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I have recently moved my website over to be hosted on Google App Engine but my domain registrar is still Hostmonster. Now I want to transfer my domain over to Google Domains.

I am trying to understand what will happen to my website while this happens. Will my website continue uninterrupted or will there be some down time? If there is down time, then how long should I plan for or is there some method out there for keeping the site live during the transfer?

This is the doc I'm looking at for making the transfer.

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  • Check the TTL on your DNS entries, make sure your GAE address is propogated out, then swtich registrars and switch DNS servers all at once. As long as your name is sufficiently cached "out there" with a long enough TTL, it should all keep working w/o interruption – ivanivan Dec 27 '17 at 22:31
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You are not specifying at least the TLD involved, and it is relevant as transfer procedures vary a little among TLDs.

So, in gTLDs, a registrar transfer is made without any change in nameservers. Of course the new registrar, as soon as the transfer is finished can technically change the nameservers, but this is not a consequence of a transfer, just as explicit update after it.

As long as no nameservers are changed, the registrar change has no impact to the resolution of your domain (this is per design), so no downtime.

If you also wish to change nameservers you can instruct your registrar to do it just after the transfer (or sometimes with some TLDs together with the transfer). Speed of changes will be related to:

  • TTLs in your zone
  • refresh value in SOA
  • and for each observation, including you, if you did a query just before the switch (which will fill the cache) and which recursive nameserver(s) you use.

Of course the new nameservers must be configured with your domain before putting them in the registry zone, otherwise you will have first queries with invalid replies.

Everything above is irrespective who are the old and new registrars: in a given TLDs, transfer rules are the same for all, and in the DNS resolution rules are the same for everyone.

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