In this piece, I cover steps to transfer a domain from one registrar to another. I am going to write only the foundation steps and answer associated queries. Whatever steps I suggest here may not be fully applicable to all the registrars.
The domain transfer steps I suggest here are based on my experience during successful transfer of a domain from Godaddy to Google Domains without website downtime. When you want to transfer your domain from Godaddy to Namecheap, the process is going to be the same. Namecheap may provide you additional feature and support. However, the process is going to be the same. Actually, the steps are defined by ICANN, the notary body, which works as an intermediary of domain registrars, holds domain records, maintains the DNS networks, and deals with security challenges.
► Is your Domain eligible for Transfer to a New Registrar?
Your domain is fit for transfer only if any of its associated information has not been changed in last 60 days. Any change or modification in the following associated information makes a domain unfit for transfer from one registrar to another.
- Domain contact details
- Last transfer of the domain (Example: just 55 days before the domain was with another registrar)
- The registration of the domain (Example: The domain was registered 42 days before
- Your domain whois information is private
Thus, if the domain records are not modified in last 60 days, you can easily transfer it from one registrar to another.
► 4 Steps to transfer a domain to a New Registrar
Suppose you want to transfer your domain to Namecheap and I want to transfer my website domain to Google Domains. The process of domain transfer begins with informing the new registrar that you wish to transfer a domain.
You need to contact Namecheap. Similarly, I need to talk to Google Domains. Here informing means the process requires manual intervention. It is not system operated like domain registration. So, you need to inform customer support of your new registrar that you are transferring a domain to their Eco-system.
Initiate: The new registrar will take your request and process it internally. That is contacting the current registrar of the domain through ICANN channel to initiate the transfer process.
Unlock: Next step comes unlocking the domain at the current registrar. You can do this by accessing to DNS manager or setting page of the domain.
Authorization Code: Next you need to generate an authorization code for the domain. This is to authenticate that you are the real owner of the domain and you have the right to transfer it. You can generate authorization code at the domain setting page in the current registrar system.
The current registrar will mail you the authorization code. This code you need to pass to the new registrar. You will see the option to paste authorization code.
The new registrar with the authorization code will communicate through the established channel with the current registrar and request to pass all the records related to the domain. You can understand the authorization code like a bank OTP.
Confirmation: Next you see confirmation notice that the transfer process has begun.
►Time Required in Domain transfer process
Minimum time required in domain transfer is four hours and maximum 12 Days. How fast is domain transfer process? That entirely depends on the system and the technology the new registrar and the current registrar is using.
When I transferred a domain to Google domains from Godaddy, it took a day. Godaddy mentions on its website that the usual time required in domain transfer is around 10 days. Google Domains could speed up the process because they have a far superior system. We all know that when comes to advanced automation, Google system is miles ahead than the substitutes on the market.
►Downtime during Domain Transfer
NIL. Often people get confused between DNS and HOSTING. Domain DNS is separate from WEBSITE HOSTING. I transferred my website from GoDaddy DNS to Google Domains DNS. However, my website hosting is the same.
In order to use a DNS service, you need to register your domain with the registrar, which manages the DNS network.
Let us first understand what domain registration is.
You cannot buy a domain. You rent a domain. A domain is a word or a combination of multiple words. You cannot own a word. If you own a word means no one else can use the word without your permission. For example, for this website domain is Gadgets.Shiksha. I have ranted the combination. I cannot own the word GADGETS and SHIKSHA.
Booking a domain does not make it live on the Internet. The domain has to activate on a DNS network. Domain registration is separate, and Domain activation on DNS is separate. Since a domain without being active on DNS network does not make sense, so the two services are stitched together.
Domain registration + Its activation on DNS network = Domain registration
Now your domain is accessible on the Internet. It has to show something or show at least a black page when the domain is navigated through a browser. Usually, the domain registrar adds a message that the domain is ready to use and its banner of discount offers.
The domain is loading the webpage since its name-server is pointing to the hosting server of the registrar. It is a default process.
Next, by replacing name-servers on the domain setting or DNS setting page of the domain, you set the domain to load your website from a hosting environment where you have kept your website data.
Now I come back to the point whether your website will be down during domain transfer from one registrar to another. When the new registrar copies DNS records from the current registrar system, it copies name-server details as well. If there is no change in your hosting, then your website will not be down even for a second.
DNS caching could create few seconds of outrage, but you would not be there to notice. As I said, it is minimum a day process so you cannot be sitting and monitoring the entire transfer process.
► Cloudflare is must for every website
Without Cloudflare, your website is like a hut in an open field. Any threat can come from any side. Routing through Cloudflare means now in the open field you put a boundary wall. Page rules in the Cloudflare system are fencing on the wall for additional security and performance enhancement.
If you are routing your website through Cloudflare, then be assured that even the few seconds of outrage due to DNS caching will not occur during the website domain transfer.
|User → Domain DNS (Godaddy) → Cloudflare → Hosting
User ← Domain DNS (Godaddy) ← Cloudflare ← Hosting
After domain transferred to Google Domains
User → Domain DNS (Google Domains) → Cloudflare → Hosting
User ← Domain DNS (Google Domains) ← Cloudflare ← Hosting
Use the comment box below to ask your query related to domain transfer processes.