Last week I finally decided to transfer this domain away from GoDaddy to a different registrar. I thought the process should be smooth and painless, but it turned out not. My site suffered several days of down time, as a result, lost a lot of traffic. Here are some experiences I would like to share with you:
1. My domain was not hosted by GoDaddy, and I changed the DNS nameservers before the transfer is complete. This is a very bad decision, DO NOT change it until the transfer is complete in order to minimize the down time.
2. My domain registration was private, so I had to first cancel the private registration first.
3. My domain registration at GoDaddy was set to Locked, I had to unlock it before the transfer can go to the next step. Even though I got the authorization code from GoDaddy, but since the domain is locked, it would not get transferred.
4. After I unlock the domain, and approved the domain transfer authorization email, now the transfer is officially started.
5. If you are a GoDaddy user, DO NOT just wait like I did for 4 days hoping for the “automatic process” to complete, you should log into your GoDaddy account, then go to Domain Management, then hover your mouse over Domain tab and choose Pending Transfers. Find your pending domain, then click on the small icon says “Accept or decline transfer” or something like that, then select “Accept” and click OK. This manual authorization will force the domain to be transferred within hours.
NOTE: once a domain is transferred, it cannot be transferred within 60 days, unless you transfer it back to the original registrar.