Making your Website and Domain Happy – how to change registrars


Twice today I spoke with people who are unhappy with their domain host/registrar. It was the same company. (Let’s call them AbusiveTravelingFather.Com or ATFhole.com.) This company offers inexpensive registration and cheap domain hosting, but then traps you with a bad interface, cryptic messages, limited phone support, and basically holds your website hostage.

So you want to switch, but that’s a frightening thing. pairnic
Relax. Not such a big deal.

I called (yes, used the phone and they answered!) my host and registrar to find out what the process is. You can use them or someone else. The sign-up procedure might be different, but the interaction with ATFhole.com will be the same

  1. The domain that you have with ATFhole.com has to have been there for at least 60 days
  2. If you’re hosting with them, make sure you can keep the hosting when you leave the registrar services.
  3. If you want to switch hosts, you MIGHT want to start that process ASAP, before transferring the domain, so that you’ll be finished and done. Just sign up with a new host, and install your website there. (You can back up or export a WordPress site and then upload it to the new site). You’ll have a “tester” site that won’t be live until the transfer goes through.
  4. At ATFhole.com, turn off Transfer Lock. You should be able to do this through the web interface. If not ASK them to do this for you.
  5. GET the  Transfer Authorization Code from ATFhole.com
  6. Find another registrar, like pairnic.com*
  7. Choose “Transfer” Option
  8. Fill in the Domain Name
  9. The new registrar will check to make sure the domain available for transferring.
    1. If it’s expired it can’t be transferred.
    2. You’ll have the option of registering other versions, like .NET. You DON’T have to do this.
  10. New registrar will ask you to create an account
    1. User Name and Password
    2. Enter Authorization Code (from ATFhole.com)
    3. Payment Information
    4. You have to ADD a minimum of 1 year to existing registration.
  11. Transfer Process is started
    1. Read the email carefully.
    1. Approve option makes it happen FASTER.
    2. Even if you don’t approve, it will transfer in 5 business days
    1. Request to ATFhole.com is sent
    2. ATFhole will give initial Yes or No
    3. ATFhole will send an email to you that says, A transfer is being requested.
    4. Log into your ATFhole account to approve or deny transfer
  12. The new registrar notifies you that it’s been transferred.
    1. ALL existing Domain Name Server records move with the server change
    2. ANYTHING THAT IS THERE IS THERE. Your website SHOULD be fine.
    3. However, if you’re using ATFhole for hosting, changing the server  MAY affect the website. This is why you might want to set up the new hosting company in advance
  13. You’re done. Relax. Have a beer or glass of wine.

*P.S. I’ve used PairNic for more than a decade. They are great. Awesome tech support. Reasonable prices. Human beings work there. Disclosure: if you do use Pairnic.com, you can put 54390 in the “Referred by” field, and I might get a dollar. Whoo hoo.