What is domain propagation and why can't I see my site at my new domain?

Once you set a custom domain and we launch your site on it, you may have to wait up to 48 hours for your page to be live.

This article is rather technical in nature as there is no way to explain such an advanced subject without touching on some very technical items.

The reason for this delay is a process called DNS Propagation which must be finished in order for you page to be visible on the internet. Propagation takes place inside the system of your Internet Service Providers (ISP). As a result, propagation, and the amount of time it takes, is beyond the control of RealtyNinja.

What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name Server. When you purchase your domain name from your domain registrar they create a Master DNS record in their Domain Name Servers. Your domain registrar then points to your Web Host's DNS server as the master authority of your domain.

When any outside computer wants to know how to find your website, they first go to the domain registration database to find out who the DNS authority is for your website. Then they visit your DNS provider's servers to find out what the IP Address is for your domain name. From there the computer is redirected to your IP on your Web Host's servers and can display your website (it is at this point that browsers are redirected to RealtyNinja if you have a website with us).

What is DNS propagation?

To make viewing websites faster for their customers, ISPs cache all of their DNS records. This caching process is called Propagation.

Caching means that the ISPs read and display websites from their local files instead of looking them up on the Internet each time their customers want to view a website. This is similar, on a massive scale, to the way the browser on your computer caches websites to speed up browsing.

Propagation ultimately speeds up web surfing by:

  1. Speeding up the return time it takes for a web browser to request a domain look-up and get an answer
  2. Reducing the amount of traffic on the web therefore giving it the ability to work faster.

Why does propagation take so long?

The reason it takes so long for your RealtyNinja (or any website) to be visible to everyone from all locations once you launch your site, is that each ISP has an automated process that updates and caches DNS records every few days. Until their cache is reset, it will not display your launched website. There are no standards for this process, and depending on the ISP, they can set propagation time anywhere from a few hours up to 48 (and in some cases longer).

Can you speed the process up?

Unfortunately, no. There is nothing that you, RealtyNinja or anyone else can do to reduce DNS propagation time. It is simply a case of waiting for this automated process to complete.

This article was taken in bulk from the LaunchRock article explaining the same thing.

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