Domain Name Transfers
All websites are defined by unique numbers called IP addresses (ex: 127.84.56.1). However, it would be quite difficult to find and/or remember websites using numbers. Domain names are hostnames that provide more recognizable names (ex: MySite.com) to stand in for numeric IP addresses. By allowing the use of unique alphabetical addresses instead of numeric ones, domain names let Internet users to more easily find and communicate with web sites and other server-based services.
A domain name is created with the help of a registration company called a “registrar”. (There are several well-known registrars – Network Solutions, Enom, goDaddy, etc.) A registrar takes care of the domain name for the customer and provides a control panel to allow the various settings or contact details to be edited. However, the registrar does not have to provide website hosting for their domain names. Because web hosting with a specific domain name requires only minor settings changes (DNS Server), any website hosting company can setup a website with any domain name, provided the domain name owner changes those settings.
Many times a web hosting company will setup an account and pay little or no attention to the domain name. This means that the website owner has to be concerned about renewing a domain name as well as a hosting account. OurChurch.com is different. When purchasing a hosting package from OCC, the domain name is included. In fact, as long as a paid hosting account is open with OCC, all domain name renewals are taken care of – one account, one bill – no worries.
If OCC is looking after the domain name, it will make it easier for our members and prevent oversights that lead to sites going down). We recommend new members transfer their domain names to our registrar. For a small, one-time fee, OurChurch.com works together with the member to transfer the domain name. While transferring your domain name is not required, we highly recommend it simply to make your life easier. So, you do not have to keep track of two separate renewals (website and domain name) from two separate companies. This also allows OCC to offer support for the domain names and their settings.
OCC Domain Transfer Instructions
Upon ordering and paying for a domain name transfer, OurChurch.com sends the following instructions:
Thanks again for ordering OurChurch.Com's website hosting services. To transfer your domain name we need you to do a few things:
1. We will need the EPP or Authentication Key associated with the domain name. You should be able to login to your current domain name registrar's website to get this information or ask your registrar directly.
2. We also need you to remove the transfer lock. You can do this as well by logging into your current registrar's website or asking them directly.
3. While you are getting the Authentication Key and removing the transfer lock, please also check your domain name’s contact email address and verify it is an email account you have access to and check regularly. If it is not, please change the contact email address to one you check regularly or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Once you have removed the lock and made sure the contact email address for the domain name is one you check regularly, please send us the Authentication Key. If you changed the contact email address of the domain name to email@example.com, please let us know that as well so we know to look for the verification email.
Once we receive the Authentication Key and have verified the transfer lock has been removed, we will initiate the transfer. A verification email will be sent to the domain name’s contact email address. You must follow the directions in this verification email and confirm the transfer in order for the transfer to be successful. If you have set the domain name’s contact email address to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will receive that verification email in our help desk and confirm the transfer for you. It usually takes 3-4 days for a transfer to complete.
We can also try to get your website up and running with your domain name much more quickly if you are able to change some of the settings for your domain name. Login to your domain registrar's website and change the Nameserver (sometimes called DNS) settings to:
Nameserver 1: ns5.ourchurch.com
Nameserver 2: ns6.ourchurch.com
NOTE: Any websites or email addresses currently using the domain name will be affected by a DNS change. Please keep this in mind and avoid changing any nameserver settings if an interruption in these services would be a problem.
If you do this, please let us know and we can usually get your new account up about 24 hours after you make this change (before the transfer is completed). Regardless of whether you change the Nameserver settings we still need the Authentication Key from you and have you remove the transfer lock to do the full transfer.
Important: Please note that the domain name transfer service only includes processing the transfer of the domain name in the OurChurch.Com system and initializing up to 2 attempts to transfer the domain name. You are responsible for getting the Authentication Key, removing the transfer lock, and confirming the transfer when the verification email is sent (unless you have made email@example.com the contact email address for the domain name).
Please let us know if you are not able to get the Authentication Key, are unable to remove the transfer lock, or have any questions.
