What Is A Domain Transfer? Here’s What To Know

Your domain name is more than just an address for your website; it’s a crucial part of your online identity and brand.

But what happens when you need to move this digital asset to a new home?

This is where a domain transfer comes into play.

Simply put, a domain transfer is the process of changing the registrar that manages your domain name.

While it might sound technical, it’s a common procedure that can significantly impact your online presence.

If you’re seeking better customer service, lower prices, or more robust security features, transferring your domain can be a strategic move to ensure your website continues to thrive.

In this post, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of domain transfers, highlighting their importance in managing and optimizing your online presence.

What is a Domain Transfer?

A domain transfer refers to the process of moving your domain name from one registrar to another.

Registrars are organizations accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to manage domain name registrations.

This transfer is essential for maintaining control over your domain while seeking better services or prices from another registrar.

Reasons for Transferring a Domain

Several factors might prompt a domain transfer, each playing a crucial role in your website’s management and performance.

Price Changes

Cost is a significant consideration for any website owner.

If another registrar offers a more competitive rate for renewals or additional services, transferring your domain can lead to substantial savings over time.

Seeking Better Services

The quality of service from registrars can vary widely.

You might find another registrar that offers faster, more reliable website performance or superior security features, which are critical for maintaining your site’s integrity and user trust.

Domain Management Features

Effective domain management tools simplify tasks like updating DNS records, setting up email addresses, and managing renewals.

A registrar that provides an intuitive, feature-rich management dashboard can save you time and hassle.

Customer Support Quality

Access to knowledgeable and responsive customer support can be a lifeline, especially during critical moments.

A registrar known for excellent customer service can provide peace of mind and support when you need it most.

The Difference Between Domain Transfer and Website Migration

It’s important to distinguish between a domain transfer and website migration, as they involve different aspects of your online presence.

A domain transfer affects where your domain name is registered.

It’s about who manages your domain and where your domain registration details are held.

This process does not directly impact your website’s content or where it’s hosted.

Website migration, on the other hand, involves moving your site’s files and data from one hosting provider to another.

It’s about where your website lives on the internet.

This process can affect your site’s performance, loading times, and even SEO rankings, but it doesn’t change who controls your domain name.

Eligibility for Domain Transfer

Before transferring your domain, understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial.

These rules ensure that the transfer process is secure and aligns with the policies set by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The 60-Day Rule Explained

One of the fundamental rules governing domain transfers is the 60-day rule.

This policy stipulates that a domain must be registered with the current registrar for at least 60 days before it’s eligible for transfer.

This waiting period is a safeguard against fraud and ensures that domains aren’t transferred maliciously or without the owner’s consent shortly after registration.

If you’ve recently registered or transferred your domain, marking your calendar for 60 days out is a good first step in planning your transfer.

Importance of Domain Status (Locked/Unlocked)

Your domain’s status plays a pivotal role in the transfer process.

Domains can be “locked” to prevent unauthorized transfers, a security measure to protect domain owners.

Before initiating a transfer, you must ensure your domain is unlocked.

You can usually change this setting through your current registrar’s dashboard.

If your domain is locked, any transfer attempt will be automatically denied, so verifying and updating this status is a critical step.

Updating Contact Information Before a Transfer

Ensuring your contact information is current and accurate is another essential step before transferring your domain.

This information includes your email address, phone number, and physical address associated with your domain registration.

During the transfer process, you’ll receive important notifications and verification requests via these contact details.

Outdated or incorrect information can lead to delays or even the failure of the transfer process.

Log into your current registrar’s platform to review and update your contact details, ensuring a smooth and efficient transfer.

The Domain Transfer Process

Transferring your domain to a new registrar is a structured process that involves several key steps.

By understanding and following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transition with minimal disruption to your online presence.

Step #1: Preparation for Transfer

  • Verifying Domain Eligibility: Before anything else, confirm that your domain is eligible for transfer, adhering to the 60-day rule and ensuring it’s not currently locked due to any administrative or legal reasons.
  • Updating Domain Contact Information: Double-check that your contact information is accurate and up-to-date. This step is crucial for receiving timely notifications and verification requests throughout the transfer process.
  • Unlocking Your Domain: Ensure your domain is unlocked at your current registrar. This status change is typically done through your registrar’s control panel and is necessary for initiating the transfer.

