I just used the "Buy a Domain For My Blog" wizard, and paid for my domain with my credit card. The credit card company confirmed the charge. But I see that it's "In Transition"??or
You told me how to fix my DNS problem, and I did just what you told me. But I don't see my changes when I Dig the addresses for my domain. I know that I made the changes!
What is going on here? Why do I have to wait, unpredictably?
The answer is reasonably simple, though the details, and the resulting symptoms, can be agonizingly complex.
- A new domain isn't going to be visible everywhere, immediately, because there are thousands (maybe, millions) of DNS servers, all over the Internet. Your domain uses one, possibly one provided by the registrar, which becomes the authoritative server for your domain. You, and your readers, have your own DNS servers, which you use to retrieve address information for every web site that you access. When you, or your reader, accesses your domain, your local DNS server provides you the address of your domain, and becomes non-authoritative for your domain.
Each non-authoritative (local) DNS server (that you or your readers - or Google - access) isn't going to immediately retrieve the DNS information for your new domain. Each DNS server maintains its own master list of all domains on the Internet, and it caches the list on its own terms. Some servers only update their master list once a day, others every 2 or 3 days.
- Changes to an existing domain won't be visible, immediately, because the domain addresses retrieved by each non-authoritative server will be cached on that server. The cache retention period is based upon Time To Live, which is provided by the authoritative server for the domain. Until the cache expires, the non-authoritative server will continue to provide the addresses previously retrieved.
- If a DNS server is part of a cluster (most companies use multiple servers, frequently geographically separated), there is no guarantee that all servers will update at the same time. Only one server is authoritative for your domain, at any time. If you (your readers, Google) access the same domain repeatedly, you may get different information each time, until all servers are synchronised with the authoritative server.
For more discussion, you can read (again, alphabetised):
- Ezine: DNS Propagation Explained - or Why You Have to Wait the 72 Hours
- InterMedia: What is DNS propagation?
- WebHosting: What is DNS propagation and why does it take so long?
- WikiPedia: Domain Name System
And, try this interesting DNS Propagation Checker, for experimentation.