Since 2006 or so I've owned a .name domain name (3rd level, eg. john.doe.name). I bought it originally at a service called FreeYourID.com, which offered the .name domain as well as automatically making it your OpenID (provided by myOpenID). Since then I've used that domain as my OpenID on numerous sites including StackExchange, as well as hosting a simple personal site there (it's set up to redirect to a different URL, but I just point people to the .name for simplicity's sake).

In 2009 FreeYourID shut down and they made sure all their customers were moved to Key-Systems GmbH based in Germany. I looked around their website and concluded they looked trustworthy so I decided to let the transfer go ahead. Unfortunately, what actually happened was Key-Systems stuck all the .name domains into its domaindiscount24 service, which has a terrible, terrible user interface that feels like it was designed by a committee of sysadmins on drugs (no offense).

So we finally arrive at the question: I want to move my .name domain somewhere else. Somewhere with a management panel that I can figure out, such as Dreamhost. But I also want to make sure nothing gets screwed up, like the fact that it doubles as an OpenID. And given the complexity of the situation, I don't really know where else to ask.

Where should I go and what should I do?

2 Answers 2


I haven't actually done this myself, but I think this might work:

Then your own .name openid should still work. It may be worth testing out the delegation before you transfer. Or you could host your own openid using php: http://siege.org/projects/phpMyID/

  • Hmm, I'm confused about how this works. Why is it that my .name domain works as an OpenID? Is it because of the link tags in the head that Jeff's article refers to? Because I never put those in my HTML, which suggests the host was burning them in or something.
    – Rahul
    Mar 22, 2011 at 15:15
  • Those tags are a way of redirecting things. Your .name domain works because Key-Systems are running some OpenID software on their servers. Mar 22, 2011 at 15:20
  • Aha. Well, after asking the question, I changed the URL the .name redirects to and now it's broken - I guess that explains it. So to get it to work again I guess I should undo that change? (if I even can, given how terrible their UI is)
    – Rahul
    Mar 22, 2011 at 15:26
  • Ah ok, reverted the change and it works again. Why is this so convoluted?! Thanks Paul, I'll try and see about what you suggested. One last thing: got any suggestions for registrars?
    – Rahul
    Mar 22, 2011 at 15:30
  • No, sorry. I just use the ones that provide the hosting I use. Mar 22, 2011 at 15:33

Here's what I ended up doing:

  • transferred the .name domain to gandi.net, which turned up in a list of registrars that accept .name registrations. I had done business with them before (10 years ago) and was reminded of them as well as attracted to their excellent "no bullshit" page
  • once transfer was complete (which took 5 days - thanks a lot dd24), I went into the DNS record settings and changed the A record to point to the location I'm hosting the content of my site. I also added CNAME records for * to forward to myopenid so I can create subdomains eg. xxx.my.name.name for various purposes
  • I added the tags Paul mentioned in his answer from Jeff Atwood's post to the head of my HTML page, redirecting things to http://my.name.myopenid.com/

Then I waited about 24 hours and hey presto, everything's up and running again. One thing of note: when I try to sign in to an OpenID site, eg. StackExchange, I fill in my .name as my OpenID URL and am redirected to the MyOpenID sign in for http://my.name.myopenid.com. Previously I was redirected to a custom MyOpenID login for http://my.name.name/ as I think FreeYourID and MyOpenID had some kind of custom solution set up. So now I have to re-allow many of the sites I already had whitelisted to automatically log me in, but it all seems to be working. Inexplicably. (How does this all keep working, anyway?) 37signals logins are still working too.

I'll post a comment if I run into anything that's broken as a result of this transfer.

  • +1 for coming back and posting the process you undertook so that others may benefit. Mar 30, 2011 at 11:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.