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 transfer your domain TO HostGator ⤵
- How to troubleshoot a failed domain transfer ⤵
- Frequently Asked Questions ⤵
What to do before transferring your domain
Several blocks are in place to protect your domain name ownership, which can cause difficulty in transferring your domain to a new registrar. Before transferring 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.
Once you've confirmed your domain's eligibility, please do the following at your current registrar.
- 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: It is important that your contact information on WHOIS is updated, as it will be used to verify your domain ownership. However, updating your registrant information may place your domain in a 60-day lock. Before the transfer, make sure to contact your registrar to help prevent domain locking when updating your WHOIS contact information.
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 the 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, ensure it is within 30 days of expiration. If it has 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 your domain TO HostGator
Once you have gone through the pre-transfer checklist, you're now ready to transfer your domain! There are two steps in transferring your domain to your HostGator account.
Step 1: Initiate the domain transfer
- Log in to your Customer Portal.
- Click Domains from the left-side menu.
- Select Start Transfer In from the list of options.
- Enter the domain name you want to transfer to your HostGator account, then click the Submit button.
- You will be redirected to the Cart page. Your Cart will show a one-time service fee for the domain transfer with 1-year renewal, and you can opt to add additional years to your domain (maximum of 5 years for some domains) through the dropdown.
You'll see the total amount under the Order Summary section. Click Continue to Checkout to proceed.
- Make sure you have your domain's EPP code (or Authorization code/key) handy. You can request this from your current registrar.
Step 2: Submit the EPP Code (Post-purchase)
After submitting the request for the domain transfer and settling the one-time service fee, the next step is to submit your domain's EPP code (or Authorization code/key).
To submit your EPP code:
- Within your Customer Portal, click Domains from the left-hand menu.
- Select Transfer Status from the list of options.
- On the Domain Transfers page, click the plus ("+") icon next to Pending Auth Code.
- Enter your EPP code (or authorization code/key), then click Submit.
- Once submitted, the system will check your domain and its EPP code. Your Transfer Status page will look like the image below after submission of your EPP code.
Please give the system a little time to check your domain and its EPP code. You may check your domain status in the Customer Portal later on.
How to troubleshoot 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.
- The domain is unable to transfer due to a lock: Your domain must be unlocked from your current registrar to proceed with the domain transfer. Unfortunately, as HostGator is not "yet" your registrar, we do not control your domain's lock.
Some common reasons why your domain is locked are the following. Please reach out to your current registrar to resolve these issues.
- Possible fraud - Most registrars have a feature to lock your domain name to prevent fraudulent transfers. This is often made available to the domain owners to prevent unauthorized changes to domain settings. With a few exceptions, most providers will allow you to switch this feature on or off online in your current control panel.
- Domain Age Lock - If you registered or transferred your domain name less than 60 days ago, then your domain is locked by your current registrar for security reasons. You can proceed with the transfer once the 60-day lock has elapsed.
- Change of Registrant - Registrars are required to lock a domain name for 60 days whenever the domain information is updated, such as email address, first and last name, and organization name. You can proceed with the transfer once the 60-day lock has elapsed.
- Legal Lock - In certain situations, your current registrar is legally obligated to lock your domain name, such as if the ownership of the domain name is under dispute in a court of law. In some cases, it is still possible to move your domain name to another registrar; however, you will have to contact your current registrar for assistance. You may also learn more about transferring domain names during a legal dispute on the ICANN website.
- Registry Lock - Most hosting providers offer a Registry Lock or Domain Protection Lock feature intended to protect your domain by blocking unauthorized changes.
Solution: You will have to go to your current registrar's control panel and unlock your domain from there, or you can contact your registrar and have them unlock your domain for you.
- 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 has 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. Once you have the correct EPP code, log in to your Customer Portal and enter the EPP code on the Transfer In page.
- The EPP code is invalid: The EPP code or Authorization key is a security measure and is required by the new registrar for every domain transfer.
Solution: To resolve this, please do the following.
- Go to your registrar's control panel to get the correct EPP code, or you can ask them to provide you with a new one.
- Once you have the correct EPP code, log into your Customer Portal.
- Click the Domain Name tab in the left-side menu.
- Select Start Transfer In, then click the + (plus) sign next to the domain with the status of "Invalid Auth Code."
- Enter the new EPP Code or Authorization key, then click Submit.
- The domain validation email was unsuccessful: 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 can successfully receive the email at all 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, 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 expires, 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 review the full pre-transfer checklist briefly, request a new EPP code, and enter your new EPP code during the checkout process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I ensure my domain 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.
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 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?