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Understanding DNS Propagation: What It Is and How Cloudways Makes It Easy

Updated on May 30, 2024

6 Min Read

Ever changed your website’s domain name or hosting, but visitors still see the old version for a while? That’s DNS propagation at work. It’s not a mistake on your end – it’s how the Internet directs users to your website.

Think of DNS records as IP address directories. When you change hosting or make DNS edits, you’re updating your website’s address in those directories. This update spreads across the web and takes hours to days.

DNS propagation matters because during this window, visitors might see the old site. This can lead to temporary glitches. In this article, I’ll explain how DNS propagation works and how Cloudways makes it easy.

How Does DNS Propagation Work?

Imagine you changed your website’s hosting provider. Behind the scenes, your DNS records (think of them as your website’s address) also need to be updated on different DNS servers around the world.

These DNS servers temporarily store information for efficiency. So, updating your DNS records isn’t instantaneous. It takes time for the new information to reach all the DNS servers. This time gap is called DNS propagation.

During this window, visitors in different locations might see the old website based on outdated cached data in their local DNS servers. That’s why you might see temporary glitches like error messages or visitors being directed to the wrong site after a DNS update.

How Long Does DNS Propagation Take?

DNS propagation, the time for your website’s DNS changes to reflect globally, can vary, but typically takes a few hours to 48 hours.

This delay exists because DNS servers cache information for faster performance. So, after updating your records (e.g., switching hosting), the new info needs to replace the cached data across all DNS servers.

Is Faster DNS Propagation Possible?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic button to instantly push DNS changes everywhere. This is because individual servers (ISPs, registrars) have their own caching policies you can’t control.

However, you can influence the speed somewhat:

1. Lower TTL Values

Setting a lower “Time to Live” value for your DNS records tells servers to refresh them more often, potentially speeding up propagation.

2. Choose Faster Providers

Some domain registrars and DNS providers update records quicker than others. Consider their reputation for speed during selection.

3. Understand ISP Caching

ISPs cache DNS records for efficiency. While you can’t control their refresh rate, being aware of it helps manage expectations.

Since DNS is a global network, so even with these strategies, some regions with slower updates might experience a slight delay

Get Your Website Live Faster with Cloudways DNS Made Easy.

Manage domains for just $0.50/month and gain complete control over your website’s online presence.

Smarter DNS Management With Cloudways

Managing DNS can be a time-consuming hassle. Cloudways DNS Made Easy simplifies the process for developers by offering several key features:

1. Fast & Reliable

Our infrastructure ensures fast DNS resolution, leading to quicker website load times and a better user experience. Plus, high uptime minimizes downtime risk.

2. Global Reach

Strategically placed servers around the world guarantee fast query resolution for users in any location, reducing latency and improving overall website performance.

3. Seamless Integration

Manage DNS settings directly within the Cloudways Platform, alongside your cloud hosting. This eliminates the need to jump between different interfaces, saving you valuable time.

4. Scalability for Growth

As your website grow, Cloudways DNS Made Easy scales with you, handling increased traffic and additional domains without performance issues.

5. Actionable Insights

Gain valuable data through comprehensive analytics and reporting tools. Monitor traffic, track propagation changes, and identify potential problems before they affect your users.

6. Expert Support

24/7 customer support from Cloudways ensures you have access to knowledgeable help whenever you need it.

How to Launch the DNS Made Easy Add-on?

  1. Sign up or log in to your Cloudways account.
  2. From the left menu bar, click Add-ons.

  3. Next, click DNS Made Easy.

  4. Finally, click Get Started to launch the add-on.

Now, we need to add the domain(s) and make them active using DNS Made Easy.

How to Manage the DNS Made Easy Add-on?

1. Add Domain(s)

Here’s how you can add domain(s) to manage them using DNS Made Easy:

  1. First, click Add Domain.

  2. Next, enter your domain, e.g., example.com.
  3. If you want to add multiple domains, you can click Add Domain and bulk add up to 10 domains.
  4. Finally, click Save Changes.

  5. Once your domain is added, it will appear as ❌ Inactive. Now, you need to add the DNS Made Easy nameservers in your DNS registrar panel.
  6. Next, click Configure Name Servers.

  7. Copy and paste these nameservers into your DNS registrar panel.
    💡 Note: It’s recommended to add all the given nameservers.

  8. We are adding these nameservers on Namecheap.

  9. It may take 24-48 hours for the nameservers to propagate across the network.
  10. Once the nameservers have been updated, your domain will show an Active status.

  11. Once the nameservers are updated, go back to the Cloudways Platform to manage your domain and add DNS records to make your website(s) go live.

2. Manage DNS Record(s)

Here’s how you can manage your DNS records using DNS Made Easy:

1. Add DNS Record(s)

  1. First, tap the three dots icon to see more choices and tap on Manage Records.

  2. Next, click + Add Record.

  1. After that, you can start adding the DNS information you require. First, choose the type of record.
  2. Now, put in all the necessary information for the type of record you picked.
  3. Finally, click Save Changes.

You have successfully added the DNS records.

2. Edit DNS Record(s)

  1. First, click the three dots icon to see more choices, and then click on Manage Records.

  2. After that, click the three-dot icon of that specific DNS record and click on ✏️ Edit Record.

  3. Next, update the DNS records and then click Save Changes.

3. Delete DNS Record(s)

  1. First, click the three dots icon to see more choices and select Manage Records.

  2. Next, click that particular DNS record’s three dots icon and click 🗑️ Delete Record.

3. Delete Domain(s)

Here’s how you can delete your domain(s) using DNS Made Easy:

  1. First, click the three-dot icon to see more choices, and then click on Delete Domain.
  2. Next, you will be prompted to confirm the selection. You can click Unsubscribe to proceed further.

Once unsubscribed, DNS management for these domain(s) will no longer be handled through DNS Made Easy.

Cloudways DNS Made Easy Pricing

Cloudways offers a smarter way to manage your DNS with the DNS Made Easy Add-on.

This add-on integrates seamlessly with your Cloudways dashboard, allowing you to control your domain names directly alongside your hosting.

The pricing starts at just $0.50 per domain per month for 500,000 queries, enough for most websites. You can also pay for extra queries, if needed, at a low rate of $0.01 per 10,000 queries.

Summary

While DNS propagation can’t be entirely eliminated, Cloudways DNS Made Easy minimizes the wait time and streamlines the process. This lets you focus on development, confident that your website updates will reach users quickly and seamlessly.

Sign up for a free trial today and experience the difference!

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Inshal Ali

Inshal is a Content Marketer at Cloudways. With background in computer science, skill of content and a whole lot of creativity, he helps business reach the sky and go beyond through content that speaks the language of their customers. Apart from work, you will see him mostly in some online games or on a football field.

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