I keep track of five internet domain names, one of which is for my personal website, igirder.com. They are all registered at GoDaddy, which is horrible with its salacious ads, and constant attempts to make you upsize for additional services, but it is cheap. I can usually renew the domain registration for $7-8 per year using different discount codes available on the internet. If you get a new domain, they are really cheap, but they are not as likely to give you a good deal once you are there and just need to renew the domain.
Anyway, igirder.com expires in January, so I have been watching GoDaddy for some good deals. Unfortunately the best I could do was about $12 after a 20% discount. I didn’t want to wait too long to try to renew the domain, so I started looking around for other registrars. There aren’t really that many choices, but I had used NameCheap before, getting frustrated eventually with how their website handles the renewal process. The easiest process was for the neighborhood bulletin board’s domain, which I had through the web host, A Small Orange. It was just a flat rate of $10 per year, no hassles and it would renew automatically using the credit card I had on file. But after closing down the bulletin board, I have let that one expire, and it is now available again. I could probably transfer igirder.com to A Small Orange, but I have heard you shouldn’t keep the hosting and registering together.
So I thought I would try NameCheap again and they had a good deal on transfers, “as low as” $4.99, which actually turned out to be “up to” $9.69, which was $9.87 after ICANN fees. The good thing about this is that even if I go back to GoDaddy, I can now get their cheaper transfer rate. But only if it actually works, and I’ve had some trouble in the past.
To get the actual price at NameCheap, I had to add igirder.com to my shopping cart, but then to do the transfer, you have to supply a code that GoDaddy will only give to the owner of the domain. So I unlocked the domain at GoDaddy, which took a couple of minutes to become effective, and then asked them to email me the code. Well, if I was really going to do this, I needed to set up an account at NameCheap first. The old account I had was with the Engineer’s Association, so I wanted my own. So I set up the account and add igirder.com to my cart again. Then give them the code, then pay for it with my credit card. Everything is pretty smooth so far. Now it says my transfer request is in the queue and can take up to 5 days.
I got worried that my website might be down during part of the transfer because I couldn’t see any way to enter the nameservers on NameCheap until the domain is actually transferred. While I think there is a way to do this, my nameservers for igirder are actually at A Small Orange, and they transferred along with the domain name. If I had used GoDaddy’s nameserver’s there might have been some down time. About 40 minutes later I got an email from GoDaddy saying a request had been made to transfer igirder elsewhere and I had 4 days to cancel it, or I could tell it to proceed right away. So I told GoDaddy to allow the transfer. About 10-15 minutes later I got a confirmation from GoDaddy that the transfer had executed. About an hour and 20 minutes later, I got an email from NameCheap saying the transfer was complete, but prior to that, a WHOIS query showed a new expiration date of January 2014 and that the name was held by enom, the company that NameCheap uses to actually register domains.
So that was really pretty easy. The only thing I messed up was that NameCheap actually has discount codes too, and I could have easily gotten $1 off a domain transfer if I had looked around. I think it is good that the nameservers are at A Small Orange, because there was no downtime at all for the website.