Well, I spent more than my fair share of hours over the past week or so trying to get a domain name transferred into my name from someone else. It was registered at GoDaddy.com, and I’m more than certain that their prices are rock bottom for a reason.
It all seemed to be going far too smoothly after all. The transfer into my name was in and of itself not a big deal. After that, I needed to point the DNS servers to my web server that I have hosted on my business DSL line, compliments of Verizon. The unfortunate downside of my business DSL line is that I don’t have direct access to my DNS entries. Most of my domains are registered with a company called Active Domain and it works pretty well. I know enough about DNS that I can create a new Address record for any new sub-domains that I happen to think I need. The MX records for mail are similarly pretty simple.
I was hoping to have that sort of access with GoDaddy, but apparently not. It turns out that unless you’re hosting your domain name with them, they won’t give you access to their DNS in any way, shape or form. They wouldn’t even accept requests. The web provider at Gear Host was similarly unhelpful. They wanted me to get the username and password for the hosting account from Rob Walling, whom I bought the domain from. Since he had other domains under the account I certainly wasn’t going to ask for them, so instead I asked if he would place the request. They weren’t willing to make the entries either, since the domain wasn’t hosted with them.
The domain is paid up until 2009, and I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of plunking down cash to transfer the domain to Active Domain for the sole purpose of creating DNS entries, but it seemed like that was my last resort so I did it. And of all the times for the registrar safety nets to kick in. It turns out that you can’t transfer a domain from one registrar to another unless more than 60 days have passed since the contact information on the domain was last updated so my request was denied because the contact information had been updated with my info not 3 days before.
I certainly wasn’t going to wait for 2 months to transfer the domain. I wanted it hosted on my server, and I wanted it there three days ago. Then I remembered something. There’s a ridiculous number of DNS servers out there. There’s got to be at least one of them that’s free. In fact, I found two of them. Granite Canyon and Zone Edit. I tried Granite Canyon first. After about 3 days of fighting with it and no updates appearing in their domain servers (yes, I checked with nslookup as well…) I tried using Zone Edit. GoDaddy might not let me make entries in their DNS servers, but I can update the DNS servers for my domain to my hearts content. Within an hour, Zone Edit had my changes propogating through the internet and they were visible on my own machine.
Within two days, it appears that traffic to my server for clickcess.com has picked up, and people are checking things out. For less than 5 zones, Zone Edit gives you these services for free. For people who need direct access to free DNS servers, these guys have definately done things right. If GoDaddy’s giving you a hard time transferring a domain name fast, give Zone Edit a try.