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I have a hosting package on HostGator on domain example.com

I also got a VPS server from Digital Ocean and have setup the DNS Details on the server there (A Record pointing on DO server IP with @ as hostname) and have also setup the DNS Servers on my domain DNS Settings which is hosted on HostGator.

All seem okay right now...

It's been 3-4 hours I think till I made these changes and when I point to example.com I still get on the active hosting package files instead of the server files.

Do I need to cancel the hosting package first before I can make this work?

EDIT: If I'm in the wrong site please move it to the correct one.

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I had to wait 24 hours for a similar situation. DNS stuff can be slow to propagate. If the situation is not resolved by then, then there is a configuration issue or your DNS servers are down.

You don't need to remove the hosting package if your DNS servers are set properly at Hostgator (i.e., you are using the IPs of DigitalOcean for your domain name). If you have an A record or a CNAME record left at Hostgator, delete them to avoid possible conflicts in the future (best practice, not a requirement).

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It can take anywhere from 2 to 48 hours for any changes to propagate out to all of the DNS servers. Sometimes longer but very rarely does it take more than 24 hours.

One way to know if your setup is correct, is to change the DNS servers on your client computer to use the DNS servers you setup for your domain name. You may need to clear your browser cache and make sure that you are able to resolve the host name.

nslookup example.com

Still, you may have to wait if you are using Windows. This is because there are in effect two resolvers. It can still take several hours for Windows to re-fetch the updated DNS data. If you still see your old data, this does not mean that something is wrong. Be patient and check again later.

If, say in about 4-6 hours (actually you can do this now if you want), you are still not able to see your changes, then on a Linux computer use dig (there may be a dig for Windows too).

dig +trace example.com any

This will trace through the DNS servers looking for a SOA (statement of authority) DNS server and return the results. If you do not see your changes, then you likely did not make them on the right set of DNS servers. This happens a lot! You will be able to see what domain hosts your SOA which may likely be your registrar. It is not uncommon that a SOA is relatively blank if the name server NS records points to another set of DNS servers. This is not uncommon. This is often the case where the host and registrar are two separate companies. You would then be able to check using:

dig @ns1.hostingdomain.com example.com any

Please note that would be one of the domain names for the NS record. You can try both if you want, though this is often unnecessary.

This should get you what you want. Please let me know.

  • Thank you for the detailed answer! When i try the dig command on the server i do see my changes and when i ping the domain via the server i see the new IP listed there but when i do this via my computer i see the hostgator one... Either way when i try to go to the site i still see the content from the hostgator hosting package and still no sign that it has switched to reading data from the server... I guess i'll wait till tomorrow... – fxuser Aug 19 '14 at 18:40
  • DNS caching is highly problematic with some ISPs. There are DNS caches at the browser level, OS level, your router/gateway and ISP. You may want to check google's DNS by dig against @8.8.8.8. If they have the new IP, update your computer to use Google's DNS service. – jeffatrackaid Aug 19 '14 at 18:42
  • It sounds like waiting is your only option other than trying to flush your browser cache. Either way, Windows may still be caching your old data. This happens to me when it is especially important that I check my site! ;-) – closetnoc Aug 19 '14 at 18:42
  • @jeffatrackaid You are also right. Most subscriber line telcos will cache DNS records at least for the length of the TTL which can be 300 seconds to God knows how long. This is why I recommend trying to change the client computer DNS in the network settings to the sites DNS at least long enough to test. – closetnoc Aug 19 '14 at 18:46

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