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Why is my website not showing up (DNS Caching)?

My website just got launched and my computer is still showing the old website. Why is this?

Layman's Terms

In simple terms, when a website goes live, a website takes anywhere from 1 hour to 48 hours to go live depending on what state or country you live in and how fast your internet connection is. This is called DNS propagation.

DNS propagation is the time it takes for the domain DNS to refresh the cache on the network. The cache is cleared over a certain amount of time. We suggest waiting up to 24 hours for the DNS cache to be fully refreshed. DNS will refresh according to the "TTL" or "Time To Live". When the DNS refreshes according to its TTL, the propagation is complete and your website will load.

Can I speed up propagation? The quick answer is no. You can try speeding up the propagation time by having your TTL set to a lower number (not recommended). This will refresh the DNS at a quicker rate. We set the default TTL to 14400 (4 hours); however the network that you are using to access the internet may update at a slower rate.

You can try Clearing your DNS cache or "Flush the DNS". Clearing your DNS cache does not always work, so sometimes you will just need to wait.

Technical Details

DNS Cache and your ISP - Every time you access a site from your ISP, they cache the URL, as well as its associated IP number. If their network is properly setup, these DNS cache records should "Expire" at least every 24-hours. If they did not (which is often the case), you'll experience this: You enter your http://www.mydomain.com/ URL, and it keeps taking you back to your old server account. In a large number of cases, it's the result of an ISP who "Did Not" configure their servers to "Expire" the DNS cache records at the appropriate intervals. Unfortunately, this adds additional confusion to their clients, and especially the ones whom are trying to point their domain name to a new server.

DNS Cache and the Internet - The Internet itself must update/clear its DNS cache as well. When we say the Internet, we mean the numerous intermediate "points of access" you're routed through before reaching your final destination. For the most part, these intermediate points of access consist of "Internet Routers" and "Internet Caching Engines." These too, maintain their own DNS cache, which assists them in routing traffic/resolving URL's to the correct destination IP's.

Don't worry though, as Internet routers are usually faster at clearing their DNS cache than ISP's are. What to expect during this 2 to 4 day propagation period: In most cases, the propagation process will take at least 48 hours to complete. The first thing that happens is the "World Root Name Servers" will check all of the various "Domain Registers for updates. Ok, so now the Root Name Servers have done their job. The rest of it is up to the many ISP providers who "should be" updating their DNS records (at least every 24 hours), but a number of them will not.

Note: Your browser may override your computer. Read more here: http://ccm.net/faq/555-disabling-the-dns-cache-in-mozilla-firefox

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