When you first sign-up for web hosting or switch providers, there is a period of time called DNS propagation where your name servers have to update across the globe to display your website on your new hosting account.
Depending on where you’re located geographically, this process can take anywhere from an hour up to 48 hours! Nowadays most United States based Internet Service Providers flush their DNS cache hourly, but I’ve seen some still take the full 48 hours.
This can sometimes be the most annoying part about the switch, but thankfully there are tools to help you out!
Dynamic DNS Providers
If you’re using a dynamic DNS provider such as Cloudflare (with a full integration) you can easily change your A records to point to your new hosting account.
Personally, this is how I handle my websites, including NameHero, as I have to make sure everyone is seeing the “live site” since we’re taking orders, submitting tickets, by the second!
But I understand for most, this isn’t always a reality.
DNS provider OpenDNS (now owned by Cisco) is doing some really awesome things. For starters, I use their content filtering at both our Name Hero office as well as my home to protect my family and employees from accessing malicious content.
Unlike software that can easily be avoided, OpenDNS filters content on a DNS level ensuring malicious (or in appropriate) content can’t be accessed.
Besides that though, you can switch your DNS from your ISP over to them for instant propagation. Depending on your operating system, they have detailed instructions available here: http://188.8.131.52/
Regardless your networking knowledge, this is very easy for anyone to setup!
Set Your Local Host File
When I’m developing a new design or layout for Name Hero, I simply edit my local host file so I can work on the site like it’s live, when it’s really just me that can see it.
Without a doubt this is the most efficient way to build your website as you can 100% make sure all of your links, images, and pages come up correctly. Especially those that have multiple devices, this keeps things simple!
I have a full tutorial posted up on the blog how to do this: How To Test Or Preview Your Website Before Switching DNS
We’ve got your back
If you’re not seeing your site on the new server within 24 – 48 hours, you should reach out to our support team ASAP so we can take a look.
If you want to make sure you have all the correct DNS entries in place you can always use IntoDNS (any red should be addressed immediately).
None-the-less our team is also available to help you choose which option is best to ensure the quickest switch ever from your previous web hosting provider!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.