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Switching Domain Registrars

If you have a domain name, you probably don't think about it until it's time to renew the registration. There is, in fact, a thriving competitive industry for domain name registrations. Domain registration is not related to your website and email hosting, so you can change registrars easily without creating an outage, and it doesn't involve any setup changes in your network. Many organisations can make a respectable saving just by choosing a more competitive registrar.

See Why Buy A Domain Name? for some background on domain names.

This is the procedure:

  1. Who is your domain's current registrar? Find out using the WHOIS function at http://whois.ausregistry.net.au/.

  2. What is the current registrant email for the domain? You can find this out using WHOIS above.

  3. Is the email address current? If not, you'll have to write to the registrar to notify them of the proper email address. There is usually a proforma available. This may take a few weeks to process. Check WHOIS to see when the change has been made.

  4. When is the registration renewal due? Check your last invoice. You can transfer domains between registrars at any time, not just at renewal. If you have less than two months to renew, act swiftly.

  5. What is the domain registry key? This is a password used by the registrars to move the domains around. If you don't know the registry key, go to the registrar's website and look for a Retrieve Registry Key or Password function. Then enter your domain name and the key will be emailed to the registrant's address.

  6. What is your registrar's current renewal price? Check your last invoice or their website for prices.

  7. What competing prices are available? Check the websites of the accredited registrars using the list at http://www.auda.org.au/registrars/accredited-registrars/. Don't register a domain with any organisation not on the official registrars list. (Some ISPs will handle domain registrations for you but they are simply reselling services from one of the registrars.) There are about 20 registrars, but you needn't check every one of them. As a guide, a price of roughly $50 for a two-year registration for .com.au or $20/2 years for .org.au is reasonable. Anything more is uncompetitive.

  8. Transfer the domain to the chosen registrar. Use their website to initiate a domain transfer. You will be prompted for the domain name, registry key and your own details. Once the transfer has been submitted, you'll receive various notifications as the transfer is processed by the registry. When finished, you can use WHOIS to check the domain shows the new registrar. When the domain is up for renewal, you will receive an invoice from that company instead of your original registrar.

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Question/comment about this page? Please email webguru@cadzow.com.au