Why are my websites down?

Are your websites down? So you tried to visit your new (or existing) website but you’re unable! Try and keep calm, this article will guide you to the quickest possible solution. Some exaples:

As your host our services don’t have much website or web hosting downtime. However, it is common that you will experience access issues at some point. Most issues are isolated to the user’s end although, in some cases your website could be down completely.

Error 500 Page in Chrome
Error 500 Page in Chrome

Common site issues

Some site issues for instance Domains and propagation involve use of a WHOIS checker tool. There are many different 3rd party WHOIS checkers so if you intend to use another ensure that it can cover your TLD.

Alternatively, for those with SSH and knowledge of CLI you can perform the WHOIS command directly from your computer without need for a checker tool. Just enter: whois yourdomain.tld – This will print all the WHOIS information to the command prompt or terminal window.

This guide helps cover some common error messages including: err_ssl_protocol_error, DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN and

Using the error message and this guide you should be able to diagnose the issue or issues

The following issues are listed in order of likelihood.

Domain name issues

Configuration issues with your domain name are the most likely cause of your site appearing down. As mentioned before the best way to diagnose domain name issues or an error message such as: DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN is through use of a WHOIS checker.

Chrome Error NXDOMAIN
Chrome showing NX_DOMAIN

Upon entering your domain name into the WHOIS checker tool, you will presented with a list of detailed information. This helps to see its status easily, the following information is taken from our WHOIS record :

zzHosting WHOIS record
Our WHOIS record

Both the expiry date and updated date are very important here. If the current date has passed the shown expiry then your issue will likely be solved by renewing your domain, you can do this through your client area.

If the shown updated date is very recent then the issue could be related to DNS propagation. Meaning, any changes could take a few hours to fully propagate across the internet to your internet connection. This could take up to 48 hours and is dependant on your internet service provider.

The same being said for domains that have recently been registered.

If you’re really in a rush, you can attempt to move the process along by flushing your resolver cache. For Windows users you can do this like so:

  • Open command prompt
  • type ipconfig /flushdns
Windows Flush DNS Cache
Windows Flush DNS Cache


Whilst looking at your WHOIS information make sure to check that your domain has either the correct DNS settings or records (usually A or MX) or our nameservers. To be correct they need to point at your server for an A records that would look something like this.

zzHosting AAA Record
Our A Record in MX TOOLBOX

IP Blocks

After domain related issues, web hosting IP blocks are the most common website issue. Blocks can be caused by a number of different triggers including:

  • Brute force prevention (Multiple incorrect login attempts)
  • Malware flags (Mod Security)
  • Using XML-RPC for WordPress.

Most of the time these issues are best resolved by getting in touch with our support team. When getting in touch please provide your IP address in an IPv4 format as this will help speed the process along. With this information our team will remove the block, telling you it’s cause helping to prevent it from reoccurring.

Whitelisting of IPs on shared servers is prohibited by our operating conditions. Please refrain from asking for IP whitelisting.

Account Suspension

If you attempt to access your website and see a message similar to: “You account has been suspended, contact your host for more information”

Then it is likely that your site was suspended. There are a few reasons this might’ve happened the most common reasons for suspension are: overdue payment or breach of our terms & conditions.

cPanel Account Suspended
Account Suspended

Overdue invoice

For customers who have an overdue invoice, a few email reminders will be sent prior to an account being suspended. These reminders exist to help prevent this from affecting to your website. By clearing an overdue invoice prior to suspension or after your website should remain unaffected.

In the event that your website still appears as suspended after payment, please contact our support team who will look into this issue further.

Breach of our Terms & Conditions

Users that have their website suspended for breaching our terms and conditions will receive notification of suspension via both the client area and email. If you’re a cPanel hosting customer whose account is suspended.

Our engineers monitor both the network & individual website status. But it’s likely you will only be suspended if the domain or site is sending spam emails or contains malware which could negatively effect our servers IP reputation.

The most common example of this would be a outdated WordPress site riddled with security vulnerabilities. If you’re proactive many instances of malware can be detected prior in a few different locations.

For instance a quick check of the htaccess file or main website directory might reveal suspicious items. Need more detail on removing malware from your website?

In most cases this suspension can be lifted quickly by getting in touch with our support team. Who will point you in the right direction.

SSL Issues

SSL usage is becoming essential to operating a website, many modern browsers will show websites without SSL as insecure in the url or browser bar. Lack of a valid SSL will also impact your position in SERPS (search results).

However, a misconfigured SSL can also cause issues. Google chrome for instance will mark a site as unsafe and in some cases it wont load fully.

The best way to avoid misconfiguring your SSL is using a automatic SSL installer. If you use either cPanel you can use either AutoSSL or LetsEncrypt free SSL certificates.

Depending on your connection it may take some time for these certificates to display correctly for that domain name.

You can then use this handy test tool by Qualys SSL labs to see if there are any issues with your website SSL.

zzHosting SSL labs results
Our SSL labs result

Web hosting server SSL

Newly installed SSL certificates may take some time to work correctly. In some cases the SSL shown belongs to the shared server and, not your site. This discrepancy in common name will cause most modern browsers to show unsafe or dangerous warnings.

WordPress problems

Sometimes your website can run into issues, this is fairly common and can happen at anytime and to people of varying skill levels. Even the most IT literate can fall foul of the white screen of death!

Problems caused by user error

A CMS works by using both a front and backend that are linked together. If this link becomes broken then your website will stop working showing either an error page or a White screen.

A common cause of this is misconfigured files. Namely, the wp-config file. If you have recently made any changes to your database, it’s prefix or its SQL users. Check that the details in your wp-config match up.

Sometimes editing a theme seems like the quickest way to deploy a change to your site. Most of the time this quick fix works without issue but if you have recently edited your site theme then it might be worth first reversing those changes.

Issues from WordPress, theme &/or plugin updates

WordPress is used across many popular sites and different locations across the internet. Because of its popularity it also attract a lot of negative attention from hackers who find and use exploits that exist in WordPress or any addons including both themes and plugins.

Updates are released to fix exploits but often cause compatibility issues with older addons. If you have updated recently, try to roll back any changes.

Internet connection issues

Internet connection issues; whilst not common do occur. These errors usually involve a firewall or 3rd-party application on your device stopping connection to our IP addresses and thus your website.

An even more unlikely cause would be a block would be placed at the internet service provider or isp level. This would would prevent you visiting your website or any web hosting service we offer.

The easiest way to diagnose this issue is through running a traceroute. The results of a traceroute showing exactly where the connection issue is. For more help with traceroutes, please contact our support team.

zzHosting trace route from windows
Traceroute of zzHosting.com

Scheduled website downtime

At zzHosting we pride ourselves on using leading hardware & software, much of these upgrades are done without any website impact. In the event an upgrade will cause potential downtime, you will be made aware of this through a website status update.

However, this is unlikely. We have a website uptime of 99% ensuring maximum website availability.

your website sometimes wont work because your website needs to have an ip address or a proxy on the internet this can be done through code or you can ask your isp nicely to shown you an example site so that you can match your wesbsite to this site and then your host will match this with your services and software.

So you’ve tried to visit your new (or existing) website but its not showing in the browser! Try and keep calm, this article will guide you to the quickest possible solution.

At zzHosting, we provide 99.9% uptime. However, it is common that customers will experience access issues at some point. Most issues are isolated to one user although, in some cases your website could be down completely.