So until recently I have been using 1&1 (1and1) as my hosting company, which all my domains were also registered through. After periodic downtimes and the complete lack of phone support, I decided that it was time to switch hosts. So I created an account at HostGator and started moving everything over.
If it were a perfect world, what I wanted to do was close my 1&1 hosting account, keep the domains there, and point them to the HostGator NS records. But according to 1&1’s FAQ it is impossible to keep the domains after closing a hosting plan. Since HostGator doesn’t have any domain name services, I was left with looking for a company to transfer them to.
After some looking around I decided to move them over to GoDaddy. After reading plenty of horror stories of others trying to move domains out of 1&1, I moved ahead rather cautiously. I had to make my registration information public (not private), unlock the domain, and then have GoDaddy make the request. If you don’t perform these steps in order, 1&1 will spew out an error.
After a full 7 days the domains were finally transferred over, and I could breathe easier. During this process I realized a very important lesson concerning domain names and hosting. Keep them separate! Never again will I keep domains at the same company that I am hosting at. Now that my domain names are at a separate company, I have the complete freedom of pointing them at any web hosting company that I choose (if I don’t stay at HostGator).