If your domain is registered with your host, you need to transfer your domain name to another registrar. It’s best best practice for your domain registrar and host to be separate. My domain names are currently registered with my old website host; my current website host is both my host and my domain registrar. So I’m going to be transferring my domain name from a web host to a new domain registrar. I have decided to transfer my domains to Google Domains. Google Domains is a domain registrar; it is not a website host.
Before you transfer your domain name to a new registrar or host – just like reading a recipe all the way through before you start baking the cookies – it’s a good idea to read all the directions from start to finish! Also, just as it’s not a good idea to mix up a triple batch of cookies when you’v never baked cookies before, if you have more than one domain, transfer just one domain to start with, to make sure you do everything right.
Website tutorials for the Rest of Us
What you need to know before you transfer your domain to a new registrar or host.
Start by reading about transferring a domain IN to your new domain registrar.
Transfer a domain name to a new registrar
I’m going to transfer my domain to Google Domains. (Why I picked Google Domains as my domain registrar.)
At Google Domains, you can find the instructions to transfer your domain IN here:
- Honestly, the first time I read the beginning paragraph I had no idea what it meant! Where you do you enter a domain and search? There are no links! I did find out later where you go to search, but the point is, this first part is as clear as mud if you haven’t done this before, and especially if you aren’t an expert developer. You have to remember that sometimes instructions you find on a webpage are not completely edited before they add more, and they are often written by an software expert who knows the piece of software like the back of their hand, and can’t imagine that everyone doesn’t speak code fluently.
- The first thing you need to read is “Restrictions on transfers from another registrar.”
- Basically, you can’t transfer your domain registrar if you recently bought your domain or renewed it. You need to wait a few months. I would also caution you that it’s best to have a month or more left on your old domain registrar or host, in case everything doesn’t go smoothly.
- Now move down to Transfer a domain in from another registrar.
- You will see that the first step where you will actually do something will be: Prepare your domain for transfer (at your current domain registrar/ hosting provider.) Not sure who your current domain registrar is? Don’t worry, Google Domains will tell us who it is in our next steps. Or you can follow these directions to find out your domain registrar.
- The easiest way to Prepare your domain for transfer will be to let Google Domains tell you what they need. Here is how you do that. You can do this without making an account and without actually starting the process.
- Go to: Google Domains (homepage)
- > I’d like to transfer, instead. (It will take you here to search domains. Yep, that’s what they were talking about in that introductory paragraph.)
- Where it says “mydomain. com” type in the domain name that you wish to transfer
- > Continue (or just press your enter key)
- Google Domains will tell you in a paragraph who your current registrar is. This is where I found out that the domains that I bought from BlueHost are actually with a different registrar. However, it turned out I didn’t have to go to this registrar; I could do all of the things I needed to do from my BlueHost account. If you bought your domains with your host, you probably can use your account as well, no matter who is listed as your domain registrar.
- Here are the other things Google Domains will tell you about your domain, and if you need to change them at your current registrar.
- if your domain is locked (You’ll need to unlock it at your current registrar)
- If your WHOIS contact info is public or private (You’ll need to do this at your current registrar) If you have paid for WHOIS, this will be marked private. You’re going to have to make all your information PUBLIC to move your domain name registration. Arg. I know! Kind of defeats the purpose of paying for WHOIS, doesn’t it? At least if you’re moving to Google Domains, you won’t have to pay for WHOIS protection again! This is one of those steps that you want to wait do to until you’re ready to make the transfer; wait until the last minute to make all your information public.
- Who your contact email address is (If you’ve paid for WHOIS, and your info is still marked private, this email will be the registrar you paid. This has to be changed to an email address you have access to in order to complete the transfer. Check this at your current registrar.)
- The authorization code is something you’ll get from your current registrar. You will come back here to enter it when you start the transfer process.
- Read through the rest of the directions, but DON’T DO ANYTHING YET! We have to finish reading all our recipe, so to speak.
- If you’re satisfied with your choice of your new domain registrar, go ahead and open an account with your new registrar.
Open an account with your new registrar.
- I’m going to transfer my domains to Google Domains.
- For Google Domains, if you’ve got anything else with Google, you’ll automatically have an account at Google Domains.
- Next you need to understand how to prepare your domain for transfer. After you (think) you understand the whole process, we’ll come back to your new domain registrar and start the process. Go to the next post to learn how to transfer your domain name OUT of your current registrar.