There are several conditions that must be met for the domain name to be registered properly and be accessible from the Internet:

  • The domain name has to be assigned to an IP address.
  • The domain name has to be registered with the name servers that 'know' what IP address this domain name resolves to.
  • The domain name has to be registered with the appropriate Network Information Center (NIC) that keeps database records of the domain ownership and the name servers that maintain the domain's IP record.

When you set up a virtual server with Intermedia, or add a new domain name to it, the domain name is assigned to the IP address and registered with Intermedia name servers (the first two conditions are met).

The last thing you need to do is to update your registrar's record for your domain to point it to Intermedia Name Servers. Some registrars take as long as 72 hours to update the database. These changes then need to propagate (the time it takes for a DNS change to be reflected on DNS servers around the world), which typically takes another 3 to 5 days. Read the Knowledge Base article What is propagation? for more information.

If DNS records are correct, but I still can't connect to my site using the domain name, the most likely reason for this problem is that the DNS at your ISP is not updated to reflect the changes in Internic (or other NIC) database. It normally takes from 2 to 4 days to propagate the new DNS information and clear the DNS cache. This time depends on the TTL (time-to-live) settings for your domain at your previous host and the time when the DNS entry was cached.

Sometimes, it takes more than 4 days if the TTL was set unreasonably high by your previous host. In some cases it may take as long as 7 to 10 days to clear the cache. During this period, mail and HTTP requests may be coming to either the old or new servers. There is no control over it and nothing can be done to speed up the process.

You can verify this by using ping or trace route utilities (read the Knowledge Base article What is a trace route (tracert)?  How do I run one? for more information). In the command prompt, type either of the following commands:

  • ping
  • tracert

The reported IP address should be the one of your virtual server with Intermedia. If this is not the case, and it has been more than 7 days since the domain record had been updated, please contact your ISP to solve the problem.