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5 Ways to Reduce DNS Lookups Time for Website Owners

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DNS lookup time is an important component of website performance that can directly impact website load times and user experience.

Yes, you heard it right!

Users may run out of patience and discontinue website access before the website even loads which can lead to high bounce rates. Additionally, higher DNS lookup times can negatively impact website metrics like SEO ranking, as search engines consider website speed when evaluating search results.

What is DNS Lookup time?

The DNS Lookup time refers to the amount of time it takes for a client computer to convert a domain name into an IP address by querying a DNS server. When a user types in a website URL, the browser needs to know the IP address of the server hosting the website in order to establish a connection and retrieve the web page.


The DNS system serves as a directory that maps human-readable domain names to their corresponding IP addresses.

The DNS Lookup time includes the time it takes for the client computer to initiate the DNS request, the time for the request to reach the DNS server, the time for the DNS server to process the request and send back the IP address, and the time for the client computer to receive & interpret the response.

A slow DNS Lookup time can have a significant impact on the speed and performance of accessing websites. This can result in longer load times for web pages and a less responsive browsing experience. Therefore, it’s important to optimize the DNS Lookup time to ensure a smoother & more efficient browsing experience.

What is a good DNS Lookup Time?🤔

When it comes to determining what constitutes a “good” DNS lookup time, the answer isn’t always clear-cut. While a range of 20-120 milliseconds (ms) is generally considered ideal, there are several factors that can affect this metric.

These include things like the location of the DNS server, network connection speed, user location, server load, and query complexity.
So, while a lower DNS lookup time is generally preferred, it may not always be feasible in practice.

In some cases, a slightly higher DNS lookup time may be acceptable as long as it doesn’t significantly impact the overall performance of a website or application.

But if the DNS lookup time is constantly high or fluctuates wildly, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start troubleshooting.

There are a number of potential culprits when it comes to slow DNS lookup times, ranging from issues with the DNS server itself to problems with the network infrastructure.

And unfortunately, there’s no universally applicable solution to resolving these issues. It can be challenging to understand the complexities of DNS lookup time, but with a little research and patience, you can master this tricky measurement.

So, the next time you find yourself scratching your head over determining the exact good DNS lookup time, take heart – you’re not alone!😉

How to view the DNS lookup time of a website?

To find the Lookup time of a website, you can simply use the “dig” command utility. Follow the below steps.

  • Open your terminal or command prompt.
  • Type “dig” (replace with the domain name of the website you want to check) and press Enter.
dig <>
  • Wait for the results to appear. Among the results, you should see a line that starts with “Query time:” followed by a number in milliseconds. This number represents the DNS lookup time for the website.

This means that it took 33 milliseconds to complete the DNS lookup for a given target address.

As previously mentioned, DNS lookup time can be affected by factors such as your internet connection, DNS server speed, and website server response time.

Running the command multiple times or from different locations can give you a better idea of the average DNS lookup time for a particular website.

There are several ways to minimize and improve DNS lookup time. Here are a few common solutions that can help.

DNS Prefetching

You may have come across the concept of DNS prefetching while you are navigating the internet.

If not, Don’t worry! Here is a clear explanation.

The method of DNS prefetching is fairly straightforward.

DNS prefetching is one of the tricks that modern web browsers use to speed up the process of resolving domain names to IP addresses.

when users visit a webpage that contains links to other websites, the browser cleverly gets the DNS records for those websites in the background and stores them in a cache before any links are clicked.

This helps the browser from being restricted by a standard DNS lookup and allows it to quickly obtain the IP address from its cache whenever a user clicks on a link.

Image source – keycdn

For example, if a web page includes an image from a domain called “”, the website owner can add the following HTML code to prefetch the domain name.

  <link rel="dns-prefetch" href="//">

The browser will run a DNS query for “” in the background as soon as the user loads the webpage. The user will see faster page loads if they click on a link that points to another resource from “” because the browser has previously cached the IP address.

While DNS prefetching is undoubtedly beneficial for web browsing, it doesn’t come without drawbacks. As the browser is actually sending additional requests in the background, this method has the potential to significantly increase network traffic & resource utilization.

There are also privacy issues to take into account, as the browser is essentially “anticipating” information on websites that the user hasn’t yet visited. Because of this, some browsers might disable DNS prefetching by default and provide users the choice to enable or disable it.

Use a Fast and Reliable DNS Resolver

A DNS resolver is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses. The amount of time it takes to resolve DNS queries can be greatly increased if you’re using a slow or unreliable DNS resolver.

DNS Query Resolver

On the other side, trustworthy DNS resolvers like Cloudflare DNS or Google Public DNS can significantly reduce DNS query time. These DNS resolvers have servers located all around the world. So they can provide fast and reliable responses to DNS queries.

Implement DNS caching

DNS caching is a process where your device stores the IP address of frequently accessed websites in its local cache.

This way, your device can retrieve the IP address from the cache instead of making a DNS lookup every time. It can significantly reduce DNS lookup time, especially for websites that are accessed frequently.

Reduce DNS TTL

DNS TTL determines how long the DNS record is cached.

By reducing the DNS TTL value, you can ensure that the DNS cache is refreshed more frequently which can help reduce DNS lookup time.

However, reducing the DNS TTL too much can increase the load on DNS servers, so it’s important to find a balance between TTL and server load.

Make Use of a CDN

Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that stores a cached version of your website in multiple locations worldwide. This allows users to access your website from the nearest CDN server, which reduces lookup time.

CDNs are particularly useful for websites that have a large number of resources or serve users from different regions.

When a new domain name is registered or an existing one is modified, it takes some time for the changes to be propagated throughout the complex web servers that make up the DNS system.

During this domain propagation period, the information about the domain name and its corresponding IP address can be inconsistent across different DNS servers and caches.

This can cause DNS queries to take longer to resolve, as the lookup process may involve querying multiple servers or caches until the correct information is obtained. In other words, the DNS lookup time for a domain name that has recently been registered or modified may be longer than usual as a result of the propagation delay.

The duration of the propagation period can vary depending on various factors, such as the TTL (Time to Live) value set for the DNS records & the number of DNS servers involved in the resolution process.

It can be difficult to predict exactly how long it will take for a domain name to propagate fully throughout the DNS system.

Navigating the complexities of DNS lookup time and domain propagation requires a deep understanding of the DNS system’s complex operation. It’s a difficult area to understand, but if you do, you can have a lot of power and influence in the digital world.

Conclusion ✍️

I hope you found this article helpful in learning about DNS lookup time and various ways to reduce it. You may also be interested in learning about how to check if a website is down or not using online tools.

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