Best way to migrate DNS

I’m switching from 1and1 to Dreamhost and I am looking for the best way to change over DNS with minimal or no interruption of services. What are the appropriate steps?

So far I haven’t changed ‘transferred’ the domain. I have the domain loaded on Dreamhost, configured all the settings, then went to 1and1 and changed the name servers to Dreamhost, but none of the records would resolved after 6 hours, so for now I changed everything back.

I remember when I switched to 1and1 last year, I wasnt able to add the domain to 1and1 until after it completed the transfer which happens randomly it seems (5-7 business days), and when it finally transferred, it happened to do it during the middle of the business day, and killed our email and website for ~3hrs.

Is there a way I can move DNS with no noticeable impact to users?

There’s always going to be -some- impact. You can minimize it, though.

What you want to do first is 24 hours before you change name servers, lower the TTL (time to live) for your domain to 300 seconds (5 minutes). Wait the 24 hours, and then change your name servers to us.

Give it another 24 hours, and then change the TTL back to 14400 seconds (4 hours).

It really shouldn’t take that long to pick up the new IP when you do that, but I usually leave it a day for the stupid DNS caches out there.


1and1’s TTL is 24hrs and as far as I know cannot be changed.

I can’t find how to change the TTL on Dreamhost… Is this possible?

Also, if I have the domain configured on Dreamhost, and change the name servers from 1and1 to Dreamhosts, it should work properly? Even though I am in the ‘2week’ free trial, and have not changed my registrar over? I tried this last night and after 6 hours, nothing was resolving.

You can only change your TTL at the domain registrar. If you registered your domain with 1&1, then you would have to transfer your registration to us in order to make those changes. :frowning: Looking at their docs, they don’t make any of that easy, either!

I’m a little surprised they don’t let you change TTL!