How to Change Domain Registrars

[Maybe this article should be entitled:  How to Say Goodbye to GoDaddy.com]

Okay, so I finally got fed up enough with Bob Parson’s public obsession with pornography that I decided I can no longer contribute to the pervert’s bottom line by having my domain names registered through GoDaddy.com.  At least a year ago I started using Netfirms.com to register new domain names ($6.99 per year), but now I also want to transfer the domains I registered with GoDaddy.com so I can manage them with a company that doesn’t unabashedly use sex to sell their services.  How do I transfer the domain names from GoDaddy.com to Netfirms.com?  I’ll show you.

Initiating a transfer begins with logging in to the account from which you currently manage your domain name.  In my case, I go to GoDaddy.com and login.  Then I click on the domain that I want to transfer to bring up the domain manager page.  Included in the Domain Information section is a line that shows the status of the domain in regard to its being locked.  If the domain is locked, click on the Manage link, and unlock it.  Uncheck the Lock domains checkbox, and click Okay.

Unlocking the domain takes a few minutes to process.  Wait a few minutes after you’ve initiated the unlock process.  Then refresh the page.  You should see the status changed to Unlocked.

Next, we have to obtain an authorization code from GoDaddy.com.  This is done by clicking on the Send by Email link next to the Authorization Code field (visible in the picture above) under the Domain Information.  The authorization code is emailed to the address you have listed for the Administrative Contact corresponding to the domain.  Obviously registrars aren’t very motivated to be prompt about sending an authorization code so you can transfer your domain management to a competitor.  It’s likely that you won’t have the authorization code instantly after you request it.  However, registrars are required to send the authorization code within five days of it being requested by a domain owner.

Once you’ve received the authorization code, you need to login to your account with the new registrar.  In this case, I’m using Netfirms.com.  After logging in to my account, I go to Domains->Domain Manager.  Then I click the Add button on the right hand side of the page.

After clicking the Add, you’ll be brought to the the page that allows you to set up a new domain.  Since you are transferring a domain in this case, you click on the Transfer tab.  Then you enter the domain name for the domain you want to transfer to the new registrar.  This informs the new registrar that you are intending to transfer your domain to their registration database.  They can then coordinate with your former registrar to hand off the domain.

Normally you’ll have to pay the yearly registration fee ($6.99 in this case) to the new registrar when you make the request to transfer your domain.  However, some registrars have promotionals to attract customers from their competitors, and they’ll offer one year free if you are transferring from a competitor.  Netfirms apparently doesn’t offer that right now, so I had to pay the fee, which is rather insignificant anyway.

Once you tell your new registrar that you are transferring your domain, you will likely receive an email telling you how to complete the process.  I received an email from Netfirms.com letting me know that I need to login to my account and complete the transaction.  The email also gave me the confirmation key that I need to enter in my Netfirms.com control panel, along with the authorization code I requested from Godaddy.com, to complete the transfer.

Following the instructions I received from Netfirms.com, I logged into my control panel, then clicked on Domains->Domain Manager.  The domain I just requested to transfer was now listed among the other domains I have registered through Netfirms.com.  I clicked on the domain name, theonlinemechanic.com, and it brought me to the following screen.

Here is where I enter the confirmation key I got from my new registrar (Netfirms.com) along with the authorization code I got from my old one (GoDaddy.com).  Once I enter this information and click the Confirm button, the process (at least the steps I have to take) is complete.   Usually the transfer handoff from the old registrar to the new one is completed within one day.  You can check back with your new registrar to make sure the change has been completed.

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