There are several common reasons why a website may be down. This article describes the following reasons why this occurs along with steps to resolve such issues.

  • Confirm if your site is down everywhere
  • Suspended account due to non payment
  • Expired registration
  • Is my server up?
  • Are my files in the correct spot?
  • Disabled site
  • DNS propagation
  • Were your processes killed on the shared server?
  • Error establishing a database connection

Confirm if your site is down everywhere

The first step to take is to confirm if the site is actually down in all locations, and not just your local computer. There are a couple ways to do this.

Is it down for everyone, or just me?

downforeveryoneorjustme.com checks if your site is online from a number of locations. It then lets you know if the site is down everywhere, or if only your computer is unable to view it.

If only your computer is unable to view it and you’ve recently updated your DNS, check this site to see if the new DNS has updated in your location:

If the DNS has updated, try forcing your browser to reload the page. This clears the cache out of the browser so you see the most recent version of the page.

Proxy sites

Proxy sites allow you to bypass network issues and view the site from a different location.

If the proxy sites loads your website, it confirms the site is resolving online. If you still cannot view it, try clearing your cache and flushing DNS:

Suspended account due to non payment

To check your account, log in to your  Client area. If your account is currently suspended due to non payment, a large red “SUSPENDED” notice appears at the top of the screen. To fix, click the Make Payment button to pay which re-enables your account.

An automated email is sent to you once the payment has been made, and then the system automatically re-enables your account. The DNS for your site must then propagate again online which may take several hours. After that, your site resolves again.

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There is a high risk of data loss when an account is suspended. To avoid data loss, make sure to continually backup your data.

Expired registration

If a domain has expired, you still have 30 days to renew it.

If it’s been expired for over 30 days, the domain is in its Redemption period.

If your domain registration is not registered at Vinkers Hosting, you must check who the registrar is through an online WHOIS lookup. ICANN’s WHOIS search can be found here:

If your status is anything other than ok, you must correct it with your domain registrar.

Is my server up?

If your registration is current, and your account has not been suspended, but you can’t reach your domain even with proxy sites, check to make sure that your server is up. You can do this by running a traceroute to your server, and by pinging your domain.

If you cannot ping the server, or complete a traceroute, please contact support. If your traceroute shows multiple hops timing out, please contact your ISP for support.

Are my files in the correct spot?

Make sure that the files for your site are in the correct directory. If they are in the incorrect directory, or assigned to the wrong user, it prevents the site from loading.

Log in via FTP or SSH, and make sure that your site files are in the correct directory.

Disabled site

In rare cases, Vinkers Hosting may disable your site. Log in via SSH or FTP and look at the directory name of your site. If you see the site directory has been renamed to indicate that the site has been disabled, please contact Vinkers Hosting support. In such a situation, an email is sent to you indicating what steps to take.

DNS propagation

If you have made any type of DNS change recently, your DNS may need more time to propagate online. This includes the following changes:

  • Changing nameservers
  • Adding hosting
  • Changing hosting (e.g., changing from a redirect to fully hosted)
  • Adding a custom DNS

Most changes update online in 6 hours, although nameservers can take up to 72 hours. You can track where your new DNS values have updated around the world on the following site:

Were your processes killed on the shared server?

If your site (on a Shared server) is using too many resources, your processes are automatically killed which can cause your site to go down.

Error establishing a database connection

View the following article for information on how to resolve this error message:

Conclusion

There are many things that can go wrong with a website. Think about any recent changes that have been done to the website. Have plugins been updated? Have you moved hosting accounts recently? Include this information in any hosting or WordPress support requests to help identify and fix the problem quickly.

Hosting downtime can last from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the problem. How long it takes to fix WordPress entirely depends on the team you have available.

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