In His Service,
Domain Transfer FAQs
For further reference, below are some frequently asked questions or common situations:
This is a common misunderstanding. When a domain name is registered, it belongs to its owner for the life of the name. Transferring a domain name is the process of moving it from one server to another while maintaining all ownership and contact information. It’s like moving from one apartment to another. You are still the owner of your couch whether you stay at your old apartment of move to a new one. At any time an OurChurch.com member can request that their domain name be transferred to another registrar.
The fight for good domain names today has caused Internet authorities to create policies regarding expiration and renewing. If your domain name is allowed to be expired for more than 30 days it has enters into what is called the "Redemption Period." During this period it costs $200 to renew the domain name. This is not an OurChurch.Com fee so there is no way we can get around it. You have 2 options at this point:
a) Purchase your domain name out of the redemption period for $200 and get your domain name back up within a couple days.
b) Select a new domain name with your hosting package renewal, which we'll register and set-up with your site within 2 days.
(Domain names can remain in redemption for as long as a year and when they are released, domain names are often sold through an auction system thus preventing the previous owner from reclaiming the domain name without bidding a high amount.)
There are reference websites called “whois” sites that will provide domain name information. We like to use the following:
By looking up a domain name, these sites will provide contact, registrar, and renewal date information. Once you have located the name of the registrar, you can phone that company and, after providing some identification information, you can access the settings that go along with that name.
Please note that if you are unable to access your domain name, we will not be able to transfer your domain name.
Transferring your domain name takes one less concern away and gives you the assurance that renewals will be taken care of. Also, if any need for technical support arises, checking the domain name and modifying server information attached to it is far easier when OCC has access to it.
Every domain name host is different and sometimes these hosts change the administrative section for the domain names. Unfortunately, because of this, we cannot give step by step instructions for how to change your domain name settings. You will need to contact your current domain name host for instructions. You may also be able to contact them by phone and have them make the changes for you over the phone.
Because you are the owner of the domain name, it is best if you contact your current domain name host and work directly with them to get the authentication code and make changes to the domain name’s settings. If you are unable to do this, OurChurch.Com can help. This addition help is not included with the purchase of domain name transfer and requires the purchase of maintenance hours for the time it takes us to resolve the situation.
Normally a verification email is sent to the domain name owner within a day or two of the transfer being initiated. The verification email is sent to the domain name’s contact email address. If you have seen a verification email, here are some troubleshooting tips:
Check your spam folder. Sometimes the verification email gets routed to and email accounts spam or junk folder.
Check the administrative contact email address for your domain name. You may have changed your email address since you purchased the domain name.
Check with OurChurch.Com to see if everything is proceeding normally with the domain name transfer. Some domain name hosts can be less than cooperative and try to block transfers. If that happened, the transfer may not have gotten to the point where a verification email has been sent. OurChurch.Com support can give you instructions for what needs to be done.
Some domain name hosts automatically enroll clients in a contact info protection service. In those cases, the contact email address is changed from being the client’s email address to being another email address setup specifically for that domain name and thus the verification email would have been sent to that email account. You may be able to change the contact email address to your own email address, but not always. Sometimes that is restricted. You may need to contact your current domain name host about changing the contact email account. We have also seen issues where the domain name host uses an outside company to provide this service and thus they do not have any access to the email accounts. If that is the case, you will need to contact the provider of the protection service and gain access to the email account.
The time varies, but usually a transfer can be completed within 5-10 business days. This time is dependant on the response time of the client as clients are asked to provide some necessary domain name information and change some settings for their domain name before the transfer can be initiated.
Please note that if you change the nameserver settings, you will not need to wait until the transfer is completed to have the domain name working with your OurChurch.Com website. By changing the nameserver settings, we can usually have your OurChurch.Com site working with your domain name within 1 business day. Then the transfer can take place “behind the scenes”. The transfer will not affect your website at all or cause any down time.
We are sorry to hear that you want to leave OurChurch.Com and hope you will give us the opportunity to resolve any issue you may be having. This section of the help pages is specifically addressing questions related to transferring a domain name to OurChurch.Com. If you wish to transfer your domain name away from OurChurch.Com, please contact us in the help desk.