SmartViper

What to do if you can't access a site and the problem is on your end



If you cannot access a website, and you discover using our sitedown monitoring tool that the site is not down and that other people can access it (i.e. the problem is on your end, and has nothing to do with the website itself), then what could be the reason for this? What problems could be stopping you from accessing the website? These are the 4 principal reasons why this may be happening. Read on to get a description of the possible problems and how to fix them



Your computer configuration


a) Your Windows HOSTS file. The website address may have been sent to the wrong IP address. This could happen in the event of you importing a host file from a third party.

What action to take? - learn what action to take on markosweb open the site and search for is site down link. We are going to describe the common reasons (refer to more details available on the site). You need to check your Windows HOSTS file. You can do this by clicking the Windows key (next to the Alt button on the bottom left of your keyboard) and R, then click on OK in the box that opens. Then in the black box that opens (this is called the run window and is usually the preserve of programmers!), type in the following line:
cmd /k notepad c:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If you see the site in the box, delete it and type in:
127.0.0.1 localhost

Then restart your computer and if it was a HOSTS file problem the website should now load.

For more information in HOSTS files, go to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_%28file%29

b) Your anti-virus or firewall is blocking the site.

What action to take? Suspend your anti-virus. To do this right click on the anti-virus icon at the bottom right of your screen in the tool bar. Anti-virus functions differ, and for instructions on how to do this with all the most predominant anti-viruses, click here.


Your network configuration


Your DNS Cache is corrupted. The DNS cache records the sites that you have recently visited. If the DNS cache gets corrupted, then this may be why you cannot access a site that you have previously visited.

What action to take? Go to the run window as described above, and type in:
cmd /k ipconfig /displaydns
to see the cache entries. If the website that you cannot access is listed in the cache, then to clear the cache type in: cmd /k ipconfig /flushdns. Then restart your computer. If it was a DNS cache problem the website should now load.

For more information on the DNS cache, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNS_cache_poisoning

The website may be blocked by the Office firewall, or restrictions imposed on, for instance, cruise ships.

What action to take? To test if this is the problem, email www@web2mail.com with the URL (address) of the website you cannot access in the subject field. If the website is working, you will get an email message containing a text copy of the web page.

To bypass this you can use a proxy site. Proxy sites bypass the proxy servers which have denied access to the site that you need. With a proxy site, you simply need to type in the URL of the site you want to access, and the problem should be solved. Go to a proxy site (type in “proxy site” into a search engine and you will find plenty), and simply type in the address of the site you need, and if this is the problem, you will be able to access this site through a different server.

The temporary network conditions between your ISP and the website hosting facility.

The problem? Router problems! The problem could be with a router somewhere between you and the computer which is hosting your website. Routers can get it wrong, especially if they are not well maintained or if their software is buggy.

What action to take? Call your Internet service provider. If they have decent support they should be able to trace the location of the breakdown.

If you are a business user you may have two or more ISPs. In this case you should try to use an alternative ISP, and this may solve your problem.

You can connect but the website gives an error code, which means the web server has stopped responding.

The problem? Server problems! You cannot load the site because there is a problem receiving information from the server which hosts the site you want to access. Instead of the site, you receive a HTTP status code such as 404 Not Found.

What action to take? Please refer to the list and explanation of the most important HTTP Status Codes below for a guide of what to do in this case.

For a full list of HTTP Status Codes, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_HTTP_status_codes

What else can I do if the website is still not working?


  • If the website is still not loading you may Google the website and phone number, i.e. Markosweb phone number, or Markosweb support phone number. This may help you to find contact information so that you can contact the website support personal.
  • You can use Google snippets to find the information you need. Google defines a snippet as “a description of or an excerpt from the webpage,” and this refers to the description portion of a Google listing in the search engines. Even if a website is down, Google uses snippets to show catched information, and often you can find the contact details there.
  • In addition, there is often a catched result next to the Google snippets, and you can click on this to open the website even when it is down. On a side note, the catched button can be used at any time to easily find the keywords you are looking for in a page. This can be useful if the page has a lot of information on it and you quickly need to find the section with the relevant keywords in it. Click on catched and the keywords that you typed in to get to that page will be highlighted.


5 point action plan if your own website is down - include in video fully


  • Call your hosting company and find out what the problem is and how it can be fixed.
  • If they are closed, or you cannot get through to them, then you can get things rolling yourself - your hosting provider should have a control panel, which you can log into via their website.
    After logging in, check the status for your hosting. If it is showing a problem it should show that either the hosting company is trying to fix it, or that you have to fix it yourself. It maybe be even that you are overdue on payments.
  • If you have to fix the problem yourself, and you do not understand it, then if you are with a reputable hosting company they will have online support. This support should be free and instant, and vital if you are not an expert as clicking the wrong things could lead you to losing the entire site.
  • If you still have not solved the problem, get a professional to help. Whoever set up the website is a good person to start with. In the worst case scenario, you will need to completely reset, wipe and re-upload the site. For this, however, you need to have kept your site and all the latest updates backed up.

The SmartViper website monitoring tool tells you if your website is down or not, and gives you a detailed response analysis to clarify the situation. To finds out more, click here.