Have you ever gone on to your website (or any website), and found that it didn’t respond, and thought that the website must be down?
Well, 9 times out of 10 the website is not down, it is functioning perfectly for others, it’s just your connection to that website is not currently working.
Most times a simple fix is to turn off your modem, wait for at least 30 seconds, then turn it back on and try the website again.
For those who’d like to know more…
Have you ever thought about where your request goes when you type your website address into your browser and hit the Enter key?
A good way to see what happens is to use the following link:
put your website link into the “Remote Address” field (minus the www), then click the “Proxy Trace” button.
This gives you a visual trace on a world map, plus it lists the servers, down the right hand side, that your request goes through to get to the one that is running your website. Hold the mouse over the flag to see what country it is in.
At the time of writing this post, my trace shows 26 hops (number of servers it had to go through) and travelled a distance of 19,235 miles, to get from my office on the Sunshine Coast of Australia to the server where my website is hosted.
Now, with 26 different ‘computers’ to go through, there is ample opportunity for something to go wrong, get lost, or just not be working, so that my request doesn’t reach the server, or is not able to get back to me.
Often people say “I can get to other websites, just not this one”. Well, try doing the trace using the other website address, and you’ll find that it takes a different route, and therefore, does not get caught on the same server(s) that is losing your request to your website.
The servers have algorithms to determine the route to take, but it’s not always a perfect decision, and it can also be that the server is having ‘issues’ of it’s own, and can’t function properly, either temporarily, or until the owner re-boots it?
So, to fix it… there’s no guarantee, but most times, if you turn your modem off, wait for at least 30 seconds to allow your previous connection to drop out, then turn it on again and try the website to see if you can now connect.
If you can, try the visual trace again, and see if you notice a different route?
I have the luxury of having 3 different internet connections to choose from, and I often switch from one that isn’t working to one of the others, to find that the connection is perfect.
If I go back to the previous one without rebooting it the problem is usually still there, but I usually take the opportunity to reboot the ‘broken’ one when I do this.
Sometimes, about 1 out of 10 times, the website is in fact either down or just uncommunicative, and this is usually due to the hosting doing some form of maintenance, or fixing something that has gone wrong.
Most hosting providers only guarantee an “uptime” of somewhere between 92% and 98%. I don’t think anyone can yet guarantee 100% availability?
So, if it is one of those times, then like everyone else, you’ll need to practise your patience, and do something else for a while.
These types of downtimes should never last more than 30 mins, so contact your hosting provider support if it does, but make sure that it is not your connection first, otherwise they’ll just tell you what I’ve said in this post.