Is your domain name up for renewal soon or are you trying to transfer your domain name to another registrar?
Dealing with domain name renewals or transfers can be frustrating, confusing, and sometimes you run the risk of some or all of your domain related services going offline, if the renewal or transfer isn’t handled properly.
Before Your Domain Name’s Renewal Date
Renewals are a good time to review the contact information on file with your domain registrar, update your password if needed, add or remove access for any contacts that do work that involves the domain name, decide whether you want to have auto renew enabled, etc.
You should keep in mind that if you update the official domain name contacts that are registered with ICANN, many registrars will invoke a sixty day transfer lock. If you expect to transfer your domain name in the near future, spend a few minutes reviewing these official contacts to avoid annoying transfer locks while in the process of trying to transfer your domain name registration.
Before Transferring Your Domain Name
To transfer your domain name, you’ll need to unlock your domain, disable whois privacy (also known as private registration) if active, and generate or request a transfer authorization code (also known as an EPP code) from your current registrar. You’ll also need to review where your DNS (Domain Name Servers) is hosted.
If your DNS is hosted by your current registrar (e.g. your nameservers point to your registrar) the safest approach to avoid downtime and interruption of any domain related services is to move your DNS (at least temporarily) to a third party DNS host. This could be your web host or a DNS hosting service such as CloudFlare or PointDNS. Once the domain transfer is complete, you could then safely move your DNS hosting to your new registrar.
If you use this approach, you’ll want to change your nameservers before initiating the domain transfer, and make any final nameserver changes after the domain transfer completes. Each time you change nameservers, you’ll need to make sure that the DNS host you’re pointing to has all of your individual DNS records and that each record is configured correctly, as it was at the original DNS host.
Synchronizing Your Domain Name Renewal Dates
Most registrars now allow you to synchronize the renewal dates of multiple domain names to help you keep better track of your renewal dates. The only limitation is that a domain name must be synchronized to a date that is outside of it’s currently registered expiration date. This can be frustrating or confusing if you are trying to synchronize multiple domain names that have expiration dates that are more than a year apart.