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How long do DNS changes take?

Hosting providers are often asked to make "Urgent" DNS changes.

However it's important to realise, DNS changes can take days to propagate. There is no such thing as a urgent DNS change. It's the nature of the protocol.

When changing a record, it will take the length of the TTL (time to live) in seconds to expire before your new changes go into effect. The TTL tells other internet service providers "this DNS record is fine for the next x seconds, you don't need to ask me again until after that".
You can set the TTL to any value before or after making changes to your records. Reasonable values for a static IP are anywhere from 12 hours (43200 seconds) to 24 hours (86400 seconds). Of course if you set a short TTL after making your changes this new TTL itself won't get picked up until the previous change has propagated out.

Other ISPs cache DNS records sometimes using the TTL and sometimes on their own timetables. In the UK BT is known for caching DNS for up to 48 hours.

Therefore it's important to leave your service running on the old IP addresses for a couple of days.

Tips for Fast DNS Changes

  • Find out when your host reloads DNS - is it daily, twice daily, immediately?
  • Ask your host a few days in advance to lower the TTL records to 1 hour on the domain you will be changing.
  • Finally a quick and dirty trick:
  • Instead of changing DNS records, change the nameservers. This should force ISPs to check the root zone and hence not use cached records.

You can read more about DNS propagation here:

Domain Name Support

The last twelve months has seen a flurry of UK Domain Name registration companies closing down. Many of these companies have disappeared without trace leaving their customers in the lurch. Others have been taken over and customers have been provided with various degrees of continuity of services. In some cases the web sites and e-mail services have been terminated without notice and in an extreme case all the domain names registered through a particular company were deleted because the fees had not been paid.

If you are worried about your domain name then you should check that is has been paid for and make sure that the administration is transferred to a new company. We can help you get you site back up fast - Contact Us

UK Domain Names

For .uk domains all registrations are made through the UK top level registrar Nominet. Most domain name registration companies become members of Nominet and administer the names they register using the automated registration system using what is known as a 'TAG'. A Nominet Tag is the company's identifier. When a domain name is on a specific tag it is under the administrative control of the TAG holder. It is the TAG holder which Nominet would normally approach to collect fees for renewals etc.

When an individual member ceases to trade then it's TAG can become suspended or even deleted. In these situations the domain name will need to be re-tagged to a new Nominet member. While a name is on a defunct TAG it cannot be modified by anybody other than Nominet.

Ownership of the name is a different matter. The legal owner of a domain name is the registrant. Reputable domain name companies will register the name in the name of the customers but occasional names have been known to be registered in the name of the registration company.

It is therefore important that anyone who has registered a UK domain name check with Nominet. This can be done using the whois service available on the Nominet website Alternatively Nominet can be contacted by telephone on +44(0)1865 332211 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Nominet has also put up a special page explaining how domian name owners can go about choosing a new ISP. See

Questions and Answers

What characters can I use when registering a domain name?
You can use the characters a-z and 0-9 (in any combination). You can also use hyphens (-), although your domain name cannot start or end with a hyphen. You cannot use any other characters, nor should you use punctuation.

Are domain names case sensitive?
No. Domain names are case insensitive. So is the same domain name as You are free to choose how to present the domain in writing.

Can I register an all-numeric domain name?
Most domain name extensions require a minimum of 2 characters for a domain name, although a few countries have set higher minimums for names registered under their extension. However not many of these domains are available to register.

What extra services can I expect when I register a domain name?
2020Media offers a wide variety of services. However some of the following services will not apply to you depending on the type of package you are receiving from us:

Web Hosting: This service is given to customers who decide to upload their web pages to our servers. This is a better alternative to "Web Forwarding". Our servers are High-performance, stable servers offering a variety of hosting technologies like PHP and ASP.Net.

Email Forwarding: email sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is forwarded to your current email address. This is a very cheap and easy way of having your own "custom" email address.

Web Forwarding: This option is great for anyone hosting a site on an ISP's server, as you will not need to move the site. The domain name will automatically be resolved to point to the correct URL.

Domain Parking: Depending on your personal preference, you may prefer to have point at a standard "under construction" page rather than not point at anything at all. We provide this service with all domains purchased through 2020Media at no extra charge.

I registered a domain name, but I made a mistake while registering and registered the wrong name/changed my mind about registering it after paying. Can I cancel my registration?
Under the current Domain Name Service Agreement that all accredited Registrars operate under, all sales are final. If you want to register a different domain name, you'll have to pay again.

I'm thinking of registering an alternative extension of a well-known domain name. For example the ".org" of a well known ".com" domain name. Is that a good idea?
While this tactic may get you some "free" traffic, it's also a great recipe for a lawsuit. If the .com domain is trademarked, it's better to steer clear of trouble. If the .com domain is "generic" then you're safer because dictionary words can not be trademarked. Ultimately, it's your decision.

I'm thinking of registering a misspelling of a popular site's domain name (example:, Is that a good idea?
This is commonly known as "typosquatting" i.e. buying a domain name with the expectation of siphoning traffic off of the legitimate site by snaring people who can't spell well. There have been a number of court cases as a result of this kind of behaviour - most were decided in favour of the site owner. Ultimately, it's your decision.

I want to buy a domain, but I don't want to move my existing site from its current location at What can I do?
2020Media offer a service called "Web Forwarding". This is a service that will automatically redirect visitors from your domain name to your existing URL.

