There’s a scene in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye that I think of when I think about domain name transfers. In order to launch the EMP pulse from the titular satellite, two people need to simultaneously insert their keys into a special control panel and turn them at the same time.
This isn’t a unique scene for Cold War era films but I guess I’m the right age that this one really sticks in my head.
The other thing I think about is this vague image I have of cartoon door locks, where the character has to undo an increasingly ridiculous series of locks in order to open or close a door (and their nemesis, no doubt, has somehow managed to get in through other means).
The point is, domain transfers are secure! And they should be! You don’t want someone using the transfer procedure to steal your domain name.
But the truth is, the exaggerated comparisons I bring up are a bit … well, exaggerated. In reality, domain transfers are pretty simple. They just have couple of verification procedures (and no, no simultaneous key turning is required).
How to transfer a domain
The process for transferring a domain name, regardless of where you’re transferring it to or from, depends on the top-level domain, so it might vary from what’s here. In particular, the process is a bit different for .uk domains. But these steps apply for most domains. There are five steps:
Prepare your domain name for transfer at its current registrar
There are two things you need to do at your current registrar to get ready to transfer:
- Unlock your domain, otherwise known as “removing transfer protection,” or “removing the ‘clientTransferProhibited’ status”
- Get the authorization code, or transfer code
If you don’t unlock the domain and if you can’t provide the correct authorization code to Gandi, then we won’t be allowed to transfer the domain in to Gandi.
Start the transfer process at Gandi
There are two places you can launch the transfer process of your domain:
- In your Gandi domains dashboard
When logged in to your Gandi account, go to “Domains” and then click the “Transfer” button and enter the domain you want to transfer in to Gandi
- From the gandi.net homepage
Click the “Transfer” button under the search bar, type your domain, and click the magnifying glass.
Then, if the domain can be transferred, you’ll see a green checkmark. Click “Transfer” next to the domain you’re transferring and then “Checkout” in the top right corner.
Configure your domain and check out
When you check out, you’ll need to enter your authorization code (or transfer code) that you got in step one. This is also where you can configure your domain’s owner or configuration template (i.e. DNS, web forwarding, and even email).
Accept the confirmation e-mail
Once you checkout, you’ll get an automatic email from Gandi. We’ll send this to the email address of the owner account. You’ll need to click the link in this email to confirm the transfer.
Finalize the transfer
When the transfer is complete, we’ll send another email, this time an invitation email.
The owner must accept this invitation for the domain to be visible in their list of domains.
You can choose to import the domain into an existing Gandi account, or add it to a new account.
Why should I transfer my domain?
Before you go, let’s take a look at why you should transfer your domain in the first place. After all, once you’ve got your domain registered, is there really much reason to move it around?
Well, there can be. Here are a few reasons you might want to transfer your domain:
1. To consolidate your domain portfolio
One reason you might want to transfer a domain name from your current registrar to Gandi is because your other domains are at Gandi and you want to consolidate your portfolio.
We offer over 750 different top-level domains for sale, and this is not the case for every registrar, so it makes sense even if you don’t own domains yet but might own them in the future—especially in particular new top-level domains or in country-code domains—that you would want to have them all together.
- Bulk updates
For one, it means you can bulk update your domain names, including renewing them all in one go. While you can’t change the expiration date of your domain names to all line up, you can renew them all at the same time, since you don’t have to wait for the expiration date to renew.
- Configuration templates
Another reason is if you’re using the same configuration (DNS, web forwarding, owner/admin/technical/billing contacts) for some of your domains, all of your domains, or different configurations for different groupings.
Configuration templates let you apply the same configuration to many domains at once. This is obviously not possible unless all your domains, at least all of them with the same configuration, are in one place.
2. To more easily integrate with your hosting or SSL
Another reason for transferring your domains might be if you’re using Gandi’s Simple Hosting service or SSL certificates, having your domain at Gandi will allow you to take advantage of the automatic DNS configuration. If you have your domain at Gandi and you use Simple Hosting, you can add an SSL certificate to your site in a single click, and that convenience could be reason enough to move your domain over.
3. To access a service or feature your current registrar doesn’t have
While all registrars fulfill much the same function, they don’t all have the same services and features available. Gandi domains come “batteries included,” meaning that with your domain, you get:
- Two email addresses with 3 GB of storage
- 1,000 free email forwarding addresses
- WHOIS privacy
In addition to that, though, there are a few features that we think makes Gandi stand out:
- Security features like Webauthn, two-factor authentication, and DNSSEC
- Configuration templates
4. You support Gandi’s mission or general orientation
Finally, you might want to transfer to Gandi because you agree with our mission or our general orientation as a company:
- Customer care
We invest heavily in our support team because we know that when you have a problem, you need a support team that can and will help you.
- No bullshit
Our longtime motto is more than a slogan. “No Bullshit” means we want to be the kind of registrar we would want for ourselves. We’re transparent, we help our community (especially the open source community), and we treat our customers how we would want to be treated. It also means that we’re not perfect, and when we make mistakes, we own up to them.
- Gandi supports
We also support a wide range of projects and organizations who are doing work we believe in. Check them out on our Gandi Supports page.
So there you have it—there’s no need to undo a bunch of cartoonish locks and there’s no Cold War era nuclear launch procedure to go through—just a few simple steps for moving your domain name into Gandi and enjoying the benefits of doing so.
So what are you waiting for? Transfer your domain to Gandi.