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Everything you need to know about domain propagation.

In this article, we’ll explain what is propagation, and how long does it take?

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Propagation is a very common term in the world of domains, not necessarily common in our day to day vocabulary. The Proper meaning of propagation according to the dictionary is the action of widely spreading and promoting an idea, theory, etc. Which, in a way, is what domain propagation means in the world of domains, but instead of idea, theory, etc. it spreads data. Data that you either changed or newly entered for all of the internet to know.

To put a more technical meaning to the term “propagation”. Propagation is the estimated amount of time it takes a domain’s Domain Name Server information to be updated across the entirety of the internet after a change is made. The process may take up to 72 hours to complete in full. Because of propagation, not all who attempt your domain will be directed to your new name servers on your new hosting account; some will continue to be directed to your old name servers on your old hosting account until propagation is finished.

What factors affect DNS propagation time?

Many things affect propagation time, including your TTL, your ISP and your domain’s registry.

  • TTL (Time-To-Live) settings - DNS records have a TTL setting. To summarize, TTL is the amount of time servers cache the information for your DNS records. For example, if you set the TTL for a particular record to 60 minutes, the information for that record is locally stored for an hour before the servers retrieve the updated information from your nameservers. Shorter TTL settings may decrease the amount of time for propagation. However, they can also increase the amount of times your nameserver is queried, lowering your site’s overall performance.
  • Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) - Your ISP caches DNS records by locally storing the data rather than retrieving updated data from your DNS server. Although, this speeds up web browsing and reduces traffic, but may slow down your propagation time. Some ISPs ignore TTL settings and update their cached records every 2 to 3 days.
  • Your domain’s registry - When you make changes to the nameservers of your domain, the registrar sends your change request to the domain registry within minutes, and the registry publishes your nameserver records to their root zone. Most registries update their zones quite quickly, but not all and some may take several hours or even days.

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