How does a domain transfer work and what should be considered?

How does a domain transfer work and what should be considered?

A domain is like us humans: it needs a home. And sometimes domains have to move, too. We’ll show you how a domain transfer works, what to keep in mind and why it’s worth switching to Hostpoint.

Dario Baumgartner Dario Baumgartner · Head of Domains

Registering a domain with the desired name and the preferred extension is now very easy and, usually, not too expensive either. Owning a domain is also highly popular in Switzerland. More than 2.4 million domain names have already been registered using the Swiss top-level domain (TLD) .ch. Statistically speaking, the Swiss have more than 0.28 domain names per capita. This might not sound like much, but it’s near the top of worldwide rankings.

While some people are content to own one single personal domain, more and more individuals or companies are naming several, or even dozens, of domains. If you also operate a website under the domain or use the domain name for e-mail traffic, you may also have certain needs and requirements with regard to domain hosting.

Most web hosting providers offer this “hosting” of domains. Hostpoint is not only the largest web hosting provider in Switzerland – it’s also a leader in domain registrations. There is probably no other Swiss registrar that manages more domain names than Hostpoint. So, as you might expect, we’ve given the many domains that we’ve set up in our hosting infrastructure a convenient and familiar feel. We believe that as well as making managing your domains as simple and straightforward as possible via our Hostpoint Control Panel, other factors also play an important role in the “well-being” of your domains: security, availability and performance.

Reasons for moving your domain

Changing registrars is not uncommon, even though most customers are generally satisfied with their domain hosting. But there can always be reasons why customers want to change the registrar of their domains. A domain transfer is a routine and generally fairly straightforward process. Some customers may be dissatisfied with the support service they get from their current provider. Or they complain about the technical reliability of the domain hosting. Or maybe the provider shoots their prices up.

There may also be practical reasons though as to why moving domains is an option. For example, it could be that your own website is already hosted with Hostpoint, but the domain is still registered with the provider it was first registered with many years ago.

Domain owners with high technical standards and an extensive portfolio – for companies and organizations, but also for private individuals – can also benefit from managing their entire domain portfolio with one single registrar. It means you can just go straight to a customer service team if you have any technical and administrative issues, you always have an overview of your entire domain portfolio, and you can make settings for several domains quickly and easily.

How a domain transfer works

If you have decided to transfer one or more domains from one registrar to another, there are a few things to bear in mind. We explain the procedure for changing domains to Hostpoint below for you:

  1. Request your current registrar for a transfer code (also known as an “auth code”). In many cases, you can do this pretty easily via your registrar’s user portal. Otherwise, we recommend that you contact the respective provider’s support service.
  2. As soon as you have received a transfer code (displayed in the user portal or sent by e-mail), go to our domain transfer page. Enter your domain in the search field.
  3. You will now be taken to our online shop, and you will be shown that the corresponding domain is, of course, already in use (because you already own it). Clicking on “Transfer to Hostpoint now” will take you to the transfer screen in the shop.
  4. Enter your transfer code here and then click on the “Transfer” button.
  5. Now complete your order process. You can add other Hostpoint products to your order, such as a web hosting product or Domain Shield, our all-round security package for your domain.

Our competent and friendly support staff will be happy to help you with any questions you may have about your domain transfer. Contact us by phone at 0844 040404, by e-mail at or use our migration help form.

Detailed instructions and further information about transferring domains to Hostpoint can also be found in our Support Center. If you would like to transfer several domains to Hostpoint at once, please pay particular attention to the information under Bulk Transfer. For the relocation of very large domain portfolios (from 50 domains upwards), you can request a quote using this form.

Simply enter the transfer code for your domain in the online shop and start the migration process.

How long does the transfer of my domain take?

After you place your domain transfer order with Hostpoint, the entire technical transfer process often simply runs in the background, lasting just a few minutes. Hostpoint will notify you by e-mail once the domain transfer is successful. You can then make settings for your domain as required in the Hostpoint Control Panel.

To ensure that your website and e-mail traffic continue operating as smoothly as possible during the move, Hostpoint takes over the name server entries previously set for the domain in question. After the transfer, you can change this in the Control Panel.

For domains with the country TLDs .ch (Switzerland), .li (Liechtenstein), .de (Germany), .at (Austria) and .eu (European Union), the process usually takes just a few minutes. Other TLDs such as .fr (France), .it (Italy), .com, .net, .org, and .swiss or .zuerich may take up to a few working days. The transfer process with the British TLDs .uk and even works without a transfer code. In this case, the previous provider places a tag on the corresponding domain. The new provider starts the transfer process and, if the date has been set correctly, the transfer goes through.

Possible stumbling blocks to consider

In most cases, domain transfers are fairly straightforward and relatively quick. However, customers should be aware of certain stumbling blocks before making the switch:

What happens to my contract term if I switch?

When transferring a domain, many customers rightly ask themselves what will happen to the remaining contractual term that they still have on their domain contract with their current registrar. Hostpoint is guided here by the requirements set by the registries responsible for the various TLDs. We also strive to make it as easy as possible for our customers in terms of administration.

For many TLDs, such as ch, .li, .at and .uk, Hostpoint takes over or credits the remaining term of a domain contract in the event of a switch. The term is also applied to generic TLDs such as .com and .net, but also .shop or .online. However, the domain contract is automatically extended for another year.

For certain country-specific TLDs such as .de, .fr and .it, the contractual term is also extended by one year, but the contract start date is set to the date of the transfer. For this reason, a domain transfer for these TLDs is not recommended until the end of the previous contractual term.

Your domain deserves a good home

You can switch one or more domains to Hostpoint at any time. Our domain hosting infrastructure is designed to meet the highest standards in terms of security, availability and performance. In 2013, we became the first registrar in Switzerland to receive official accreditation from the internet administration company ICANN, which has since then certified Hostpoint as highly secure and reliable with regard to managing domain names.

Hostpoint domain customers enjoy a number of benefits. DNS hosting and any domain forwarding (HTTP redirect) are completely free of charge, and customers receive full administrative control via the DNS zone editor in the Hostpoint Control Panel. In addition, the security standards DNSSEC and DANE are automatically activated for all .ch and .li domains transferred to Hostpoint. DNSSEC can also be activated for most other TLDs.

For just CHF 12 per year, customers can also offer multiple added protection features for their domains with the Domain Shield security package: protection against loss of the domain, protection against misuse, extra protection against DDoS attacks and guaranteed protection against third-party access to data. With DNS Anycast, Domain Shield also delivers faster loading times and improved reliability.

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