What Is Website Propagation and How Long Does It Take?

Jonesen TeamSupport Center

You may have just found the best domain name for your site or changed your website host. In your excitement, you try to type in your website, it’s not there.

Anytime you make changes to a domain name, it takes a bit of time for the rest of the internet to catch up.

Keep reading to learn what website propagation is and how long it takes for the internet to get up to speed.

What is Website Propagation?

Website propagation is also called DNS propagation. The two terms can be used interchangeably. DNS means Domain Name System. In the early days of the internet, you had to access websites and other computers using a series of numbers, called an IP address, such as

This was difficult to remember, especially as the internet grew, so DNS was created. This allowed websites to use names instead of numbers, making life much easier for everyone online.

Your website is on a server and has its own IP address. There are servers all over the world that know what your IP address is and associate that with your domain name.

Anytime there’s a change to your domain name, servers have to update their information. That’s the case whether you have a new host and the DNS needs to be updated or you change ownership of a domain name.

That process where these servers get updated is called website propagation or DNS propagation.

How Long Does Website Propagation Take?

There are thousands of servers all across the world that need to be updated with your domain name’s new DNS information.

That process can take as little as an hour or as long as 24 hours. Some will take as long as 72 hours to be fully completed. Since there are so many servers that need to update their information, it can take time for the process to be fully completed.

You can check your site’s DNS updates using various tools, such as What’s My DNS or Who Is Lookup.

DNS Changes and SEO

One question that’s often asked is if changing the DNS of a domain name affects search rankings. The quick answer to this is no, it does not.

There are dozens of other factors that impact SEO, such as your server’s location to searchers and page load time, which all stem from choosing the right web host for your business.

Understanding the Internet

You don’t need to think too much about how the internet works, you just know that it does works. However, when you want to make sure that your website is up and running, you do need to have a basic understanding of the internet.

Website propagation is one aspect that you need to know and understand, especially if you get a new host. It helps to understand that anytime you make a change to a domain name, it takes time for the rest of the internet to catch up.

Want to know more about web hosting? Read this article about managed web hosting and why it’s important.