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when you register a domain, your registrar runs your authoritative nameservers by default

your registrar, represented by a box with a smiley face wearing a crown: I’m taking care of your DNS!

You can change your nameservers in your registrar’s control panel.

LOTS of services can be your authoritative nameserver

your registrar: I can manage your DNS records!
AWS, also represented by a box with a smiley face wearing a crown: me too!
shopify, also also represented by a box with a smiley face wearing a crown: me three!

Nonplussed stick figure with curly hair: ok chill I only need one of you to do it

how to find your domain’s nameservers

$ dig +short NS is using AWS’s nameservers right now

how to change your nameservers

  1. Copy your DNS records to the new nameservers (use dig to check that it worked) 2. On your registrar’s website, update your nameservers
  2. Wait 48 hours
  3. Delete the old DNS records (to save your future self confusion)

why changing your nameservers is slow

registrar: here’s the new nameserver for!
.com nameserver, represented by a box with a smiley face, wearing a stack of three crowns: ok great, I’ve saved this record: NS 172800

updates are VERY SLOW because this TTL is 2 days

what can go wrong if you don’t delete the old records

Illustration of a nonplussed stick figure with curly hair.

person: I’ll go to $OLD_NAMESERVER to change my DNS records!
person: WHY doesn’t it WORK?!?!?
person: oh right, I changed this domain’s nameservers last year, oops!

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