Modify Time-to-Live?

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I understand that, before changing hosts, it makes sense to change the
"time-to-live" setting of a domain so DNS databases are updated more
frequently and will quickly include the new IP address of the site. What I
cannot find is a Dummy's Guide to setting time to live.
Is TTL set at the registrar level (e.g. at, or on the website
server you are leaving?
If the latter, does it require root access, or is there some arcane setting
in cPanel or WHM that does the trick?
How soon after the move should the TTL be reset?
Is there any reason to leave TTL relatively brief?


Re: Modify Time-to-Live?

Alex wrote:
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Neither.  It's set on the nameserver you're using for your domain.  This
might be your registrar, it might be your host, or it might be (as mine
are) a third party.

If you're using your host's nameservers, chances are you won't be able
to change it.  But you could create a free account on something like and/or, create your DNS entries with a short
TTL, and change nameservers at your registrar.

Then when you move just update your nameservers with the new info.  And
if your new host is supplying the nameservers, after a couple of days
you can change them with your registrar and just drop the free
nameserver account.

Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.

Re: Modify Time-to-Live?

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Depends who hosts your DNS records.  If you have your registrar
pointing DNS to a server that your webhost owns, then its your web
host who controls your TTL in your DNS records.    Whether you can
modify this with your host is an open question.  One that they would
have to answer for you I think.

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I'm not sure if cpanel lets you play with this.  Good question.

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As soon as you think the host is stable would be fine.

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One good reasons would be to make it quicker/easier to repoint dns to
another host if your webhost goes down for a long time.  That way
cached dns lookups for your domain will expire pretty quickly.

Keeping it too short increases dns server load and traffic and the isp
may be the limiting factor on how short they'll let ya go.   Plus if
their dns server gets non-responsive, your sites are more likely to be
dead in the water for frequent users who might already have teh ip
cached and valid if the ttl were longer.

Todd H. /

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