I have used several shared web hosting packages over the years, however, more recently I have encountered issues that have me questioning the purpose of delays in configuration changes.

The web host in question is 1&1, which applies config changes with a delay.

The question // What is the benefit of delaying configuration changes?

Update additional question // Why would some changes take the specified time (e.g. 10 minutes), and sometimes several hours?

The story // The most recent incident was caused using the 1&1's WebsiteBuilder by a tech to create a temporary page. After this, the finalized site (html/js/css/etc.) was placed on the server through FTP. The following events occurred after:

  1. Removed the domain from the selection was applied immediately (i.e. selected -none-).
  2. Changed the domain destination folder, which were delayed a few minutes.
    • Skip a few hours
  3. Another tech attempted some changes through the WebsiteBuilder.
    • This change forced the Control Panel to copy the existing site files to a different folder.
    • The change was applied immediately.
  4. My mistake here was removing the newly created folder, and reapplying the domain destination folder.
    • This change did not take effect immediately; in fact, it took several hours.
    • The last tech kept attempting to fix the site by making changes on the Control Panel.

Due to the configuration effect delays on step 4, the tech kept making changes (presumably adding more changes to the configuration queue, I'm guessing).

Finally, all of these changes threw the site into a cycle of failed access, directory listing denied, 404's, etc.

1 Answer 1


The answer: Lowering load to HDD hosting system or sometimes to CPU.

Why: It depends on scripts which rules the whole process. It may be cron scripts which runs every 5-10 min or scripts run when system idle or ...

This situation similar to github pages - all changes visible with delay up to 10 minutes. This time set on nginx config file as cache time

For sure ask you hoster.

  • Thanks for the reply, I've added an additional question - why are the changes sometimes the specified estimated time, however, sometimes the very same changes take hours?
    – Jesse
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 15:44
  • @Jesse As I say I can just conjecture. It may depend on server's load level so you changes wait until webserver process all clients requests and then apply you changes.
    – b1_
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 15:59
  • Interesting. Thanks for the answer! If you can think of anything else, please add as a comment and/or update the answer. I will wait a day or two to see if the question gains more traction; if not, I will accept your answer.
    – Jesse
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 16:05

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