When will my domain start working? Propagation
If you have a new domain name, you must change the name servers so they point to WebDesignJunkie.
Name server changes usually take 24 to 48 hours to start working. This phenomenon is known as propagation. Because of propagation, not all visitors will follow your new name servers to your new hosting account; some visitors will continue to follow your old name servers to your old hosting account.
How quickly visitors follow the new name servers depends on their physical location, internet service provider, and some luck; it is not something WebDesignJunkie has control over. Once propagation is over, your site will be appearing on our server and your email will be fully functional.
There is no positive way to tell when propagation has completed. During the first 48 hours, even if you see your site on the new server, your next door neighbor might see the site on the old server.
Advanced Information – Propagation Explained
When most people hear the term “DNS propagation” for the first time they get the wrong idea about how DNS works and what this actually means. They envision the changes that they have made to their zone being copied from server to server until the updated changes are copied to every DNS server everywhere in the world so that everyone has the updated copy. Indeed this would take some time to do, if DNS worked this way, but that is simply not the case. First let’s discuss how DNS actually works, and then we will cover what “propagation” actually is. Then finally we will discuss some ways to handle changes in DNS so that making these changes are as seamless as possible.
First of all, the routing of all communication between computers on the Internet is handled by IP address rather than domain name. Think of this as being similar to our telephone system. Every active phone line has a phone number that is used to facilitate the connection of one line to another, and in order to make a call, ultimately the phone that initiates the connection has to have the number of the line it wants to connect to in order to start the connection process. In much the same way, your computer must find the correct IP address on the server with the website you want to visit before it can send the request to that server to for a webpage. The same is true for all other services (such as email, chat, or games) on the Internet. DNS records are used to relate domain names with services and IP addresses so that these services work properly.
DNS Servers can handle either or both of two primary functions. The first is as a DNS host. DNS Hosts hold the zones for their domains and answer with the records from the zones for those domains when they are requested. When you make changes to your zone you are making them on the host. The second function is as a resolver. A resolver is a DNS server that will send requests to other DNS servers for the records from their zones in an attempt to answer the requests that it receives. These sort of requests are called recursive requests. When you connect to the Internet through your Internet Service Provider (ISP), your ISP will provide you with two or more resolvers that will be responsible for handling the recursive DNS requests sent by your computer as you use the Internet.
However, since a recursive DNS request is sent by the client to the resolver with every name based request the client sends and most DNS records don’t change very often, most resolvers are configured to cache the results of previous look-ups and respond to subsequent requests from the cached results for a period of time until the resolver decides that the cached copy is too old to be trusted. Propagation is the period it takes for the record cached on all resolvers everywhere to expire. In each record in the zone, there is a Time To Live (TTL) value that specifies (in seconds) how long a resolver should cache the record. One technique to reduce the time it takes for changes to propagate is to reduce the TTL value in the current zone prior to making changes, however the change in the TTL on the record itself will take the length of time specified in original TTL value to propagate before propagation period is lowered for further changes. Also some ISPs configure their resolvers to ignore the TTL value specified in the record altogether and cache the record for a length of time that they specify instead. Some resolvers are configured to cache records for up to 72 hours although most are configured for less. Ultimately, time resolves propagation issues.
Additionally, most computers cache DNS as well, which can cause the computer to “remember” the old IP address for up to 48 hours since the last time it checked. If your computer is caching the DNS, it may be possible to flush the DNS on your computer so that it looks up the IP address for the domain again.