Sometimes, while managing a website, a site owner might need to change or update the nameserver of the domain. This process takes somewhere between 24 to 48 hours for the effects of the change to reflect. This period is defined as a DNS (Domain Name System) propagation. This is nothing but the period of time that the Internet Service Provider (ISP) nodes across the world take to update the new DNS information.
For easier and faster viewing and access of your web page, the ISPs cache all DNS records. Due to caching at different levels, some visitors might be directed to the old server, while some can access it directly on the new server. This slow process of updating is what propagation is all about. During a DNS propagation, the ISPs access your website from their local files and presents them to the user, instead of going through the internet every time the user sends a request. This process is also quite similar to browser caching on your computer where website content is stored in a subdirectory to enhance the browser speed.
DNS propagation helps boost the loading speed by reducing the time lag between a web browser and the domain access. This remarkably cuts down the web traffic time and lets your users work faster. For this process must be fully completed to make your website available on the web.
Why Does Propagation Take So Long?
As mentioned before, even after propagation, some of your site users might be able to access the new hosting server, while others might be redirected to your old server. It depends on the user’s geographical location, their ISP, but mostly, it is a matter of chance, because the amount of time taken for propagation can exceed the standard time window of 24 to 48 hours and go up to 72 hours. The reason behind this long wait time is how the ISPs work. Each ISP automatically updates and caches the DNS records of your site at regular intervals. For example, let’s say you have a central server in Italy, and you have just changed the nameserver of your domain hosted somewhere in the United States. When your user in Italy accesses your site domain, they are not going to access the hosting server in the US directly. Their computer will first check local DNS cache, then send out a request to your local ISP in Italy. From there, the request might go to another upstream provider in say, Germany. From there, the request will reach the first receiving point in the US and finally reach the targeted ISP of your new domain. Until the cache at every point is reset, your ISP will not launch the website. Hence the delay. Once the DNS information of your updated domain is duly completed, the new site becomes available to all your users across the internet.
DNS propagation is one way to radically increase the internet speed at your user’s end. However, this can be done only and when required. As a standard practice, it is always better to ensure a fast loading site for better user access and increase the traffic volume. And to do this effectively, you might want to choose the right hosting service like cloud website hosting which is known to be highly efficient, fast, economical, and sustainable, cloud hosting can make your website perform better at all times.