I am about to move hosts for my website. I need to change the nameserver (Siteground -> Cloudflare) as well as edit the A-record so that it points to the new host (SG -> Cloudways).

Since I have never carried out a move like this before and my research has not shown anything yet, the question is which procedure is best so that there is as little downtime as possible.

  • Should I first move the nameserver while the A-record is still pointing to the old host and only direct the A-record to the new host when the nameserver has been propagated?

  • Or can I pre-configure the new nameserver with the new A-record and then carry out the move directly all together?

  • Or is there another better approach that I haven't thought of yet?

I have already reduced the TTL everywhere, so the records should be updated as fast as possible.

2 Answers 2


It depends how long after the switch the previous servers do reply properly. If you change NS records for how long do the old ones still reply to queries for your domain? If you change A record for how long the old IP address do provide the service for which it is accessed?

If you don't specifically need a hard cut, configure the new nameservers with an exact copy of the zone, and change there the A record. As well as the NS ones too of course.

Then change the NS records at parent, through your registrar.

If you need something cleaner then you need to change the NS records first, wait at least the TTL on them at the parent (registry) side, and then change the A record at the new nameservers.

  • It's an ecommerce website, so a clean change would be better
    – fischbrot
    Oct 10, 2022 at 17:04
  • The old servers (nameservers and host) are up and running for at least two weeks. Either way, wouldn't it be safer to change nameservers first, as it will take some time for them to propagate ( I cant change TTL for NS records at registrar ) and point to the new host after nameserver propagation is finished?
    – fischbrot
    Oct 10, 2022 at 17:10
  • To get more specific: Registrar is Godaddy, but current nameservers are set to Siteground, A-records pointing to their own hosting server. I want to change nameservers to Cloudflare and point to a new host ( Cloudways)
    – fischbrot
    Oct 10, 2022 at 17:16

I would suggest to do the nameserver change first, wait till the propagation time is exceeded and do the A record changes. Having less moving parts will make it easier in both troubleshooting or rolling back in case something goes wrong. If your domain registrar allows you to reduce the TTL value of the NS records, the 2nd option won't be a huge challenge, but if they do not allow the NS record TTL value reduction the 2nd option could be a problematic move.

  • 1
    "If your domain registrar allows you to reduce the TTL value of the NS records" That is useless as what counts is the TTL on NS records at the registry (parent side). At least for all recursive resolver being parent centric. Oct 10, 2022 at 13:37

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