Questions about moving pointing my GoDaddy Domain to my new Netlify hosting

For the last few years I’ve had my simple static website hosted at GoDaddy and also had an accompanying .com domain for it also at GoDaddy. After learning I could have not only more reliable, simple, faster, AND FREE hosting for my static site recently with Netlify, I am now planning NOT to renew my Godaddy hosting in august and just host my site with Netlify( I already have a test version running fine on Netlify without custom domain). Even though I’ve never done this before, pointed a domain to a site NOT hosted also at the domain company.

I called Godaddy to find out how to do this and they told me I will need the “A Record” and “WWW CNAME”.
How do I find those on my Netlify host?

Then they also said “Some web hosting may also ask you to change the Name Server, ask your hosting provider” What’s that about? Do I need to change anything in NS Servers in my godaddy domain settings or would I only need to edit the A Record and www CNAME?

If you already have your website hosted on Netlify without your custom domain, you’ll need to:

  1. Go to your site’s Settings > Domain management section.
  2. Go the to Custom domains panel and click Add custom domain and enter your custom domain name. You’ll be asked to confirm that the custom domain is yours, select Yes, add domain.
  3. Then you can either choose to use Netlify DNS, or you can add the Netlify DNS records to wherever your current DNS provider is.

Is GoDaddy also the registrar for your domain?

Here is the documentation for setting up external DNS if you don’t want to use Netlify DNS.

Here is the documentation for setting up Netlify DNS.

Also, you can find the full documentation for setting up your custom domain here.

Hope that helps! :slightly_smiling_face:

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thanks for the help, this is all super new to me, i asked this original question in advance but we will have to finalize it this week or next so i came back to the thread.
when you ask if Godaddy is also the “registrar” for the domain, how do i find that out. I purchased the domain originally there so does that mean they are the registrar? sorry its a new term for me.
Now this whole DNS thing is also confusing to a newbie like me. What is the benefit of switching to Netlify DNS vs adding the Netlify DNS records to wherever my current DNS provider is? how do i know what my DNS host is?

Maybe it will be easier if i tell you what i see in my Godaddy account. When i click DNS for that domain in my account it shows a list like this

The A record is pointing to the internal IP address of my site that is hosted at Godaddy currently.

And below that is this

and then lastly on top there are other DNS related tabs like DNS, DNS Templates, Manage Zones, and Add DNS Hosting.
thank you so much for the help and sorry for the newbie questions

ok i contacted GoDaddy they said
“So you need to get the Ip address of the Netlify hosted site and other DNS records and update on this page :)”
so where can i find this info?

hey @ocelot.games13,

Let me see if i can answer a few of your questions.

if you purchased the domain through godaddy then yes, they are likely your registrar. Registrar simply means that they make the entry into the worldwide “phonebook” of domain names.

Once the registration has happened, you need a DNS to continually “manage” the domain. DNS stands for “domain name server”. Basically, this is the service that handles things correctly when someone tries to access your domain. (not sure you told us what domain this is regarding) Domains are basically just placeholders for something called an IP address (internet protocol). An IP address looks like this: and that number belongs to the server where the content lives. Because that is hard to memorize, we use domain names, but something needs to associate the domain name with the IP address, and that is the domain name server.

You can keep GoDaddy as a DNS for your domain that is hosted by Netlify, and then you will need to administer the DNS to point towards your Netlify site. Or, you can allow Netlify to manage your DNS for your Netlify site, which we think is preferable.

You might start here, same as will_devs suggested:

so basically you are saying i need to add the domain( to the netlify website, and then i will receive the info i need to add to godaddy DNS page? (or choose to let netlify handle DNS, but then i would still need to change something in godaddy settings for the domain on their end? thats basically what im trying to figure out. what to change on godaddy’s end indomain settings)

you’re getting there. You either

1.) need to add the correct information to GoDaddy to point the domain to your netlify site, or,

2.) you need to make Netlify the manager of the DNS for your netlify site, and then it will set things up automatically.

Only ONE service can be the DNS for a domain at any given point in time. Either GoDaddy, or us.

Here is some information on what you can do for the former:

it makes a lot of sense now thanks for clarifying it seems simple now. One more question… can i initially link my godaddy domain to netlify hosting and keep Godaddy as the DNS manager FOR NOW and then let netlify manage DNS at a later time or it has to be decided upon adding the custom domain?

Hi, @ocelot.games13. You can keep your current DNS service for the custom domain and then change to Netlify DNS at a later date. You can also change from Netlify DNS back to external DNS at any time. There is no lock-in with either method.

the only thing you sometimes have to be aware of, @ocelot.games13, is downtime.

but we have a plan for that too!

This one is helpful as well:

you guys are awesome. in layman’s terms, what are the benefits of moving DNS management to netlify vs keeping it at godaddy?

well, one benefit is that you get to interact with our fantastic support team, wheras GoDaddy is a giant megacorp with a large call center - if things go wrong, we do think we can be a bit more nimble.

If you don’t have a strong reason why you need to keep DNS with a different service, then we do recommend that if you are hosting a site on netlify, you use Netlify’s DNS service for better efficiency & ease.