Learn tips and tricks for getting a free domain, including how to choose you name, extensions, transfers and much more.
Free Domain Transfer Services – Do It Right!
By Norman Brauns
Is your old hosting platform just not doing it for you anymore? Are you paying too much to host your site? If it’s time to switch your website to a new platform, there are a few things you should learn about how to change hosting providers. Don’t worry, a domain transfer isn’t anything like brain surgery – but it does take some research and thought to get it right.
If you’ve found a cheaper (or free) hosting platform for your website, or your current provider lacks the services your online business needs to flourish…it’s time for a change. Here are a few guidelines to make certain your domain transition is simple, straightforward, and free of unnecessary costs:
Set Up Your New Account First
You should always research how to change hosts and get the process started before you shut down your old hosting service. You don’t want to have your website down for long, if at all. Ensure your new hosting account is set up before you transfer your domain over and get it done for free. That way, all the potential complications have been foreseen and dealt with before you take your current hosting platform offline.
Don’t forget that occasionally a new hosting platform might take a few days to set up - particularly for free servers - and if you transfer your domain too early, you might hit a roadblock.
Find Out All DNS and Nameserver Settings
Your name-server and DNS settings will change along with your host. If you don’t update them accordingly, your prize domain is dead in the water. Make sure you do your research ahead of time and work out exactly which settings need to be tweaked to transfer your domain smoothly. Be warned: Sometimes you might have to wait three or four hours for the whole system to catch up with you, so it’s wise to input the data as early as you can.
Another helpful tip: Begin the process at a time of day (or night) when web traffic will be at a minimum, so your visitors and customers aren’t affected heavily by that few hours’ downtime. Then your domain transfer service is free and unlikely to cost you anything in terms of losing business.
Contact Your Current and New Providers
It’s never a bad idea to get in touch with your hosting providers - old and new - and inform them about the process. In fact, you should absolutely do this, especially if you are in any way contractually obliged to do so. If they both know about the free domain transfer, they can usually provide helpful and free assistance to make sure the whole process is dealt with efficiently. They might have settings you aren’t aware of that need tweaking manually, or details for your new account that you have yet to input.
Your new hosting home might have special requirements for transferring an old domain over. Make sure you don’t get caught out or breach any terms and conditions that you’ve agreed to by signing up with your original hosting provider.
Backup Your Files
We can’t emphasize this enough: Make sure every file and setting you need is securely stored elsewhere! There’s never any harm in preparing for the worst-case scenario. It’s free to back up your files, and you don’t want to risk losing everything on your old domain when you transfer over. Record everything vital ahead of time and prevent a potential crisis! Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Most domain transfer services are free between hosting providers. The fact is they want your business so it doesn’t make sense for them to charge you to start using their company. Just make sure you’ve informed everyone who needs to know and you’ve completed the process properly.
Not sure which hosting provider makes the most sense for your company? Check out the top platforms for business website hosting.