What You Don’t Know About Transferring Domain Names

website question & answer with redbox studio

This week’s website Q&A actually comes from 2 people who have problems with their domain names. Most people come to us for help when they don’t know what to do especially if their current hosting or website providers are giving them the runaround.

Sometimes we really don’t get it. If a client chooses not to be your client anymore, it’s easier to part amicably than try to make everyone’s lives difficult.

We have parted ways with some clients too (some clients just aren’t worth your time and effort, honestly). When we do part ways, we are always courteous and returned whatever that needed to be returned (domain transfer codes, for instance) or even refunded money with grace.

Doing business honourably and with integrity should be the hallmarks of any entrepreneur worth his or her reputation.

But there are always black sheep in the industry, no matter what industry you are in.

This week, we received calls from 2 people.

One was a pharmacist who wanted to use our Redbox Easyweb as her website because her old website was no longer serving her well. It was not designed to be a marketing tool and she found it quite difficult to update her website on her own as she wasn’t technically-minded and much of the HTML stuff confused her.

The other was a spa owner. She wanted to get our Redbox Easyweb website for her own use since she was unhappy with her current website provider. She realised she could easily manage her website and update it as and when she wished. However, she had already paid her website renewal fees for her existing website and wondered what she could do.

In these two cases, they were both interested to get Redbox Easyweb.

Buying our Redbox Easyweb is no problem as your website can be ready and live in 2 days. All you need is to log in and upload your images and text.

However, these women needed to do something far more crucial before they could use our websites.

They needed to transfer their domain names first.

Here’s what you need to know: if you’re an entrepreneur with a website, know that the domain name belongs to you. If you want to switch website providers, first you need to transfer the domain name from your current provider to the new provider.

This means you need to ask the current provider for the domain transfer code or what is known as the authorisation code or EPP key.

This code can be considered the secret key or password for your domain name. It ensures that only the owner of the domain name can transfer their domain names. (You wouldn’t want your competitors going around transferring your domain names, do you?)

If you bought your domain name on your own, this code should be available within the control panel section of your domain registrar. In most cases, people don’t usually buy their domain names directly from the domain registrar. They usually enlist the help of their website designer. If your website designer helped you buy the domain name, you need to refer to him or her to get the authorisation code.

When you get the authorisation code, you need to give this code to your new provider and the company will help you initiate the transfer process. Your new provider will key in this code to start the process of transfer. However, this process will involve your current provider and depend on their action too as the initiation process needs their approval before it can be completed.

Approval, in this case, can be done quickly, easily and effortlessly by your current provider. But in many cases, your current provider may be unhappy that you are moving your domain name away. When this happens, lots of issues crop up.

They may choose to delay the transfer approval and leave you hanging in limbo. If your domain name is not transferred because it is pending approval from your old provider, you can’t start with the new website yet.

And in some cases, such as the spa owner’s case, her provider doesn’t want to refund her money and wants her to wait 3 months because it’s a “service cancellation policy”!

Whatever service you provide, let’s be honest – ┬áif a client doesn’t want to use your services anymore, do set her free. Be gracious as a service provider and refund whatever you can (or pro-rate it). Why make life difficult? But sometimes, that’s the thinking of small-minded folks.

So our advice to the spa owner was: forfeit what she’d paid as her current provider simply didn’t want to refund her the money. Sometimes, you just need to write it off as a costly mistake and part and parcel of running a business.

As for the pharmacist, she just needs to wait for the approval from the old provider.

Domain name transfers can be done quickly and easily but anything involving people especially upset people, means it could be a tedious, long and frustrating process. Just be forewarned.

Key Lessons:
  • If you own a domain name, it is your right to transfer it.
  • Your domain name belongs to you (unless you stop renewing it).
  • You can get the transfer code from your current provider but you are at his mercy until he/she officially approves the transfer.
  • It is not so much about how cheap a website provider you can get; it is about how professional they can be when you no longer wish to be their client.
  • If your current provider acts like a prima donna and gives you all sorts of reasons for not refunding your money, write it off as a business expense and move on. There’s no point arguing with illogical people anyway. Consider you made a mistake and you had to pay for this mistake. Start afresh.
  • If you really can’t get back your domain name, buy a fresh, new one or try a new suffix. Example, if you have abc.com and lost it, try buying abc.net or abc.tv or something similar.
  • Here’s more: All you need to know about domain names.

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