Server migration and DNS records


My hosting company is migrating the sites on one server to a new one. The IP number along with many other pieces of information will change. Do I need to make the changes line by line or is there a quicker way of bringing all that information from my DNS Zone Editor on cPanel to Cloudflare DNS?

Thank you,

Cemal Ekin


Thank you for asking.

In case if the cPanel interface → DNS zone editor doesn’t provide you a way to export your DNS records (from a new cPanel hosting) as a txt file (BIND formatted), it might be worth of asking your web hosting provider to provide it to you to make it easier for you do make those changes just by uploading it to the Cloudflare DNS.

In case there is some kind of a concern, and as far as cPanel uses AutoSSL, the SSL certificate would have to be re-issued and renewed.
Therefore, I’d suggest you to unproxy :grey: (DNS-only) your DNS records at DNS tab of CF dashboard for your domain name.
Leave it “as-is” in that process of changing IPs.
Once your website works sucessfully and without any errors over HTTPS, switch them back to proxied :orange: and make sure you’re using Full (Strict) SSL.

If anything else might happen, you can always use the “Pause Cloudflare for this site” option from the bottom-right corner of the Cloudflare dashboard.

Therefrom, you might have an option to either export them and import to Cloudflare, otherwise open up 2 tabs in your Web browser and compare each, then re-add them manually to the DNS at Cloudflare.

Helpful link:

Otherwise, you could use either the Cloudflare API to update them or manually and indivudally double-check each of the existing DNS records and changing the IP / value of them.

Nevertheless, if any of them is missing, we can easily add them manually with just a few clicks, or by using the step-by-step instructions from the tutorial article from below:

I will read them all very carefully. However, I have changed the name servers not knowing how to quickly update the CF entries. The site is now on the new server and seems to be working fine. Maybe I should wait a few days to have the dust settle and then try bringing it back to CF. As you said, I will probably have to deal with the certificates. Is my plan of waiting OK?

Thank you for your detailed explanations.

1 Like

Sure, it is.
Just before you change the domain nameservers, make sure to check if you’re using DNSSEC with the online tool from below:

I doubt you do, but just in case, before switching domain nameservers, it’s a good practice to check this too and disable DNSSEC and remove any existing DS records (if so) at your domain registrar.

Nevertheless, double-check all the DNS records at DNS tab of Cloudflare and compare them with new cPanel DNS Zone Editor.

For best practices, keep DNS records at DNS tab of Cloudflare dashboard unproxied and set to :grey: (DNS-only), so only DNS is being used from Cloudfalre and it continues to work without any of the Cloudflare features (firewall, security, etc.) being applied to :wink:

Once ready and once nameservers propagated successfully, switch them to proxied :orange: one by one and check if any issues, write back here or create a new topic so we could troubleshoot and help you to fix the issue (if any appears) or find a solution.

In the meantime you can check this using any of the available online tools for DNS propagation check for your domain name like below ones:

Furthermore, the regular DNS propagation time usually takes up to 24-48 hours to complete.

Sometimes, users experience an issue like NXDOMAIN error in their Web browser which could be realted to the DNS cache at our local ISP (we have to wait a bit longer maybe for proper DNS propagation). If that so, you could try to determine if it’s the same behaviour:

  • Use a different Web browser, or try clearing your Web browser cache
  • Use a Private window (Incognito mode) or a VPN connection if possible
  • Use your mobile phone (4G LTE, mobile data, cellular) if anything different

I still see the old information on the DNS records list. If I change the name servers to CF ones, do I need to make those changes to the new ones manually?

For a staging site I have, I totally deleted it from Cloudflare and waited a day. Now I added it once more, it grabbed the correct information and filled in those fields. Would it be advisable to delete my main site, from Cloudflare, wait a day, and add it back again to make the transition back to it easier?

Thank you very much for your expertise and willingness to help.

I deleted from Cloudflare, waited a day or more, added it once more. Now I see two sets of entries pretty much for every entry. Do I need to delete the old IP number lines? What else do I need to do?

Thank you.

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