In the olden days of the Internet, domain name registration was handled by Network Solutions. However, after a while, the government decided that it wasn't fair for one company to have sole control over the domain name market. Therefore, it opened up the business to other companies. Since then hundreds of domain name companies, ranging from sole proprietorships to corporate enterprises have capitalized on a market that generates millions in revenue each year. So, for webmasters, this means there's no shortage of companies to choose from when they register their domain names.
Yet, what happens if they register with one domain name company, but decide later they want it to be operated by another company? Fortunately, they can get their wish through the process of domain name transferring. This is when a webmaster gets another registrar to handle their domain name. All payments are forwarded to the new registrar, as the old registrar is no longer in the picture, (at least when it comes to the domain name). If the registrar is handling a webmaster's hosting, they still need to make the necessary payments to make sure their website stays in tact.
The actual process involved with a domain name transfer will depend on the registrar a webmaster is working with. For instance, if they charge a payment for domain name transfers, this fee must be received before anything can be done officially. Otherwise, the process begins as soon as a webmaster makes a request to do so. Some domain name registrars will require a webmaster to send a notarized letter informing their intent to transfer. Others may allow the request to be done online. Once the registrar authorizes the domain name transfer, it will take 1 to 7 business days for the process to be completed.
Sometimes a domain name may not be transferable. This could be for a variety of reasons such as legal issues with the domain name itself or the original domain name registrar. An example of the former could be trademark problems. For the latter such legal scenarios that could cause problems include bankruptcy and/or issues with scamming. There is also a possibility that a domain name registrar simply refuses to transfer the domain name.
How can a person prevent these types of problems? The best solution involves reading any fine print the original domain name registrar offers. A person should also check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the domain name registrar doesn't have any outstanding legal issues associated with it.
In conclusion, if a person wants to switch domain name companies, there is the option of doing a domain name transfer. If it is successful, the domain name will work as it originally did, with the only difference being who is managing it. However, if a domain name cannot be transferred, a webmaster must stick with the original registrar or consider a URL redirect service.
With a URL redirect service, the original domain name becomes masked by a new domain name. It is not as good as an official domain name transfer, but it is still better than nothing if transferring is not an option.