To connect your domain name to your hosting account, it needs a few instructions. One of these instructions is proper name server configuration. Name servers direct your visitors to your unique spot on your server at your web host. When you’re changing hosts, you need to update your name servers. Unfortunately, these updates are not automatic; they usually require 24-48 hours (sometimes up to 72 hours) to fully start working. This period of time is called propagation.
A technical definition from HostGator describes propagation as “the projected length of time it takes for root name servers and cache records across the entire web to be updated with your website’s DNS [Domain Name System] information.”
What Factors Influence Propagation Length?
The factors that influence the length of propagation time are vastly uncontrollable. Physical location and internet service provider are two variables. It is seemingly random, and not all vistiors will see the same thing until propagation is complete. You might see your new site on your new hosting account within 5 hours; your BFF 5 blocks away might continue to see the old site on the old hosting account until the full 48 hours have passed. Like I said, it’s random!
The Waiting Game
While waiting around can be irritating, the good news is that, after the propagation period has passed, you’re completely in the clear! You can feel assured that all your visitors are now seeing the new site.