Why DNS Changes Take Time To Propagate

When making changes to your DNS (Domain Name Settings) there will always be some sort of waiting period required in order to see the results of these changes. This period of time is most often referred to as the time to 'Propagate'.

How long does it take?

The answer to this question can vary anywhere from about 5 to 10 minutes, to upwards of 72 hours. That's a pretty big margin of error, but there are multiple factors at play...

  • TTL Settings - TTL, which stands for Time To Live, is the time that a server will cache the DNS for your domain name before making another request. WebStarts uses a default TTL of 300, which equates to just 5 minutes, This helps reduce the propagation time for your domain, but there's anther factor outside of our control...
  • Your Internet Provider - Your ISP, or Internet Service Provider, is normally the weakest link when it comes to propagation time. While we set a relatively short TTL, ISPs often ignore those settings and cache DNS for much longer. Sometimes as long as 2 or 3 days. This serves to speed up web browsing and reduce traffic on their network, but can lead to long propagation times of 48 to 72 hours.

What kind of changes are affected by propagation time?

Just about any change you make to your domain name settings will require time to propagate. Whether it be adding, editing, or deleting a DNS record, or making a simple change to the registration information for your domain, it will take time to fully propagate.

Can anything be done to speed things up?

If you've waited the 48 to 72 hours and you're still not seeing your changes, your computer may not be clearing the cached DNS records. Flushing the local DNS cache on your device can help in these cases. Check out the links below to see how you can flush your own DNS...

Flushing your own DNS on Windows
Flushing your own DNS on a Mac

If you have any other questions or problems regarding your domain's DNS, be sure to reach out to our support team and we would be happy to help out.