When registering a new domain, it is common to be anxious to see the address working where your new site will be published in the future. It is precisely at this moment that many people find themselves frustrated when realizing that the domain so desired is not working.

The domain is already paid and still does not work. What could be happening? Rest assured, there is nothing wrong with your domain. Know that just registering a domain does not make it go live right away. There is a process that needs to be accomplished for this. And the completion of this process may take longer than we would like, unfortunately.

In this article, we will understand how the spread of domains on the internet works. You’ll see that you may need to take a little patience until you see your dreamed-up realm working. Stay with us and find out!

What happens after domain registration?

The domain registration is only the first step of a website publishing process. After registration, it is necessary to indicate where it will be hosted. This indication is made in the system where it was registered, and to this process, we call it change DNS name.

The domain name system, or simply DNS, is responsible for informing on which server to find each domain that exists on the internet. If DNS would not have been there, we would have to decorate an unfriendly sequence of numbers, which are the IP addresses of the hosting servers.

DNS Change

So after registering a domain, you need to change the default DNS for that domain to reflect the server on which this site will be hosted. This procedure allows you to host a website on any hosting company in the world, regardless of where you registered the domain.

If you registered a domain in the same company where your site will be hosted, it is very likely that DNS is already set up to point to the company itself. This is a fairly common practice in companies that provide both services (website hosting and domain registration).If this is not the case, DNS pointing must be done. The DNS values that you must use will be provided by the hosting company, usually at the time of account activation. If this did not occur, contact your company support to request the data.

Domain propagation through DNS

After changing the DNS, the effect is not immediate, as we mentioned at the beginning of the article. To better understand this process, you need to know how the DNS system works.

The DNS system is nothing more than an immense list that links domain names to server IPs. The acronym DNS comes from Domain Name System. It is a distributed system, that is, it is not contained in a central server. Rather, it is present on many servers worldwide. Each server contains a copy of this list of names and IPs.

When you change the DNS of the domain you just registered, this information must be replicated by all DNS servers in the world. That way, a person who tries to access your site and who is located in another country, will be directed correctly to the hosting server of your site.

This process of replicating the list of domains and IPs can take many hours to complete. Let us understand why there is a delay.

Up to 72 hours for a domain to be fully propagated

Let’s say someone made a DNS change in a domain that was registered in the enom.com. We know that the DNS server of enom.com is located in New York for example. Within two hours after the change, enom.com will issue an update to its list of domains and this update will contain the information of the hosting server of the aforementioned new domain. After the publication of this update, the information will be transmitted in a chain, being distributed by all the servers of DNS of the world.

It is as if one server was “telling the other” that there was a change in the list of domains. After a few hours, all DNS servers in the US will be aware of the update. In a few more hours, servers in other countries will also be upgraded.

Graphical representation of DNS propagation - illustrative image

Graphical representation of DNS propagation – illustrative image 

This feature generates unusual situations. If you change the DNS of a registered domain in the US and also change a registered .com domain in an international company in a short time, it is likely that the .com domain will propagate faster to Who is accessing the site in the United States.

How to know if the propagation of a domain has already occurred

On average, the propagation of domains takes about 24 hours to occur. But the total time can reach to 72 hours. How do you know if a given address is already fully propagated?

To find out if a domain has already spread through the internet, the first action that comes to mind is accessing the domain in question, right? More or less. In fact, even if you can access that domain, that does not mean that DNS propagation has already occurred all over the internet. It may have occurred on the DNS server used by your ISP, but it has not yet occurred in other parts of the world. Also, during DNS update, you may experience some instability in that domain. That is, it is possible for the domain to run intermittently during the DNS propagation period.

So, in order to know if a domain is actually spread all over the internet, we need some kind of tool. One of them is whatsmydns.net. When you enter any domain in the search field, the tool queries multiple DNS servers around the world and indicates whether or not there is a record of that domain on the server.

To use the tool, simply enter any domain in the search box and click Search. When entering a domain, leave the check box in position A, which indicates the IP of the server in the IPv4 version.


Although the internet works at the speed of light, the response to a certain action or command is not always instantaneous, as is the case of the spread of domains around the world. To have a fully functioning domain after your registration, you need to wait for at least 24 to 72 hours.