How Can I Transfer My Domain to HostGator?
This article is a complete guide on how to transfer a domain from a third-party registrar to HostGator and will cover the following topics:
- What to do before transferring your domain
- How to begin your domain transfer
- How to ensure your transfer is uninterrupted
- Troubleshooting a failed domain transfer
- Additional References:
If you are already familiar with the domain transfer process, go ahead and request a transfer at https://www.hostgator.com/domain-transfer.
You can also visit our consolidated guide of domain-related articles, Domain Overview.
What to do before transferring your domain
There are several blocks in place to protect your domain name ownership that can cause difficulty in transferring your domain to a new registrar. Before you transfer your domain to HostGator, you must ensure that the domain is ready to be transferred. Please refer to the instructions below for preparing a domain for transfer.
The very first thing to do is check if your domain is eligible for transfer to HostGator or if you need help from Live Support to have it transferred. To know what domain extensions (TLDs) can be transferred via the front-of-site or what requires help from Live Support, please check out the article Transfer Domain Name Registrations to HostGator.
So once you've confirmed your domain's eligibility, please do the following at your current registrar.
- Update your name servers: Changing your name servers while your domain is being transferred may cause the transfer to fail. Be sure that you update your name servers before the transfer begins so that your domain will be working as soon as possible.
- Disable WHOIS Privacy: If WHOIS Privacy is enabled, it will prevent your verification information from being retrieved and prevent your transfer from succeeding.
- Update your WHOIS information: Your WHOIS information may be used to verify your ownership of a domain before the transfer completes. Updating your contact information to ensure that you can access the email addresses on your WHOIS will prevent transfer failure.
- Confirm the domain is 60 days old: ICANN does not allow a domain to be transferred within its first 60 days.
- Unlock your domain: Domain locks prevent unauthorized domain transfers. Be sure to unlock your domain just before transferring it so that it can be transferred successfully. The lock status of your domain can be viewed in your WHOIS information.
- Check your domain's expiration date: It can take up to 7 days to transfer a domain. If your domain expires during transfer, it may become locked again, causing the transfer to fail.
- Check that the domain is not in redemption: If you are transferring an expired domain, be sure that it is within 30 days of expiration. If it has been expired for longer than that, your domain may not be transferred without renewal.
- Get your EPP code: You will need to get your EPP code/authorization key from your current registrar in order to transfer your domain. EPP codes/authorization keys expire, so you should ensure that you get them shortly before transferring your domain.
Users with a .uk domain will also need to update their IPS tags.
How to transfer domain TO HostGator
Once you have gone through the pre-transfer checklist, you're now ready to transfer your domain! Please make sure to have your EPP code handy.
Step 1: Check for possible domain transfer issues
There are two ways to check your domain for possible issues - the Customer Portal and Front-of-Site.
- Log in to your HostGator Customer Portal.
- Click Domains from the left-side menu.
- Click the Transfer a Domain button.
- Enter the domain you wish to transfer to HostGator, then click Search.
- Go to https://www.hostgator.com/domain-transfer.
- Enter the domain you wish to transfer to HostGator, then click Transfer.
When attempting to transfer your domain, HostGator automatically checks several possible issues that may prevent your domain from transferring. You'll receive a screen like this one:
This list checks for all of the things that HostGator can check directly.
- Is your domain unlocked? If the answer is no, you will need to contact your current registrar and request to have your domain unlocked.
- Is Domain Privacy disabled? If Domain Privacy is enabled, it will prevent HostGator from verifying your domain ownership. This will need to be disabled by your current registrar.
- Is the domain older than 60 days? ICANN regulations prevent the transfer of a domain that is less than 60 days old. HostGator will not be able to transfer a domain until 60 days have elapsed.
- Has the administrator's email been validated? HostGator verifies the ownership of your domain with an email to the contact information from your WHOIS. By default, this verification email goes to the administrator email; however, you should ensure that your WHOIS is entirely up to date. WHOIS Privacy can prevent this from happening correctly as well. If the answer to this is No:
- Click the How To Fix button.
- In the popup box that appears, click the button to send a confirmation email to your administrator email account.
- Please check your email from HostGator and follow the instructions provided in the email.
- Does HostGator support this domain type? This checks to see if this domain type may be hosted by HostGator.
- Is this domain far enough from expiration? Some registrars may not allow an expired domain to be transferred away.
- Is this domain not currently in redemption? Once a domain is in redemption status, a domain will be unable to be transferred.
With the exception of validating the administrator email, the pre-transfer checklist will ensure that all of these tools say "Yes." Once you've validated your administrator email, click Continue to Checkout. Repeat the process for any other domains you wish to transfer before moving on.
Step 2: Initiate the domain transfer
- Under Your Cart on the right side, double-check the domain(s) you wish to transfer to HostGator. You may also add or remove Domain Privacy for each of your domain names.
- Click the Continue To Checkout button.
