Is This Site Down? How To Tell If It's You Or The Website

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All of us at some point in our travels on the Web are unable to reach a website. The process goes something like this: we type the name of the site into our browser, we wait in anticipation as the site loads...and loads...and loads. What is happening? Is the site down? Is there something wrong with your computer? How can you tell if the site is down for everyone, or you are the only one affected? 

With millions of sites on the Web, and  literally billions of searches executed by searchers all over the world each day, eventually downtime is bound to happen. Usually this downtime is temporary depending on a dozen different factors. Sometimes, the problem is the user's computer, and different troubleshooting scenarios can be undertaken to solve the issue. More commonly however, there is something going on with the site that the user has no control over; for example, the site owner forgot to pay the hosting bill, or there's too many people trying to access the site at once.  There is definitely no "one size fits all" answer for this quite common dilemma, but there are a few things you can try when you find yourself in this situation.

Is there something wrong with the site?

One of the easiest, fastest ways you can check to see if the site you're trying to reach is having problems is Down For Everyone or Just Me?.

Simply type the Web address of the site you want to visit into the input bar on this utility, and you'll learn in just a few seconds if the site is actually experiencing some sort of service interruption. If it is, the best thing to do is to simply wait it out. If you find that the site is still unable to be accessed after a few minutes, try looking at the previous version of the website via Google's cache command. 

Check your Web browser

If you are confident that it's not a computer issue, then it's time to tackle other possible problems. Clearing out recent information - clearing your cache - in your Web browser can solve a lot of issues, simply by giving your browser a fresh start. Most browsers allow you to do this for the last hour, day, week, or month. You can also completely clear out all cookies and passwords, but this should be a last resort measure; make sure that you've got all your usernames and passwords saved securely before attempting this. For step by step information on how to do this, visit the following resources:

Check your Internet provider

One of the easiest problems to solve when a site is not working is simply to check with your Internet provider. They might be doing upgrades or tests that temporarily interfere with your Web access. They usually let users know these tests are happening. There could also be some sort of routine maintenance or emergency repair (for example, in the case of a storm that knocks out access) that could cause interruptions in service.

 

Check your connection hardware

Your connection to the Internet can sometimes be interrupted by a wide variety of different factors. Sometimes, simply waiting for a few minutes can help. However, every once in a while it helps to reset routers and modems to get your connection flowing smoothly again. Try the following step by step tutorials to troubleshoot your slow or faulty connection:

Check the safety of your computer - has it been infected? 

Have you downloaded anything that seemed suspicious lately? Has your computer been running more slowly than usual? Your computer could be infected with a virus, spyware, or malware. These malicious pieces of software can definitely interfere with your ability to search the Web, impeding your access to websites that you usually visit. For more information on how to keep your computer safe, read Ten Ways to Protect Your Privacy Online.

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