Understanding the Domain Name Transfer Process
Domain name transfer involves changing the registrar of a domain name from one company to another. The process is stipulated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organisation that oversees domain names worldwide. For this article, we’ll focus on the process of transferring a domain name away from GoDaddy.
Preparation for Transfer: Unlocking the Domain
Before initiating the transfer process, it’s crucial to unlock your domain name on the GoDaddy platform. The locking function serves as a security measure to prevent unauthorised transfers. Here’s how to unlock it:
/* Code sample for unlocking a domain on GoDaddy */
1. Log into your GoDaddy Domain Control Center.
2. Select the domain name you wish to transfer.
3. In the “Domain settings” tab, locate “Additional Settings”.
4. If your domain is locked, it will show “Domain lock: On”.
5. Click on “Edit”, then select “Off” for Domain Lock.
6. Click on “Save”.
This code represents the steps you will follow on the GoDaddy website. It does not execute any function, but it’s a systematic representation of the sequence of actions required to unlock your domain.
Acquiring an Authorisation Code
After unlocking your domain name, the next step involves obtaining an authorisation code (also known as an EPP code or transfer key). This code is a password for the domain name, provided by the current registrar (GoDaddy) and required by the new registrar. Here’s how you can get it:
/* Code sample for getting an authorization code on GoDaddy */
1. While in the Domain Control Center, select the domain name you want to transfer.
2. Under “Domain settings”, find “Additional Settings”.
3. Select “Get authorisation code”.
4. The code will be emailed to the registered domain owner.
Once again, the code provided is a set of guidelines to follow, rather than a runnable script. After receiving the authorisation code, save it, as you will need to input it on the new registrar’s platform during the transfer process.
Transferring .com and .co.uk/.uk Domains
Transferring a .com domain or a .co.uk/.uk domain follows a similar process, but with a slight variation. For .com domains, the procedure outlined above is accurate. However, for .co.uk or .uk domains, it’s a bit different, as the UK domain registry, Nominet, does not use authorisation codes.
To transfer a .co.uk or .uk domain, you must change the IPS tag. The IPS tag is a unique identifier assigned to each registrar by Nominet. Here’s how you can change the IPS tag on GoDaddy:
/* Code sample for changing IPS tag on GoDaddy */
1. Log into your GoDaddy account.
2. Go to Domain Control Center.
3. Select the .co.uk/.uk domain you want to transfer.
4. Under “Domain Settings”, find “Additional Settings”.
5. Select “Update IPS Tag”.
6. Enter the new registrar’s IPS Tag.
7. Click on “Save”.
The steps outlined in this code are actions you must take to update your IPS tag in your GoDaddy account. After performing these actions, your domain is ready for the transfer process.
Initiating the Transfer
Once you have prepared your domain for transfer by unlocking it, and obtaining the authorisation code or changing the IPS tag, you can initiate the transfer at your new registrar. This process will be slightly different for each registrar, so be sure to check their specific instructions. In general, the steps will be as follows:
/* Code sample for initiating a domain transfer */
1. Go to your new registrar's website.
2. Look for an option such as "Transfer Domain".
3. Enter the domain name you want to transfer.
4. If a .com, enter the authorisation code.
5. If a .co.uk or .uk, ensure the IPS tag has been updated.
6. Follow the prompts to complete the transfer.
This code illustrates the process for initiating the transfer on the new registrar’s platform. The exact wording may vary, but the principle remains the same.
Completing the Transfer
Domain transfers usually take five to seven days to complete. This timeframe is determined by ICANN regulations and allows for communication between the old and new registrar. If there are no issues, the transfer will be automatic. However, you may need to confirm the transfer via an email sent by the new registrar, so monitor your email closely.
Domain Transfer Limitations
|60-Day Lock||Domains cannot be transferred within 60 days of their registration or last transfer, as per ICANN rules.|
|Domain Status||If a domain is in ‘clientHold’ status, it cannot be transferred. This status may be due to unpaid renewal fees or legal disputes.|
|Contact Information||The contact email for the domain must be up-to-date as the authorisation code is sent to this email.|
Once the transfer is completed, your domain will be under the management of the new registrar. It’s important to ensure that your website is still functioning correctly, your DNS settings are intact, and any associated email addresses are still operational. It’s also a good idea to verify the domain registration’s expiration date on the new registrar’s platform and set a reminder for renewal if needed.
