WPSandbox DNS Propagation

How to Speed up DNS Changes for a Faster WordPress Migration

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Migrating your WordPress site is a significant task, and you’re now at the crucial final step: ensuring that your DNS changes propagate quickly. One effective way to achieve this is by temporarily reducing the TTL (Time-To-Live) value for your domain’s DNS records (@ and www).

The idea is to reduce the time as much as possible. Some registrars allow you to set the time to 1min and others to 5 or 10 minutes. The lower the value the better until the migration is done.

By default the value ranges from several hours to 48 hours this mean that when you change the IP address it will take many hours for the change to propagate across the internet.

For this reason when you reduce the TTL time you can switch a domain to a new IP and it will start pointing to the new server within minutes and not days.

Important: You need to reduce the TTL 1-2 days before the actual migration to ensure that all servers know about this new value.

Understanding TTL and Its Importance

What is TTL? TTL stands for Time-To-Live and represents the duration in seconds that a DNS record is cached by DNS resolvers. The lower the TTL, the quicker changes to the DNS records will propagate across the internet.

Why Reduce TTL?

During a site migration, you want visitors to reach your new server as soon as possible. By reducing the TTL, you minimize downtime and ensure a seamless transition. Typically, DNS propagation can take up to 48 hours, but a lower TTL can significantly shorten this period.

Steps to Reduce TTL for Quick DNS Resolution

  1. Log in to Your Domain Registrar or DNS Management Console
    • Access the account where your domain is registered. This is typically done through your domain registrar’s website.
  2. Locate the DNS Records for Your Domain
    • Navigate to the DNS settings or DNS management section. Here, you will see a list of DNS records for your domain.
  3. Identify the @ (Root Domain) and www Records
    • The @ record represents your root domain (e.g., example.com), and the www record represents the subdomain (e.g., www.example.com).
  4. Temporarily Set the TTL to a Lower Value
    • Change the TTL value to a lower number, such as 300 seconds (5 minutes or even 1minute if possible). This adjustment ensures that DNS changes are quickly propagated.
  5. Save the Changes
    • Confirm and save the changes in your DNS management console.

Verifying the Changes

After updating the TTL, it’s essential to verify that the changes have been applied correctly. You can use various online tools to check your DNS records, such as:

Enter your domain and check if the TTL value has been updated. This ensures that the DNS resolvers will use the new, lower TTL value.

Reverting the TTL After Migration

Once the DNS propagation is complete and your site is functioning correctly on the new server, remember to revert the TTL to its original value. A higher TTL is beneficial in normal circumstances as it reduces the load on your DNS servers and speeds up the resolution process for users.

  1. Log back into your DNS management console.
  2. Locate the @ and www records.
  3. Change the TTL back to its previous value (e.g., 3600 seconds or 1 hour).
  4. Save the changes.

Conclusion

Reducing the TTL for your domain’s DNS records will ensure a smooth WordPress site migration. By following the steps outlined above, you can minimize downtime and ensure that your visitors are directed to the new server quickly. 

Remember, once everything is stable, revert the TTL value to its original value to maintain optimal DNS performance.

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