Domain propagation antics!
A lot of support requests that we receive are about domain propagation and clients not being able to view their newly created sites. This article will go about trying to explain what is happening and why you can't view your new site whereas someone else can view your site.
You've just opened your new account here and you've gone along to your domain registrar and you've updated the DNS info for that domain so that it now points to your account on the Island Hosting server that you're on. Your site will not become visible by the domain name for probably 48 hours. Why is this taking so long, you ask? Basically all the ISPs around the net have to update their DNS cache and this takes time.
Why does it take so long? There are various reasons, but some studies have suggested that there are literally millions of DNS Servers that need to be notified of the new information!
Propagation takes two forms, changes to your DNS Zone and changes to your WHOIS information. The WHOIS is the master record that tells every DNS Server in the world which is the authoritative server for your domain. A change to your WHOIS information (done by your domain registrar) can take up to 72 hours to propagate fully. A change to your DNS Zone information typically affects only a handful of servers, and so is done much more quickly.
You can also access the site via the http://SERVERIP/~username. Check the "SERVERIP" from your Welcome Email.
A common question we get is that why can I access the site but my client cannot access the new site. The answer to this is that your ISP has updated its DNS information and the ISP of your client has not yet updated their DNS info. Hence you are looking at the new location of the domain name, whereas your client will still be looking at the old location.
Use this page to check the whois and other nameserver checks for your domains - http://registrar.verisign-grs.com/whois/. Just because you can see the updated information on this page, this doesn't mean that your site is viewable at its new location by everyone from around the net. True domain propagation takes up to 72 hours, maybe even longer.
So, hang in there and ride out the domain propagation waiting game.
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