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?
- Check DreamHost's status page
- Checking your access and error logs
- 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 allow you to bypass network issues and view the site from a different location. View the following article for a list of proxy sites you can use:
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 panel. 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.
There is a high risk of data loss when an account is suspended. DreamHost keeps a 2-week backup of website files and 5-days worth of database records. However, DreamHost cannot guarantee that these backups are available to you. To avoid data loss, make sure to continually backup your data:
If a domain has expired, you still have 30 days to renew it. View the Renewals article for details on how to renew a domain name.
If it’s been expired for over 30 days, the domain is in its Redemption period. View the Redemption article for details on how to resolve this.
If your domain registration is not registered at DreamHost, 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. Instructions for performing these steps are found here:
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.
In rare cases, DreamHost 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 DreamHost support. In such a situation, an email is sent to you indicating what steps to take.
- Changing nameservers
- Adding hosting
- Changing hosting (e.g., changing from a redirect to fully hosted)
- Adding a custom DNS
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. For more information on why this happens, please view the following article:
Check DreamHost's status page
Check DreamHost's status page to view any issues DreamHost is currently aware of and working to resolve.
Checking your access and error logs
Check your site's access and error log files. These could contain information as to what is causing your site not to load. You can view these logs using an FTP client or using SSH.
Error establishing a database connection
View the following article for information on how to resolve this error message:
- List of website troubleshooting articles
- Site not found
- Troubleshooting a single site's connection
- Viewing and examining your access log via SSH
- Viewing your access and error log via SFTP
- Common reasons for poor website performance