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Every so often you are unable to get to a particular website - it doesn't really matter which one - you don't know whether it's just your connection or something wrong with that website.

It doesn't help when you can get onto other web sites (like this one).

So what steps do you need to take to diagnose the problem and find out if the site is truly down or it's just you.



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5 Answers 5

If you can access other sites, check Down For Everyone this will tell you whether it's just your connection to the site or a general problem with the site.

Alternatively, you can use something like the WhyDown service (which is itself currently down), it has a similar functionality, but also tries to diagnose the source of a problem, answering the "why?" question.

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2 is down. I confirmed that it is down for everyone and not just me with but of course I don't know why it's down. – Praxeolitic Jul 22 at 19:20 pings a website you specify from 50 locations across the world & displays the status & round trip time.

There are also a bunch of other online tools to check availability & performance issues.

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Depends what you're trying to find out and what's wrong; the tips above are really good too.

  • You can use whois to see what DNS servers serve up the hostname to the site: whois
  • You can use tools like dig to test DNS to see if the host name is resolving: dig
  • You can use traceroute to show the path your packets take along the network to the site traceroute
  • You can use telnet to connect to the TCP port of the web site to see if it's answering telnet 80
  • You can use telnet to see if it's serving content too:
$ telnet 80
GET / HTTP/1.1

Hit enter again and you should see the homepage as raw HTML.

Remember that Google often has cached versions of pages too!


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If it's a website of a decent size, and it's down, you're certainly not the only one who sees the problem.

See who might be complaining about it on Twitter:

If you're afraid that the site has closed down without alerting you, again if it's a fairly large site it will be noticed. Try a web search for "<sitename> closed". Change "closed" to "down", "gone", "dead", or equivalents.

Many sites have a blog to alert their user community to news and changes at the site, and they're often hosted elsewhere and/or on a different domain. Do a web search for "<sitename> blog" or "<sitename> news".

Some sites also farm out help and/or community pages. Even if they don't, there are places where users congregate. Check Google Groups and for information.

If it's not big enough for any of these things, then it may be time to start looking for alternatives.

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I find this site useful:

They have site speed & response in addition to status.

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But this is just for a single website (, right? – Vidar S. Ramdal Jan 23 '14 at 22:00
No! That was just an example... The site monitors many of the top 500 websites. – CarbonX Feb 7 '14 at 13:46

protected by Community Feb 2 '14 at 22:03

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