Domain Name Transfers
The first domain I ever bought, many years ago has been registered with Network Solutions, it was first registered with Internic, which handed things over to Network Solutions. With my domain expiration coming up I knew that I didn't want to give Network Solutions any more of my business, because I just don't like their practices.
For instance they send me an email with big red letters saying Deactivation Notice
This is your official notification from Network Solutions that the service(s) listed below will be deactivated and deleted if not renewed immediately. Previous notifications have been sent to the Billing Contact assigned to this account. As the Primary Contact, you must renew the service(s) listed below or it will be deactivated and deleted
Immediately? I had plenty of time before my domain expired, yet they were telling me they are going to delete my domain. There is also 40 day grace period after the domain name expires where you can usually renew .
If the owner of a domain does not renew by the expiration date of the domain, the domain goes into expired status. For 40 days, the domain is in a grace period where all services are shut off, but the domain owner may still renew the domain for a standard renewal fee. From a great blog post on expiring domains
The Transfer Process
I've owned domain names for quite some time, but had never needed to transfer a domain to a different registrar, during the process I learned a few things about domain transfers.
My first thought was that I needed to tell my current registrar that I wanted to transfer the domain, but I couldn't find anything in my account that would let me do that. So I went to the registrar that I wanted to transfer to (I used godaddy), and initiated a transfer request.
I quickly learned that the process would takes 5-7 days from the transfer request to complete. I was lucky enough to not procrastinate that much, and I started the process about 10 days before the domain would expire.
GoDaddy shortly after submitting the request sent me an email with a Transfer ID, and Authentication code to the administrative contact address. I had to enter this into a web page to validate my email address.
After entering the code I got an email from godaddy saying with the subject Domain Transfer Failed - Status Not Valid
the current status of the above domain name is: REGISTRAR-LOCK
That just got me mad at network solutions again, why are they locking my domain? But after some research I found that most registrars have some sort of locking feature, that prevents you from transferring the domain. Network Solutions calls this feature: Domain Protect and enables it by default.
So, I just need to turn off Domain Protect which turned out to be harder than I thought because there was no option to do so in my account. It said Domain Protect: On, but there was no edit link. I emailed Network Solutions but they just told me to click the edit button next to Domain Protect that I didn't have in my account. As it turns out because of Internic transferring to Network Solutions, I had to user login's one was my email address, and the other was a number. I had to login using the number, and then I could change this setting.
Once my domain was unlocked, I just had to resubmit my request through godaddy, Networks Solutions also sent me email with links I could use If I wanted to cancel the request. About 4 days later my domain was transferred.
It actually is in theory a really simple process that ended up being slightly complicated in my case. I did learn two things in the process:
It takes a few days for the transfers to go through.
There is a good chance you need to unlock your domain from your current registrar before transferring it.