Transferring a domain name may seem complex, but it becomes more straightforward when you understand the steps involved. Remember, every registrar, including GoDaddy, has its own set of instructions to guide you. If you encounter issues or need assistance, consult the help resources available on your registrar’s website.
Navigating Common Domain Transfer Issues
Although the domain transfer process is generally straightforward, occasionally, issues can arise. Here are a few common problems and their solutions:
Domain Transfer Denied
This issue often occurs if the domain is locked, there’s an incorrect authorisation code, or the domain has not been registered for at least 60 days. Always ensure your domain is ready for transfer by checking all the prerequisites.
Didn’t Receive an Authorisation Code
If you haven’t received an authorisation code via email after requesting it, it’s possible that your contact information is outdated. Review and update your contact information in your GoDaddy account.
Can’t Update IPS Tag
For .co.uk or .uk domains, you might encounter issues updating the IPS tag. If the new registrar’s IPS tag isn’t accepted, confirm you’ve entered it correctly or consult with your new registrar for assistance.
Securing Your Domain Post-Transfer
After successfully transferring your domain, it’s essential to keep it secure. Consider implementing the following practices:
Enable Domain Lock
Just as you unlocked your domain for transfer, ensure to lock it once it’s settled in its new home. This prevents unauthorised transfers. The process will vary based on your new registrar, so check their specific instructions.
Update Your Domain Contact Information
Ensure your contact information is accurate and up-to-date. This information is crucial for receiving renewal reminders and other important notifications regarding your domain.
Domain names have to be renewed annually or at the end of their chosen registration period. Enable auto-renewal to prevent your domain from expiring accidentally, which can result in website downtime or, in some cases, loss of the domain.
The domain transfer process requires some technical knowledge, but with this comprehensive guide, it’s certainly manageable. Remember to refer to the specific resources provided by your new registrar and GoDaddy during the process to ensure a smooth transfer.
Updating the IPS Tag Directly at Nominet
Nominet is the official registry for all UK domain names. If you need to bypass your registrar and change the IPS tag for your .uk or .co.uk domain directly through Nominet, the process is a little different, but it can certainly be done. Note that Nominet charges a fee for this service. Here’s how to do it:
/* Code sample for updating IPS tag directly at Nominet */
1. Visit the Nominet website (https://www.nominet.uk).
2. Navigate to the 'Online Services' section.
3. If you have an account, log in. If not, create an account.
4. Once logged in, select 'Manage your domain names'.
5. Find the domain name you wish to transfer.
6. Select 'Change IPS tag'.
7. Enter the new IPS tag from your new registrar.
8. Follow the prompts to pay the applicable fee and complete the change.
This code simply outlines the steps you’ll need to take on the Nominet website. It’s worth noting that your new registrar should ideally be able to make this change for you, and the need to change the IPS tag directly at Nominet should be a last resort if you’re having issues with your current registrar.
After updating the IPS tag directly at Nominet, the transfer process will be similar to the one described previously. You’ll need to initiate the transfer at your new registrar, ensuring the new IPS tag matches the one given to you by your new registrar. After the transfer is initiated, it will usually take a few days to complete, and you should receive a confirmation from your new registrar once it’s done.
Transferring a domain name, whether it’s a .com or a .uk, involves several important steps, but by following this guide and the resources provided by your new registrar, Nominet, and GoDaddy, you can ensure a smooth and successful transfer.
Comparative Pricing of Domain Registrars
Domain registrar pricing can vary greatly, and it’s crucial to understand the costs associated with each. Here’s a basic comparison of the pricing for .com and .co.uk domains among GoDaddy, Crazy Domains, and two other popular registrars, Namecheap and Bluehost.
|Registrar||.com (First Year)||.com (Renewal)||.co.uk (First Year)||.co.uk (Renewal)|
These prices are indicative, and actual costs may vary. Additionally, these costs do not take into account any additional services, such as privacy protection or email hosting, which can also vary between providers. Always remember to read the fine print when choosing a domain registrar, as costs can increase significantly after the first year.
Transferring a domain name away from GoDaddy, whether it’s a .com or .co.uk/.uk domain, involves a series of steps to prepare, initiate, and complete the transfer. By understanding the prerequisites, such as unlocking the domain and obtaining an authorisation code or updating an IPS tag, you can navigate the process with ease. Don’t forget to take care of your domain post-transfer by securing and maintaining it. While the process may seem complex, understanding each step can ensure a successful domain transfer.