How to transfer a domain into Namecheap without a huge downtime?
Let's say you want to transfer a domain called "example.com" to Namecheap from another registrar (ex: OldRegistrar) and you are currently using DNS provided by the OldRegistrar. Under normal circumstances, when a domain is transferred out, the name servers associated with the domain will stay the same (e.g., ns1.OldRegistrar.com and ns2.OldRegistrar.com). However, as the domain is no longer with the Old Registrar, the Old Registrar’s name servers will stop responding to any queries for your domain. This causes a downtime until you switch your domain to our DNS. However, this downtime can be reduced in 4 easy steps.
NOTE: If you are using a third party DNS like your hosting company, the domain
transfer will not cause any issues (as the DNS server settings will not change
How to reduce this downtime?
Before transferring your domain to Namecheap, you need to setup FreeDNS for it.
Here's how it works.
- Enroll the domain (example.com) to use our FreeDNS service and explicitly authorize your domain to use our FreeDNS service.
- Copy all your domain settings (host records, email settings etc) to our control panel.
At the other registrar (OldRegistrar), point your domain to use our FreeDNS name servers as well. For information on how to setup custom DNS at your current registrar (ex: OldRegistrar), please check the OldRegistrar's FAQ documentation.
- Wait until the DNS settings for the domain are propagated, and then transfer your domain to Namecheap using the normal transfer process.
NOTE: Unless explicitly authorized
by email and until the name servers are pointed to our FreeDNS servers, our DNS
servers will not respond to queries. Please enroll your domain name to FreeDNS as backup DNS, allow some time for the propagation to go through and then remove your current registrar's DNS leaving FreeDNS nameservers as the only ones for your domain before the transfer.
At this point, there is a chance that there is some downtime as
OldRegistrar might stop responding immediately after you switch to FreeDNS. But
customers who go to FreeDNS servers will get proper responses. So, there is a possibility
for some queries to go unanswered at the OldRegistrar. It doesn't differ from changing from one name server to another regardless if it is FreeDNS or not.