Zero Downtime : Domain Registrar moving

This is a topic which I am sure has much debate from techie to techie, but these are the tricks I following when moving my many domains around, some have been not so successful but most the domain moves since 2010 have ZERO downtime which is how it should be.

A lot of the zero downtime comes to planning, no surprise there really I hope, it also comes down to whatboptions you get from your new registrar, so ensure you pick wisely and do not go for the cheapest, cheapest is not always the best - in fact cheapest will almost be more pain the long run.

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So these are the steps I use and they are as follows, these steps are if your new registrar allows DNS pre-creation:
  1. Add new domain in new registrar
  2. Pre-create DNS zone on new registrar to house your current domain
  3. DO NOT change records, you want the SOA to update before update to records, this will be done in step 2
  4. Add a glue record or repoint DNS from the old registrar pointing to the newly created DNS zone
  5. Ensure the new SOA is replicated using www.whatsmydns.net
  6. This then tells your old registrar to point at the DNS on the new registrar
  7. Change your domain "tag" 
  8. Move your domain to new registrar
  9. When moving the domain tell the domain with the new registrar to use the zone you created in step 2
If you have no option to pre-create the DNS zone, then you will need to use Cloudflare as a "clone" DNS service, to complete this following these steps:

  1. Create new domain in new registrar
  2. Create account on Cloudflare 
  3. Add existing domain to Cloudflare
  4. Cloudflare will scan all the DNS records
  5. Activate new domain in Cloudflare with validation tasks
  6. Point your old domain at Cloudflare DNS
  7. Cloudflare DNS is now the SOA, ensure this is replicated using www.whatsmydns.net
  8. You old domain is now served from Cloudflare DNS
  9. Change your domain "tag" 
  10. Move your domain to new registrar
  11. Once the new domain is moved, create DNS zone using Cloudflare DNS as a reference ensure you copy MX, CNAME and A records
  12. Change to domain to use the local DNS rather than Cloudflare
That is a process that works for me time and time again, any issues add it to the comments.