Changing Name Servers

How To Transfer A Domain Name

There are many reasons why you might need to transfer your domain name. Maybe you’re not satisfied with your current web host or domain registrar, and you’d like to switch. Or, maybe you’re just trying to bring all of your domains together under one roof, making them easier to manage.

Whatever your reason transferring a domain name doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. If you registered your own domain the first time, then you have the skills required to transfer that same domain name.

Below we walk you through the process of transferring your domain name to a new hosting service. Follow the domain transfer request steps below and you’ll be able to easily transfer your domain name in no time.

When You Can’t Transfer a Domain Name

Before we jump in, it’s important to cover this point.

There are certain situations where you won’t be able to make a domain ownership transfer. If you’ve done any of the following tasks, then you won’t be able to transfer your domain for 60 days.

  1. You’ve just registered or transferred the domain name you’d like to transfer
  2. You’ve just updated the contact organization or information of the domain
  3. You’ve just updated the contact’s first or last name, without having an organization listed
  4. Your domain isn’t 60 days old yet.

This has to do with ICAAN’s transfer policy to ensure the safe transfer and ownership of domain names. If you’re interested you can learn more about their policies here.

If none of the above apply to you, then you can start to initiate the domain transfer process via the steps below.

register domain name

How to Transfer a Domain Name

Follow the steps below to transfer a domain name. If you’re switching to another domain name registrar, then you should be in communication with the registrar you’re switching to, however, these steps will be very similar.

1. Prepare to Transfer

Before you begin the transfer process there are a few things you’ll need to do first. There are a variety of protection protocols in place to ensure that your domain remains secure, so you’ll need to disable these shields in order to make sure the transfer process runs smoothly:

  1. Update your current name servers to reflect the nameservers of your new registrar
  2. Disable the WHOIS privacy, if it’s currently enabled.
  3. Make sure that your WHOIS and domain contact information is up to date.
  4. Unlock your domain just before you begin the transfer.
  5. Make sure your domain isn’t going to expire while the transfer is taking place.
  6. Obtain your EPP authorization code. If you can’t find this get in touch with the support team at your current domain registrar.

With all of the above steps completed, you’re now ready to initiate the transfer of your domain.

2. Starting the Domain Transfer

To get started with the transfer process, navigate to the HostGator domain transfer page.

Enter your domain and the tool will run through the pre-transfer checklist to make sure you’ve completed all of the steps required for the domain name registration. If there are any issues you’ll see a pop-up window that will show you how to fix each issue before you can proceed with the transfer.

3. Complete Your Purchase

If your domain satisfies all of the conditions above then you’ll need to purchase your new domain at your current registrar and the transfer processes will begin.

If you’re transferring to HostGator, then all you’ll need to do is click the ‘Continue to Checkout’ button. Here you’ll accept the terms of service, create a new account, and make sure all of your contact information is correct.

Next, click on the ‘Place Your Order’ button and the domain name transfer process will officially begin.

4. Verify the Transfer

The final step in the transfer process is to verify the transfer with an email address. Go to the email inbox of the email address that’s currently associated with your domain. You’ll see a verification email where you’ll enter your EPP key.

Enter that authorization code and the transfer process will continue automatically.

Common Domain Transfer Issues

There are a few common issues that may interrupt the domain transfer process. Take care of these issues beforehand and the transfer process will go off without a hitch:

  1. You haven’t setup your account at your new registrar. Make sure that you’ve chosen a plan and your payment has been received by your new registrar before you begin the transfer process.
  2. Your contact information isn’t up to date. You’ll receive a confirmation email that the transfer has begun through your email address that is connected to the domain. Make sure this is current, otherwise you won’t be able to confirm the transfer and get the process started.
  3. Your domain is still locked. Make sure you go through the ‘Prepare to Transfer’ protocols in step one above to ensure that your domain is unlocked and ready to transfer.
  4. Your EPP code expired. Make sure you generate your EPP authorization code as soon as you’re about to start the transfer process, as the codes will expire if not used within a specific time frame.

Typically, the domain transfer process will take around 7 days. If it’s been longer than that, we recommend getting in touch with the support team at your current registrar to see if there are any issues holding up the process.

In some cases, your registrar will transfer a domain for you for free when you sign up for a new hosting account. If you’re interested in this, then check out the details here.

Learning how to transfer a domain doesn’t have to be difficult. Just follow the steps above and your current domain will be transferred to a new registrar in as little as 7 days.

Hopefully, the domain transfer guide above has been helpful in walking you through the transfer process while helping to ensure the transfer process doesn’t take longer than it should.

Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.

2 thoughts on “How to Change Name Servers & Transfer Domains

  1. I may wish to transfer my domain name to Hostgator since you are the ones who host my two websites.

    However, before doing that, please advise:
    1. what’s the advantage in doing so
    2. what’s the disadvantage in doing so.
    3. what’s the fee for transferring to you
    4. and what’s your annual fee to keep it registered?

    1. Hi Don,

      Glad you asked! The advantage in transferring your domain to HostGator would be to convenience of having all your hosting products under the same account. Plus, we offer one free domain transfer of your primary domain which comes with 1 additional year of registration. More information on our free domain transfer and additional domain transfers can be found here:

      After the first year of registration, the full price of domains can be found here:

      We hope this helps but please let us know if you have any additional questions.

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