Why and how to transfer your domain

Let’s say you already have a great domain name, but you’re not so sure about your domain registrar. Don’t worry, you can make a change. It’s possible, and in some cases, easy to transfer your domain registration to another registrar. So how do you figure out if transferring is right for you? Here are a few things to consider:

Why transfer?

Not all domain registrars are the same. From the features they provide to how reliable they are, there’s a lot more to registrars than just selling you names. To find out what to avoid when picking a registrar, read our post Be aware: 5 things to watch out for when buying a domain. Once you’ve chosen a registrar, the good news is that you’re not locked into using them forever. You can always make a switch.

Here are the three key things to consider when evaluating a new registrar:

Don’t just look at features and services, but how they’re priced and provided.

1. Features

Every registrar offers a suite of features and services, such as WHOIS privacy protection (to hide your contact information from people searching for your domain’s owner), web hosting and email. If you don’t have all the features you want with your current registrar, you may wish to take advantage of a better package offered by a different registrar.

In addition to comparing features, it’s also important to look at how the features and services are priced and implemented:

  • Price: Do the features you need cost extra or are they included as part of the package?
  • Ease of use: Are the features you need easy to implement? Will they require manual effort on your part, or does the registrar offer some simple tools to make things like domain management easier for you?
  • Support: Will live support be available when you need it?
  • Provider: Who provides the features they’re selling? Some registrars offer all their own services for email and web hosting, while others partner with third-party providers. If you’re currently using a provider for things like web hosting and design, and they already partner with another registrar you’re considering, it may be a more seamless transfer.

2. Price

Look critically at the price structure of your domain registrar, because each one is different. Some registrars might charge extra fees for services you consider critical, while others may offer the same services at no additional charge. Some may offer a low price for the first year, but then have much higher renewal rates. If your domain registrar is charging you more than you would be charged elsewhere, you may want to look for a less expensive registrar.

Beware of choosing a new registrar solely based on low price.

But remember: Price alone may not justify transferring your domain. Saving a few dollars per year on a domain name is much less valuable than having a domain registrar that suits your needs. Before making a transfer, consider the consequences of doing so.

3. Changing ownership

If you need to change the ownership of your domain (either from you to another person, or another person to you), you’ll need to do a domain transfer. For example, if an employee registered your domain under a personal account, you may want to transfer the domain to an account maintained by your business. In some cases, you may choose to transfer to another registrar at the same time you transfer ownership.

4. How to transfer safely and easily

With so many registrars out there, it’s very easy to transfer your domain. While every registrar’s transfer process is different, they all have some useful features in common to ensure that transfers are safe and secure:

  • Transfer locks prevent your domain from being transferred without your knowledge.
  • Authorization codes help make sure you have permission to transfer your domain from one registrar to another. They are sometimes called “EPP codes” or “Transfer codes.”
  • Confirmation emails make sure you are transferring your domain to the right person. You can’t make the transfer without verifying your identity.

The technical details involved in a transfer can seem overwhelming, but many registrars have excellent online help articles that can walk you through the process. At Google Domains, we make it super easy by guiding you through each step with simple instructions.

Thinking about transferring your domain to Google Domains? Visit our website today to learn more and click “I’d like to transfer” to get started.