Okay… Hopefully you followed my first tutorial on how to transfer SBI! website here and are already hosted by someone good, like Hostgator. The dust has settled, everything is great and all what’s left is to transfer your domain to another registrar.
Where to register your domain
It’s wise to keep your domain management and hosting separate. You don’t want to allow one company to have complete control over your web properties. Never again! In addition, if you ever decide to move to another web hosting company for whatever reason, it’s much easier and faster to do if your domain is registered somewhere else.
Now almost every host will offer you domain registration and even domain registrars will offer you hosting… Are you following me? Just checking This makes a perfect business sense for them and it doesn’t mean they are trying to cheat you. However, you should do what’s in your best interests and in this case it’s to keep these two things separate. So don’t listen to them!
I love, love, LOVE Hostgator, but I am not going to give them control over my domain. Instead, I am going to move to Name.com. I like their support and clear clutter-free interface. And then they have such a fantastic name – Name.com!
You can do your own research on registrars. I believe it won’t be much different, but in this tutorial I am going to work specifically with Name.com. I will include screenshots and everything I possibly can to make things easier for you.
It looks like SBI! registers all its domains in Tucows. Who could think that all this web business thing is more like a zoo! Pandas, penguins, turtles, cows, monkeys and alligators – like it or not, you have to deal with them all. Just like that cow on Tucows homepage said, we are going to “mooooove” to another registrar! Here is how, step by step…
Step 1: Unlock your domain
First of all you need to make sure your domain is unlocked. We unlocked it before when we were transferring our website files to new host. If not much time passed and you didn’t ask SBI! to lock your domain again your domain is probably still unlocked. You can make sure by searching for your domain at WhoIs. If it says Client Transfer Prohibited, your domain is locked and you need to contact SBI! and ask them to unlock it. You should include following information for them to unlock it:
- original order number when you purchased SBI!
- last four numbers of credit card you used
- your IP address as it appears here
You should also make sure that
- contact email address at WhoIs is NOT on your domain (it’s not something like you(at)your-domain.com. Use your gmail or yahoo for this.),
- your domain privacy settings are disabled, i.e. you have your name and contact details publicly available on WhoIs page.
If you need to correct your email address or disable your domain privacy you should fix it now at build.sitesell.com/manage.html. Forgot your password? Search your emails, like I described here.
SBI! will unlock your domain, however you need this updated information appear in WhoIs database. So wait until you will see this next to your domain (under Registration): When you see registrar status “OK” instead of “Domain Transfer Prohibited” you know you are ready. Usually it takes about a day to update.
Step 2: Get EPP Code (Auth Code)
The instructions for getting Auth Code or EPP will be sent to you by SBI! once you hint you want to move. I will explain it here once again in my own words and include screenshots. So go to http://manage.opensrs.net/… Enter your domain, username and password (the one you got from SBI’s email when you ordered the package). Once you are in, click on Domain Extras… and get that code!
Your New Registrar
Step 3: Initiate transfer
There are many good registrars, but I personally chose Name.com. If you choose another registrar things might be slightly different, but the idea is the same. So go to Name.com (or other registrar of your choice) and create an account. At Name.com you can also enter default payment option so you don’t have to get distracted when you are doing something important like transferring your domain. Then click on domain transfer button… Enter your domain (no www.) and Auth Code you just got from cows… Decide whether or not you want to order domain privacy (that is to hide your name from public view at WhoIs). At Name.com it’s checked by default. It costs a little more than $3 per year. If you don’t need it make sure to uncheck it… Without privacy it costed me $8.25. Click checkout… Now go back to your account at Name.com. First click on Account Settings (to the right) then big blue button that says “Edit Default Name Servers”. You will see that you have default Name’s name servers which you don’t need. You need to MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU ENTER YOUR ALREADY FUNCTIONAL NAME SERVERS on Hostgator or whatever you are already using. Triple check that you don’t make any mistake. Here is how my name servers looked after I edited them… Just in case you are wondering, these are Hostgator’s name servers but because I have a Reseller’s account it doesn’t say Hostgator.
Step 4: Confirm your decision
Go check your email. If you are moving to Name.com you will find two emails in your inbox. One is to confirm your order, the second one is to approve your transfer. Open the one that says “Name.com Notices – USERNAME: Recent transfer(s) APPROVE TRANSFERS” and click on the last link in that email (just before their closing “Much love” Your domain registrar actually loves you. How cool is that?) It will take you to this page where you will click on Approve Transfers button… If you check your account and click on View Registrar Transfers (to the right) you will see this: It tells you that domain transfer is in progress, everything is progressing smoothly, they contacted the losing registrar (the one with cows) and if they do nothing the transfer will be accomplished automatically within 5 days. If cows bother to answer things will happen much quicker.
Step 5: Confirm once again
About 10 hours later I received an email from someone called “Transfer” with subject “Transfer away request has been received for the domain mydomain.com” – that’s right, that must be cows. There will be link in that email, which takes you to a page where you can either confirm or reject this transfer request. Check the box next to approve transfer and have some rest.
Step 6: Lock your domain
After a few hours I received another loving email from Name.com with the subject “Name.com Notices – USERNAME: Recent transfer(s) SUCCESSFUL”. If you sign in to your Name.com account you will see that your domain now appears under domain list. Here you can set automatic renewals if you wish or enable domain privacy if you change your mind. However, this is not as important as locking your domain. Click on your domain name. You will see this: Click on that little lock to lock your domain. You will get this: You are done! Congratulations!
You can go now and say goodbye to everyone in SBI! forums, print everything you want to keep for future reference. Your keyword list would be a good example. SBI! tells you you won’t have access to their tools as soon as you change your name servers, but at least in my experience that’s not what happens. You have access to their forums, tools, including their precious Brainstormer, TNT and pretty much anything you want until about 2-3 days after DOMAIN transfer. I lost access to SiteCentral after a few days I transferred my domain to Name.com. I still have access to forums although I don’t know how long it will continue.
IMPORTANT: DON’T FORGET TO CANCEL YOUR SBI! ACCOUNT You actually have to send one last email to SBI! support and cancel your account otherwise they will automatically bill you for next year (or month).
I hope you found this useful. If you have any questions, corrections, tips please post in forums. Keep in touch. It’s not fun to be alone. I am starting a new thread where you can post corrections and/or additional tips to this tutorial. Perhaps you chose another registrar and would like to share how you did it or maybe you know a better and easier way of doing things. Please share! You can do so here.
I will be posting tips on WordPress and other stuff you might find useful, so don’t forget my little blog. If you have anything specific you want to know about let me know and I will see if I can help . Good luck!