Transferring a domain can be like pulling teeth

It’s been awhile, but I had to break my blog silence to rant talk about my experience with Hostway. I registered my first domains ( and via Hostway and since I’ve been with Dreamhost for over 7 months, I decided on transferring registrars i.e. placing my domains in the care of Dreamhost. This would make sense because I got tired of essentially paying $12.95 per domain to Hostway for domain name renewals ($7.95) and Whois Protector Lite ($4.95). At Dreamhost, they automatically provide Whois protection at no cost and a fee of $9.99 for renewing the domain name.

Well, for someone who’s never done this before, Dreamhost has a short & sweet list of to-dos in order for your domain name transfer to successfully happen. Here are the brief rules:

1) Do not renew your domain name with the old registrar. This will throw a major wrench in the works as I learnt the hard way. Why? Because transfers of domain names are prohibited for 60 days after a domain name is registered or renewed.

2) Remove any Whois protection that prevents your real name and contact information from being viewed. Why? The new registrar needs to get in touch with you and they do that by reading information in Whois.

3) Oh and if you have a bogus email address in the Whois information, take this time to update that with a real email address. Again, the new registrar sends emails to the Admin or Tech contact listed on the Whois info page. If this is incorrect, you won’t receive that email telling you to click a certain link as proof that the domain name transfer was initiated by you. 🙂

4) If your domain is locked to prevent accidental transfers, unlock the domain. My old registrar had this feature and I had it enabled on my accounts.

5) Auth codes are de rigueur now and make sure you have the auth codes to the domains you need transferred. If this is not an available option on your old registrar’s website, call them to get this code.

6) It is much less stressful to do 1 – 5 at once so that you don’t repeat the transfer process indefinitely versus doing 1 each time and realizing that I had to do the next step. In other words, Read the documents or RTFM.