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One of the things that you would encounter once you changed hosting is for DNS propagation to resolve quickly in order for your website to be back online. At some point, you may want to do something to make it a little faster but there are certain factors that hinder it from occurring.
Before you can appreciate how DNS propagation works, you must first understand that DNS (stands for Domain Name Server) is something that your web hosting provider creates particularly a Master DNS record for your domain. Your domain registrar (the company where you paid to own your domain) then points to your web host’s DNS servers and once the update is completed, outside sources can view your site online the moment they find your site’s corresponding IP address via your web host as the master authority of your domain.
Web hosting environments actually set TTL (Tweaking Time-To-Live) values on their end so as not to overuse the servers from too many requests. Your local ISP (Internet Server Provider) also caches their DNS records in order for them to render webpage requests locally than looking them up online each time thus resulting for a faster web surfing experience.
This caching system however is the reason why your website doesn’t immediately show up online after any hosting transfer. Most of the time, ISP’s cached DNS records are only updated after every few days that’s why you would always have to expect that when you transfer hosting, you’ll be advised that it will take 48-72 hours before you can view your site online.
The time is takes for your ISP’s DNS server cache to update is called propagation. Once it resolves, you can already view your website online.
In my case, it didn’t actually take an entire day before I was able to see my site back online not even longer than 12 hours!
In case you will encounter the same scenario, here’s how you do it:
1. In windows, click Start > Run and type in cmd (a command window will open).
2. Type in ipconfig /flushdns then press Return/Enter.
If the above solution doesn’t work, you may use a frequently updating DNS service like OpenDNS, a fast and intelligent DNS service for free.
To give you a faster result than your ISP server, you can set up OpenDNS using the following servers:
Preferred DNS Server: 18.104.22.168
Alternate DNS Server: 22.214.171.124
These DNS servers can easily be setup in your computer’s TCP/IP settings or router. This step works most of the time like it did for me because this resolves website inaccessibility due to DNS propagation time lag (see XP setup screenshot below).
Here’s how you set it up on WindowsXP:
1. Press Start> click Control Panel> choose Network and Internet Connections> then click Network Connections> choose LAN connection, right-click then choose Properties.
2. Double click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) then fill out “Use the following DNS server addresses” with the ones taken from OpenDNS then save your settings.
For more instructions on how to set up OpenDNS on different routers and OS, visit this link.
Category: web authoring