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YCAUG
Getting Started

How does GoDaddy actually handle DNS when transferring in?

I thought my question was simple: how do I minimize downtime when transferring a domain from another registrar to our GoDaddy account?

 

This led me down a support rabbit hole. I have done many transfers over the years with the GoDaddy recommendation, using DNS Hosting (or Off-Site DNS) before starting the transfer and having the zone file automatically apply once the transfer completes.

 

But this time I had a problem. Some other company was already using GoDaddy DNS Hosting for the domain I was trying to transfer, but using another registrar. This showed up in an error when I tried to set up DNS Hosting in preparation for the transfer. So I contacted GoDaddy support.

 

I asked the question about minimizing downtime, seeing two options: A) Using a third party DNS server in the meantime (in this case, AWS Route 53 was set up since the old web host wasn't cooperating with making changes) or B) Taking control of DNS Hosting beforehand.

 

I spent three hours talking to support in perhaps the worst interaction I've had. I had to teach the support agent on the other end the basics of DNS, and apparently I'm the first person to tell them about GoDaddy's DNS Hosting/Off-Site DNS, and had to send them links to GoDaddy support documentation to convince them that it existed, and then that it's supposed to automatically apply once a transfer completes. After finally being escalated to a different support tech, I was told authoritatively a few things:

1. My option A above was impossible, since GoDaddy automatically switched to GoDaddy DNS servers once a transfer completed.

2. Option B wouldn't work because GoDaddy can't shut down someone else's DNS Hosting until after the transfer completes, at which point I would have to contact GoDaddy support again to file a takedown request, with the website and email being down (or controlled by a third party) in the meantime since I couldn't set A records, MX, etc. 

3. I could possibly set up DNS Hosting if I could convince this other company to voluntarily delete their records, which wasn't likely to happen given our history.

 

So we tell the client there could be an unknown amount of downtime on their website and email while this takedown process works its way through once the transfer completes. They weren't exactly happy with this, but it was necessary to get them off their old registrar.

 

Once the transfer completed, I found the AWS Route 53 name servers still applied to the domain. I was livid. This means that support lied to me, wasted my time, and had me tell the client unnecessarily there was going to be an outage.

 

So nothing like this happens again, I need to know in exactly what situations GoDaddy takes over DNS, and when the old name servers stay in place. If I can't rely on GoDaddy support to give me the correct information, who am I to rely on for GoDaddy's policies? Documentation is sparse, so I come here, and beg you, dear reader, to help me out.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
Nate
Super User II

Looks like the domain transfer process has changed recently, but it's silly if they don't let you select the nameservers beforehand.  The Bulk Domain Transfer appears to still be on the old process, that can still be used for just 1 domain or up to 500 domains.

View solution in original post

4 REPLIES 4
Nate
Super User II

Keep existing nameservers or use GoDaddy nameservers should be an option you select in the domain transfer process.

YCAUG
Getting Started

Where? I didn't see it when I processed either of the two transfers I dealt with last week, it doesn't show up in GoDaddy's video or text guides, and GoDaddy support explicitly said this was not possible when I asked them. Can you show me a screenshot of where this option is?

Nate
Super User II

Looks like the domain transfer process has changed recently, but it's silly if they don't let you select the nameservers beforehand.  The Bulk Domain Transfer appears to still be on the old process, that can still be used for just 1 domain or up to 500 domains.

View solution in original post

YCAUG
Getting Started

Interesting, yes, this still appears to be an option, but just in the bulk tool. Thanks.

 

Yet another time where the "award-winning" support team failed me in a spectacular way, even after escalation.