Daily Archives: April 2, 2009

Softwate Update

How to transfer domain names to WebEden

Transferring your domain name from your current domain name provider to WebEden should be easy. But the process can be as complicated as an East End heist gone wrong in a Guy Ritchie film. And what makes matters worse is that it differs between registries, the organisations who have overall control of the specific TLDs (top level domains) e.g. .com, .uk, .eu, .name, .biz, .info. The registries are the domain wholesalers.

Then there are the registrars, who are the domain retailers, better known as domain name providers who have their own rules of engagement. And still the plot thickens. Add to this tags versus auth codes, automatic domain locking, a small matter of confirmation emails and you have the dark underworld of domain name transfer.

But there is a happy ending! Read on and hopefully we’ll be able to straighten out the twists and turns of the transfer process.

The Main Issues

So what can delay a domain transfer from being processed? Frankly, lots!

•    Domain locking – Firstly you cannot transfer a domain if it is locked. Some providers do this automatically so they need to be asked to unlock the domain.

•    Sixty days – When a domain is first created all registrars block transfer out in the first sixty days. Some registrars also apply this restriction within sixty days of expiry. So you may wish to check 1. what rules your domain name provider (registrar) have around transfers out, and 2. creation and expiry dates.

•    Wrong Email Address – When you request a domain transfer a confirmation email is sent to the email address you originally registered against your domain name (unless you updated it). This ensures, for legal reasons, that the correct owner of the domain confirms that they have requested the transfer. The trouble is many people change email addresses and forget to update this very important contact point so they don’t get the confirmation email. If the email isn’t replied to or isn’t done exactly as described in the email then the transfer will fail. In the case of our transfer confirmation email it must be replied to with only the transfer code left in the body – but full instructions are given in the email.

•    Supply the correct ‘TAG’ – A tag is created for each registrar by Nominet (the registry that controls .uk domains). Initiating a .uk transfer requires the domain owner to supply a ‘tag’ to their current domain name provider (registrar). This is what is known as a ‘push’ process so by supplying your current provider with the tag e.g. ‘GANDI’, your domain will be ‘pushed’ towards the new domain name provider, in this case us. Just so you don’t get confused, GANDI is the supplier of domain names to WebEden so when dealing with domains for WebEden, always use ‘GANDI’ as the Tag.

If this tag is not supplied or it is incorrect then the ‘push’ will not be initiated and the transfer will fail, so just remember to supply your current provider with the tag ‘GANDI’.

•    Getting an ‘Auth’ code – The bulk of the other domain transfers, e.g. .com, .net, .biz, .org, use what is known as a ‘pull’ process. Unlike .uk transfers, the owner of the domain must go to their current domain name provider and request an authorisation code or ‘Auth’ code. This is then provided to the receiving provider during the transfer process. Most donating providers put a time limit on the Auth code so if action isn’t taken quickly then the Auth code can expire and the transfer fail. The other bigger trap is transcribing (reading and retyping) the Auth code. It is not uncommon for users to mistake l (L) and I (i) or 0 (zero) and O (letter o). So the surest way to not make a mistake is to copy and paste where possible.

•    Contact Details – When setting up the transfer any missing or incorrect address details will cause the transfer to stall. Check that full and accurate address and postcode details are provided and that the phone number format is correct. Also ensure you use exactly the same name you provided to your current provider as any minor difference will delay the process.

•    Country Restrictions – Finally, some registries (the guys that have overall control of the TLDs) set rules over domain ownership. For example if you wish to own a .eu domain, then you MUST provide an address with the EU. This is more noticeable when buying a domain but some domain owners move countries and this may cause a transfer to fail.

Transferring .uk Domains

Want to know how to make your .uk domain transfer flow smoothly? Just follow the steps below:
1.    Unlock – check with your current provider that the domain is unlocked and available for transfer

2.    Email access – also check with your current provider what email address is registered against your domain. If necessary, change it.

