Domain Name Transfer Process From
One Web Hosting Service Provider to Another

The domain name transfer process from one web hosting service provider to another should not be difficult. Yet, I recently chatted with someone who was attempting to transfer a domain and was having a real challenge.

Image of seeds blowing in wind representing the domain name transfer process.

That should not be the case. The domain name transfer process from one web hosting provider to another should be as easy as one, two, three. Yet, for some reason, some hosting providers and some domain name registrars hold their customers hostage.

A second common reason for hiccups when attempting a domain name transfer process is lack of knowledge. It really is easy to transfer a domain name. But, as in all things, you need to have a bit of knowledge about the process.

Domain Name Transfer Process Easy as One, Two, Three

Okay, if it is as easy as one, two, three then how is it done.

Before we even get to step one, the first thing to understand is that there are four general requirements in a successful domain name transfer process.

They are:

  1. You have registered or transferred the domain name at least 60 days ago. That is, it cannot be less than 60 days before it was transferred to your name or moved to the hosting provider you are currently using.
  2. The domain name must be unlocked. A register lock is an internal lock generated by your current hosting provider to protect you from just anyone transferring or moving your domain name. You need to disable this.
  3. The domain’s EPP transfer authorization key must be provided.
  4. Transfer verification emails must be responded to promptly. They are sent to the Administrative Contact email address specified in the WHOIS record when you registered your domain name.

Step 1: Domain Transfer Process

The fix for the first one, at least 60 days old, is obvious. If you registered or transferred your domain less than 60 days ago, you are going to have to wait until 60 days is up.

Step 2: Unlock and EPP Transfer

Unlocking the domain name and getting the EPP transfer authorization can be done together.

This is a general statement as it depends on how reputable your hosting provider is.

Some services have been known to hold customers hostage by charging a fee to unlock the domain or making it extra difficult to move their domain name. Reputable hosting providers are sad to see you move but will not make it difficult for you.

To unlock your domain and get the authorization key it is generally simply a matter of logging into your dashboard or domain control panel and clicking on a check box, push button, or unlock icon.

At the same time, you can get the authorization code. This is often just an icon labelled EPP that you click. After whatever action you need to take to get the EPP code, it will be automatically sent to the administrative address currently associated with your account.

Padlock floating in space representing unlocking registrar for domain name transfer

When Step two is completed, an email will be on its way to you with the EPP authorization code.

Once received, log into your new hosting provider account. There is generally an icon or feature you select on the dashboard or control panel with a caption ‘Transfer Domain’.

For example, at Website Web Hosting Services on your control panel you click on the REGISTER/TRANSFER DOMAIN icon, enter your domain name, and click on transfer.

An information warning appears with three questions:

1) Is your domain 60 days old?

2) Did you receive a valid EPP/transfer code from the other company?

3) Did you unlock the domain through the other company?

Each is what was covered in Step 1. So, to each, your answer ought to be ‘Yes’.

Step 3 Wait for Confirmation

When each of the above is completed, you should receive an email indicating your transfer a domain name was successful. It should also provide a summary of details about the exchange.

Sometimes this email confirmation is pretty fast; other times, it could take a few days.

Summary Domain Name Transfer Process

That’s it; the domain name transfer process easy as one, two, three when you follow the steps.

Yes, there are occasional hiccups. For example, you might not get the approval from your current hosting provider or registrar right away. It could take a couple of days. But in the end, all will work out.

From experience, people who want to transfer a domain are doing so because along their journey with their existing provider there were bumps in the road. Often, those bumps are related to realization that the promise of a free website or free hosting was really not free at all.

The offer for free often means free as in giving up your freedom to develop the kind of website you want using the tools you want to use promoting the products and services or monetizing the website the way you want.

Free is often more expensive in time investment and inability to develop your web presence to achieve the goal you are focusing on.

The lure of a free website explains why, frequently, people find that they need to transfer a domain name in order to grow their online presence. And free services are know for nickel-and-diming every little change.