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Useful tips if you can't reach your site


You just wanted to go check something on your website, but now your site doesn't seem to come up at all. On top of that, your fund raising event is coming up. And you just sent a link to your website to an important prospect. Panic ensues... But then, you remember this blog post with a list of steps to follow to determine the best course of action:

1. Remember to breathe. Then move on to #2.

2. What type of error do you see on your screen?

  • If you get a "502" or "504" error, go to #3
  • If you get "Server not found", go to #4
  • If you get a "500" or "Site error", go to #10

3. Getting a "502" or "504" error means your connection to your server is working, but the application server on the server is down or more likely restarting because it ran out of memory. You wisely decide to wait 5 min and try again.

  • If your site is back up after 5 min, go to #12.
  • If the issue persists, go to #11.

4. The "Server not found" error gives you a hint that your internet connection is most likely down. You decide to investigate further. Go to #5.

5. To check whether this problem impacts just you or others too, you know to go to http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/.

  • If you get a "server not found" error on that site as well, go to #6
  • If you get "It's just you", go to #7
  • If you get "It's not just you!", go to #8

6. A "server not found" error on http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com means your internet connection is very likely down.  Go to #13.

7. http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ says "It's just you". This most likely means your connection to your site is down, but the rest of the world can see it. You look for a piece of chocolate or go get a drink. Or both. After 5 minutes, you try again.

  • If everything is back to normal, thank the Computer Gods.
  • If the problem persists, go to #13.

8. http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ says "It's not just you!". Breathe in and move on to tip #9.

9. Visit http://www.internic.net/whois.html and check your domain name expiration date.

  • If your domain name is past due, go to #14.
  • If your domain name hasn't expired, then go to #11.

10. If you get a "500" or "Site error", please contact your development team (it may or may not be Six Feet Up). They will determine whether this is an application issue or a hosting issue. They may then contact Six Feet Up on your behalf.

  • If your development team is Six Feet Up, go to #11.
  • If you work with your own developers, provide them with as much details about the issue as possible (see #11 for tips).

11. This is a serious issue. Visit www.sixfeetup.com/emergency and provide the following information:

  • URL of where the issue has been seen
  • Date and time when the error occurred or was noticed
  • A screenshot of what you see on your end
  • The name and version of the browser you are using (i.e. IE11, Firefox 25.0.1, Chrome 31.0.1650.57, etc.)
  • Detailed steps to reproduce the issue

12. You suspect you have outgrown your hosting plan. You contact Six Feet Up to get recommendations.

13. It's time you started tracking down your local tech person or your ISP. Be gentle. They have feelings too. And they are probably already working on fixing the issue. Bring them chocolate and/or a drink to help them with their efforts. This usually speeds things up and buys you brownie points for next time.

14. Your domain name has expired and you only have so many days left to renew it. DO NOT POSTPONE THIS.

  • If Six Feet Up originally registered your domain for you, go to #13.
  • If you acquired your domain name without the help of Six Feet Up, go to #15.

15. You must renew your domain name immediately or risk losing it forever! Contact your registrar at the URL mentioned under "Referral URL" or get in touch with the person who originally acquired the domain name for you. You now are like Jack Bauer in '24 hours'. Good luck to you.

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