Domain propagation, also called DNS propagation, is a process of updating each server on the web using new information.
That area lot of servers! Of course, it needs time between when the change happens and when each of the servers has registered it.
How does it work?
DNS servers translate the site name to an easy-to-remember domain.
If your site is named www.xyz.com, that’s just the domain. People can easily remember and enter it in the search bar. But, it translates to something more difficult: a numerical IP address.
It may be something like 912.345.678.910 which frankly no one can remember.
Each time a search is carried out, the DNS server processes the domain name input and translates it to the IP address, then directing the user to the website within milliseconds.
But when you make a DNS change, this becomes difficult for a few days.
Why does the DNS change needs time to recognize the new address?
When you change your hosting provider or simply change the site’s domain name, each DNS server on the Internet needs to learn about the change. Only then the server will redirect to the new IP address when the domain name is searched.
The problem is that not all servers will receive information about this change at the same time. It’s possible that your server will pick it up sooner and redirect you to the correct IP address, but someone else across the world may still be directed to the older IP address.
DNS changes are rare, and so most servers cachethis information from previous searches. For instance, if a search was made a week ago and the change was made after that, the server will, by default, redirect to the older address.
It will eventfully get the information and start directing to the correct site in a matter of days. Sometimes though, it may require clearing browser cache too.
It’s confusing but the problem is temporary. The servers get on board with the new information, registering the information for future.
It’s tricky because your server may register it sooner than others. A few sites may help you check DNS propagation but they don’t offer the guarantee that each and every user around the world is now redirecting to the right address.
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