When you register your domain name the hosting registrar will inform you that it will probably take between 24-96 hours to "Propagate"

But what does this mean when you get told this? You’ve bought the domain name yet it doesn’t work straight away?

The DNS Propagation progress is what stops this but unfortunately, it has to happen in order for the domain name to work.  It’s a process of updating and syncing certain information across the internet about your new domain name. When you register a domain name, millions of DNS servers around the world need to be updated with the new information.

Every domain will have 2 name servers allocated to it which will be the only 2 that hold the records for that domain.  When another server somewhere else in the world inquiries the DNS records it will keep a local copy of this so that the next time it wants the DNS records and needs to know what the IP address the domain resolves to, it will already have that answer as it has been stored locally. Servers need to know IP addresses as computers don’t actually recognise actual domain names of websites but recognise IP addresses, and each site will have its own IP address.

There are two forms of propagation: The DNS Zone will change and there is a change in the WHOIS information.  The DNS Zone is the change that only affects a few servers and this does not take long to propagate. The WHOIS information is that update for the other millions of DNS servers around the world that need to be updated with the new information.  This is the part of the propagation that takes the longest.

Have a question on propagation? Contact one of the Pebble Team and we will be happy to help and discuss!