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Step by step guide to transfer your domain to Bluehost

One of the most exciting steps when signing up for a new website is choosing a domain. Conducting a domain name search to find the perfect name and registering it makes everything feel official. However, over time you may find yourself unhappy with your hosting providers’ service or realize that your needs have expanded. You might opt to transfer your existing domain name to another provider.

Can You Transfer a Domain Instantly?

A domain transfer is a process of changing your domain registration. You can transfer your domain instantly if it satisfies the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) transfer conditions, which require you to have had your domain for at least 60 days.

What Is the Average Domain Name Transfer Time?

A domain transfer can take anywhere between five to 14 days to complete. The amount of time it takes depends on how fast you meet the requirements and how quickly your current domain name registrar and the web host you’re switching to authorize the transfer.

To have a better idea of the domain transfer process, keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a domain.

Step by step Guide

  • Choose a new web host and create an account with the host you want to transfer your domain to. 
  • Review your contact information When you register for a domain, the registrar will ask for your contact information because your new web host will be notifying the administrative contact during the transfer.

If you’re using your domain-associated email, you need to change it to a general or public email address such as Gmail.

  • Update privacy settings with the current registrar – Disabling domain privacy allows the current registrar to view your contact information. You will then need to wait for the WHOIS database to update its records with your details.
  • Update your name servers – Name servers direct the traffic from your domain to the host server. 

If you already moved your website to your new host, it’s best to update the name servers now as you cannot make DNS changes when the domain transfer is in progress.

  • Unlock your domain name – Upon purchase, most domain registrars “lock” your domain to ensure it’s safe from unauthorized changes or transfer attempts. 

Unlocking your domain name is relatively simple — some registrars will let you do so manually, while others will do it for you.

  • Request your authorization code – The last thing you need before initiating the domain transfer process is the EPP (or authorization code). Most registrars send this code via email. 

This step often takes the longest — it can take up to five days before you receive your code.

  • Initiate the transfer – Once you’ve received your EPP code, you’re ready to initiate the transfer. Your new web host will guide you through the process.
  • Pay for the transfer – An important thing to note about the domain transfer process is that some web hosts will charge transfer fees on top of annual renewal costs. Consult the web host you’re transferring to for any related charges.
  • Cancel your previous domain registrar – Make sure the domain transfer is completed, and your new account is up and running before canceling your prior service.

If you’re moving to Bluehost, you can check out this guide on transferring your domain.

Why Your Domain Transfer May Be Taking Long

If your domain transfer is taking longer than the recommended amount of time, you may have encountered some issues, such as:

  • Your new web host hasn’t received the EPP code – It can take anywhere from five to 14 days to receive the EPP code in your email. 

If you haven’t received the code yet, check your domain’s registered email address. If it shows the domain-associated email address, you’ll have to file a Change of Registrant request.

Otherwise, if you’ve changed your email address, check your spam or trash folders. 

  • Invalid EPP code – The EPP code is case-sensitive, so if you encounter any errors, simply copy-paste the code again and make sure to remove any spaces before or after it. 

If it still doesn’t work, the EPP code may have expired, so you will need to request a new one.

  • Domain privacy is enabled – If you’ve already received an EPP code but still experience delays in domain transfer, check whether your domain privacy is disabled.

If your privacy settings haven’t been updated, the registrar will send the domain transfer emails to a Privacy Protection inbox that isn’t easily accessible.

Once domain privacy is disabled, it will take up to 24 hours for the WHOIS database to be updated. Only then can the new administrator receive the domain transfer email.

If you’ve tried the fixes here but cannot find the solution to your problem, visit Bluehost’s domain transfer troubleshooting guide. If you’re not satisfied with your current domain registrar, it’s easy to transfer your domain.

Bottom line

If you’re searching for a domain registrar or a new hosting provider, look no further than Bluehost. Because Bluehost is a trusted global hosting provider that offers a large selection of domain names, including geo-location domains. Bluehost domains offer domain privacy, 24/7 support, and the ability to create a fully customizable website. Sign up for a Bluehost domain today.