I’ve been using Network Solutions as my domain registrar for longer than I’d like to admit. Before I moved everything I could to Amazon Route 53, I used Network Solutions as a DNS service, too. If Amazon ever offers a registrar service, I would drop Network Solutions and consolidate in a heart beat. And, despite the increasing layers of aggressive sales and a marketing driven UI, Network Solutions is familiar and relatively easy to use. If I was starting all over, I would probably look for a registrar with a cleaner and simpler user experience, but there’s one registrar I’ve tried to avoid.
Initially, I avoided GoDaddy because I didn’t care for their corporate policies (they’re no stranger to controversy) any more than I cared for their hideous brand aesthetic. Unfortunately, a domain I wanted was trapped in GoDaddy’s auction limbo. To buy the domain I had to participate in their auction and keep the domain registered with them for a minimum period. This is where I developed a strong dislike for everything they do. I have the impression that GoDaddy is built by individual product teams that don’t coordinate or communicate and everything is glued together by a terrible user experience and marketing drivel so aggressive I can’t actually tell what they’re trying to sell. The whole system seems to be fighting itself.
In the end, I ended up with a single domain registered on GoDaddy. Now that it’s eligible for transfer, I’m moving it to Network Solutions with the rest of my domains.
Preparing the Domain for Transfer
I spent a few minutes trying to find my way through GoDaddy’s support site before resorting to Google. Eventually, I found this: Transferring Domain Names to Another Registrar. In short, unlock the domain, get an authorization code, and initiate the transfer from the destination registrar.
First, log in to the GoDaddy Domain Manager for the domain to transfer.
- Go to GoDaddy.com
- Click, “Log In to My Account” (top left)
- Enter your credentials and click “Log In”
- Click “My Account” (it replaced “Log In to My Account”)
- Next to Domains, click Launch
- Click the domain name you’re going to transfer
At this point, I highly recommend you note your domain’s configuration. Be aware that moving the domain will impact any related services you may have with GoDaddy. You’ll need to document your configuration to ensure you can recreate it after the transfer.
Before the domain can be transferred, it needs to be unlocked. Look under “Domain Information” for “Locked:”. If it doesn’t say “Unlocked”, then it needs to be unlocked. (See Locking and Unlocking Your Domain Name for details.)
- Under “Domain Information”, next to “Locked:”, click Manage
- Unselect “Lock domain(s)”
- Click OK
- Click OK
Most registrars will ask for an authorization code when initiating a transfer; Network Solutions is one of them. (See Getting an Authorization Code to Transfer Your Domain Name.)
- Under “Domain Information”, next to “Authorization Code”, click “Send by Email”
- GoDaddy will send an email to the administrative contact for the domain
- Wait for the email and note the authorization code
Once the domain is unlocked and you have an authorization code in hand, you’re ready to initiate the transfer from Network Solutions.
Initiate the Transfer
Go to Network Solutions and log in to the Account Manager. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, under “Manage My Products & Services”, click “Transfer Domains“.
Enter your domain name in the box and click “Get Started”. When the search returns, you should see your domain selected under “Domains Eligible for Online Transfer”. Click Continue, enter your authorization code, and click Continue, again.
The final step is paying for the transfer. The domain is added to a shopping cart. Configure the cart how you want (just the transfer, additional years of registration, etc) and complete the checkout process.
Network Solutions will notify GoDaddy and GoDaddy will send the domain administrator an email with instructions to complete the transfer. This step may take some time; don’t expect it to finish in just a few minutes. (It took about two hours to get my first email.)
Authorize/Confirm the Transfer
I received two emails from Network Solutions – they were essentially identical, but one was sent to my GoDaddy administrative contact address and the other was sent to my Network Solutions administrative contact address. The email contained a link for confirming the transfer and a notice that the transfer must be confirmed within 15 days or it will be automatically rejected.
The link takes you to a page that identifies the domain being transferred, instructions on how to proceed, and a form to complete the authorization. I scrolled to the form, verified that “Authorize” was selected, checked the box acknowledging the Service Agreement, and clicked Submit. Be sure to save a copy of your confirmation.
I received an email from GoDaddy almost immediately. Their email indicated that the transfer was pending and I had five days to decline the transfer. If you don’t decline it, then it will complete automatically. If you don’t want to wait five days, then click the link and accept the transfer using the GoDaddy Domain Manager.
- Log in to GoDaddy “My Account”
- Next to Domains, click Launch
- In the Domains drop-down, select “Pending Transfers”
- On the line for the domain, click “Accept or Decline”
- Click “Accept/decline transfer now”
- Select Accept
- Click OK
- Click OK
After a couple of minutes, I received two emails confirming the transfer and lamenting my departure from GoDaddy. I logged into the GoDaddy Domain Manager and verified that the domain no longer appeared there. Initially, my domain did not appear in the Network Solutions Domain Manager. It took about two hours before I received email confirmation from Network Solutions and the domain appeared in their Domain Manager. I also noticed that the name servers I had associated with the domain on GoDaddy were migrated to Network Solutions. (A happy surprise!)
In the end, transferring my domain was fairly straight forward. It would have been nice if it was faster, but I can’t really complain considering what must be involved behind the scenes. The process really comes down to: unlock the domain, get an authorization code, initiate the transfer at the destination, confirm the initiation, confirm the transfer for the source, wait for it to complete. Good-bye GoDaddy!