Your Website is Down? Proven Ways to Troubleshoot and Fix it

A good business needs to have a functioning website and not only that but try hard to prevent the website from going down, because could result in missing out on potential clients, which can actually affect revenue. On 20 August 2020, over approximately six hours, a global outage abruptly disrupted Google’s suite of services, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Meet, and Google Voice. It resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue during that outage. 

Sony also experience such back in 2014 when their user data was hacked and they completely lost face with their customer base. People are looking at them as the company that allows people to hack them. And it took years before they recover from the damage. The fact is that any website can experience outages if the best websites could experience it. 

Website Downtime can change your reputation,  it breaks visitors’ trust in your website and when lost, it’s very difficult to regain it.

While downtime doesn’t affect your reputation as drastically which could lead to the customer data leak, you won’t escape without a tarnished reputation, and once your reputation is tarnished, it can reduce the number of customers you have, and also you may not get a chance to make-up with your formal certain customers. You will possibly have to find new customers and rebuild from there. So you need to always make sure your website is up and running properly.

Several issues can result in bringing down the website or not working properly which different issues should be known so that you can identify which of them is preventing your website from loading or working properly.

Common Website Issues and Their Solutions

1. Internet connection problem

This is a very common issue where your website is actually working but due to the problem you have with your internet connection or browser, it prevents you from reaching your website.

Ways to fix an internet connection issue?

Make sure your internet connection is working normally. If your internet connection is unstable, check your internet service provider or switch to another if available.

Check the web address you typed on your browser, you might mistype it, or if it’s typed correctly try to reach another website. If any other website could be reached then it means your Internet connection is working properly. If you later find out that the Internet connection is working normally, open a new tab and check to see if you can load another website like surftware.com, if you can’t open another site, launch another browser, like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge, and try to open the site you were having problems with. If any option above fails then try to access your website from a different computer, tablet, or phone. This is to make sure nothing is wrong with your ISP but if you still have a problem accessing your website, try the next troubleshooting below.

2. Server issue

A web server is a system that runs websites. It’s a computer program that distributes web pages as they are demanded the used or supplied. The main objective of the webserver is to cache, process, and transport web pages to the users. This interaction is done using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The main issue that can affect a server is a total down. There are online tools to check your server status. You can try smallseotools.com

The solution to this problem is to check your hosting partner, they are sometimes falling short of managing the shared or dedicated server, and it will result in inaccessible by the other person. The problem is often recurring in free or cheap hosting packages.

One of the best methods to keep away from this issue is to host your web at a reputable hosting company. The services they offer and the technical support are favorable. Read more about server problems and their solutions.

Before going to the next troubleshooting, you need to check your website with Website checker tools

These tools are very useful tool that helps you to find if you’re the only one experiencing the problem with your website. These tools are easy to use, you will just enter your website URL and it shows results after some seconds. If other people experience the problem accessing your site, it will show you in the results. You can use either of these tools: Ionos, Powermapper

Free SEO tools

If you discover that your site could not be reached everywhere, the problem might come from either Domain or Hosting.

3. Domain Issue

Sometimes, the problem comes from your name, before you conclude that the problem is actually from your Domain, there are a series of tests that give you clues to whether the problem is Domain or not. Some of these tests are very simple and can do on your own, at home, some are complex that require expert skills. The common Test you can do is to ping your Domain.

ping (Packet Internet or Inter-Network Groper) is a basic Internet program that allows a user to test and verify if a particular destination IP address exists and can accept requests in computer network administration. The acronym was contrived to match the submariners’ term for the sound of a returned sonar pulse.

It sends ICMP packets to the host’s IP address and waits for a response from each. It verifies the reachability of a domain on the internet protocol (IP) network. Pinging certifies that the device is live, available, and performing networking operations at speed.

Domain pinging is a command which tells you if the connection between your computer and a particular domain is working correctly.

To run this test, click on the search box at the down-left side of your windows > Type CMD > Press enter> Click on Command Prompt. This will give you a Command prompt window.

Enter the word ping, followed by a space, then enter the domain name you want to test.

ping
ping

There are free online ping tools you can use. The Online Ping tool lets you see if a specific location on a network is responding. You will just provide either an IP address or a domain name by typing in a provided box, it will tell you the results.

If the results show a series of replies, the connection is working. The time shows you the fastness of the connection.  “Timed out” error replies, there is a breakdown somewhere between your computer and the domain. In this case, the next step is to perform another Test which is a traceroute.

Traceroute and tracert are computer network diagnostic commands for displaying possible routes (paths) and measuring transit delays of packets across an Internet Protocol (IP) network.

Traceroute is a command that shows you the path a packet of information takes from your computer. It provides you all the routers it passes through to its destination. In addition to this, it will tell you to know how long each ‘hop’ from router to router takes.

Traceroute can be used to help identify incorrect routing table definitions or firewalls that may be blocking ICMP traffic, or high port UDP in Unix ping, to a site. A correct traceroute response does not guarantee connectivity for applications as a firewall may permit ICMP packets but not permit packets of other protocols.

Traceroute is also used by penetration testers to gather information about network infrastructure and IP address ranges around a given host.

It can also be used when downloading data, and if there are multiple mirrors available for the same piece of data, each mirror can be traced to get an idea of which mirror would be the fastest to use. You can read more about it here

To run this test, click on the search box at the down-left side of your windows > Type CMD > Press enter> Click on Command Prompt. This will give you a Command prompt window.

Enter the word tracert, followed by a space, then enter the domain name you want to test.

Traceroute
Traceroute

The results tell you that it’s tracing the route to surftware.com, the IP address of that domain, and what the maximum number of hops will be available before it times out. It also gives information about each router it passes through on the way to its destination.

From the results, you can see there are 3 columns, each column is a response from the router, and how long it took to fetch the result, each hop is tested 3 times. For example, in line 2, the first try took 47ms (47 milliseconds), the second took 40ms, and the third took 49ms.

You will notice that line 1 ‘timed out, that is, there was no response from the router, so another one was tried (10.238.13.172) which was successful.

You will notice that the time it took was 47ms, 40ms, 49ms while passing through the global-gateway network.

For a normal working website, a series of 19 different lines appears, displaying information regarding the website. 

  1. is the Internet gateway
  2. is the ISP of the original computer the website connects to 
  3. is the extra network 
  4. is ‘Request Timed Out

5-9. are routers on a global gateway, depending on the country the website is based out of

15-17. is the Net Access Corporation network in the area 

18. is the router on the network of the website

19. is the computer on which the website is hosted. In some rows of the results, there might be three stars and the ‘Request Timed Out” listed. From this information, you should know where the problem is. You can then find out how to fix it possibly contacting one of the Net Access Corporation points or other network sites that have the request timed out.

This is extremely useful when trying to find out why a website is unreachable, as you will be able to see where the connection fails. If you have a website hosted somewhere, it would be a good idea to do a traceroute to it when it is working, so that when it fails, you can do another traceroute to it (which will probably time out if the website is unreachable) and compare them. Be aware though, that it will probably take a different route each time, but the networks it passes through will generally be very similar.

It is advised that if your website is unreachable, you should use both the traceroute and ping test before you contact your ISP to complain.

4. Hosting

If the ping and traceroute pointed to a fully functioning website, then other options available now is to trace the problem to your host service provider.

Try to visit your site’s hosting company’s website, the same server is used by your website and the host company, so if the company website is not going, automatically our website also will not work, it can conclude a server problem. If you can visit the company website, then the issue should be traced back to the previous options above.

5. Cyber attack

The last one is a cyber attack, it is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer network to cause damage.

To solve this problem, You are suggested to change your server to Cloudflare server.