What is DNS Propagation?
Whenever the DNS changes, on any level, it has to propagate completely. This process is called DNS propagation and it can take anywhere from a few hours to many days.
While DNS propagation is underway, traffic may come from either the old or the new location. Some may see the new server, while others see the old one for the same domain name. During this process, the yourdomainname.com may work, while www.yourdomainname.com doesn’t. This is all normal during the process of DNS propagation.
More Details about DNS Propagation
Understanding propagation takes more than just a simple definition. DNS stands for Domain Name System and it’s used anytime you go to a domain name on the internet. Here’s how it works.
When you make a request for “domain.com” the request goes to the local DNS server of your ISP, in most cases. This DNS server will check the cache to see if it already knows the IP address of the domain name you’ve requests. If so, it may deliver a page you requested. If not, it will send the query to the Root DNS servers.
When the request goes to the Root DNS servers, the process will be completed. These DNS servers are provided whenever a domain is registered. If the domain expires, it’s removed from the Root Servers. When the request is sent to the Rood Servers, they tell the DNS servers which servers are authorized to deliver your domain.
After this happens, your local DNS server will query the server identified as the Authoritative DNS server. This server is better known as the Name Server and will tell your local DNS server the IP address of the domain name.
Your local DNS server will cache the information and use it to deliver the domain name requested. Since the domain has now been cached, it will be delivered faster the next time it’s requested.
The local DNS server will only keep the cache for a website for a specific amount of time and then, it will be deleted.
What does this Mean to the Propagation Process?
DNS Propagation occurs whenever you move the domain name from one host to another or from one server to another. During the process of delivering the domain name, the DNS propagation may change where the domain name comes from. This may cause slower load times, while the process is underway.
When you want to know if the DNS propagation is complete, you can use a tool, such as What’s My DNS. This tool will show you the necessary information from around the world. You will be able to see if the DNS propagation has completely finished worldwide or if it’s still in the process.
How Long can You Expect the Process to Take?
Typically, the DNS propagation process takes from one hour to 48 hours. This all depends on the domain, the host and the domain registrar. Some take longer than others and sometimes, it will take longer because of the volume of requests.
DNS propagation has happened as fast as just a few minutes and with some, it can actually take up to 10 days. However, this doesn’t mean your site will be down for that amount of time.
Usually, when you register a new domain name and change the name servers for your hosting account, you can start working with the domain name within a few hours. Sometimes it happens even faster. This doesn’t mean the DNS propagation process is complete. However, you can start feeding traffic to your new website without issue.
Should DNS Propagation Matter to You?
Most websites, blogs and online projects won’t have much concern for DNS propagation. However, if the domain name seems to be taking a longer amount of time to propagate or you’re just curious, checking the process can help.
This can also eliminate the need to contact your hosting or domain registrar support team. You can check and if the domain name has not completely propagated, you will know where you stand.
If you have any other questions about DNS propagation or you feel it’s taking far longer than necessary, you can contact the support of your hosting company. Those hosting websites with ITX Design already know our support team will answer your requests quickly and provide the information you need.