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Holding Domain Names Hostage

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I’ve been reading that some registrars make it difficult for a person to leave them. That once you register your domain name, they will do almost anything to keep you. There may be a good reason why you want to jump ship and have your domain name registered with a different registrar. It could be for price, convenience, or simply better support. Regardless of the reason it should not be “rocket science” to change your registrar.

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Now, I’m not here to insult anyone, but what I want to make it clear that Winhost has made every effort to allow customers who register their domain name through us to move to another registrar if they wish. Before we proceed with the steps—and you may be surprised how simple it is—let us run through a preliminary check list.

Everyone should check this list before attempting a registrar transfer, regardless of what registrar you are with.

Preliminary Checklist

    1.  Check and verify who your registrar is.  Use this link: http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp. I know this sounds like a waste of time, but I can’t tell you how many times people will argue with a hosting provider only to find out that they were never the registrar.
    2. Check whether you have whois privacy enabled.  If it is enabled, you will need to make sure you disable it. Whois privacy or Private Domain Registration is a service that allows a person to keep certain domain name information private. Information such as Billing, Administration, and/or Technical Contacts. Some people don’t like their information to be available on the Internet. By purchasing Private Domain Registration, when someone does a whois look up of your domain name, all they should see is the registrar name, the name servers the domain is pointing to, and the domain name expiration date.
    3. Make sure that the email address on record with the registrar is valid and active. This is very important because during the course of the transfer, transfer approval emails will be sent to the email addresses associated with the domain name. Verify that your Administrative and/or Technical contact information is up to date, and the email address is valid and active.
    4. Last but not least, you’ll need to verify that the domain name has not been registered or renewed within the last 60 days. This is a standard requirement and can be checked by pulling up the whois record and checking the Expiration and Modified date. If you have just registered the domain name or renewed it within the last 60 days than you cannot transfer it. Some registrars will forbid you to transfer your domain name to another registrar if you simply update the contact information on your domain name. Winhost has no such limitation. Our only condition is the 60 day registration/renewal window.

Now that you’ve gone through the list, transferring a domain name away from us should be fairly easy.  Oh, before I forget, make sure you have selected a registrar that you will be transferring the domain to.  You will need to set up an account with them before you initiate the transfer. Each registrar has their own steps for registering so I’m not going to go over them in this article.

Here are the steps to transferring a domain name away to another registrar:

    1.  Log into the Winhost control panel and click on the “Domains” tab.
    2. In the “Whois Record” column, click the “View/Edit” link.  This will take you to the domain name’s personal information (Contact, Administrative, and Billing information). From here you can disable Whois Privacy if it is enabled, and you can also update the name servers if you wish to point it somewhere else.
    3. Back in the Winhost control panel/Domain Manager, click on the “Unlock” link in the “Move Away” column. Unlock your domain name, and you will be given the Authorization Transfer Code; also known as the EPP Auth Code. You will need that code when you  initiate the transfer at your new registrar.
    4. Go to your new registrar and go through the steps to initiate a registrar transfer to them.

That should be it. Pretty easy, right?  If anything goes wrong, check with the new registrar to see where the process may have failed. Check your email address in the whois information, and lastly you can always open a ticket to Winhost support to see if anything is stopping the registrar transfer on our end.


While this article has been about how to move your domain away from Winhost, we do hope that you will continue to use our hosting services. We think we provide the best hosting value available anywhere. You may be able to find a lower price, but one thing you will not find at the cut-rate hosts is our level of service and commitment to quality. Those are things we live and breathe, we don’t just talk about them.

If you are at one of those lowest-common-denominator hosts now and you want to come join the Winhost family, stay tuned for an upcoming article on painless host transfer. Yes, it is possible!

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One Response
  • Stephen Lynch Reply

    This is a very good article. I am going through a hell of a transfer from Parcom Internet Services hosting and eNom as the registrar.

    Parcom deleted my site and email when I started a transfer. So I am up the river without a paddle until the transfer. I have 30 employees, believe me I have been very stressed. Parcom never informed me of a proper transfer procedure.

    You would think that they would at least keep my email and site up through the transfer, hey, I paid for it. Calling the registrar, eNom has also been a runaround. They tell me to sign up for their registry and they can change the nameservers in 30 minutes, but have to wait 7-10 days to transfer somewhere else. That doesn’t make sense unless you are playing dirty politics.

    Here is what I learned to do when your host is of poor quality and you want to transfer. 1. Set up your site at winhost. 2. Contact your old host prior to transfer and have them change the nameservers to point to winhost nameservers. Wait a few days to make sure it works, and then initiate the transfer. During the interim you should be good as the global dns should be pointing to your new winhost site and the dirty politics should have minimal effects.

    I am not an expert by any means, so if I missed something please forgive me.

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