I want to change the nameservers for a subdomain of our website, without changing the nameservers for the live website. Is this possible?
Have you tried adding NS records for that subdomain to your DNS page?
Yes*. You want to make sure the nameservers you will be delegating to have the record needed in place before you make the change.
*Technically you can’t create the NS record while another record exists with that name, but if you use the API or type really, really fast you can delete the existing record and replace it with the NS delegations with virtually no gap.
I’m not on CloudFlare yet due to the fact that I need to change nameservers for the entire domain (not just the subdomain) in order for CF to control the DNS records. I’m concerned that there may be problems if all the DNS records are not transferred properly. Is that ever an issue?
I suppose if there were issues, I could just change the nameservers back to their default? But how long would the site be down before those old nameservers were updated?
By FAR the most common issue with transferring nameservers is someone typos the name of the nameservers when adding them to their registrar. If you copy/paste you eliminate this problem (seriously, enterprise customers pay me to say this 3 times in increasing volume during their onboarding walkthrough).
Second most common is missing records (import a BIND file from your existing provider). Double check the list. Ask your 8 year old child to double-check your double-checking for a dollar (rent a neighbor’s if needed).
The other possible gotcha is if you have DNSSEC enabled with your current DNS provider you need to remove the before you transfer the domain.
If you do those 3 things you have a very low risk of there being an issue.
So am I correct that if there were problems with the website after I switch to the CF nameservers, I could simply switch back to the default nameservers that are currently in place through my domain name provider?
You are correct.
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