One of our customers recently asked for help; she couldn’t access her website at all, although others could. If other people can see and access a site and you can’t then the problem is localised to your device or wi-fi issue. Try the following to fix the issue:
Try loading the site in a different browser. There may be some settings configured incorrectly on your browser. Try a different web browser to see if you can load the website.
- If you are using the default browser and don’t have any others installed, you can quickly download and install another free browser like Firefox, Chrome, or Opera.
Restart your computer. Oftentimes, a simple reboot will fix the problem you’re having. Reboot your computer and test the website again.
Try loading the site on a different device or network if possible you can try your mobile network. Try loading the website on your phone or on another computer. If the website loads on the other device, the problem lies with your computer. If the website doesn’t load on another device, the problem is either with the network or the website itself.
- If you can, try to load the website on another device connected to your network, and a device that’s not connected to your network. The easiest way to do this is to load the website on your phone while connected to the same network as your computer, and then disconnect from the wireless network and load the page using your cellular data. This can help you determine if the problem is with your network or with the website.
- If the website won’t load on any device regardless of what network it is connected to, the website itself is most likely down. You can double-check by looking up the site on a monitoring service like “Is It Down Right Now?” (iidrn.com).
Temporarily disable your antivirus program. Your antivirus software may be interfering with your ability to load certain websites. Try disabling the software and then loading the site again.
- Right-click on the antivirus icon in your System Tray and select “Disable” or “Turn Off.” You may be warned that this isn’t safe.
- Make sure to re-enable the antivirus after you’re done testing.
Reset your modem and router. Traffic to or from a certain website may be getting tripped up by your modem or router. Resetting these devices may allow you to access the website again.
- Unplug the power cables for the modem and the router (if you have a separate one), and wait about a minute.
- Plug your modem back in and wait for it to completely light up.
- Plug your router back in and wait for it to completely light up.
- Try visiting the website again.
Check your computer’s date and time settings. If your date or time is set incorrectly, you may not be able to connect to secure (https://) websites. Check your computer or mobile device’s clock to make sure that it is set to the correct time and date.
Ensure that there are no parental controls enabled. If you have parental control software enabled, it may be blocking access to certain websites. If you have access to it, disable the parental control software and try accessing the website again. The process for this varies depending on the parental control program being used.
Uninstall Norton or McAfee. These two antivirus programs have been known to cause the most problems with browsing websites. If you have one of these antivirus programs installed, consider removing it and replacing it with a lightweight, unintrusive antivirus.
Ensure you only have one antivirus program installed. Having multiple antivirus programs installed at the same time can cause problems. Conflicting protection could lead to some websites not loading. Keep the antivirus program that you like best and get rid of the rest.
In my customer’s instance, this is what sorted the issue:
Flush your DNS settings. The DNS (Domain Name System) is the service that translates web domain names into IP addresses so that you can connect to websites. If your local DNS files have been corrupted, you may not be able to load certain websites. Flushing your DNS will clear out your local DNS information and load a fresh copy.
- Windows – Press ⊞ Win+R and type cmd to open the Command Prompt. Type ipconfig /flushdns and press ↵ Enter. You will receive a message that the DNS cache has been flushed, and you can close the Command Prompt.
- Mac – Open the Terminal from the Utilities folder. Type dscacheutil -flushcache and press ⏎ Return. Then type sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder and press ⏎ Return to restart the DNS service. You’ll be prompted for your admin password.