Domain Name Ownership and Transfers
So you have a website and its been running well for a good number of years and you're very happy with it. The time has come to move hosting environments or make some major website changes or improvements and you suddenly find out that the old web design/development company that did your website no longer exists or people have left and have no record of your domain name details that actually is registered to them!
To make matters worse, your domain name is going to expire in 3 days and you have no way of logging into the domain registra to update your domain details and pay for your domain renewal.
In the last few weeks we've been dealing with these very same issues and would like to share the process that is required to transfer the domain name from one company to yourself.
Firstly, you should do a search on your domain name and find out who's details are used in the registration of the domain name. In many situations, the web design/development company may have registered the domain for your website, in this situation you may find their details registered as the owners of the domain name.
This is fairly common practise as most companies will have a reseller account where they will be able to register many domains at a whole sale price. Ideally the details that the in registration should contain your company name, address and other general domain name information.
If this is the case then for most domain registrations, you should be able to sign a few forms to recover your domain.
Transferring a Domain Name
When transferring a domain name from one provider to another you will firstly need the Registration Key (Auth Info, domain password). Sometimes it maybe called something else but most people will understand what bit of information you are trying to gather.
Once you have this registration key, you can use it to start your domain name transfer process. Go to a provider such as Melbourne IT or NetRegistry and find the Transfer Domain Name options.
Once you have registered with the new domain registra and submitted your domain name and registration key, then an email will be sent to the current domain name holder stating that a domain name transfer has been invoked.
They will have to then follow the process to start that transfer.
Once they have accepted to start the transfer then you will then get another email to accept and transfer the domain to yourself.
Please make sure you follow the steps that are outlined in the emails that are sent to your own account.
Now that you have followed the final steps, it may take a few days for the new domain name registra to transfer the domain to you with your details but once that is done, you have full control over your domain name and what happens to it from moving web hosts to renewals.
Hints and Tips
- Never give out your registation keys
- Register your domain with an email address that isn't on the domain itself, e.g. gmail.com, because if the domain expires then you won't be able to get password or username reminders sent to you.
- .com.au domain names shouldn't cost you more than $70 AUD for two years and .com no more than $11 per year