Renewing Domains
February 3, 2004 8:02 PM   Subscribe

I have a couple of domains coming up for renewal... with I'd like to renew with someone else -- is there any trick to it, or do I just go to my new registrar of choice and do it?
posted by me3dia to Computers & Internet (17 answers total)
Best answer: You can choose any registrar you want, then initiate a 'transfer' rather than a 'registration.' My registrar often offers a $6 transfer special, which represents savings off a full, new registration.

The catch is, I think the current registrar can limit how large a window in which to allow a transfer. I doubt they would you transfer out at the point (or after) renewal comes up, for example. If you've got 45 days or so, I'd think you'd be fine.

GoDaddy is quite popular. I use Dotster, mostly. I'm sure the more technical folks here can give you companies that have even less convoluted and suspicious terms of service (though none can top Verisign).
posted by pzarquon at 8:15 PM on February 3, 2004

Response by poster: Wow, that's it? Cool. I'm coming up on the 45-day mark, so I better get moving.
posted by me3dia at 8:17 PM on February 3, 2004

Best answer: I use GoDaddy and have been quite happy.

There is a 'lock-down' period. It's not actually a registrar based restriction, it comes from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). That hasn't stopped a couple of registrars **cough** Network Solutions **cough** from making things difficult for people trying to move away by expanding that window.

The standard 'lock-down' is 10 days prior to expiration. Once a domain has expired you cannot transfer it to another registrar. You would have to renew with your existing registrar, then wait 60 days before requesting transfer to another registrar.

For most registrars a transfer is a pretty automated process. Make sure the email address for the administrative contact is up-to-date before you submit your transfer request. This is where the 'losing' registrar will send confirmation emails. You'll need to follow the instructions in that/those emails to complete the transfer. Read those emails carefully, as some can be misleading and confusing.
posted by answergrape at 8:48 PM on February 3, 2004

I've had good luck with, and their prices beat
posted by scarabic at 9:02 PM on February 3, 2004

Ditto on -- used them for a dozen domains, always fast, no problems, and inexpensive.
posted by davidmsc at 9:06 PM on February 3, 2004

A colleague swears by, but I've heard so many good reviews of GoDaddy I just can't decide.
posted by will at 9:16 PM on February 3, 2004

I used to use domainmonger but have switch to godaddy. Happy so far.
posted by dobbs at 9:25 PM on February 3, 2004

I've registered three domains and used a different registrar each time -- Domainmonger, GoDaddy, and Doteasy. No complaints or issues with any of them, and GoDaddy is the cheapest.
posted by Aaorn at 9:37 PM on February 3, 2004

I have registered hundreds of domains and is the best by far in terms of price as well as service.

Avoid like the plague - I think that the service at is the worst I have ever had to endure online and their prices are not even competitive any more so there is no reason to use and every reason to avoid them.

Note: It takes a few days for to send you an e-mail to confirm the transfer so try to start the process as early as possible. I have had no problems with dot com names even eleven days before they were up for renewal. For a dot info name, on the other hand, kept sending me the 'your domain is about to expire' and 'your domain name has now expired' even though I had successfully transferred the domain to weeks ago. (This was a problem with's database and, of course, the domain did not expire.)
posted by cup at 10:42 PM on February 3, 2004

I ended up settling on for some domains, but I have heard good things about GoDaddy.
posted by rudyfink at 11:33 PM on February 3, 2004

oh man. another time mefi has cost me money.

I've been a big fan, but after seeing that GoDaddy is currently regging domains for $7.95, I had to go buy one i've been wanting.

So far, it seems pretty good.

at the moment, the only thing is that godaddy tries to push a bunch of services on you during registration, but it's not too terrible (also, it looks like some things, such as "Auto Renew" are easy to opt out of after you reg.)

anyways, i might switch the rest of my domains over the next time they come up if godaddy stays as inexpensive and reliable.

posted by fishfucker at 12:57 AM on February 4, 2004

I use and love them. No spam, no upselling, easy interface, and they allow redirects if you don't want to host a domain just yet [you can redirect the URL and up to five email addresses with your registration which is in Euros but it's like $11-12]. One thing to make damned certain: you can receive email at the address that is the contact for the domain in question. This is the only hold-up since domain registrar transfers are done by email. This is the same as what 'grape said. If, for some nutty reason, you can't still get email at the address that goes with the domain, you'll have to institute a complicated series of faxes that is not hard but it can be annoying.
posted by jessamyn at 4:56 AM on February 4, 2004

Slightly off topic.......... Why the move from Just the cost? Service lacking? Better features elsewhere?
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:52 AM on February 4, 2004

jessamyn: Does Gandi not have a user interface that allows you to change your admin contact information? Most registrars offer this, and for my money, it's a requirement.
posted by answergrape at 6:43 AM on February 4, 2004

Does Gandi not have a user interface that allows you to change your admin contact information?

Yes, if I'm understanding your question correctly. If you change the contact name, it requires a new handle, everything else [phone/email/address] in the ID is changable via a form. The downside to Gandi is that they're in France and have no phone support [you can fax stuff to them or send registered mail in a crisis, I have never had to do this, I handle about seven domains there]. The upside is that they seem to let you handle a really large amount of technical-type stuff via their forms like customized DNS and actual maintenance of your nameservers if they're under a hosted domain.
posted by jessamyn at 7:57 AM on February 4, 2004

Response by poster: It's all about cost, y6y6y6. is still $35 a year, whereas almost everyone else is well below that. Domain hosting has become such a commodity that I can't see the justification for paying that as much as four times the cost of other registrars.

Thanks for the godaddy suggestions, everyone. I'm probably going to go with my host,, which also has a $7.95 registration deal (as well as some pretty good cheap hosting).
posted by me3dia at 9:03 AM on February 4, 2004

I've used gandi for a while and they've been great. No spam, no hassle and what jessamyn said about the techy side is true.

I remember when i first signed up with gandi, i googled for the best in service and satisfied customers. gandi seemed to come cheapest and most preferred.
posted by triv at 10:28 AM on February 4, 2004

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