Archive for the 'domain names' Category


How to transfer a domain from GoDaddy to Dreamhost

GoDaddy TDNAM (Domain Name Aftermarket) can be a good place to snap up a useful domain or two. 

However even if I snap up a domain at GoDaddy (and end up with the registration at GD as a result) I normally host with DreamHost.  However domain privacy has to be controlled via the registrar.  Anyway, GD’s privacy, hosting (well, OK, everything) is too expensive to my liking so as soon as the domain is unlockable I transfer the registration to DH.

I’ve done this whole process in the space of 30 minutes with privacy back on and the web site up and running again.  The process is only painful if you miss a step and end up with the transfer in Never-Never land!

  1. Log in to GoDaddy & Unlock domain in web panel.  GoDaddy will send you an email to let you know.  You have to unlock the domain to allow it to be transferred out.
  2. If you have GoDaddy’s privacy turned on, turn it OFF!  You should receive a “cancellation confirmation” for the cancelled domain privacy order.
    At this point you need to wait for DNS to propogate since DreamHost’s system will read the WhoIs to send a confirmation email to the domain owner.  If you leave privacy on or don’t wait long enough, good luck ever seeing that email.
    A good way to check whether the new Whois data has propogated is to run a whois on the domain you’re trying to transfer.  If the privacy details have been replaced by your actual contact details then you’re good.
  3. Unlock the domain from the GD control panel
  4. Request an authorization key from GD control panel.  (Some companies call this the “domain secret” code).  You should receive it by email within a minute or two.
  5. Go to DH control panel and click “transfer domains”.
  6. Enter the domain and the auth key
  7. Click transfer and pay the annual domain fee
  8. The email address shown in the WhoIs entry will receive a confirmation email from DH.  You will also see this email address in the DH web panel – “Approval email sent to xxxx”.  If it was sent to the privacy company then you didn’t wait long enough for the WhoIs to propogate.  Click re-submit and try again.
  9. Click the link in the email from DH and accept the transfer.  You must click through and accept the transfer.
  10. DH will send you a confirmation of the transfer.
  11. GD will send you a confirmation of the transfer (no need to accept at this point – GD has
    already been given the auth key rememeber).  [Update – GD has changed the process slightly in that this notice gives a date by which you must respond if you *don’t* want the domain transferred.  You can either wait for this date to pass (it’s a few days) or log in to the GD domain panel and force the transfer by accepting it.]
  12. You should receive another cancellation notice from GD for the cancelled domain.
  13. You should also reveive a success notice from GD saying that the domain has transferred to another registrar.
  14. You should now be able to log in to the DH web panel, make sure they also think the domain has transferred (if you look under “Reg Transfer” it’s no longer in the pending list but *is* in the list of available Auth codes at the bottom of this page.
  15. Go ahead and check privacy is back on with DH (no extra charge for this from DH – thanks guys!!!), finish any other setup of hosting or the domain if necessary and check the domain is working.
  16. You’re DONE!


Domain names with trademarks… ya really want to do that?

Can you use a brand name or trademark inside your domain name such as or or could Google or eBay shut you down?

It’s best to avoid using trademarks in a domain name – that’s the purpose of trademarks – to protect the use of the name. There are valid uses but even having a valid use can land you with a lawsuit. It’s up to you whether you whether you want to risk it.

Example: Perfume Bay eventually lost their lawsuit (sued by eBay) and are renaming their business to BeautyEncounter. Perfume Bay made a name for themselves via this escapade (unfortunately under their old name) and were featured in Inc magazine, Entrepeneur magazine and numerous online blogs and news stories.

You can read the whole story at MakeNoScents where the owners of PerfumeBay finally (in 2007) decided to start blogging the lawsuit initiated by eBay in 2004.
The blog is at

Apparently eBay sued AutoBay, RentBay and even CoinBay.

If you choose a domain which is designed to confuse or mislead because of a trademark in the name, at the very least expect some attention from the trademark owner. At least be prepared to fight or give in when the lawsuit arrives! And if you use or mis-use a trademark which is actively pursued by it’s owner (eg eBay, Apple, iTunes, Google, etc) then anticipate the letter sooner rather than later!

Assuming you’ve spent time and money SEOing a decent engine position for your site, you’ll kick yourself if you have to throw it away.

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