I can't think of any good domain names. Any suggestions?
Try and think of domain names associated with current or future growth areas, or topics that are always popular such as golf and finance. Think of domain names that specifically relate to YOUR industry or line of business. A good way to brainstorm is to sit down with a clean piece of paper, let your mind wander, and write down every idea you get as a result... sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised at what your unconscious throws up! You can also try our Domain Name Checker.

Top Level Domains (TLDs)

Information relating to .com,.net  can be obtained by querying the whois service at Network Solutions

This search will give you detail registration information. The three names which are given are the Organisation Name, Admin and Technical contacts. The first Name displayed is the Organisation Name and this represents the owner of the domain name. Ideally this should be the same as the admin contact and should be the owner of the name. The Technical contact is usually some one at the company through which the name was registered. If this company no longer exists then the technical contact will need to be changed. To do this you will first need to find out which ICANN member your name was registered through. Many names have been registered through CORE. Look for the line: "CORE Registrar: CORE-xx". to see if this is the case. If so then visit the CORE website to find out more details about the individual CORE member.

Most ICANN registrars allow changes to be made through a process involving a web portal or e-mail system. Visit the home page of the registrar for you name and follow the online instructions.

For more information contact us

Check your name today before it's too late

Broker: A company in the business of buying and selling domain names. Domain name brokers usually act as facilitators between buyers and sellers, but very rarely buy for their own account. Note that many companies call themselves "brokers" because it basically sounds good, though all they really do is list domain names for sale on their site, with contact information...

Country code top level domain (ccTLD): A generally two-letter top domain that stands for a specific country. Examples include .fr for France, .de for Germany, .br for Brazil and so on. Most CTLDs are controlled by an authority in the relevant country, though the rights to a few CTLDs have been sold to private parties. One well-known case is the ".tv" CTLD, which is operated by Dot.TV - the ".tv" designation originally stood for "Tuvalu" but that country ceded all rights over the .tv designation for at least 10 years, in exchange for a large sum of money.

Dropped domain: A previously registered domain name whose registration was allowed to lapse by the original owner, who refused to pay the renewal fee. The domain name returned to the "available" pool of domain names.

Expired domain: A domain name whose renewal date has passed, but which has not yet been dropped from the domain name system. a number of people track "good" expired domains in the hope that they can be the one to register them when they drop.

Extension: The final portion of a domain name beyond the right-most "." For instance, the ".com" extension; the ".fr" extension.

ICANN: Non-profit organization in charge of overseeing domain name disputes and maintaining overall control of the domain name system.

Name server: A machine that contains a local record mapping domain names and IP addresses. Domain names reference two name servers: a primary name server and a secondary name server. The secondary is used if the primary is inaccessible for any reason.

Nominet UK: Non-profit limited company in charge of overseeing domain name disputes and maintaining overall control of most (but not all) domains ending in .uk.

"On Hold": A domain name is said to be on hold when its record is locked in the domain Registry. Domain names that are on hold cannot be used to point to a given website. Domain names may be put on hold during a dispute between two parties over the rightful ownership of the relevant name, so that neither party can make active use of the name for the duration of the dispute. Domain names may also be put on hold shortly before they drop, if they have been allowed to expire.

Registrar: A company in the business of registering domain names. An accredited registrar is permitted to update the domain name database (maintained by the Registry) directly. Other registrars work through partnerships with accredited registrars. Registrars pay a minimum fee per domain name to the Registry for the right to record the ownership of the domain name.

Registry: A non-profit company in charge of maintaining the master database of all domain names, including details of ownership, expiry dates etc.

Renewal date: The date on which the periodic maintenance fee paid for a given domain name runs out. On or before this date, the domain name owner must pay another 1-10+ years of domain name maintenance fees in order to keep the rights to the domain name (gTLD domains only). If the renewal date is allowed to pass without payment, the domain name becomes expired and will eventually drop.

Second-level domain: The portion of the domain name before the name.extension. For instance, www is a very common second level domain of most domain names. Second level domains can be used to "stretch" a domain name further by allowing one domain name to serve for multiple pages or sites (e.g. and both start off using the domain, but can refer to different sites)

Top-level domain: The end portion of the domain name including the final "." - for instance .com, .net or .org. Some country domains have a double-barreled top-level domain, such as or

Transfer (I): The process of moving authority over a domain name from one domain registrar to another, usually to gain a price advantage or take advantage of the more lenient Terms & Conditions offered by the destination registrar. Each registrar has its own rules and systems for transferring domain names, and these are not always compatible with each other.

Transfer (II): The sale of a domain name is sometimes known as a "domain transfer" since in the case of a sale what really happens is a transfer of rights in the given domain name, which is reflected by a change in the ownership details recorded in the Registry. This change can be effected by the registrar that registered the domain name, or can be carried out via a transfer (I).

Transfer agreement: The documentation required to formalize or authorize a domain transfer from one party to another (i.e. in the case of a change in domain name ownership). Often, such a change in ownership requires a notarized transfer agreement completed by both parties to the transaction.

2020Media is a leading provider of small business Wi-Fi hotspots. If you want to offer free Wi-Fi to your customers or users, our service could be exactly what you are looking for. Our Hotspots are managed in the cloud, ultra-reliable and give you loads of information about behaviour patterns of your users. Read More   Read more...
2020Media introduces Moodle Hosting - UK servers and UK Moodle experts setup your site ready to use. Read more...
Special Offer for Longer Registration Periods Register or renew a .com, .net or .org domain name for 5 years we'll include 1 year free*. Read more...
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