How to Transfer a Domain Name

This article explains how to transfer a domain name. A domain transfer is simply to transfer a domain name from one domain name register to another.

The domain transfer process is quite simple - as long as you understand what you're doing. By following the steps outlined here, your domain transfer will be complete within 5 - 7 days.

The Domain Transfer Process

Once you've purchased a domain transfer from your new registrar, you need to do 3 things to effect the transfer:

  1. Unlock the domain from the old registrar
  2. Confirm the domain transfer with the old registrar
  3. Confirm the domain transfer with the new registrar

The following table/diagram explains the process in more detail. This diagram is based on the Insider's Guide to Domain Transfers as provided by ZappyHost Domain Transfers.

StepLosing RegistrarCustomerGaining Registrar
1 Customer purchases a Domain Transfer 
2Customer must unlock the domain and receive an Authorization Code from the Losing Registrar.

Depending on your old registrar, you can do this via your control panel or by contacting support.

3  Gaining Registrar sends an email to the Customer. This email contains an ID number, a Key Code, and a link to confirm the transfer.
4 Customer confirms the transfer with the ID and Key Code from the email.

If the domain being transferred requires one, the Authorization Code from the Losing Registrar will also need to be entered.

5  Gaining Registrar sends notification to the old registrar to transfer the domain.
6Losing registrar sends confirmation for release of domain.  
7 Customer confirms release with Losing Registrar. 
8Losing Registrar releases domain to Gaining Registrar.  
9  A "transfer success" email is sent to notify the customer that the domain is now located in their account.
10 Customer now has control over the domain at the new Registrar. 

"Gaining Registrar" means the new registrar/web host - the one that you are transferring the domain to.

"Old Registrar" means the old registrar/web host - the one that you are transferring the domain from.

Why Transfer my Domain?

Most people choose to transfer their domain name because of price. Domain name prices vary enormously between different registrars and it makes sense to get the best price you can.

Some registrars charge as much as $35 for a single domain name, while others will charge around $10. And this is for the same product!

At the end of the day, you are receiving the same product - a domain name. There is no need to pay more than you should.

Also, registrars like ZappyHost actually give you a whole year's registration for free if you transfer your domain to them. This is cheaper than keeping it with another registrar!