What is DNS Propogation?

I have received this question many many times over the years as an internet … person… most recently from our new graphic artist contractor, a fine young man from Joseph Turner Graphics. And it’s a very valid question, since people are often told things like “Your website won’t be up until DNS propagates which could be as long as 72 hours.” 72 hours! This is the age of the Internet! 72 hours is an enormous amount of time. Why does it take so long? Why is the range so gaping? I mean if it was EXACTLY 72 hours, that’s more believable than “could be one hour, could be 12, could be 39, could be 72”.

Unfortunately, there is a reason. And it’s one that no one has control over.
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