When your site is not reachable, the following 'Site Not Found' error message appears:
The following explains why you may see this error message and provides some common steps to help you resolve it.
The root cause of 'Site Not Found'
The 'Site Not Found' error means the IP address your domain is using is not pointed to the correct IP.
More technically, the 'Site Not Found' error means that the DNS records for your domain are resolving to the IP address of an Apache web server service that is not configured for your domain.
When this happens, the Apache web server is designed to only show the first domain listed in its config file. To make sure that nobody's site ever accidentally shows a random site hosted on the same Apache service, DreamHost makes the first domain in all its config files show the same custom error page.
There are a few reasons why your IP may not be correctly pointed to your web server IP which are explained below.
Viewing your site’s IP address in your browser
Due to the way that DreamHost configures Apache—unless you have purchased a Unique IP address for your domain—attempting to view your site by entering the IP address in your browser automatically gives you the 'Site Not Found' error. This is because you’re viewing the shared IP of your web server, not the IP of your site.
If you absolutely need to view your site through an IP address, you must purchase a Unique IP. You can read more about Unique IPs in the following article:
If the 'Site Not Found' error message appears shortly after making a configuration change for the domain in the control panel, the IP address may have changed for that domain. If that's the case, this error should go away within 4 hours—once the DNS change propagates throughout the Internet, as this is normal. If it doesn't go away after 6 hours, then try the following troubleshooting techniques.
Frequently the 'Site Not Found' error appears due to a change in your IP address, which is commonly triggered by removing hosting for a domain and then setting up a MIRROR, REDIRECT, or PARK. While changes to the DreamHost DNS are nearly instantaneous, the new information doesn't reach other servers around the world until the other servers expire the old data that they are holding on to. This is referred to as DNS propagation.
The reason why you get this error during this period of time is that the DNS information you are receiving to your local computer is outdated, and the Apache instance that you are being incorrectly sent to no longer has any record of your site. Depending on your location, it can take up to several hours for DNS changes to propagate, so the best thing to do is leave your domain alone for a few hours before attempting any sort of fix.
To refresh DNS, go to Manage Websites and click the small link to the right of a domain.
- The DNS page appears:
When you click the Refresh DNS button at the top, a DNS update is forced in DreamHost's system. To repeat, DNS propagation online may still take several hours.
How to check your current DNS records
Using Linux or Apple Mac
If you’re using a Linux or Mac computer, you can also run several commands in your terminal to check the current IP of your site. Visit the following SSH article regarding how to log in to your terminal:
Once you log in to your terminal, you can run the dig command to check the status of the IP resolution. For example, the following command checks the current IP address resolving online in your location (your IP is different depending on the server on which your site is located):
[server]$ dig +short example.com 18.104.22.168
The following command checks the current IP assigned to your DreamHost web server (your IP is different depending on the server on which your site is located):
[server]$ dig +short example.com @ns1.dreamhost.com 22.214.171.124
If example.com is using DreamHost nameservers, you should receive the same IP with both commands. If not, try flushing your local DNS. You can read about this in the following article:
Windows users can use the nslookup command using the command prompt. You can read more about using the command prompt in Windows in the following:
The following command checks the current IP address resolving online in your location (your IP is different depending on the server on which your site is located):
C:\Users\user> nslookup example.com Name: example.com Address: 126.96.36.199
The following command checks the current IP assigned to your DreamHost nameserver (your IP is different depending on the server your site is located):
C:\Users\user> nslookup example.com ns1.dreamhost.com Name: example.com Address: 188.8.131.52
If example.com is using DreamHost nameservers, you should be getting the same IP with both commands. If not, try flushing your local DNS. You can read about this in the following article:
The 'Site Not Found' error can also appear when attempting to access a site via a secure connection (HTTPS) to the domain without having an SSL certificate active. This occurs when the domain’s HTTP Apache service lacks a matching HTTPS Apache service to handle the secure request. To resolve this, add an SSL certificate to the domain.
If you're not using DreamHost's DNS
If you aren't using DreamHost to manage your domain's DNS, then most likely the IP address that points to DreamHost by your DNS provider is incorrect.
You can figure out the correct IP by querying the DreamHost nameserver with one of the commands in the above section (depending on your Operating System).
Here's another way to find the correct IP:
- Log in to your panel at Manage Websites.
- Click the link to the right of your domain.
- When the DNS page opens, find the A record in the Records section.
- Update your A record with your DNS provider to point to this DreamHost IP.
Once the DNS propagates, the 'Site Not Found' error message should no longer appear.
Using Passenger WSGI enabled
This problem, or one like it, occasionally manifests on domains that use Passenger WSGI. In this case, the error appears differently in that the server error page does not display.
Symptoms may include:
- Other domains on the same account and server working correctly.
- Timeouts when trying to access the site.
- No Passenger processes showing up when running ps -A from the shell.
In this instance, the solution is the same: edit the domain and click Change Settings. Then, wait for it to propagate.
You can also try disabling and re-enabling Passenger on the same domain edit page as well, which changes the domain configuration settings without altering the domain DNS records.
Using a suspended account
For accounts that are suspended due to non-payment, DreamHost stops serving the DNS for the account. Your site(s) instead show the 'Site Not Found' page until your account is paid and re-activated.
Log in to your control panel or check your emails from DreamHost to see if this may be the case.
If you cannot solve this problem using the above suggestions, you can contact support for further assistance.
To contact support, open your panel at Contact Support. Or, see the following article for other contact methods: