Recently Liz had to transfer a domain name for a client and she realized how scary it can be for a small business. Today she goes over the reasons for and the process to transferring a domain name to a new registrar.

Episode 0298

Transferring Domain Name Registrars

Sandro: [00:00:03] Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We’re the podcast that talks all things digital marketing including search engines, e-mail marketing, social media, website design, reputation management and so much more. Today Liz is going to tell us what we need to know about transferring a domain name.

Liz: [00:00:19] I thought this would be a good topic to chat about. It isn’t something that comes up all the time or every time we launch a website. We’ve done this a handful of times so I thought I would share some insight. So why transfer a domain name? Why would you want to do this? I’m a big believer in giving the business owner or the entrepreneur access and control over the domain name. So if you’ve got another agency or maybe a solo consultant that purchased a domain name originally, you know, that just makes me a little nervous.

Liz: [00:00:51] You know, worst case scenario, what happens if someone gets hit by a bus and you don’t have access to your domain name? So I always like to set up an account where again, the business owner or the entrepreneur has access to do what they need to do. The reality is the business owner will probably never be the person in the account doing what needs to happen, you know, to set up hosting or set up email. But again, I think it’s really good for them to have access to it and they can decide who they want to grant access to depending on what agency or consultant they’re working with. So I wanted to give a couple of specific examples that we’ve run into over the years.

Liz: [00:01:30] Obviously one that you definitely think can happen is, you’re working with an agency and then suddenly, you know, maybe the relationship goes bad or you’re just not happy with them and you want to make the change. You know we’ve definitely come across that scenario where we have to on behalf of a client reach out to another agency and request that a domain name be transferred. One that we are in the midst of right now that actually sparked this episode, long, long story short, we’ve got a group of nonprofits who are collaborating on a project. One entity purchased the domain names and I’m not entirely sure what their role moving forward is going to be. So again, we are making that switch transferring the domain names to another registrar so the right people have access to the domain names.

Sandro: [00:02:15] It’s definitely happened to me. I had a restaurant and the server who moved to Colorado, we’re in Ohio, was the domain registrar and we had to find him and track him down. It was crazy.

Liz: [00:02:28] Yeah probably a big challenge too. And there’s definitely instances where it’s not necessary to transfer a domain name. We launched a website in June and I looked at what the situation was and the company that had the domain name was still working with my client to host their email. Good working relationship, no need to transfer. I just reached out to them and when we were ready to launch the site I just asked them to change where the DNS was pointing.

Liz: [00:02:57] So I don’t have any hard and fast rules about this. I think you have to look at every situation independently and kind of you know make an evaluation as to, okay where should these domain names live? Do we need to do a transfer? Can we leave them where they are? Ideally if you can leave them where they are, because this process is kind of a pain and I’ll get into some specifics in a minute here, but if possible leave the domain name where it’s at.

Liz: [00:03:26] So in terms of actually going through this transfer process. Couple things to keep in mind: the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN sets the policies for transferring domain names so some of this is regulation if you want to call it that, you know there’s kind of a set process to this. Now there are some nuances to every registrar that we’ve had to work through in the past. But generally speaking, these are the steps that you’re going to take. So you’re going to want to make sure that the domain is unlocked, you’ve disabled the privacy settings, and this is really important, that the domain name is not going to expire in the near future like in, you know, a matter of days. You don’t want the domain name to expire in the midst of transferring because then it could just be out there in no man’s land.

Liz: [00:04:11] The other really key thing you want to do: wherever the domain names currently live, you want to make sure the contact information is set up correctly or it’s going to an e-mail address that someone has access to because transfer codes are going to be involved and you want to make sure that you can actually get those codes. Once you’ve got the codes, you know, let’s say Bob is transferring his domain names to my account. Once he gives me the transfer codes I can go into my registrar, request the specific domain names, enter the codes and then make the transfer.

Liz: [00:04:47] The transfer does, well let me first say that I think in total I would allot a month for the entire process. Again you know, that’s assuming that you know if your server is in Colorado and you have to spend a couple weeks tracking him down I guess that’s a little different. But generally speaking I like to allot three to four weeks, just because you do have to kind of collect all the information. Who am I contacting? Which domain names am I actually requesting? You know, getting all of those details and then reaching out and probably some follow up.

Liz: [00:05:17] And then the actual transfer process takes some time as well. I think the actual transfer process can take like 7 to 10 days, so leaving enough time to go through all this I think is key. Also keep in mind that there is a small fee. I think it’s 10, 15 bucks, it’s not a lot. Keep that in mind as well. So we’ve gone through this process and we’ve had really great experiences where the individual was responsive, got the codes to us right away and the transfer went very smoothly. There have been other times where it seemed to take forever and we’re you know reaching out to the other consultants or the other agency and just doing whatever we can do to prod them along to get what we need.

Liz: [00:05:58] So again, every situation is different. I always think positive and you know, hope it’s going to go smoothly and most of the time it does. I think there was really only one time, I think the first time that we did this it just seemed very cumbersome. But it’s gone smoothly every other time since then. So yeah that’s the process.

Liz: [00:06:08] Again, every situation is going to be different and you’ve got to figure out what’s best for you. But I’m a big believer in having control and access to a domain name and kind of granting that out to who is needed. So that’s the process. And remember also that every domain name registrar has some nuances. Mostly you know, where you are clicking within a Go Daddy or a Network Solutions to figure out you know, where to go. So do a little bit of Googling most of these companies have a tutorial somewhere on their website that you can track down and help you along, so.

Sandro: [00:06:52] Yeah we just pulled a domain name recently and took it over to a different one and one of the things they kept doing was calling and calling and saying, “Are you sure you want to leave us? We’ll give you half price.” Because we were charging us sixty dollars a year just for the domain.

Liz: [00:07:05] Wow.

Sandro: [00:07:06] Yeah. It was a big rip off. You know we took it over to Google Domains where it’s $12 flat for everything. And yeah, they were like, they knew they were overcharging us. So you can expect that too.

Liz: [00:07:16] Yeah. The company I just reached out to, I think it was Nameserve and I had to jump on a chat quickly just to clarify something and she was like, what you know, are you unhappy? What can we do? And I’m like, it’s not you, we just need to move the domain names, so. And then she got me what I needed and it was all good. So but yeah, they’re going to try to keep you if they can.

Sandro: [00:07:38] Correct. Well, fantastic. Thank you so much for this Liz. This is something pretty basic to us, but…

Liz: [00:07:42] It’s scary to business owners you know, they’re just concerned about…

Sandro: [00:07:46] Will their website be going up? Will they lose sales? Will they rank lower? It’s a process, but it’s something you can help your clients as a marketer or you can find someone to help you hold your hand through it. So thank you so much Liz. Thank you for joining us. If you like what you hear we’d love a review. You will find us on iTunes and Google Podcast which is a pretty new cool thing that we’re on. We’re also on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We’ll have links in the show notes. If you have a question we’d love to hear it. You can shoot us an e-mail and we will answer it and give you a shout out. Thanks again for joining us. We will see you next time.