The Ultimate Guide to DNS Propagation

As you become more acquainted with web hosting and how your own website works and operates, you’ll be exposed to terms such as DNS Propagation. Don’t be alarmed by terms such as these because here at we’re here to help you gain a better understanding of the ‘ins and outs’ of these operations.

In this blog post, we will look at DNS propagation, what it is, how it works and guide you to a better understanding of it overall.

Let’s get right into it.

What does DNS mean?

DNS is short for Domain Name System. Of course, once you hear the words domain name, you immediately think of the name your site visitors will type in to find you on the Internet. This domain name is connected to an IP (internet protocol) address that is in the form of a series of numbers that no one has time to remember whenever they need to find your webpage. For simplification, the domain name is used by humans, but computers and servers read numbers and so IP addresses are used behind the scenes as the unique address for each website.

Don’t know your IP, here’s a quick way to find out.

So, what is DNS Propagation?

Domain Name System propagation more popularly called DNS propagation is the estimated length of time it takes for your domain name system’s information to be updated in its entirety across the world wide web after a change is made.

Propagation takes place anywhere between 24 to 48 hours and in some rare cases, up to 72 hours. When propagation takes place, not all of your site visitors are directed to your new nameserver on your new hosting account at the same time. Instead, some visitors are still directed to your old nameserver on your former hosting account until propagation is complete.

The term nameserver has come up since we began and you may or may not be sure what it is. So, let’s break it down in case you don’t understand what it is or means.

What about nameservers?

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source: elements.envato

Nameservers help you to connect your URLs with the IP addresses of web servers. They are, therefore, the bridge that directs the traffic of the Internet to where they need to go. For example, should you need to visit, to the human eye, this is a very simple action that takes place by simply typing in the domain name into your browser and like magic will quickly appear.

However, behind the scenes high levels of processing take place. The moment you type your desired domain name, your browser sends a request to that domain’s nameserver which then responds with the website server’s IP address. Your browser then requests the contents of the website from that IP address after which your browser retrieves the content and forwards it to your browser.

How does DNS Propagation work?

If you regularly visit a website or webpage, the information is cached to speed up loading times for the future. As a result of this, your DNS records are possibly cached on many servers all over the world. As long as these DNS files are still updating, propagation is still taking place. Once the update is complete, propagation is complete.

Of course, if you don’t pay attention to the following: TLL, ISP, and geographical location, there isn’t always a clear and conclusive way of determining whether propagation is complete. Luckily, there is an even easier way to check for its completion and that is by using an online DNS checker. When you use an online checker it allows you to track DNS record information propagated against multiple nameservers located in different geological locations around the world.

Keep in mind that you can speed up the propagation process by deleting old DNS information and allowing new information to present itself. Additionally, DNS propagation can take as little as 6 to 7 hours. However, if you do not see the changes you have made, you will need to flush your DNS cache.


Let’s hope that all your questions about DNS propagation have been answered in this ultimate guide. It’s also important to note that should you change the name of your website, you will also change the DNS files. By doing this, the propagation process begins once again, updating all the changes made across all servers around the world.

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