It was with some shock that I awoke today to discover the one of the most used domain registrars supports SOPA. For those of you who aren’t aware, SOPA is a piece of legislation currently under consideration by the US congress that would effectively destroy innovation on the Internet. Google, Facebook, Mozilla, Yahoo!, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, Human Rights Watch and many other organizations oppose this legislation. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a great guide on what SOPA is, and how it will irrevocably harm the Internet.
In my personal opinion it’s abhorrent for an Internet company to support legislation that would crack the very foundation of openness upon which the Internet was built. Which is why I’m transferring have transferred all 11 domains I host with GoDaddy over to www.hover.com today, and sharing step by step instructions for how you can do so as well. I’ve used www.hover.com in the past, and had good luck with them, but others are recommending registrars like www.cheapnames.com .After transferring, please sign this pledge to help fight for the future of the Internet. You can also follow this thread on reddit for more info.
A few things about Hover before getting started:
- Hover offers free private domain hosting (unlike GoDaddy who charge for this)
- Transferring a domain will cost $10, but you get an extra year registration, so it’s effectively free
- Hover is a lot cleaner than GoDaddy, almost making domain registration easy and fun. Almost.
- If you rely on GoDaddy for email forwarding, file hosting, or anything more complex than just domain registration you can call Hover at 1-866-731-6556 and they’ll help walk you through the process
Three Steps to Transferring Your Domain
- Create an account on www.hover.com – this is fairly straightforward
- Prepare your account for transfer by making sure it meets the three criteria: Domain is not private, Verify you’re the owner, Domain is not locked.
- Transfer your account. Get an authorization code for each domain and initiate the transfer
Beginning the Transfer
This is fairly simple, just click the ‘Transfer a Domain’ link and you’re off. Hover will check your domain and let you know if there is anything else you need to do to prepare your domain.
You’ll see a message similar to the below, and next to each domain a count of ‘tasks done’. Most folks will just need to verify ownership of the domain by having Hover send you a test email. By clicking on the link in this test email you have completed verification. If your registration was more complicated you may need to mark as not private, and turn off domain locking as well. I’ll cover these in just a second.
Turn off Private Domain
The trickiest part of this step is remembering where you put your Domains by Proxy username and password, which you probably don’t use every day. Go to Domain Management in GoDaddy, click on the domain you want to change and you’ll see a manage option next to ‘Privacy’ in the ‘Domain Enhancements’ setting. Click this and you’ll be taken to domains by proxy. Click the no-smoking sign and confirm you’re cancelling private domains.
Now on the Domains By Proxy site click the no-smoking sign next to the domain – it will be lit up if you have private domains on.
Don’t worry about marking this as not private, you can make it private again once the transfer is complete.
Unlocking Your Domains
This is probably the easiest part, since you can select multiple domains in bulk and unlock them. First by selecting all the domains and clicking ‘Locking’
Then by unchecking ‘lock domains’
We’re Now Ready To Transfer
Once you’ve completed the steps above you’re ready to transfer your domains, and pay the nominal $10 fee. Before doing this you’ll need to request an authorization code for each domain, this can be done by going to GoDaddy domain management and selecting ‘Send by Email’. In a few minutes you’ll receive a code by email. You’ll need to input this code on the final step of the transfer process.
If you use the offer code ‘twig’ SOPA you’ll receive a 10% discount. I first heard about Hover on This Week in Google, which is a great podcast about Google and cloud services, and where I heard this offer code. If you’ve gotten this far you’re probably the kind of person who would find this podcast intriguing.
For more information about moving your domain you can also view the help and support pages on hover.com.
You’ve taken an important step towards ensuring the open flow of information on the Internet. Share this with your friends so they don’t inadvertently support censorship.