client area logo

What Is Domain Propagation?

What Is Domain Propagation?

Whenever you register a new domain name, move to a different web host, a different server or change a site IP address your domain will have to re-propagate.

The easiest way to explain this is to compare it to moving home. When any of the above tasks are done to your website it has for all intent and purposes moved home.

In the same way it may take a week or so for your countries mail company to put a mail redirection service in place for you, it takes a little while for all the data centres around the world to realise your site has either been created or has moved address.

How Long Does It Take?

This really depends on where you live, in the US and UK it is normally fairly fast just a few hours though you will be warned it can take up to 72 hours to propagate completely around the world. We have seen sites propagate within 30 minutes other times it has taken 5 hours, it is very difficult to give a time as we can not speak for all data centres on how often they refresh their DNS.

As a rule, it tends to be much faster on a new domain than editing an existing domain.

How will I know when my domain has propagated all over the world?

If you move your site to a new server obviously you will first have to copy your site,  you can add an extra page to the new copied version that simply says done! or some other message, alternatively add an extra word to your home page that is not on your old server. This way you will know when YOU are seeing the new version of your site on its new server.

There are also many websites like the one below that will scan your domain and gather the IP address results from data centres globally. Of course, you need to ask your web host what the new IP address of your site is so that you can check which countries have already picked up the changes.

http://www.whatsmydns.net/

The Dns checks say my site has propagated but I still see the old version

This is possible. The check above is only from a few data centres around the world as a guide, but remember every country has hundreds of data centres, thousands in the US. You could see the old version in your state and someone in another state down could see the new version again it depends on how often local data centres and ISPS update their records.

Is there anything I can do to make sure I see the new version as quick as possible?

Yes, there is. Sometimes you may be seeing the old version of your site because of your internet service provider caching pages, or even your computer. Caching is basically a local copy of your site’s pages stored by your local data centre or even by your PC.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you are not looking at a cached version of your old site.

1. Flush your computer’s DNS cache to see how to do that click here

2. Hard refresh your browser by holding down the CTRL button on your keyboard and hitting the F5 button a few times

3. Clear your browsers Cache info on how to do that for your browser can be found here 

Doing these three things will make sure you are looking at the latest version of your site available in your area.

Just be patient you will normally see your new version of your site at worst within 8-24 hours like we said above it is normally much faster.

Related Articles