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May 1, 2014

Switching Domain Registrars to NameCheap [Updated X 2]

Category: Webmasters/Web Design — Answers 2000 @ 3:32 pm

Disclosure: Our company is a customer of both NameCheap and Dotster.com. We may earn a commission if you register a domain or purchase a product/service after following a link from this article to either of these companies’ websites.

I’ve decided to move our domain name registrations over to NameCheap from Dotster.com. The main reason - to save money!

To be honest, although I never originally chose to be a Dotster customer (we were 000domains.com customers, and became Dotster customers after they bought 000domains), I’ve been generally very happy with Dotster. Yes, there have long been other slightly cheaper registrars, but it always seemed like a lot of hassle to transfer a large portfolio of domains from one registrar to another. Over the years. however, Dotster prices have crept up, and so the incentive to switch registrar has gradually risen.

However, the thing that finally caused me to switch, was when I urgently needed to purchase a new domain, but couldn’t do it through Dotster. Apparently, there was some kind of glitch in getting my credit card accepted by their anti-fraud measures (the same credit card which had previously been used for many thousands of dollars of domain registrations and renewals with the company). Dotster support seemed unable to resolve the issue, I couldn’t wait, so I opened an account with NameCheap - who had been recommended to me by a friend (and turned out to be cheaper too).

I’ve now registered several new domains with NameCheap, am very happy with them, so I’ve decided to start transferring existing domains over too.

Here’s the procedure I am using (Note: If you do this, make sure the domain’s admin contact email works correctly before starting. domain privacy is turned off, and that the domain has been active for at least 60 days. You might also want to make sure it isn’t about to imminently expire, since the transfer process takes time):

1. Log-in to Dotster.com - unlock the domain(s) I want to transfer, and request the Auth Code(s) for each one.

2. Wait for the emails from Dotster to arrive (say 20 minutes), and copy and paste the domain names into a text file (which I create using Notepad). The file has this format, one domain name per-line:


3. Go to NameCheap, and click Transfer, then copy and paste the list of domain names and Auth-codes (which NameCheap calls “EPPs”) into the bulk transfer field. Pay and wait (again a few minutes is usually enough).

4. I receive an email for each domain asking me to approve the transfer to NameCheap, and I must click the link to open an approval page, and then select “Approve”.

5. Step 5 wait.

In summary, it’s a little tedious, but it isn’t hard-work, and it isn’t too time-consuming. Since I’m transferring a fairly large number of domains, it would be easy to lose track of my progress, accidentally miss a step on one domain name, etc., so I printed out a list of all the domains, and am ticking off the steps one-by-one next to each name in the list.

Update: A few things happened after I made this post:

1. The old registrar, Dotster, sent me an email to confirm I wanted to transfer each domain. If I had ignored this email, the domain would have transferred eventually, but I sped things a long by clicking a link in the email and approving the transfer. (I also had an option to reject the transfer).

2. The domain transferred successfully to NameCheap.

3. I checked the domain was working and all the details correct at NameCheap. One glitch was the billing contact wasn’t - it said NameCheap. So I copied the Registrant info in the Billing contact (with a single button click). NameCheap gives a warning that I may need to verify my contact info if I change contact details (see this article for why), but as far as I can tell, I don’t think that’s required, because I only changed the Billing Contact, not the Registrant. I’ll post a second update, if verification is required.

Also: I forgot to mention, a year gets added on to the domain’s expiry after the transfer.

Finally: Right now, the transferred domain is still showing in the Dotster control panel (as well as in the NameCheap panel). Presumably it should disappear from Dotster soon (?).

Update 2:

1. I did need to verify my contact details.

2. When transferring some further domains to NameCheap, I also needed them to whitelist one of the names which somehow triggered their filters for bad (e.g. phishing) names.


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