Migrating from GoDaddy DNS to Amazon Route 53

Migrating from GoDaddy DNS to Amazon Route 53

Posted on September 11, 2012 0 Comments
Migrating from GoDaddy DNS to Amazon Route 53

With GoDaddy’s entire DNS service down, I figured it would be a good time to write up a quick migration guide for anyone looking to use this opportunity to jump the GoDaddy ship. This guide assumes that your domain name is with another registrar, and you are only using GoDaddy for hosting. If your domain name itself is controlled through GoDaddy, you’re out of luck until they come back online.

Amazon Route 53

The Progress Kinvey infrastructure relies heavily on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for other components, so Route 53 seemed like a natural choice first choice to cover.

To start, log into the Route 53 dashboard in the AWS Console.

As the landing page describes, your first step is to create a “hosted zone.” A hosted zone is a concept created by Amazon to describe a collection of DNS records (i.e. A records, CNAME records, MX records) that are managed together under a single parent domain name (i.e. www.davewasmer.comblog.davewasmer.com, etc). You can use the Route 53 dashboard to manage these hosted zones. For a good explanation of the different types of DNS records, check out Google’s guide.


Go ahead and click “Create Hosted Zone,” and fill in your domain name in the form that appears on the right:


This next part is important. When you created the hosted zone for your domain, Route 53 filled in some basic DNS records. To see them, select your domain name from the list, and click “Go to Record Sets” in the top right:


You’ll see that Route 53 populated your domain with a set of NS records and SOA records.

Here is the important bit: your current site may have extra DNS records needed.

For example, if you host a blog on Tumblr, and blog.davewasmer.com leads to it, you probably have a CNAME record setup to create that link. Also, if you receive email at your domain (i.e.howdy@davewasmer.com), you probably have an MX record set for that.

Quickly make a list of all these extra records you’ll need, and add them now (use the “Create Record Set” button):


Finally, it’s time to make the switch. Head over to your current registrar, and change the nameservers from the GoDaddy addresses to the ones provided in the NS record set on your Route 53 dashboard.

Note: because DNS servers around the world cache this value, it may take some time to see the change work while the update propogates through the DNS system.

Dave Wasmer

Dave Wasmer

Dave is an Ember.js developer and economist with nine years of experience in the field. He is the creator of Denali JS, a layered conventions Node.js framework for building ambitious APIs.


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