Transferring Domains: How to Transfer a Domain Name

Written by MacHighway Team on July 23, 2019

How to Transfer a Domain Name

There are over 330 million domain names registered on the world wide web.

Your domain name is your site’s formal address. It’s the URL visitors use to access your content. It may even be part of your email address.

Most people register a domain name with a web host provider when first setting up their sites. However, what happens when you need to switch web hosts?

If you need to change web hosts for any reason, you can transfer your domain name to your new provider.

This can be a complex process, especially if you need a domain transfer to a Mac-friendly hosting provider. But don’t worry! This post discusses how to transfer a domain name to a Mac host hassle-free.

Web Hosts & Domain Names

Every website needs a web host to be visible on the internet. Web hosts store websites on computer servers, which enable user accessibility.

There are scores of web hosts out there. Hosting plans vary widely, offering different speeds and storage capacities. One thing, however, is common to all web hosting services: domain names!

Web hosts require website owners to register a domain name in order to receive hosting services. Luckily, most hosts offer free domain name registration when you purchase a hosting plan.

In fact, that’s what we do here at Mac Highway! All Mac Highway members get free domain name registration when they sign up for any of our plans, which start at $2.95 a month.

Your domain name is an essential component of your online identity. It translates directly to your website’s URL, the address visitors enter into a search bar to discover your content.

Website owners can even set up email addresses that incorporate domain names for an added level of professionalism.

Domain name registration is not permanent. You will have to renew registration every year (or a couple of years, depending on the plan).

But you get to have that domain name to yourself for as long as you renew–no matter who your web host is

Mac-Friendly Hosting: What is It?

What does it mean to have a Mac-friendly web host?

Mac-friendly web hosts cater specifically to users with iOS or OSX operating systems. In fact, Mac-friendly hosts provide hosting on iOS servers only.

You don’t necessarily need to use a Mac-friendly host if you are a website owner with an Apple product of your own. Most web hosts will host your content regardless of the system that you use.

This is because most hosts use Linux and Window servers. These servers are perfectly capable of hosting any site, no matter its operating system. In fact, most do.

But why might you want a Mac-friendly hosting provider?

In general, Mac-friendly hosts will be fluent in all things Mac. They will be able to assist with any compatibility issues in an effective manner. Plus, they’ll offer stellar customer service should you have any issues.

Other web hosts may not be as knowledgeable about iOS operating systems. This can result in ineffective troubleshooting. These hosts may also be less helpful with other Mac-specific tasks, such as Mac web design or WordPress hosting.

What is a Domain Transfer?

If you’ve decided that Mac-friendly hosting is right for you, you may need a domain transfer.

This is only necessary if you already have a web host and have registered a domain name with that host.

A domain transfer allows website owners to change the “registrar” of their domain name. It basically shifts your domain name from one hosting server to another.

Do I Need A Domain Transfer?

How do you know if you need a domain transfer?

If you’re unhappy with your current domain registrar for any reason, a domain transfer is a good idea.

There’s plenty of reasons why your current registrar may not be doing it for you. As lots of registrars are also web hosts, you may simply be dissatisfied with hosting services.

Your site may be loading too slowly, for example, or you may be unimpressed with the host’s customer service. You may feel as if you are paying too much for your hosting plan.

Most importantly, you may be in need of a web host that understands your specific Mac needs! In all of these cases, a domain transfer is in order.

How to Transfer a Domain Name to a Mac Friendly Hosting Provider

Domain transfers can be unnecessarily complicated, no matter what host you are transferring to. We’ve broken the process into simple steps below.

1. Make Sure You Can

First things first, only initiate a domain transfer once you’ve have chosen a new domain registrar!

Most domains can only be transferred after they’ve been registered for 60 days. However, check with your current host and your new host to see what your timeline is.

Your ability to transfer a domain may also be locked. This is a good thing–it means that no one can transfer your domain unauthorized. However, you will have to unlock this feature with your current host before transferring.

The process for this will vary depending on your current host.

Remember: your website’s platform may not be the same as its web host. You may, for example, have a WordPress site, but you may have purchased your domain name from Bluehost. In this case, you’ll need to work with Bluehost to unlock and transfer your domain.

2. Obtain Your Auth/EPP Code

Your domain name will have an authorization code or EPP code. This is a unique code, kind of like a registration number, that you’ll need to initiate a domain transfer.

You can find this code by logging into your current registrar account. Copy this code down in a secure place.

3. Secure Your New Hosting Plan

Sign up for your new hosting plan with your Mac-friendly host of choice. When it’s time to input domain information, specify that you wish to use a domain you already own.

Depending on the hosting provider, you may be able to initiate a domain transfer then and there. In this case, you will be prompted to input your authorization/EPP code.

You must have an unlocked domain in order to authorize this domain transfer.

Domain transfers can take time, depending on your current host. Expect to wait up to two weeks for an effective domain transfer. Your new host will notify you upon completion of your transfer!

Final Thoughts: Your Domain Transfer

Now you know how to transfer a domain name to a Mac-friendly host. What comes next?

It’s time to choose that Mac-friendly provider! Find our tips for doing so here.