What is Time to Live (TTL)?

Time to Live (TTL) is the time taken for a domain’s DNS record information to be refreshed. This could be the IP address associated with a domain, the mail server your email should be directed to or other information such as SPF security configuration.

To find out more about DNS configuration, please read this HostPapa knowledge base article: What is DNS?

TTL is configured in the cPanel Zone Editor. By default, DNS propagation (the time taken for DNS servers around the world to update DNS records) is between 24-28 hours, working on a cascading basis. However, if you wish to accelerate the update process when making a change to your DNS records, you can lower the TTL, which starts the update process sooner.

Log in to the HostPapa Dashboard and select My cPanel from the top navigation menu. Select Zone Editor from the Domains section.


Now select Manage to review your existing DNS Zone Records.

Zone Editor

By default, the TTL is set to 14400 seconds, or four hours. You can see the Time to Live listed for each record in the TTL column. This means that should you make a change to the DNS record, that change will go live after the TTL period.

TTL column

When making a change to an existing record (using Edit) or adding a new record (with +Add Record), it’s a good idea to reduce, or set, a low TTL – for example, 300 seconds (5 minutes).

Editing TTL

The benefit of reducing the TTL is that your changes will go live much more quickly. Some DNS servers around the Internet will have the previous, four-hour expiry saved and will continue to use information from your previous DNS record until that period has elapsed. With a lower TTL, your changes will be visible more quickly, and DNS servers will receive the record updates as soon as they re-check the DNS record.

Once you’ve made your changes and they’ve cascaded across the Internet, you can choose to raise the TTL back to its default 14400 seconds, if desired.

If you notice any problems or if you need any help, please open a new support ticket from your HostPapa Dashboard. More details on how to open a support ticket can be found here.

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