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I recently purchased a domain name from and played around with it a little. I got it to do a URL redirect to

A few hours later, I got a free hosting account with and pointed my nameservers toward 000webhost. I built a sample website using 000webhost's tools.

It's been more than 24 hours, and when I try to access my website, I'd get Wikipedia some of the time and my sample site the rest of the time. From what I understand about DNS propagation, I should be getting one or the other.

What's going on? Is my understanding of DNS propagation incorrect?

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DNS doesn't propagate so yes, your understanding is wrong. – John Gardeniers Apr 23 '12 at 8:53
Right, I'm aware that the terminology is controversial, but it's the most widely used. – Tianxiang Xiong Apr 23 '12 at 12:31
the terminology is not controversial, it's just plain WRONG. Those who continue to use the term propagation in relation to DNS demonstrate a lack of understanding and are guilty of spreading this misinformation. – John Gardeniers Apr 23 '12 at 21:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It can change depending on which nameservers are updated.

Check your TTL -- if it's 24 hours, it means servers are allowed to cache at least that long. But, some cache longer anyway, and it can be staggered, which means it can easily be 3x the TTL to actually move.

If you know you're going to be switching DNS, set your TTLs low so the switch can happen more quickly (for most DNS servers).

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Yes, I can see from that my TTL is 2 days. This seems much longer than necessary. Would this be something I need to modify (if I can modify it, not sure since I have free hosting)through the webhost? – Tianxiang Xiong Apr 23 '12 at 5:38

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