Why is my website offline?

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There are many reasons why you may not be able to see your website. The majority of these reasons fall into these three categories:

  • The website or the old name server settings for your domain are cached.
  • Your web host has not set up their name servers to handle web requests for your domain yet.
  • You have ordered a web hosting package for a domain name from us, but did not register the actual domain name from a domain Registrar.

If your website has been cached in some manner, here are some suggestions on how to clear the cache or go around the issue:

  • Press the "Refresh" button on your web browser. This will check if it is your computer that has cached the old website on your computer. If this does not work right away, try doing it again two to three more times. If it still doesn't work, then try clearing your web browser's cached history files.
  • Check your domain on another computer that is using a different internet service provider (sometimes abbreviated as ISP) than you. Sometimes your internet service provider will cache commonly visited websites to save time.
  • Use Altavista's Babel Fish Translation page to display your website in a foreign language. Simply type in the URL for your domain in the "Translate a Web page" field and choose one of the "English to..." options. Click the Translate button, and it will load a translated version of your domain.
  • Altavista will use their copy of your page instead of your ISP's cached copy; so if you see two different versions of your page, you know your ISP has cached your domain and has not refreshed it.
  • Try visiting your domain without the "www" prefix. For example, if you have been checking your website using the url, http://www.mydomain.com, try visiting the url, http://mydomain.com. If you see your website as it should be on the http://mydomain.com version, then you know that your website has either been cached on your computer or by your ISP.
    Note: This only works if you have never visited the http://mydomain.com version of your domain before.

If you suspect that your old name server settings have been cached, do an IP lookup to see if your new name server settings have been propagated through the system. Please read the answer to "What is an IP lookup?" if you need help interpreting your IP lookup results.

If an IP lookup shows that your web host has not configured their name servers to serve your domain, please contact them. Ask them how long it will take for them to get their name servers set up to serve your domain.

If you have ordered a web hosting package from us but did not register the domain name at any domain Registrar, you will not be able to see your website until you register the actual domain name. You need both the domain name and a web hosting plan to build a website.

Basically, a domain name is like a mailing address while a web hosting plan provides the actual land space or "lot" at that address. You cannot have one without the other.


Related topics: Domains, Name Server Settings