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Why domain updates take up to 72 hours to process

When you connect a custom domain to your site, you're changing its DNS (Domain Name System) settings. These changes can take anywhere between 24 and 72 hours to start working properly. Domain providers refer to this waiting period as "propagation time," or the time it takes for changes to update throughout the web.

The exact timing depends on many factors and isn't something Squarespace can control or expedite. If you've entered all records correctly and your domain isn’t working right away, or if it's working on some devices but not others, there’s nothing to worry about. The Internet is a big place, and it can take time for all of its servers to catch up with every change. The best course of action is to wait.

The rest of this guide explains what's happening behind the scenes during these few days.

How it works

When you type a URL into your browser, your computer locates the domain’s DNS records from a directory on servers maintained by ICANN, the Internet’s governing body. The directory then tells your browser which server it needs to communicate with to open the site.

To speed this along, ISPs (Internet Service Providers, such as the company from whom you get your Internet access) will cache copies of your DNS records. This makes viewing faster because the ISP doesn't have to relocate records every time someone visits your site; it just pulls from its cache. This works similarly to your own browser cache, but for hundreds of thousands of people at once.

ISPs update their cache every few days, detecting any DNS changes. Your new or updated URL won't work across the Internet until all ISPs have gone through this automatic cache refresh.

Similarly, if you edit your domain’s DNS settings and those changes aren’t reflected when you look up your domain, it’s likely that you’re seeing a cached response. When those cached responses update, you’ll see the changes.

Check your progress

While you wait, you can check your domain’s progress across the Internet by using Whatsmydns.net.

If you’re still seeing an issue with your domain after 72 hours, let us know and we'll be happy to take a look at your DNS settings to make sure everything is set up correctly.

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Why domain updates take up to 72 hours to process