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Knowledge Base

How To Transfer a Domain Name To Us

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Maintaining your domain registration and hosting services within the same account allows you to manage both services with only one login password, making it easier for you to stay on top of everything related to your website. This article explains the process of transferring your domain to Bluehost, so there are no surprises along the way.

This process includes transfers to/from our MX partners.

Important:

  • You can transfer the following domain extensions to us: com, net, org, us, co, info, and biz.
  • It is also important to note that when a change of registrant occurs, there will be a 60-day transfer lock (as per ICANN). This means the domain in question will be stuck with us for 60 days before it's available to be transferred out again.
  • To avoid any delays, please complete all five steps before initiating the transfer.
  • Avoid transferring your domain within 45 days of a domain that has been recently renewed, or you could lose that renewal year.

Want to host your website here and keep the domain registered elsewhere? Try assigning a domain to your account instead.

Pro Tip: Buy a new domain - Help grow and protect your brand’s reputation. Keep others from buying domains similar to yours and avoid losing visitors or customers to competitors.

Prepare Your Domain

In preparation for the transfer, you need to update your domain settings with the current registrar. Please contact them if you need assistance.
You may also refer to the flowchart below, which summarizes the process of a Domain Transfer:

domaintransfer-flowchart

Review Your Contact Information

Your contact information is included on your domain's record in the WHOIS database, as required by ICANN. Upon transfer, the gaining registrar will use the information on the domain's record to email critical information regarding the transfer to the administrative contact, so you need to correct it. It's best to avoid using an email address associated with the domain; use a public email service, like Gmail, instead.

Updating the registrant contact information (name, organization, or email address) for a general top-level domain (gTLD) will initiate a Change of Registrant process, which requires additional verification before the new information is saved. Each registrar handles this process differently, so check with yours to see what you need to do.

Disable Privacy

The next step is to disable domain privacy. Privacy masks your contact information from being made public in the WHOIS database. Still, the gaining registrar needs that information to know where to send the code(s) authorizing the transfer. Once Privacy is disabled, the registrar can view the contact information on your domain's WHOIS record and send the domain transfer emails to the administrator; otherwise, those emails will go to a Privacy Protection inbox that cannot be accessed.

Update Your Name Servers

Name Servers direct the traffic for your domain to the host server. If you've already moved the website to your Bluehost account, you'll want to update your name servers now to minimize downtime during the transfer; otherwise, you'll have to wait until the transfer is complete. You cannot make DNS changes while the transfer is in progress, so it is important that you do it now.

Our name servers are:

Your new DNS settings will begin to propagate as soon as you save your changes. Each ISP updates at a different rate, usually taking 24 - 72 hours to complete worldwide. During this time, your emails will be down, and your web traffic will be directed to either the old or new host, depending on the visitor's ISP.

Pro Tip: If you have services (such as a website or email) with another provider, you can update your DNS with Bluehost to connect those services and minimize downtime. If you wish to keep DNS management with another provider, do not update your Nameservers - you can update DNS records with your current provider to connect to Bluehost services instead.

Unlock the Domain

The next step is to unlock your domain, making it available for transfer. Some registrars allow you to unlock your domain manually, while other registrars will do it for you.

Obtain the EPP Code

Finally, you need the EPP code, also called the Authorization or Auth code. It's essentially a unique password for the domain, made up of letters, numbers, and special characters required to authorize the transfer. For example: 1e20459-438b211db# or N7HS-V24-T16-B81. If you're unsure how to get your EPP code, please contact your current Domain Registrar for assistance.

Initiate the Transfer

Before you initiate the transfer, be sure to assign the domain. Please see How to Assign a Domain Name for more information.

  1. Log in to your Bluehost Account Manager.
  2. Click the Domains tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
  3. Click Start Transfer In from the sub-menu that appears.
  4. Enter the domain name you want to transfer (without the www), then click the Submit button.
  5. Process the payment. This initiates the transfer.
  6. When you return to your Account Manager, you will be able to enter the verification (EPP) code to continue.
  7. Update your nameservers, set your renewal preference, and choose if you would like to add Domain Privacy.

Check the Progress

It can take up to five days for a domain transfer to complete, but some registrars will allow you to expedite it by manually approving the transfer. You can check the progress of your domain transfer using the account you have with your current registrar.

Additional Resources

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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