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What is DNS propagation? How long does it usually take to complete?

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  • What is DNS propagation? How long does it usually take to complete?

    Every website is hosted on a server. A server is a computer that is specifically designed to act as a web server. Each server is connected to the Internet with a unique IP address (an IP address is a series of numbers separated by dots - such as The IP address is what connects servers to one another - it’s the essential element that tells servers how to find each other on this large, interconnected network called the Internet.

    When you access a website, such as, it is resolved into an IP address - that is, your Internet service provider checks for what IP address corresponds to that domain name - and when a request is received by the server hosting to return a specific website file you are trying to access. The server sends the file back to a specific IP address. That IP address will be the IP address currently allocated to you by your Internet service provider.

    To point a domain name to a specific server, you make use of nameservers. Internet service providers cache (store) this information because it would be (and is) inefficient to request up to date information every time a request is made - that is, every time you visit the same website. Most Internet service providers clear this cache regularly, but it means when you change the nameservers for your domain name many of your visitors will still be pointed to the wrong nameservers (and subsequently the wrong server) for a period of time - usually just an hour or two. Many web hosting providers (including us) state it may take up to 48 hours for this propagation period to complete; while in most cases this is not the case, there are known usage cases where DNS propagation can take up to 48 hours - but for most of our customers, this period is usually within 30 minutes to 4 hours.
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