How Much Should a Domain Transfer Cost?

If you need to move your domain from one registrar to another, it will take more than electricity to keep the lights on.

Published Categorized as Domains & Hosting

You’re trying to decide whether or not to transfer your domain name to a new registrar. But money doesn’t grow on trees, and if you go through with it, you want to know how much it will cost.

In this post, we’ll talk about the typical costs of transferring a domain name from one registrar to another—along with what you can expect and things to look out for.

Most .com, .net, and .org domain transfers cost between $10 and $20, depending on the host, the registrar, or the website platform you want to transfer to.

Exactly how much it will cost to transfer a domain name comes down to:

  • The domain’s extension;
  • The transfer rates for that extension of the host, registrar, or website platform to which you want to transfer it.

Generally speaking, the staple .com, .net, and .org domain extensions cost less to renew and transfer than most of their newer counterparts, such as .co, .io, .me, and .online.

On the day this post was published, for example, Namecheap—who I buy my domain names from—was charging $9.18 for .com transfers and $10.98 for .net and .org, while .co transfers were $21.98 and .io was $36.98.

Usually, it’s cheaper to transfer to a domain registrar, like GoDaddy or Namecheap, or a web host, like Bluehost or SiteGround, than it is to transfer it to a website platform, like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.com.

Do Registrars Offer Deals and Discounts for Transfers?

Many registrars offer special deals and limited discounts for domain name transfers.

If you want to transfer a domain name on the cheap to a registrar you haven’t worked with before, many registrars offer great discounts—sometimes in the range of 25% to 50%—for first-time customers.

If you’re already a customer of a registrar and want to transfer your domain name at a low price, you should consider doing it at Easter, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday when seasonal sales are running.

(One frugal thing I do in my business is to save a few hundred dollars during the year so I can register and transfer domains and purchase hosting packages cheaply on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I’ve saved a ton of money with this trick throughout the years!)

Now, if you’re someone who’s transferring a few to a few dozen domain names to a new registrar, don’t rely on standard rates. Instead, contact the registrar’s sales team to negotiate special rates before initiating the transfer.

When You Transfer a Domain, Does It Renew?

When you transfer a domain name from one registrar to another, the remaining term at the previous registrar usually isn’t lost—it gets carried over instead. The domain will also renew for +1 year as part of the transfer.

Suppose it’s February 1st, 2022, and you’d like to transfer a domain name that expires August 1st, 2022, to a new registrar. After the transfer is done, your domain name will be renewed until August 1st, 2023.

At least that’s how most registrars handle it. So take my words as a general rule of thumb and check your registrar’s pricing to make sure this truly applies to you. This is usually explained in the Questions & Answers on the lower half of the “Transfers” page.

Can You Transfer Country-Code Domains?

You can freely transfer generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) from one registrar to another. However, this isn’t always possible for country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs).

Rates and regulations for ccTLDs are set by the countries to whose territories they apply. Some countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, allow anyone to buy and transfer their ccTLDs to any domain registrar that sells them.

Others don’t—and even restrict who can own domain names with their country-specific extensions and which registrars can sell them. This can turn buying and transferring ccTLDs into a major headache even for experienced webmasters.

Which Registrar Should I Transfer To?

The long and the short of it is, it depends.

I work with Namecheap. They have reasonable prices, host great sales and offer coupons frequently, and their support is phenomenal. Within minutes, I can chat live with real people—not a robot—who know exactly how to help me or who to connect me to.

Which domain registrar do you trust the most? Do you find their domain registration, transfer, and renewal rates reasonable? How fast to respond and able to help you are their support people?

And, last but not least, to whom does it make the most sense to transfer? For example, if you already own a domain name but want to create a new Squarespace website on it, consider transferring the domain to Squarespace as you do so.

Depending on which registrar you’re transferring out of, a domain name transfer can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 5-7 days.

Image courtesy of Igor Vetushko /Depositphotos

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