3.    Tag – supply your current domain name provider with the new tag, ‘GANDI’

4.    Contact Details – ensure that the contact details you provide in our domains module match those held by your current provider

5.    Email action – Once you receive the confirmation email from Gandi you must take action – reply to the email, in plain text, changing only the body of the email i.e. removing everything in the email body except the transfer code (code…/ACCEPT)

6.    Have patience – Transfers can sometimes take days, sometimes weeks. This often depends on how quickly you respond, the accuracy of your tag or contact details and how quick your current provider take action to release your domain from their service. While this is the Internet, the process is not instant!

Transferring .com Domains and all the others (.net, .org etc.)
To ensure a pain free transfer of your .com (or .net, .org, .name, etc etc) please just follow the steps below:

1.    Unlock – check with your current provider that the domain is unlocked and available for transfer

2.    Email access – also check with your current provider what email address is registered against your domain. If necessary, change it.

3.    Auth Code – request an Auth code (authorisation code) from your current domain name provider. You must get this before starting the process as you will be asked for this during the transfer process. And try to copy and paste it to ensure there are no ‘typos’

4.    Contact Details – ensure that the contact details you provide in our domains module match those held by your current provider

5.    Email action – Once you receive the confirmation email from Gandi you must take action – reply to the email, in plain text, changing only the body of the email i.e. removing everything in the email body except the transfer code (code…/ACCEPT)

6.    Have patience – Transfers can sometimes take days, sometimes weeks. This often depends on how quickly you respond, the accuracy of your Auth code and contact details and how quick your current provider takes action to release your domain from their service. While this is the Internet, this process is not instant!

What about my emails?

If you value your emails and wish to transfer your domain name into us you should be aware of a few things:

•    If you use webmail (and here’s our guide on how to set up your webmail) then your emails will be stored on your current domain name provider’s mail servers. If you transfer your domain across to us then you will lose ALL your emails as they will remain, and no doubt be deleted from, the mail servers of your current provider. If this is important to you then please see the next point.

•    If you use an email client e.g. Outlook, (Mac) Mail, Thunderbird, then you will need to store copies of your emails locally (on your computer) to ensure you save copies. Most email clients will provide an option to do this. Make sure you save copies of your emails before you initiate the transfer to ensure you have full access to your mail while you still have access.

•    If you wish to set up a client so that you can save copies of your emails then please refer to our article on how to set up your email.

Jargon Buster

Registries: The controlling organisations which include three of the main registries: Nominet, who control .uk domains; Verisign who control .com and .net; Public Interest Registry, who control .org.

Registrars: Your domain name provider.

Auth Code: Authorisation Code, supplied by your current domain name provider (registrar) to transfer your .com, .net, .org, .biz, .mobi etc. This must be supplied to your new domain name provider so that they can request or ‘pull’ the domain across. This is usually a string of letters, numbers of combination of both, and often in mixed upper lower case letters.

Tag: A “TAG” is a handle or label specific to each registrar. This is only important when you wish to transfer a .uk domain. It is usually obtained from your new or receiving domain name provider (registrar) . It must be supplied to your existing or donating provider so that they can release or ‘push’ your domain over to the new provider. It usually consists of your new provider’s name, so when transferring a .uk domain to us you would use our domain partner’s name: GANDI

Locking: A lock placed on your domain by your current provider to stop it being transferred. Some providers automatically lock it, so you must request it to be unlocked for the transfer to take place.

Confirmation email:
You will be sent an email asking you to confirm that you requested the domain name transfer. Two key points: 1. It will be sent to the email address you currently have registered against that domain e.g. when you first set it up, and 2. you must follow the ‘acceptance’ instructions in the email exactly for your confirmation to be accepted. This email generally requires a response within 5 days.

60 day rule: This is the minimum period of time required between the original domain creation date and the time after which transfers are permitted. This delay does apply to all registrars.

Patience: A quality required in ample amounts when transferring. It usually takes between one and six weeks for a transfer to complete although it has been known to take as little as a few days. If domains are locked, auth codes are wrong (or tags not supplied), emails aren’t answered then it could take six weeks (worst case).

Good luck, and let us know how you got on.

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