Is This Site Down? How to Tell If It's You or the Website

What to do when a website is down

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When you can't open a website, your first question should be this: Is it down for everyone, or just me?.

Knowing whether a down website is truly offline or if you're just having troubles on your end, makes all the difference when it comes to what you can do to make the site work again.

If the site is down for just you, the steps you need to take to learn why, and to get it back up again, are vastly different than what you can do if the site itself is down for everyone.

If a website keeps loading but never fully opens, or if it throws an error message and doesn't let you view the page, keep reading to learn whether the site is down or if it's just your problem.

Is It Down for Everyone?

Before you can know which set of directions to follow below, you need to know the extent at which the site is down.

Visit Down For Everyone Or Just Me, and put the URL of the site in the text box. Select or just me? to see if the site is down for just you or if others are having troubles with it, too.

Down For Everyone Or Just Me home page

If that website is down, there are several others you can try, such as Down.com, IsItDownRightNow.com, and IsItDownOrJust.me.

If none of the "site down checkers" are working, then your internet as a whole must be having issues. Learn what to do when you can't connect to the internet for help.

If the website checker shows that the site is down for it, too, then you can assume it's down for everyone else as well, meaning that there isn't a whole lot you can do to fix it. If the tool explains that it's online for everyone else, skip down to the next section to learn what you can do about a website that's down for just you.

Really, the only thing you can do to fix a down website is wait it out. Since the issue is out of your control, it could be anything from a webmaster who forgot to pay the hosting bill to a bandwidth overload.

If it's a popular website, you can bet it'll be back online shortly, maybe even within minutes. Or, you can expect just parts of the site to be down while other areas work just fine.

For example, when a popular site like Facebook is down, it's usually just an issue with image uploads, videos, or status posts, or something along those lines. It's not common for the entire website to be offline.

Is the Whole Site Actually Down?

On that note, you want to make sure that the site as a whole really is offline and not just the specific page you're trying to access. For example, maybe the bookmark you used to open it is no longer valid, and so it appears as though the site is down when really it's just that single page that's missing.

To see if the site is down or just a single page, erase everything in the URL except for the domain name. For example, if the address of the page that's down is https://example.com/videos/pages/49156.html, erase everything but "example.com." In this case, you'd try to open https://example.com.

If the primary website link works, then the site is online and working just fine; it's just specific web pages that are down. All you can do in this situation is search the site for the page you're after, or assume that it's been taken down permanently.

However, whether the whole site is down or just a specific part of it, you might have luck accessing an archived version:

At the end of the day, since a down website isn't your problem to deal with, the best thing you can do to help get it back online as quickly as possible is contact the website and let them know. If it's a smaller site, they might not be aware of any issues, and you telling them could help get it online again quicker.

"Is It Down For Just Me?"

If the down website detector identified the site as being online, then the problem must lie with just you. Unfortunately, troubleshooting why a website is down for just you is a bit more complicated.

There are a number of factors at play that can make a website not work for just you, so walking through these steps one by one will help in diagnosing where the problem lies:

If absolutely no websites are working, you should troubleshoot the problem as an internet connectivity issue.

  1. Try opening the site on a different device. If this works, you're confirming that the site is in fact live, just not for the first device you tried it on.

    For example, if the website is down on your desktop, try it from a laptop. If it works there, the issue rests with your desktop, which the rest of these steps will help with.

  2. Double-check the URL. A malformed URL is one of the most common reasons for an inaccessible web page. The website might have redirected to a different site or an error page, making you think that the site is down.

  3. Restart the web browser by closing it and then reopening it. If you're on a tablet or phone, close the app completely before trying again.

    If the site is still down, restart your whole device.

  4. Delete the browser cache. There might be cached files that are interfering with your browser's ability to download fresh web pages.

  5. Use different DNS servers. The DNS server your device is using might have flagged the website as malicious or might have bad entries that deny you access to the site even though it's completely safe.

    There are several free DNS servers you can pick from to see if DNS is the reason the site is down for just you.

  6. Try the website in a different web browser. There might be add-ons or permissions enabled in the browser that are forcing the page to go down each time you try it.

    If the new browser lets you access the website, you might have to reinstall the other one, uninstall an extensions or two, or reset the browser's settings. To confirm if you need to do those things, try the website in a fresh browser that you haven't customized.

  7. Scan your computer for malware. A virus or other infection could be halting your access to the site if it's truly dangerous.

    However, some malware scanners report false positives, thus making the site appear to be down even though it's completely safe. If you suspect that this is happening, temporarily disable the antivirus software and see if the site works. If it does, you can try a different antivirus program in hopes that it won't block the site.

    Firewall software could also be to blame for a down website. Try a different firewall program if the one you're using doesn't let you make site-specific exceptions.

  8. Treat the site as a blocked site. For whatever reason, your network or device might be blocking the site, in which case trying to unblock it could be helpful.

    Some techniques for unblocking a website that you'll learn in that link include some of the steps you already tried above, as well as new ones like disconnecting Wi-Fi to use a mobile network, using a VPN service, and running the site through a web proxy.

    If you find that the website is being blocked, you should talk with the network administrator to learn what you can do to keep it unblocked in the future.

  9. Restart your router. This is more of a solution for when no website will load or for when all websites are sluggish, but you can still try it in this scenario.

  10. Check with your internet service provider. At this point, you've done all that you can from your side, and the only thing left to do is ask your service provider if they're blocking the site or if they're having troubles accessing it, too.

They might be performing upgrades to the network that are interfering with certain sites. Or maybe there's been a system wide failure that has knocked out access for a number of users, you being one of them.