Step #2: Initiating the Transfer

  • Requesting an Authorization Code: Also known as an EPP code, this unique identifier is required to start the transfer process. You can obtain it from your current registrar, usually through their website or by contacting customer support.
  • Choosing a New Registrar: Research and select a new registrar that meets your needs in terms of pricing, services, and customer support. Consider the long-term relationship and how their offerings align with your website’s goals.
  • Creating an Account with the New Registrar: If you don’t already have one, create an account with your chosen new registrar. This account will be where you manage your domain settings moving forward.

Step #3: Completing the Transfer

  • Entering the Authorization Code: Log into your account at the new registrar and enter the authorization code to officially start the transfer process.
  • Authorizing the Transfer from Both Registrars: You’ll likely receive emails from both your old and new registrars asking you to confirm the transfer. Follow the instructions provided to approve the move.
  • Paying the Domain Transfer Fee: Most registrars charge a fee for transferring a domain, which often includes an extension of your registration period by one year. Ensure you understand the costs involved and complete any necessary payments.
  • Deciding on Public or Private Domain Registration: Decide whether to keep your domain registration details public or opt for privacy protection, which keeps your personal information hidden from the public WHOIS database.

Step #4: Final Steps

  • Waiting for DNS Settings to Transfer: After the transfer is authorized and paid for, there may be a brief waiting period while your new registrar updates the DNS settings. Your website should remain accessible during this time.
  • Canceling Service with the Old Registrar: Once the transfer is complete and you’ve confirmed that everything is working as expected with your new registrar, you can safely cancel your service with the old registrar.

What Are Two Types Of Domain Transfer?

Same Registrar Domain Transfer (Internal)

This type of transfer, also known as a “Push Domain Transfer,” involves moving a domain name from one account to another within the same registrar.

It requires completing account setup details and pushing the domain to the new account.

The gaining account must confirm acceptance of the domain within their account to finalize the transfer

Transfer To a Different Registrar (External)

This method involves transferring a domain name from one registrar to another.

To initiate this transfer, the domain must be eligible, unlocked, and have updated WHOIS contact information.

The losing registrant needs to obtain an Authorization code, which is essential for transferring the domain to the new registrar.

The gaining registrant then inputs this code to begin the transfer process.


Domain transfers might seem complex at first, but it’s a crucial step in ensuring your online presence aligns with your evolving needs.

Remember, the key to a smooth domain transfer lies in careful preparation, from verifying your domain’s eligibility to choosing the right registrar that meets your expectations.

Take the time to research and select a registrar that not only offers competitive prices but also provides the features, security, and support you need to thrive online.

In the end, a domain transfer is more than just a technical process—it’s a strategic move towards optimizing your website’s potential.


How long does a domain transfer take?

Generally, a domain transfer can take anywhere from 5 to 7 days to complete.

What happens when you transfer a domain?

When you transfer a domain, you change the registrar responsible for managing your domain registration.

This involves moving the domain from your current registrar to a new one of your choosing.

During this process, the new registrar becomes responsible for handling your domain renewals, updates, and any other domain-related services.

What is the difference between hosting and transferring a domain?

Hosting refers to where your website’s files and data are stored, essentially where your website “lives” on the internet.

Transferring a domain involves changing the registrar that manages your domain name registration.

While hosting affects your website’s storage and accessibility, domain transfer affects the management of your domain’s registration details.

How much does it cost to transfer a domain?

Typically, registrars charge a transfer fee that may include an additional year of domain registration.

Prices can range from $8 to $20 or more, so it’s essential to check with the specific registrar for exact pricing.

What is needed for domain transfer?

For a successful domain transfer, you’ll need:

  • The domain to be unlocked at the current registrar.
  • An authorization code (also known as an EPP code) from the current registrar.
  • Updated and accurate registrant contact information.
  • The domain to be more than 60 days old and not within 60 days of a previous transfer.

Will transferring my domain affect my website?

Transferring your domain should not affect the uptime of your website as long as the domain’s DNS settings remain unchanged during the transfer.

However, it’s crucial to ensure that your website’s hosting remains active with your current hosting provider throughout the transfer process.

How do I know if a domain is transferred?

You will receive confirmation emails from both the old and new registrars once the transfer is initiated and completed.

Additionally, you can check the status of your domain transfer by logging into your account with the new registrar or using online WHOIS lookup tools to see if the registrar information has been updated to the new registrar.

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