Each of us is sometimes unable to open a particular website. And you don't even know whether it's just your internet connection, DNS problems on the side of your internet provider or something else gone wrong.
So what can help you to diagnose the problem, verify web site status and find out whether a website is down for everyone or just for you?
If you can access other websites, just go to DOWNFOREVERYONE.COM and in most cases our site status check tool or HTTPS check tool (for secured connection URLs) will tell you whether it is just your network connection or there is some general problem with the site and it is not accessible to anyone else right now.
What can cause a site's downtime or outage
Before we go into what else you can do to check if a site is really down, let's see why a website outage happens in the first place. These are the most frequent causes of a website's downtime:
- The website could be down for maintenance. In most cases you will see a message displaying this, but not always
- Server overload. Every website is hosted by a hosting company on a server, but this server is only able to take so much. Depending on the hosting plan of the site, when there are too many people using the website, the server can crash, causing the site to go down. This is one of the most common reasons
- There could be a power outage of the webserver
- The server itself may be down for maintenance
- There could be a programming error
- Another rather obvious reason; the owner of the site could have taken it down for reasons unknown to us
- You are not allowed to visit the website from your location. We will discuss more on that later in the article.
How do I diagnose when and why a website times out or is down?
There are several more reasons that could be causing a site's downtime. 90 percent of all website outages are caused by the before mentioned reasons, though. So what can you do to check if the website is actually down, or if it is only you? Of course, the first thing to check is your network connection. See if you are connected to the internet and if so, then try to load other websites first. If you have no problem, then you could check the website's availability. You can use our in-home tool to see what is causing the problem. You simply enter the url of the website and it will automatically give you information on whether it is accessible from our server/s location or not. If you do a quick web search you will be able to find many other similar checkers, but ours is definitely the best ;-)
A different approach is to check Twitter. If you are trying to connect to a big site, then you will surely not be the only one encountering the same problem. On twitter you can do a search on sitename. When the website is genuinely down you will find many more complaints and you can rest assured that it is not you! Be warned: not every website can be visited worldwide! Some websites, like Hulu or MTV, have country-bsed restrictions. Thus, in the case of Hulu, you can only enjoy their content if you're accessing the site from the United States. Also, your ISP, your Internet connection provider, could have prohibited some websites. For example, the Pirate Bay. There is a smart solution to those problems though which is called VPN, Virtual Private Network. When you connect to the Internet, you give out your IP address, which gives the website information on where you are located. A VPN is a server which you connect to, and which encodes the information you send out, like your IP. It gives you the IP address of the server you are connecting to. If you are looking for a USA IP address then you can simply choose to connect to that server through your VPN.
How else to check if a website is up or down
There are some websites out there that could block our tool from sending accessibility requests or in some other ways make it impossible to check their current online status. In case our site status checking tool tells you that a given website is currently down, but you're still willing to be completely sure about it or just trying to find out what's wrong with the site you cannot access, there are some futher tips and tricks on how to diagnose possible problems with the website's inaccessibility:
Checking site status with Twitter
If the website you're trying to access is of a decent popularity, you might be not the only one who's got the problem. There may be other people complaining about the availablility of this website on Twitter. You can try to search for their tweets by entering the query "sitename down" in Twitter search form, or just by typing this URL in the address bar of your web browser:
Tools to check website status
However, if the website you're unable to access isn't big and popular enough for checking its status via Twitter, you'll have to use more sophisticated methods to check out its availablilty for everyone else than you. The first and the easiest option to do it is the 'ping' tool that will help you to know if the host name is resolving. The 'ping' tool is a part of your OS and using it is very simple. Just open the Run command with your computer or device and enter as follows:
Ping is a network utility used to test the reachability of a host on an IP network along with the connection between two network points by sending simple packets to a host (website) and then reporting the time it takes to get a response. If your ping request to a website's domain name measures the time from transmission to reception then the website you're "pinging" is okay.
Your favorite site is down for you, but you're sure it's up? Find out how to set open DNS servers to access a website, if it's blocked by your ISP network and fix it!