Troubleshooting Your New Domain

You think you did everything right, but you still cannot get to your website. What can you do? This chapter lists some troubleshooting steps that can be followed by yourself or someone helping you.

Time Causes Problems

You need to be aware that getting things configured properly suffers from propagation delay problems. Propagation is the process of sharing information from its authoritative source out to the ultimate users.

The reason we have propagation delays is that it costs too much to keep checking on configuration details. Instead, computers are programmed to remember those details, and only recheck them occasionally, like once a day.

The configuration settings are cached to remember them. Domain information in the cache will be remembered for 24 hours (or more or less), so any changes you make will not show up immediately. In fact, it is hard to tell when they will show up. You need to be patient.

Is The Outside DNS Correct?

First thing to check: Is the world-wide DNS system reporting the correct IP address for each of your websites?

Example: I created and set it with the IPv4 address of You can issue a “dig” command to find what the DNS system knows about your domain name.

dig @ The @ part means to use the DNS server that lives at Google is providing that as a free service to the users of the Internet. So, we are asking dig to use the Google DNS server and tell us what it knows.

The response should include your IP address. If it does not, then you know the problem is either with Google (possible but not likely), or with your domain registrar (possible but not likely), or with the way you did your configuration with your domain registrar (likely). But any of them could be the problem.

Is The Web Server Correct?

Each domain name has an assigned document root. Check them all. The document root should have some content, like an index.html file, with permissions like 644 to allow viewing.

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