- You'll be prompted to log in to your Customer Portal or create a new account if you don't have one yet.
- Verify your Payment Options, then click Continue to Checkout once again.
- In the Your Order Summary section, please do the following.
- Click on the Place Your Order button.
- Check your WHOIS email account for the verification email to approve the domain transfer. Follow the steps in the email to confirm the transfer.
Note: If no EPP code was provided in the Your Order Summary section, you need to enter your EPP code in your Customer Portal. If no EPP code is provided within 3 days, you will receive an email from HostGator instructing you to enter your EPP code in the portal for the transfer to proceed.
Step 3: Check the domain transfer status
Domain transfers will be initiated only after payment has been made. You may settle your payment within your Customer Portal. Once the transfer has been initialized, you will receive an email in your WHOIS-registered email address.
To check your domain transfer's status:
- Log in to your Customer Portal.
- Click Domains on the left menu.
- In the Manage Domains section, you will see your active and transferred domains.
- If the domain transfer is successful, the new registrar should appear when using an online WHOIS lookup tool (for example, https://lookup.icann.org/ or https://www.whois.com/whois/).
- If the domain transfer is still in progress, you will find the domain under Pending Transfer-in Domains.
- If your transferred domain is not available to be managed within your Customer Portal, please contact us via phone or Live Chat for assistance.
- Under Pending Transfer-in Domains, you will see your transferred domain in a pending status.
If you did not enter your EPP code at the checkout page, you would see the transfer status as "Transfer Pending: waiting for authorization code."
Enter your EPP code, then click Submit.Note: If no EPP code is provided within 3 days, you will receive an email from HostGator instructing you to enter your EPP code in the Domains section for the domain transfer to proceed.
How to ensure your transfer is uninterrupted
One of the security measures to prevent your domain from being transferred without your consent is a validation email sent to your registered WHOIS email address. To ensure that your transfer succeeds without interruption, please check your emails and follow the instructions provided.
Troubleshooting a failed domain transfer
This section contains a list of the most common causes for a domain transfer to fail as well as solutions to address those issues. Please click the expand to see the list of issues and how to resolve them.
- The domain has become locked: Many events can cause an unlocked domain to become locked again during transfer. This includes but is not limited to updating name servers, the domain expired during the transfer, or the domain going into redemption.
Solution: Unlock the domain and contact HostGator to restart the transfer.
- The EPP code expired: It is possible for an EPP code to expire as a new one is generated for a domain.
Solution: Request a new EPP code from your current registrar and contact HostGator with the new EPP code to restart the transfer.
- The domain validation email was not successful: If you did not follow the instructions in the domain validation email, the transfer would not succeed. This could be caused by not receiving the email.
Solution: Ensure that your WHOIS information is up-to-date and that you are able to successfully receive the email at all of your contact email addresses. Then, contact us to restart the transfer and watch those email addresses carefully. Confirm that you authorize the transfer when the validation email arrives.
If you do not receive and follow the directions in the email, your domain will not be transferred.
- The domain has gone into redemption: If a domain goes into redemption after expiring, then it may no longer be transferred.
Solution: The domain would need to be renewed prior to restarting the transfer. While it may be possible to transfer a domain while it is expired, in most cases, it will not work due to issues, such as being locked or having outdated contact information, etc.If you wish to attempt to transfer a domain while it expired, make sure you monitor the transfer carefully so that if it fails, you can renew it prior to it going into redemption.
It is possible for multiple issues to go wrong at the same time. For instance, if the EPP code expires, the domain may become locked again. Be sure to briefly go over the full pre-transfer checklist, request a new EPP code, and enter your new EPP code during the checkout process.
HostGator special offers
Free domain name transfer
We will transfer one (1) domain name for free per newly purchased account. The free domain transfer is for your primary domain only (the domain you typed during sign-up) and must be a .com, .net, or .org.
You can request the free domain registration transfer at any time within the life of your hosting account by contacting us via phone or Live Chat. For more information, please see the following article:
Free renewal for transferred domains
Domains transferred to HostGator will be renewed automatically for free for a full year from the date of transfer with 2 exceptions:
- If the domain was renewed within the last 45 days, it would not be renewed at the time of transfer.
- If the domain has a multi-year registration with more than 1 year remaining, it will not be renewed at the time of transfer.
What is my EPP code or Authorization key?
The EPP code is an authorization key provided by your old registrar and required by your new registrar to complete a domain name registration transfer. You must contact the old registrar to obtain this.
If HostGator is your registrar, you can get your EPP code within your Customer Portal. Please check out the article, How To Unlock a Domain, for detailed instructions. The directions to get your EPP code are slightly different depending on when and how your domain was registered. You would need to reach out to your current registrar if you did not purchase your domain from HostGator.
What is our IPS TAG?
Some UK domains require an IPS tag before registration can be transferred. Our IPS Tag is PDR-IN
[tag = PDR-IN]
You may find more information in the article What is the IPS TAG?