Set and prepare DNS for domain transfer
Last Updated: December 12, 2023
When you transfer a domain from one registrar to another, it’s important to consider how the transfer will impact the configuration of the Domain Name System (DNS) and how this may interrupt your domain services such as website and email. This article provides information on how to prepare DNS to minimize the impact of transferring a domain.
A domain will not work without DNS records in place and records can be difficult to retrieve from the previous registrar once the transfer is completed. If you use your current registrar's nameservers it’s important to note that the nameservers and DNS will stop working shortly after your domain completes the transfer out. One exception may be if you have hosting with the same registrar. For clarification on these policies, please contact your current registrar.
The first thing we need to assess is the current setup. There are typically 2 scenarios:
- Using third-party nameservers – If you do not use your current registrar's nameservers then no change is needed, and there will be no downtime. The nameservers will stay the same through the transfer. Third-party nameservers are usually your hosting provider's nameservers.
Using your current registrar's nameservers - If you wish to transfer your domain and you use your current registrar's nameservers, we recommend the following:
- Copy and record your current DNS records with your current provider. Taking a screenshot is a great reference.
- Start the domain transfer to your new registrar
- Once the transfer is complete, update the nameservers to the new provider’s.
- Replicate the DNS records with the new provider.
Note: Name.com currently does not support any import functionality for DNS records or zone file transfers, so DNS records have to be manually copied and reapplied in the new system. However, we do have the ability to export DNS Records as a CSV file if you are transferring a domain away from Name.com. Please copy these records before you start the transfer as they are not available after the transfer has been completed.
Note: Nameservers cannot be changed once a domain is pending transfer, per ICANN policy. Therefore, it is ideal to keep your existing nameservers in place until the transfer is completed.
For more information regarding DNS records and Nameservers, please visit the Domains section in our Knowledge Base.