Domain transfers might just be one of the most frustrating processes we deal with on the support desk day in, day out. That’s not to say it’s the fault of any of our clients, but the process itself; typically the various domain name transfer processes are ones from a much older, more unwieldy era of the web. It was only a few years ago some registrars stopped insisting on faxes in certain cases!
With that in mind, I wanted to go over what to be aware of with the domain name transfer process. First and foremost, the most important step you can take for a successful transfer is taking full ownership of the move. We will help you every step of the way, whether a domain is headed in or out of our control, but you need to assume full responsibility for ensuring a smooth transfer.
When it comes to transfers, it’s easy to assume that once the process is started, it’s all plain sailing. Surely if something goes awry, someone will notice? The honest truth is no one is watching the transfer of your domain – except hopefully you! Neither the gaining registrar or losing registrar typically actively tracks the status of a domain transfer.
So what does this mean in practice? Well, it’s prudent to keep daily tabs on a domain name transfer. For example, many registries generate an authentication email at the start of the process – if you don’t receive one within 24 hours, it’s safe to assume something isn’t going to plan. Note, .uk transfers don’t generate an auth email.
Again, we’re always happy on the support desk to check the status of a transfer for you. Drop us an email, call us up on the phone seven days a week – don’t worry about hassling us. We’d rather guide you on a smooth process than risk a stalled transfer, or worse, a domain name lapsing. Speaking of which…
Transferring an expiring domain name
That brings us to the second major item to be aware of. Many people wait until a domain name is coming to the end of the registration period before transferring. Usually, this is because the domain name holder wants to take advantage of the pricing from a new provider.
When transferring an expiring domain name, we always recommend using extreme caution. Indeed, if the domain name is very close to expiry we always strongly caution against a transfer.
Whilst every domain name is different, a typical transfer might take five working days from start to finish. It might be much quicker than that if everything falls into place correctly, and it might be much longer if things don’t go to plan. With that in mind, if your domain name has anything less than two weeks registration left, we always recommend renewing the domain name where it is, before transferring. Whether that’s an incoming domain name to 34SP.com, or an outgoing one, our advice is always the same.
Existing registration time is copied over
I should take a moment to note that when you transfer a domain name between providers, any existing registration time is copied over. You don’t lose any time when you move a domain name.
The registration length of your domain name is held with the domain registry (the ultimate final controller of any domain extension). This is independent of the company you choose to manage the domain name for you.
Domain transfer general points
It’s impossible to list every last nuance and quirk, but here are some points for the most popular domain names we see transferred:
- ALWAYS fill out our transfer form if you’re moving in to 34SP.com. Our systems don’t know about the domain transfer until that form is filled.
- .com domain names have a “lock” feature. This needs to be unlocked with the current registry before a transfer can begin, whether inward or outward.
- .uk domain names have an ‘IPS tag’, that denotes which company manages the domain name for you. Ours is ’34SP’ and every company has their own. This tag needs changing if you move providers.
- Some domain names have a fee to move them. The most notable is .com; we charge £5 for any .com coming in to us. This is because the registry auto-renew your .com on transfer for one year. We normally charge £12.50 for a .com renewal, so in effect you’re getting more than 50% off a .com renewal when you move it into 34SP.com.