the exchange. Give the information once again. If everything is as it should, click on the included confirmation link and agree to the transfer terms. Note that once you have verified the domain transfer, you will not be able to transfer it for 60 days.
4. Pay (potentially)
Depending on the host, you may need to pay a transfer fee. Additionally, you will likely need to renew your domain name with the new domain host. Google Domains, for example, doesn’t charge a transfer fee, but requires you to sign up for an additional year of registration.
5. More web hosting tips and recommendations
Now that you’ve transferred your website domain name, you might be craving more web hosting tips. Don’t worry, we’ve got you. To verify:
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