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Can I Speed Up DNS Propagation In 2024?

March 8, 2023 | By David Selden-Treiman | Filed in: DNS, hosting.


DNS propagation can take time and there is no guaranteed way to speed it up, but adjusting TTL values and using a CDN can help speed up the process.


As a website owner, you may have experienced the frustration of slow DNS propagation when making changes to your domain’s DNS records.

The best time to start reading this article, is before you start the propagation. Unfortunately, we know that you probably are frustrated with your records not updating after you update them. That’s why you’re here.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a guaranteed way to directly speed up DNS propagation, as it is dependent on various factors, such as DNS server caching and network latency. However, there are techniques that can help expedite the process.

Most of the ways to speed up your propagation require changes before doing the actual modifications, but these can certainly help you in the future.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of how DNS propagation works, explore factors that affect its speed, and discuss techniques you can use to speed up the process. We’ll also provide some best practices for managing DNS propagation effectively, so you can minimize downtime and ensure a seamless transition when making DNS changes.

How DNS Propagation Works

As a website owner, it’s important to understand how DNS propagation works in order to effectively manage your domain’s DNS records. DNS servers play a critical role in the process, as they translate domain names into IP addresses that computers can use to access websites.

When you make changes to your domain’s DNS records, such as updating your IP address or adding a new subdomain, these changes need to propagate across the DNS system. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, or even days in some cases.

The time it takes for DNS propagation to complete can depend on several factors, including:

  • the TTL (time-to-live) value of your DNS records,
  • the number of DNS servers that need to update their caches, and
  • the network latency between these servers.

During DNS propagation, your domain’s DNS records may be cached by various DNS servers along the way.

When someone tries to access your website, their computer will query a DNS server to find the IP address associated with your domain name.

  • If the server has a cached copy of your DNS records, it will return this information to the user’s computer.
  • If not, it will query another DNS server until it finds a cached copy or reaches the authoritative DNS server for your domain.

In summary, DNS propagation is the process of updating DNS records across the DNS system, which can take time due to caching and network latency.

Techniques to Speed Up DNS Propagation

You are probably wondering if there are any techniques you can use to speed up DNS propagation. While there isn’t a guaranteed way to speed up the process, there are several techniques that can help expedite the propagation of your domain’s DNS records.

Lower TTL Values

TTL (time-to-live) is a setting in your DNS records that specifies how long DNS servers should cache this information before checking for updates. Lowering your TTL values will generally reduce the amount of time that DNS servers will cache your DNS records.

This means that when you make changes to your DNS records, the updated information will propagate more quickly across the DNS system. However, it’s important to remember that setting TTL values too low can increase the load on DNS servers and potentially cause issues.

A good DNS server should be able to handle large loads, but always keep this in mind. 1 hour tends to be a good value in my experience.

Use of DNS Zone Transfers

DNS zone transfers allow you to transfer your domain’s DNS records from your primary DNS server to your secondary DNS server. By doing so, you can ensure that both servers have the most up-to-date DNS records, which can help speed up propagation.

This is generally done automatically if you’re using your hosting service’s DNS provider, but you’ll want to make sure it’s working if you’re handling your own DNS servers.

Pre-Publishing DNS records

Pre-publishing involves adding your new DNS records to the DNS system before making the actual change. This can help reduce the amount of time it takes for the updated DNS records to propagate, as they will already be present in the DNS system.

Using a CDN

Content Delivery Networks, or CDNs, are networks of servers located in different geographic locations. By using a CDN, you can ensure that your website’s content is cached on multiple servers around the world. This can help speed up DNS propagation, as users will be directed to the closest server to their location.


It’s important to note that these techniques may not always result in immediate DNS propagation, as the speed at which DNS records propagate can depend on various factors, such as the TTL value of the records, the number of DNS servers involved, and the network latency between these servers.

However, by implementing these techniques, you can potentially reduce the time it takes for DNS propagation to complete.

Best Practices for Managing DNS Propagation

It’s important to manage DNS propagation effectively to minimize downtime and ensure a seamless transition when making DNS changes. Here are some best practices for managing DNS propagation:

Plan Ahead

Before making any changes to your domain’s DNS records, make sure to plan ahead and understand the potential impact of these changes. Consider factors such as the TTL values of your DNS records, the number of DNS servers involved, and the potential impact on your website’s performance.

Use a Staging Environment

Whenever possible, use a staging environment to test DNS changes before making them live. This can help you identify any potential issues and ensure a smooth transition when making DNS changes.

Communicate With Your Users

If you anticipate any potential downtime during DNS propagation, communicate this with your users ahead of time. This can help manage expectations and minimize any potential impact on your website’s traffic.

Monitor DNS Propagation

Monitor DNS propagation to ensure that your new DNS records are being propagated correctly. Use tools such as DNS lookup tools or monitoring services to track DNS propagation and identify any issues that may arise.

Be Patient

Remember that DNS propagation can take time, and there may be factors outside of your control that affect the speed of propagation. Be patient and avoid making any unnecessary changes during this time, as this can prolong the process and potentially cause issues.

Risks to Keep In Mind

While DNS propagation is a necessary process when making changes to your domain’s DNS records, it can also pose certain risks, such as:


During DNS propagation, your website may experience downtime, which can result in lost traffic and revenue. This is especially true if you’re making significant changes to your DNS records or switching to a new DNS provider.

Inconsistent Website Performance

In some cases, DNS propagation can result in inconsistent website performance. This is because some users may be directed to the old IP address while others are directed to the new IP address, depending on the status of DNS caching.

DNS Hijacking

DNS propagation can also leave your domain vulnerable to DNS hijacking, which is a type of cyber attack where an attacker takes control of your domain’s DNS records. This can result in your website being redirected to a different server, potentially exposing sensitive information or installing malware on your users’ computers.

Mitigating These Risks

To mitigate these risks, it’s important to take proactive measures when managing DNS propagation. For example, you can use DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) to add an extra layer of security to your DNS records and prevent DNS hijacking.

You can also monitor DNS propagation closely to identify any issues that may arise, such as inconsistent website performance or unexpected downtime.


In conclusion, while there isn’t a guaranteed way to speed up DNS propagation, there are several strategies that can help you manage the process effectively. By understanding the factors that affect DNS propagation and following best practices, you can minimize the impact of DNS propagation on your website’s performance.

Remember that DNS propagation can take time and may involve some risks, such as downtime and inconsistent website performance. However, by taking proactive measures and being patient during the process, you can minimize these risks and ensure that your website remains secure and accessible to your users.

Ultimately, managing DNS propagation is an important part of website administration, and by following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can ensure that your website remains up and running smoothly.

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    David Selden-Treiman, Director of Operations at Potent Pages.

    David Selden-Treiman is Director of Operations and a project manager at Potent Pages. He specializes in custom web crawler development, website optimization, server management, web application development, and custom programming. Working at Potent Pages since 2012 and programming since 2003, David has extensive expertise solving problems using programming for dozens of clients. He also has extensive experience managing and optimizing servers, managing dozens of servers for both Potent Pages and other clients.


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