How To Transfer a Domain Name To Us
Maintaining your domain registration and hosting services within the same account allows you to manage both services with only one login password, making it easier for you to stay on top of everything related to your website. This article explains the process of transferring your domain to Bluehost, so there are no surprises along the way.
This process includes transfers to/from our MX partners.
Want to host your website here and keep the domain registered elsewhere? Try assigning a domain to your account instead.
- Prepare Your Domain
- Initiate the Transfer
- Check the Progress
- Additional Resources
In preparation for the transfer, you need to update your domain settings with the current registrar. Please contact them if you need assistance.
You may also refer to the flowchart below, which summarizes the process of a Domain Transfer:
Your contact information is included on your domain's record in the WHOIS database, as required by ICANN. Upon transfer, the gaining registrar will use the information on the domain's record to email critical information regarding the transfer to the administrative contact, so you need to correct it. It's best to avoid using an email address associated with the domain; use a public email service, like Gmail, instead.
Updating the registrant contact information (name, organization, or email address) for a general top-level domain (gTLD) will initiate a Change of Registrant process, which requires additional verification before the new information is saved. Each registrar handles this process differently, so check with yours to see what you need to do.
The next step is to disable domain privacy. Privacy masks your contact information from being made public in the WHOIS database. Still, the gaining registrar needs that information to know where to send the code(s) authorizing the transfer. Once Privacy is disabled, the registrar can view the contact information on your domain's WHOIS record and send the domain transfer emails to the administrator; otherwise, those emails will go to a Privacy Protection inbox that cannot be accessed.
Name Servers direct the traffic for your domain to the host server. If you've already moved the website to your Bluehost account, you'll want to update your name servers now to minimize downtime during the transfer; otherwise, you'll have to wait until the transfer is complete. You cannot make DNS changes while the transfer is in progress, so it is important that you do it now.
Our name servers are:
Your new DNS settings will begin to propagate as soon as you save your changes. Each ISP updates at a different rate, usually taking 24 - 72 hours to complete worldwide. During this time, your emails will be down, and your web traffic will be directed to either the old or new host, depending on the visitor's ISP.
The next step is to unlock your domain, making it available for transfer. Some registrars allow you to unlock your domain manually, while other registrars will do it for you.
Finally, you need the EPP code, also called the Authorization or Auth code. It's essentially a unique password for the domain, made up of letters, numbers, and special characters required to authorize the transfer. For example: 1e20459-438b211db# or N7HS-V24-T16-B81. If you're unsure how to get your EPP code, please contact your current Domain Registrar for assistance.
- Log in to your Bluehost control panel.
- Click the Domains tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
- Click Transfer from the sub-menu that appears.
- Enter the domain name you want to transfer (without the www), then click the Continue button.
- Enter the EPP Code, then click the Continue button.
- As part of our two-step verification process, the Admin Verification code will be sent to the admin email address for the domain that is being transferred.
- Enter the verification code when ready, then click the Continue button.
- Update your nameservers, set your renewal preference, and choose if you would like to add Domain Privacy.
- Check the box to agree to the Terms of Service, then click the Add to Cart button.
- Process the payment to initiate the transfer.
- Log into your Bluehost control panel.
- Click the domains tab at the top of the page, then click the transfer in the submenu.
- Or you may also click Transfer from the Action Items section.
- Enter the domain you want to transfer to your account (without www), and click the Continue button.
- Enter the EPP code and click Continue.
- As part of our two-step verification process, the Admin Verification Code will be sent to the domain's administrator. Enter the code and click Continue.
- Here you have the option to change your nameservers, set your renewal preference, and choose if you want to add domain privacy.
- Finally, check the box agreeing to the Terms of Service, then click Add to Cart.
- ICANN requires the gaining registrar to renew the domain for one year upon transfer, which you'll see in the Shopping Cart. Process the payment to initiate the transfer.
It can take up to five days for a domain transfer to complete, but some registrars will allow you to expedite it by manually approving the transfer. In the meantime, you can check its progress by following these steps:
- Log in to your Bluehost Domain Manager.
- Click Transfer in the submenu at the top of the page.
- View the transfer progress under Details, and click the link for more information.
- Did your transfer fail, or are you having trouble getting it started? Check out Domain Transfer Troubleshooting.
- For the domain pricing and to check the other Top-Level Domains (TLDs) supported, please refer to this article.
- If you are trying to transfer a domain name away from Bluehost, please see How to Transfer a Domain Name to Another Registrar.