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The Easy Way to Switch a Domain to a New Host [4 Steps]


Registering your domain name with a domain registrar is essential during website creation.

However, as your business grows, your domain hosting requirements can also change. You might want to cut down costs or require better customer service. Your current hosting provider might not be able to accommodate all of your needs.

In such cases, you can transfer your domain to a new host when you transfer hosting to one that is better suited for your business. This article discusses how to transfer a domain from one host to another and why you should do it.

Why switch your domain to a new host?

Businesses switch domain hosting companies for several reasons, including the following.

Pricing concerns

As your company grows, your host’s charges can also fluctuate. They might charge hefty fees for any additional services outside your current package. Or, their renewal charges might be substantially higher when compared to the initial fee.

Regardless of the reason, if you’re spending too much on your hosting services, it’s time to move the domain to a new host.

However, price shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. You should also consider the service quality and business requirements before moving your domain to a less expensive hosting company.

Better customer support

If you’re expanding your business website, you require reliable customer support from your hosting provider to ensure your website is always up. A good hosting company will ensure minimal website downtime and will be highly responsive to your queries.

If your current hosting provider isn’t communicative or doesn’t resolve your queries, then it’s better to switch domain hosting companies.

Keep your domains and your hosting in one place

If you’ve purchased your domain name and web hosting services from different companies, you can combine them for convenience.

Many web hosting companies also provide domain registration services to all their clients for free or at low costs.

Once you’ve found a reputable hosting provider, you can transfer the domain name to the new host. But before you start the process, you need to understand how to transfer a domain from one host to another.

How to transfer your domain to a new host (step-by-step)

Once you’ve found a new hosting company, the domain transfer process is easy. Here’s the step-by-step process of how to move a domain to a new host.

1. Check domain transfer requirements with your domain provider

While transferring domains is easy, you need to meet certain minimum standards for the process to run smoothly, such as:

  • 60-day lock: You can transfer domain names to a new host only after 60 days of the initial registration. Domain registrars place a 60-day lock over domain names in accordance with ICANN’s transfer policy.
  • 15-day expiration: Most registrars require the domain to have at least 15 days left before expiration to ensure the domain doesn’t expire mid-transfer.

In addition, your current domain registrar may have their own requirements for how to transfer a domain from one host to another. You need to check all the requirements with your domain provider to ensure you can transfer the domain name to the new host without any hassle.

2. Unlock your domain and get your transfer authorization code

Most domain name registrars lock your domain due to ICANN’s policy. This is to prevent unwanted transfer attempts and alterations to its ownership and contact information.

If you want to transfer the domain, you’ll need to manually unlock it, either through your registered account or by sending a request to your registrar.

Then, you can request the transfer authorization code for the domain through the registrar dashboard. After the request, registrars might take up to five days to generate and deliver the code to your registered email.

3. Contact your new domain host to start the transfer

After you get the authorization code, you can start the process to transfer domain names to the new host. If you’re wondering how to switch domain hosts with Nexcess, here’s the process.

First, you must create a new ticket with our support team to request a domain transfer.

Next, you need to create a DNS Zone with Nexcess to add your records and nameservers from the current registrar.

The DNS zone acts as a backup and ensures that your nameservers are still reachable after the transfer to Nexcess.

While creating a DNS zone isn’t mandatory, proceeding without it might cause your domain to stop working if your previous registrar erases your records after the transfer.

Refer to our article on how to create and edit DNS zones in the Client Portal to create a DNS zone for your website.

Once you form the DNS zone, you need to switch your present nameserver configuration to the Nexcess nameservers mentioned below.

  • ns1.nexcess.net
  • ns2.nexcess.net
  • ns3.nexcess.net
  • ns4.nexcess.net

This ensures that your website experiences no downtime after the domain transfer.

4. Verify and pay for the transfer

Now that you understand how to move a domain to a new host, you can start the domain transfer process. You’ll receive an authorization email at your registered email address requesting the transfer authorization code to finalize the transfer.

Your existing domain registrar initiates the process, and it takes five to seven business days to move the domain to a new host.

After the process is complete, you’ll need to pay your new hosting company for the domain transfer. The price for the transfer depends on the type of domain, renewal requirements, and your new host.

If you want to know how to switch domain hosts or are unsure about the price, please contact our team for a quote.

Frequently asked questions on transferring domains

What are the risks of transferring a domain?

Domain transfers are usually risk-free if done right. But you might lose access to the domain nameservers, which can cause the domain to stop working. That’s because previous registrars usually erase records and nameservers after a domain transfer.

To prevent this, you need to maintain a backup DNS zone for your nameservers before initiating the transfer.

Is a domain transfer the same as a website migration?

No, a domain transfer only involves registering your domain with a different company. This company can also be your web hosting provider.

A website migration is a procedure where you switch your web hosting provider by copying your website files from your old provider to a new company.

How long does a domain transfer take?

The actual process of transferring a domain usually takes five to seven days. But the total time also depends on the previous registrar’s cooperation and the delivery of the transfer authorization code.

Can I make changes to my domain settings during the transfer?

No, you cannot make any changes to your domain settings during the transfer. However, after the transfer is completed, you can change the settings through your new domain registrar.

Should I back up my website before transferring my domain?

No, you don’t need to back up your website before transferring a domain. But you need to create a backup DNS zone for your nameservers from the previous registrar.

Transfer your domain to Nexcess today

The above guide covers everything you need to know about how to transfer a domain from one host to another. While domain transfer is an easy process, you’ll need a reliable service provider to transfer and register the domain for you.

Nexcess simplifies the process by providing seamless service and assistance throughout the domain name transfer process.

Ready to move to a new host? You can contact our domain transfer experts for further guidance, or check out our managed hosting plans to get started today.



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