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Moving Domain to Another Registrar? Lessons Learned

I built this checklist to help you if you are moving domain to another domain registrar and are having issues. Feel free to use this as your starting point.

I moved one of my domains recently to Domain Cost Club. During the process I learned a few things which may help you if you decide to move domains yourself.

Moving domain process: man consulting checklist

I was expecting the process to be a smooth trouble free process. However it turned out to be anything but. The challenges I had were with my old domain registrar.

After I successfully moved my domain over, I decided to document what happened. Then you would be able to use my experiences and my checklist. And move your domain with less trouble than I did.

My Checklist of Tasks When Moving Domain

I now know what needs to be done when I transfer my other domains later. Note that I moved those domains later in 2015. The process was much smoother. As I had this information and checklist to guide me.

Here’s my checklist. Feel free to use this as your starting point when moving domain.

Moving Domain Checklist Task 1: Privacy Protections Services Need Cancellation

I had privacy protection services on with my previous domain registrar.

So although I completed everything I thought I should in relation to moving my domain, I was surprised to get an email after the process was started reporting that the process failed.

I figured out that I need to turn the privacy protection services off for that domain.

Why?

The process sends an email to one of the contact emails specified in the ‘who is’ record associated with the domain. When privacy protection services turned on, this sends an email to the proxy email associated with that contact’s email. In this case, the privacy protection services did not forward that email on to me.

I was under the belief that they were supposed to forward automatically genuine non spammy emails. In any case, I didn’t get that email.

When requesting the email to be sent, the process did not mention common issues

I had to figure out that was was not happening and then come up with a workaround.

Once I had figured out that this was not happening, I had to perform a cancellation process with the privacy protection services company in order to resolve this.

Poor Business Practises of the Third Party Privacy Protection Services Company

The privacy protection services company were a third party.

It was also implied that if I changed my mind after this whole process that I would have to buy privacy protection services with them again if I needed privacy protection. I think that this is a disgusting business practice as I had prepaid privacy protection services for that domain for a number of years.

There wasn’t an option that simply put the privacy protection “on hold for the moment” while I tried something else.

It was an “all or nothing” thing.

Privacy protection with them was per domain name per year and I had paid for a number of years in advance. If I went ahead with my cancellation it would be for the reminder of the paid for period and I also did not get a refund for that time either.

Then if I changed my mind and want privacy protection I would need to purchase it again. Now you may understand why I think that is a disgusting business practice.

Checklist Task 2: Obtain Log-in Information to do the Cancellation Process for the Privacy Protection Services

Next issue was that I couldn’t remember my log-in details to get into this privacy protection services site.

Over time, I have used a number of different domains and a number of different email addresses, some of which I no longer use.

So after completing a few different time consuming exercises to get my account number and my associated email address, I was able to reset my associated password, get into the privacy protection services site, access my customer area and complete the cancellation process for the privacy protection services.

Moving Domain Checklist Task 3: Old Email Address Had to be Used

I then discovered that the contact email addresses for my domain were associated with an old email address that I had not used for a long time.

So I had to go to that email supplier and go through a process to retrieve the associated email details.

This took some time, however was successfully completed.

Checklist Task 4: Domain ‘Who-is’ Email Addresses

When moving domains, my understanding now is that domain registrars can only use the email addresses specified in the ‘who is’ database. This of course is for good security reasons.

When emails are sent to these addresses, you may have to click links on it to confirm that you actually got the email.

If you do not do the next expected action (because you never got the email), nothing else happens.

This of course is for good security reasons. One being to prevent a wrong party moving your domain elsewhere.

Checklist Task 5: Corrective Actions

I then reverted back to the email saying that the domain transfer failed. It said I had two options.

One was to re-try the process. In order to re-try the process, it requested that I send an email to them requesting this. I forwarded the email that they sent me adding my request at the top. I then went away for a few hours expecting when I returned to this, that the next stage would be done.

So, a few hours later I checked things including my emails. There was nothing in connection with this.

I then logged into my area within the new domain registrar area and did more exploring.

This time round, when I clicked on a click, it jumped me into a send email area with ‘domain name transfer’ or something similar as the email subject. I thought, why not, and sent an email via this path, in case the other email somehow ended up in the wrong place.

Checklist Task 7: The Time Now was after Midnight and the Next Day was Going to be Busy (Doing Other Things!)

It was after midnight here, and the next day was going to be busy doing other things, so I left it then. I then retired for the night.

The next morning when I logged in, I could see that things had happened, however were not complete. I now had the option to send myself an verification email to one of the emails specified on ‘who is’.

I did this two or three times, however I did not receive that verification email. Then I did other things hoping that maybe 15 minutes later that email would be sitting there for me. It was not.

I then sent an email to the new domain registrar explaining what I had done. There are a number of reasons why an email may not make it in less than a few minutes, that being the nature of the internet.

Checklist Task 8: Do Other Things

I then spent the day doing other things. When I logged in about 10 hours later, I saw process.

It was almost done. I just had to go to my current domain registrar and approve the process so that the domain would transfer sooner rather than the default 5 day wait.

I did not want to wait 5 days as I had waited until nearly the end of my current period. The option within their site to accept or decline the transfer was not so easy to find.

It took a bit of exploring to find the option. Anyway I found it, clicked on it, confirmed I wanted to accept the transfer and clicked a confirm button.

Once clicked, a message appeared on the top right hand side reporting that the transfer domain process would be done as soon as possible, and saying that I should allow 15 minutes for it to complete.

Domain Transferred Successfully to another Registrar

I waited a few minutes. I then looked at the current version of ‘who is’ and saw that the registrar details referred to the new domain registrar and that the domain expiry date was a year in the future.

Job done. Happy days. 🙂

The process at the “from” domain registrar for this process gets a very low mark in my opinion for their end of this whole process. The process was not intuitive and was not user friendly and took a lot of exploring to figure out things.

Now I understand that domain registrars do not like people moving to other domain registrars however individual domain registrars in my opinion should make their ends of this process as efficient as possible and as simple as possible from the point of view of someone either moving to them or away from them. Just saying.

Why I Moved my Domain

I moved my domain over to Domain Cost Club. The reason is simple, as a member there, I enjoy really good pricing for domains I purchase using them. I’ve been into domains for some time as explained in my domain story. And am glad that Domain Cost Club is now on the scene to help make it way more competitive.

I outline reasons why I like Domain Cost Club in my Domain Cost Club review.

Domain Cost Club are not the only domain registrar to use the idea of a members only discount club. GoDaddy also has a discount club. I compared their discount pricing with Domain Cost Club’s member pricing in my comparison article.

Domain Cost Club
If you buy or renew domains, you should look at them. They are a no-frills low cost domain registrar, who also provide free domain privacy services for domains registered with them.
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David
Hi, I'm David, the senior editor and senior writer at Work From Home Notes covering products, apps, services, and work from home issues and trends. Prior to launching Work From Home Notes I was an IT professional for over twenty seven years. Now I work from home. Read more.