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Why’s Instant Nameserver Updates Feature is a Huge Deal… nameservers

All nameserver changes for local domain extensions are done by emailing the respective registry. The quickest registry takes, on average 5hrs and at most 24hrs. Other registries may even take more than 3 days to effect the change. If you factor in DNS propagation, it can take 4 days or more before your domain starts using the new nameservers for everyone.

In case you didn’t know, ZISPA is now deleting all domains that do not have authoritative nameservers. Also from the beginning of July 2016, ZISPA will not process domains that do not meet the following requirements:-

  1. The nameserver hostnames must match the nameserver IP addresses.
  2. There are between two and four unique nameservers.
  3. All nameservers have unique A records (not CNAME records).
  4. All nameservers are authoritative at the time of submission, i.e.
    • They respond to queries on the domain.
    • Their response has an aa (authoritative) header flag.
    • They list at least NS and SOA records for the domain.
  5. The NS records on the registrar’s nameservers match the list of nameservers registered with ZISPA for the domain.
  6. All nameservers have the same serial number in the SOA record.’s instant nameserver updates feature provides a solution to the above two scenarios. Their instant nameserver updates feature allows you to update nameservers anytime and have your domain instantly start using those nameservers as long as you do not select the “Submit to registry” option when updating nameservers.

And as the ZISPA July 2016 initiative draws closer, it is in every local domain ( owner’s interests to make sure that they not only have a nameserver attached to their domain but that it is an authoritative one.

If you are in the process of registering a domain and all this looks like Chinese to you, visit our website, we ‘speak Chinese’ and will be glad to assist you in making sure that your domain stays online…

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6 thoughts on “Why’s Instant Nameserver Updates Feature is a Huge Deal…

  1. Thank you This article is very helpful. Actually, have been using the service for quite sometime and its a very convenient tool. Thumbs up to ZISPA, for the past few weeks, I have been getting prompt responses unlike in the past. Well done and, you are doing a brilliant work.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Mr. Maposa. Your continued support means a lot to us.

  2. so can this tool fix domain issues for domains under their wing only or any im not sure if the article addressed that

    1. This is an opt-in feature that’s only available to the domains in the system. The way it works is; we register our own nameservers (not the actual ones configured in the system) at the registry. Our nameservers then merely acts as proxies for the actual nameservers if you do not configure any DNS records via This then means that when one changes their nameservers in the dashboard, as long as they don’t select “Submit to registry”, these new nameservers won’t need to be submitted to the registry so the registry will continue using our nameservers. However since our system knows about the update it instantly starts using the new nameservers, hence “instant nameserver updates”.

      Besides not having to wait for the registry, another bonus this approach gives you is having to cheat on DNS propagation a little. Usually nameservers have high TTLs like 86400 (1 day) and this is not usually configurable by the end user. Other DNS records on the other hand can be configured by an end user and usually have lower TTLs like 14400 (4 hours). You can actually change this to say 300 (5 minutes) when you plan to switch hosts. Since changing nameservers using this feature doesn’t effectively change your public nameservers your domain can fully propagate in 5 minutes (remember you have control over this). That’s much faster than changing nameservers for .com, .org or other extensions that already have automatic updates because they actually change the public nameservers.

      1. as long as they don’t select “Submit to registry”, these new nameservers won’t need to be submitted to the registry so the registry will continue using our nameservers. However since our system knows about the update it instantly starts using the new nameservers

        This sounds a like something that will add latency to DNS lookup times due to the query indirection. Have you measured the performance impact on this?

        1. Good catch. Yes we did. The impact depends mostly on how far away your nameservers are from ours. For most of the sites we tested it’s just a few more milliseconds. Benchmarks aside, this difference isn’t noticeable at all for normal users (that is those visiting your site via a web browser).

          Having said that, most DNS queries don’t even reach our servers at all. This is because DNS records are heavily cached. Web browsers, ISPs and third party recursive DNS resolvers cache DNS records. So this extra latency doesn’t even kick in at all for many visits (and unique visitors).

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