Quick thoughts about transferring domains to a new registrar

posted by adam johnson on September 3, 2012

A while back I transferred two client domains from two registrars (1&1 and GoDaddy) over to NameCheap. I was a bit nervous during the process because moving domains between registrars seemed tricky. There was always the small chance something would go awry. Alas, everything went swimmingly. Here are some thoughts about the process and best practices for transferring domains.

Lifehacker wrote a great how-to about how to transfer your domain to a different registrar. The process basically goes:

  1. Update your contact info.
  2. Disable private registration.
  3. Unlock and get your "EPP Code".

Following these steps helped to demystify the process.

I transferred two domains from 1&1 and GoDaddy to NameCheap. NameCheap has extensive documentation about how to transfer domains from both 1&1 and GoDaddy. Additionally, they provided wonderful step-by-step help during the process.

Why did I transfer away from those companies? GoDaddy definitely has questionable marketing practices, their CEO shot an elephant and bragged about it on Twitter, and their UI is was terrible.

1&1 was originally in the same boat as GoDaddy for their UI. They've since updated the UI and it at least looks better. I found myself trying to make changes to DNS settings and waiting for-evvv-ver for things to resolve. On top of that, I never really knew which URL I would get redirected to in order to login, nor could I actually choose a username for the site.

When I actually transferred the domains, the transfer from GoDaddy to NameCheap was super fastit took about two hours. 1&1 on the other hand took between 1-2 days. I should note that my websites never went down during this process (as I had set up my DNS settings with NameCheap when I initiated the transfer). 1&1 was, as usual, just slow.

Since transferring to NameCheap, I have found their UI incredibly straightforward. I can tell the value design and want to provide their customers with a clear, straightforward user experience. On top of that, their documentation is excellent. 

If you're thinking of transferring domains, just be sure to follow the instructions on both Lifehacker and the source's documentation, and you should be good to go. Also be sure to do a quick Google search about that company and you'll quickly find either positive or negative reviews. This will likely forshadow your experience. 

I'd love to hear any other tips people have about transferring domains in the comments. Let's hear 'em!

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