If you do not have a NameCheap account, you can sign up here
If you do not have a DigitalOcean account, you can sign up here
If you do not have a Linode account, you can sign up here

GoDaddy has been good over the years. The domain registration is quick. the UI is still confusing sometimes but that’s ok.

To transfer a domain to another register requires careful planning because it may/will result in downtime either for the site and/or emails both of which are critical for running your business. So take the time to do it properly and/or hire a consultant to help you with the process to minimize the downtime.

What led us to move away from GoDaddy as a registrar? 

The price per domain has increased a lot unless we buy the Domain Discount Club product from GoDaddy which is a membership product that costs $200-$300 USD per year. So basically GoDaddy doesn’t really appreciate customers who are long time customers & use their service. That’s from the customer's perspective. 

But from a business perspective selling a virtual product such as domain discount club is genius. It gives you lower prices per domain. In order to find out how much you’re actually paying for a domain name you have to factor in domain registration or renewal price and the domain discount club cost divided by the total number of domains you have. That's a bit of extra work because. You're a busy professional you have more important things to take care of.

Of course if you have very few domains in your account it probably doesn’t matter if the domain price is $10 or $25 per domain name. 

At the time of this writing we have about 50-60 domains with GoDaddy. Some of them are developed and others are registered for future products. In this context the cost adds up pretty quickly.

Additionally, the chat bot is not that intelligent. The chat reps weren’t that helpful either.

I had to tell in ALL CAPS exactly what I wanted and the other day I spent between 30-60 minutes checking with GoDaddy support.

It was a waste of time. For the time I was in the chat I could have initiated the transfer of several domains. That’s exactly what I did the next day.

Changing a domain registrar is easier when

  • You use the registrar as a registrar only i.e. no hosting, no email etc.
  • You use another service to manage your DNS records.
  • Your emails are hosted elsewhere

For most of our domains we use external email service providers such as Google Workspaces or Zoho mail. For other domains we have used GoDaddy only for the registration. The DNS services are handled either by DigitalOcean or Linode. You probably need to have a VPS with either of the providers in order to use their DNS servers. 

You can also sign up for a Managed DNS Provider.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_managed_DNS_providers

Using a Managed DNS provider or another service to manage your DNS records makes it very easy to switch because after changing the registrar you just need to set custom DNS servers and all should continue working as before with minimal or no interruption of any of the services.

Transfer a Domain Away From GoDaddy

Again, to reiterate the importance of the transfer of a domain to another register requires careful planning because it may/will result in downtime for the site and/or emails.

Steps:

  1. Planning
  2. Export the domain’s zone file
  3. Unlock the domain(s)
  4. Turn off the privacy settings
  5. Get the authorization codes
  6. Check your emails from time to time in case you need to confirm anything or if the transfer has failed for some reason.

Planning

Again, this is critical. You need to write down that you need to do or who should ask questions.

Ideally, open a text file or a note in your favorite Note taking app.

Export the Domain’s zone file

It is very important to export the zone file for that domain for your own records. This includes all the DNS records that you have for this domain at GoDaddy.

For example TXT records related to SPF records which tell which servers or IP addresses are allowed to send emails on your behalf.

Google and other DNS based verifications.

https://dcc.godaddy.com/control/YOUR-DOMAIN-NAME/dns?plid=1

Remember to replace YOUR-DOMAIN-NAME text with your actual domain name

How to export Domain zone file in GoDaddy

Unlock the domain(s)

Normally, you should keep your domain's locked all the time. This prevents from somebody making unauthorized changes to your domain. Your registrar should offer that via their control panel. If not, you should contact them.

When check the domain lock status it is usually labelled as Registrar lock or Client Transfer Prohibited

https://dcc.godaddy.com/domains?showAdvanceListView=true

Turn off the privacy settings

Go to the domains
https://dcc.godaddy.com/domains?showAdvanceListView=true

more here: https://ca.godaddy.com/help/change-my-domain-privacy-settings-32283

Get the authorization code

The direct link is: 

https://dcc.godaddy.com/control/YOUR-DOMAIN-NAME/settings

Remember to replace YOUR-DOMAIN-NAME text with your actual domain name

then go to: Additional Settings section 

and click on Transfer domain away from GoDaddy

https://ca.godaddy.com/help/get-an-authorization-code-to-transfer-my-domain-away-from-godaddy-1685

Confirm the transfer or wait some time

All the knowledge base articles were pointing to the link below but I wasn’t seeing any of the domains. It seems some time has to pass in order for the domains to appear in this list.

https://dcc.godaddy.com/control/transfers

Click on Transfer Out tab

Click on the select all checkboxes and Approve the transfer.


The domain name(s) should be on their way to the new registrar.

Post Transfer steps

Ok. So the transfer has been completed. 

The next steps are:

  • Import the zone file or recreate the DNS records that you had before.
  • Set up any website or email forwarding at the new registrar.
  • Check if the web site loads correctly
  • Send an email from your personal email to your business email to see if the email is received successfully
  • Test your site's contact forms to make sure that your potential customers can reach you or you'd be losing business
  • Pour yourself your favorite drink and celebrate the job well done.

Image credit: Gary Bendig, image id: WPmPsdX2ySw on Unsplash

P.S. Are you wondering which domain registrar we transferred the domains to?
It's NameCheap

You can get a new .COM domain for under $10 using this link

Note: The links pointing to NameCheap are affiliate links and we can get a commission if you decide to transfer your domain to them or buy a domain.

If you do not have a Linode account, you can sign up here
If you do not have a DigitalOcean account, you can sign up here
If you do not have a NameCheap account, you can sign up here

Disclaimer: The content in this post is for educational purposes only. Always remember to take a backup before doing any of the suggested steps just to be on the safe side.
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