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Upcoming domain registration changes

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As if everything related to domain name registration and maintenance wasn’t already screwy enough, there is a new change on the horizon that promises to make updating your domain names even screwier.

After December 1, 2016, when you change the first name, last name, contact email or organization field for your domain, it will trigger something called the “trade process.” Without going into too much technical detail, what that means is those previously minor ownership information changes will now be treated the same way a domain transfer is treated.

The problem with that is now the domain owner will have to approve those changes via two separate – but similar – emails. That’s because the “current” and “previous” owner ā€“ which are the same person in this case ā€“ need to explicitly approve the change, or it will not be made.

So if you update your name or the name of your organization, you’ll have to approve that change in two emails. If you update the email address associated with a domain name, you’ll have to approve that change at the old and the new email address. You can probably already see some potential problems, can’t you.

confusion

So why are these changes happening? Well, ICANN started reviewing the transfer process almost 10 years ago, when potential issues with the existing transfer policies were identified. So they began looking at “special provisions” for change of registrant during a transfer in order to prevent domain hijacking.

Which sounds like a good thing, but now, a decade later, what we ended up with is a process that may make it slightly more difficult to hijack a domain, but definitely makes a lot of day-to-day maintenance tasks more difficult and confusing.

Every registrar has some leeway in how they implement the changes, so we’re not sure yet exactly how it’s going to work for domains registered through Winhost. We’ll do everything we can to keep the confusion to a minimum, and we’ll post an update here when we have more information on how things shake out.

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