Why are the name servers for my domain refusing to update?

One of the policies of the ZA Central Registry is that before a domain update, that involves nameserver updates, is accepted, it tests the specified nameservers for compliance. This means that the new name servers must respond authoritatively for the domain when queried.

The most commonly asked DNS question is about domain name servers. Name servers store the internet directory information that connects your domain name to your website and email hosting. Essentially, name servers tell the internet where to find your website and where to deliver your email. Our name servers are:

If you have a domain that you have already registered and you want to host it on another server, you will need to set your name servers for your domain. This DNS change will take a variable amount of time to propagate to the Internet from ZA Central Registry, but usually not more than 24 hours.

If you're unsure of your current name servers, a WHOIS search can help you determine which name servers are currently assigned to your domain name. Whenever you change your hosting service provider, the name server information for your domain must be updated to reflect that your site is now being served by a different IP address.

Dig can also help us understand how our DNS records look from the perspective of other machines on the Internet.

Testing authoritative nameservers

We can check the verify authoritative DNS servers for a domain by entering something like:

dig +short @your-name-server NS domain.co.za

for example:

dig +short NS @rita.ns.cloudflare.com frikkadel.co.za

The result of our test should be:


If the servers are not properly configured you'll see an empty result. When this happens, get the verbose output and send it to your hosting provider to rectify. You can get the verbose output by dropping the +short from the command line like so:
dig NS @rita.ns.cloudflare.com frikkadel-test.co.za

If the result of this test looks like this something is wrong
; <<>> DiG 9.8.1-P1 <<>> NS @rita.ns.cloudflare.com frikkadel-test.co.za
; (1 server found)
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: REFUSED, id: 28634
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;frikkadel-test.co.za. IN NS

;; Query time: 217 msec
;; WHEN: Fri Dec 18 09:34:41 2015
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 38

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