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How to Transfer A Domain Name To Us

A domain transfer is moving a domain name from one registrar to another. This can be done for various reasons, such as consolidating all of your domains with one registrar, getting better pricing, or taking advantage of additional features offered by the new registrar. Also, managing domain registration and hosting services in a single account is convenient.

By doing so, you only need to remember one login password to access all aspects of your website, simplifying management and saving you time. Additionally, it allows you to easily keep track of your website's performance and make any necessary changes.

This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to transfer a domain name to Bluehost. If you wish to transfer a domain from one Bluehost account to another, please refer to this article: How to Assign a Domain from One Account to Another Account. If you're considering transferring your domain from Google Domains to Bluehost, check out: How to Transfer a Domain from Google Domains to Bluehost.

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

This process includes transfers to/from our MX partners.

Transferring a domain name can be easy, depending on a few factors. The first thing to consider is whether or not your domain is eligible for transfer. In most cases, domains can be transferred if they have been registered for more than 60 days and are not subject to legal disputes or holds.

Important:

  • You can transfer 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 will be stuck with us for 60 days before it can be transferred out again.
  • Complete all five steps before initiating the transfer domain to avoid any delays.
  • Avoid transferring your domain within 45 days of a domain that has been recently renewed, or you could lose that renewal year.
  • Transferring your domain doesn't automatically move your DNS records. You'll need to set them up again in the Bluehost DNS panel to ensure your website functions properly. 

Register your ideal domain and make your business appear more professional and make a lasting impact online.



How to Prepare for a Domain Name Transfer

Once you have confirmed that your domain is eligible for transfer, you must take a few steps to prepare for the transfer process. You need to update your domain settings with the current registrar, which typically involves obtaining an authorization code from your current registrar, which you must provide to Bluehost. You must also update your domain's contact information, including the administrative, technical, and billing contacts. Please contact them if you need assistance. You may also refer to the flowchart below, which summarizes the process of a Domain Name Transfer to Bluehost:

domaintransfer-flowchart

Review Your Contact Information

Your contact information is included on your domain's WHOIS database record, as ICANN requires. 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 must 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 turn off 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 name 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 to minimize downtime during the transfer; otherwise, you'll have to wait until the transfer is complete. It would help if you did it now because you cannot make DNS changes while the transfer is in progress.

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 edit 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 others will do it for you.

Obtain the EPP Code

Finally, you need the EPP code, also called the Authorization Code, 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, don't hesitate to contact your current Domain Registrar for assistance.

How to Initiate a Domain Name Transfer to Bluehost

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.

How Long Does a Domain Name Transfer Take

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

Additional Resources

Obtain the IPS Tag

Nominet, the registry for .uk domain names, uses Internet Provider Security (IPS) tags to identify the hosting company linked to a particular .uk domain. It's a single alpha-numeric sequence, all in capital letters, such as 123-REG. Instead of using an EPP code to authorize the transfer, .uk domains require the losing registrar change the IPS tag to the tag used by the gaining registrar, which will initiate the transfer.

The customer will contact the new registrar to inform them of their intent to transfer and get their IPS tag. Many registrars aren't set up to automatically accept incoming transfers for domains using IPS tags, so they may need to adjust their system in preparation to receive the domain.

Once they have the gaining registrar's IPS tag, the customer will open a ticket with us to request that we update their domain. We will only accept these requests via ticket.

We cannot request an IPS tag change, or any other change, on an expired domain the way we normally would. Instead, we need to open a ticket for eNom to change the tag.

Summary

Transferring a domain name can be straightforward as long as you take the necessary steps and work with your current and new registrar. First, prepare the domain transfer with your current registrar. This includes reviewing the contact information, turning off domain privacy, updating the name servers, unlocking the domain name, and obtaining the EPP or Authorization Code. Next, initiate the transfer process with Bluehost. Please note that the transfer may take several days to complete. During this time, your website and email service may experience some downtime. Therefore, it is essential to plan and minimize any disruptions.

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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