I'm currently looking into buying a domain name for a personal project. I see a lot of sites offer 1st year discounts, where your first year for certain .com domains (or other certain domains) will cost only 99 cents and the 17/18 cent ICANN registration fee.

What I'm wondering is whether or not I can sign up for that cheap first year with one registrar and then move my domain to a registrar with cheaper domain renewal services?

I'm looking at 1and1 for getting the cheap first year and then renewing it with a different registrar such as Namecheap.

Edit: I am not looking at using web hosting or email services of any sort, just getting a domain name. Part of my personal project is hosting these services on my own.

  • 2
    We get questions like this all the time. Having a quality registrar and web host is VERY important. Pay the few bones it takes to do it right. Registration and hosting is soooooooo cheap and has been for about a decade and a half. Cripes! You probably spend more on beer each weekend than it costs. Do yourself a favor and do not go through these weird gyrations to save the cost of peanuts. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Jul 20, 2016 at 17:41
  • @closetnoc Which reminds me. Where can I get cheap beer?
    – Rob
    Jul 20, 2016 at 19:28
  • @Rob FInd a nice looking girl with low self esteem! That has always worked for me.
    – closetnoc
    Jul 20, 2016 at 20:20

3 Answers 3


Note the comments about about cheap registrars, but the answer to your question is "yes", you can register cheap and then transfer somewhere else.

There are a few things to note: You can't transfer a domain within 60 days of registration (or a previous transfer) and for many TLDs you pay the next renewal fee in advance when you transfer registrars.

You are going to save your self a whopping $10 or so, it is really worth the hassle? Think bigger than this or you are also going to end up going with a cheap hosting company and from personal experience, it is a really bad idea.

  • 1
    One other thing. As the owner of a web hosting business, it can save tears and heartache having all your services (domains and hosting) under one roof. Trust me on this.
    – Steve
    Jul 20, 2016 at 22:37
  • "You can't transfer a domain within 60 days of registration (or a previous transfer)" this is a gTLD rule. Some ccTLD do also the same, but not all of them. The conditions for a successful transfer will also depend on the TLD (all gTLDs will have the same, per ICANN contract) Apr 10, 2018 at 17:41
  • it can solve problems and it can create other problems. So it is not binary, each case (separate providers or all in same roof) has its own benefits/drawbacks, the good solution will depend on the context. Apr 10, 2018 at 17:42

As @closetnoc alluded to in his comment, the short answer is this:

Yes, you can register a domain with one registrar only to move it over to another registrar before the end of the (discounted) year. As long as you have not changed your contact information close to the timeframe in which you would like to conduct the transfer, you should have no problem.

However, I would agree with @closetnoc that the savings are generally not big enough to make it worthwhile to go through the extra trouble of transferring at the year’s end. I use 1&1's hosting, but I like namecheap as a registrar (for reasons), so I keep all of my files/sites with 1&1, and use namecheap for my domain name registration on all new domains. If you imagine that you might want to use your domain name(s) long-term (past the end of your project—as it sounds like you do), you should research a registrar, and stick with them.


Also, registrars may charge you an extra fee for transferring a domain (both the the original and the new registrar), that can offset the small savings you can make at the new registrar.

  • 1
    If a registrar charges a fee for transferring (apart from ICANN fees) you should find a different registrar.
    – Steve
    Feb 18, 2020 at 11:12
  • they all seem to add a charge, @Steve Jul 16, 2021 at 8:14
  • "you should find a different registrar" - there should be no additional fee. Some domain extensions e.g. .com, require you to renew, but this is not technically a fee as you are extending the domain by a year.
    – Steve
    Jul 16, 2021 at 21:34

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