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Our school currently has our website and domain name hosted by another company. We want to move the domain name under our control. I have signed up for a godaddy account for the school and would like to ask our webhost to transfer the domain name to us as we wish to transition our website and e-mails to another system sometime in the future.

The problem is I've never done this before and I need uninterrupted service. I can't find any information about this on the godaddy site. Does a domain transfer to godaddy retain all the DNS records so that website and e-mail traffic will remain uninterrupted?

Update: Sorry if I'm using some of the wrong terminology as I am in unfamiliar territory here. What I know is we do not host or control anything at the moment. There is one company that we paid to get a domain name for us and a website. We also have a separate company that does e-mails. So when I ask the webhost company to transfer our domain name to us using godaddy then I have to edit the DNS records to point to the e-mail and website that our providers tell us to use? We are keeping the email system and website system as it is now but are just moving the domain name to a godaddy account we own.

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A transfer of registrar doesn't change the DNS servers registered for the domain.

If your old registrar was also your DNS hosting provider (and if that DNS hosting service was contingent upon your registration) you should probably get new DNS worked out before you perform the transfer, to be safe.

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And if you are working out new DNS, set the TTL on your domain to something very low a few days ahead of time so the records expire out of resolver caches in time for the switchover. –  squillman Oct 2 '09 at 17:05
    
Do any of the big consumer ISPs respect TTLs anymore? The last few times I've tried to do a clean DNS cutover w/ exponentially decreasing TTLs prior to the cutover we end up with cached resolutions sitting out in the big consumer ISPs DNS infrastructures for around 24 hours, no matter how small we've cranked the TTLs down before migration. –  Evan Anderson Oct 2 '09 at 17:23
    
That's a good question. I could certainly see that they wouldn't... –  squillman Oct 2 '09 at 17:32
    
If we paid another company to grab a domain name and website then does that mean that same company does their own DNS and all I would have to do when I get the domain name is use the same DNS records from before to keep website and emails up? –  techie Oct 2 '09 at 18:44
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It sounds like what you're really doing here is CHANGING REGISTRARS.

If that is the case, most registrars automatically adopt the DNS settings of the old registrar and the switch is seamless.


BUT... if you are also HOSTING with your registrar you'll want to make sure you have a copy of your entire website moved over to GoDaddy ahead of time. Otherwise the switch will take place and you'll be pointing at nothing more than a parked page.


So, the question is... where are you hosting and who is providing your DNS right now?

If you are not doing DNS or hosting with your old registrar you should be just fine.

One last note... if this is your "first rodeo" its usually nice to do this sort of thing on a Friday... just in case you screw up you'll have the weekend to try and fix it.

DNS propagation can be somewhat unforgiving sometimes. :-)

Good luck!

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+1 for Friday :) –  JoshP Sep 19 '12 at 20:02
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Have your domain names already set up, authoritatively (not secondary) as if they were already live. Make sure the serial number on the domain is higher than the serial number you currently have in your SOA record.

Once the command to change nameservers is sent, the GTLD servers (top level nameservers that host your domain) usually all start serving the new data within a minute or so, but remember that they have a TTL of 2 days, so you definitely want to have, to be safe, a 2-3 day period where both nameserver sets are answering.

Hope this helps.

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