How to troubleshoot if you think your server is down

A website can appear to have gone down mainly for one of the following reasons:

  • A programming error on the website,
  • A DNS problem, or an expired domain,
  • A networking problem,
  • A service on the server has crashed, (apache, mysql, iis)
  • The whole server has crashed.

Check for a programming error on the website: 
Browse to the website. Do you get a error message? If it says “Done” or “Loaded,” rather than “Waiting…” or “Connecting…,” then the server and its software are performing correctly, but there is a programming error or misconfiguration. Check the Apache error log for clues. Has an apache or php configuration change been made recently? Check with your developers if you are updating your site.

Check for a DNS problem: 
Many times web sites are down due to dns issues. Dns is the gps of the web and without you can get lost quickly. Here are a few things to check.

Who-is lookup:  Make sure the domain is still currently registered and not expired. A whois will also show you the current nameservers (authoratative dns servers for the domain).  Often times when domains expire, your registrar company will change your nameservers to force your site to go down and redirect to a page reminding you to renew your domain. Once you have verified your domain is active and name-servers are correct, it's time to check your dns. 

If you are using Codero's name-servers ( and you would check your dns configuration in your account at under Services > DNS management. 
You'll want to make sure your @ record is pointing to the correct IP address of your server. 

Finally, remember, if you have made any dns changes that it will take anywhere from 2-24 hours for the records to propagate world wide and show up everywhere. It's not instant. 

Check for a networking problem:
One of the first things to check is if you can reach your server over the internet. The quickest way to do this is to ping the server and see if you get a reply.  (If you have ICMP disabled or blocked in your firewall, then a ping will not help you in troubleshooting)

2nd: Check to see if its a networking issue between you and your server.  Run a traceroute to your servers IP address. Traceroute traces a route across the Internet from your computer to your server, pinging each bit of networking equipment that it finds along the way. It should take 8 to 20 steps (technically known as “hops”) and then time out or show a few asterisks (*). The number of steps depends on how far away the server is and where the network has broken down.   is a handy website that can perform many of these external tests such as whois, ping, traceroute, dns lookups and more. 

Check for services on your server:
If your able to ping and traceroute to your server, lets check some individual services on it. Log into it and check to see if your basic services are running. You could log into your control panel (plesk or whm if available and go to service management and see if any have stopped.)  On a linux server you could log in via ssh and type the following: service httpd status     to see the status of apache. If its a windows server check to see if IIS is running.  Check to see if your database is running by running the following command on linux: service mysql status.  The most common reasons for issues on servers, are a service has stopped, such as a webserver or database server, or the server has run out of disk space or memory.  

Check if your server is down:
Finally, if your not able to even connect to your server, chances are it is down. Your best bet is to have it rebooted. You can initiate a reboot via your account at under Support > Reboot Request. 

Once you have rebooted the server, check the logs on the server to look for any obvious reasons as to what might have caused the issue. 

This article is not all-inclusive of every reason a server or website may go down. It just covers some common reasons and some good troubleshooting techniques to start with. For further troubleshooting please feel free to submit a ticket in your account at and we will be glad to help you.

This article has been provided by Codero Hosting, the leading provider of reliable Dedicated, Cloud, Hybrid, and Managed hosting services. Need more information on this topic or to learn more about Codero’s hosting services please visit, chat with us online or give us a call at 866-2-CODERO.


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Last update:
2015-12-03 20:39
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