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Issues porting my domain from another provider


I’m trying to bring over my domain over from Squarespace. I’ve gone through the necessary steps on their end. They essentially provide you with a verification code, which I have, and then tell you to “[c]opy the transfer authentication code from this email and send it to your new domain provider.”

When I try to register the domain under my Netlify account, I get the following error message:

"A DNS zone for this domain already exists on NS1

It appears this domain is already managed by our DNS provider, perhaps via another service. You can manage your domain via the external service that also uses NS1 as DNS provider, or contact support."

I’m completely clueless what to do next. Any insights greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Hi @katjacodes ,

We cannot accept inbound domain transfer requests from other registrars.

As per Domain registration | Netlify Docs

If you are currently using Squarespace you will need to create an account with another registrar (e.g. Namecheap, Godaddy, etc.) and transfer your domain from Squarespace to them. Once done you can configure your domain to use Netlify DNS by setting the NS for it.

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Hi, @katjacodes. There is a support guide about this here:

The second section covers this case:

"A DNS zone for this domain already exists on NS1"

  • If you are trying to use a domain name purchased through Name.com , please see the existing Support Guide guide.
  • Alternatively, this domain has been used with another service (such as Squarespace) who, like Netlify, utilise NS1 to deliver their service. It might have even have been used by somebody who owned the domain before you! There are two potential solutions:
    • Discover which other service you have used this domain with. You will need to contact that service and request them to remove the configuration for this domain at NS1. This is the only solution which will enable you to use our Managed DNS with this domain name. Unfortunately, NS1 are unable to tell us the service provider where this domain is already configured. Additionally, until this service provider is able to resolve the issue, you may wish to perform the below step in the interim.
    • Alternatively, instead of using our Managed DNS, you can manually configure the custom domain and external DNS at Netlify.

You can also create an account at NS1 and then contact their support team to ask them to delete the other DNS zone there.

If there are other questions, please let us know.

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Thank you so much, @luke! This is super helpful. So, I reached out to Squarespace to request the removal of the domain configuration at NS1, and this is what they replied:

If you are being asked to edit your nameservers, I recommend asking Netlify specifically if you have to replace them with something else. You can get to your nameservers by logging into your Squarespace site, then click on Settings > Domains > the name of your domain > Advanced Settings and then click on the Nameservers tab in the upper right hand corner

You’ll have the option to use Squarespace nameservers which is sounds like you are being directed not to, and then you have the option to use custom nameservers. You can choose custom nameservers and add in what Netlify tells you

I hope that information is helpful. As an additional note, transferring domains does not usually involve editing your DNS settings. I recommend asking Netlify to specify if they can accept domain transfers and if editing nameservers is part of their transfer process, to let you know if you have to use custom nameservers instead

Is what they are asking me to do to configure it manually with the Netlify settings? Is that really my best option here? Or would the better option be to create an NS1 account and try to get the settings to be removed that way (since I do know what the old provider is)?

Thank you!!

Hi, @katjacodes. It is hard to say for certain as I don’t know what the actual domain name is. It is true we do not accept inbound domain transfers because we are not a registrar.

If the domain is registered at Squarespace and you want to use Netlify DNS, then this option would be the correct choice:

However, I suspect that this might not work because both Netlify and Squarespace use NS1 for our infrastructure. I don’t want to tell you do have the NS1 zone deleted though if Squarespace is the registrar but I haven’t confirmed if they are the registrar or not yet. (It sounds like they are but I don’t know this with 100% certainty.)

It is complicated to try to cover at all the hypothetical scenarios. It is much easier to answer when dealing with a real domain name. I can then query the WHOIS data and DNS information to give very targeted and specific answers.

Would you please tell us the name of the domain being discussed?

You can post that information publicly or you can private message (PM) that to one of our support staff. I’ve confirmed that PMs are enabled for your community login. Please keep in mind that only one person can see the PM and this will likely mean a slower reply than posting the information publicly. Please feel free to reply to however you prefer though.