Why Can’t I View My Website?
We Cannot Access Our Website Internally but We Can Externally
If you can’t see your own website from within your office network, then don’t lose your cool. There’s usually one, main reason why. It can be fixed but you’ll need your IT Department staff to fix it for you and you may want to forward this article to them.
→The problem is most likely that your Windows domain name is the same as your website’s domain name and your internal network thinks it’s hosting your website… but it’s not. That’s the short answer but read on to do complete troubleshooting of this issue.
Follow These Steps
You’ll want to first do some simple testing to verify the problem.
1. Basic Troubleshooting
- Restart your computer to make sure it’s not a problem with your computer
- Try loading the site in a different browser – if you use Chrome, try Firefox
- Try temporarily disabling any antivirus program you have running
- Reset your modem and router on your network
- Check that you don’t have any parental controls enabled on your computer or in your browser
2. Rule Out Other Possibilities
First, make sure your website is actually running and that it’s not down. You’ll do this by trying to get to the website from another network. Turn off the wi-fi on your phone so that you’re off the office network and use your mobile network instead. Go to your website and see if it’s running. If it is and if it’s not working on your desktop computer or laptop, then you’ve just verified that it’s your internal network.
You can also get on another network – like at a coffee shop, at home or by going to another office near by.
3. Try Different Versions of Your Domain Name
Clear your browser’s cache or fire up (or install) another web browser you don’t use much or at all and try the two main versions of your domain name – that is, both with and without the “www.” part.
For example if your domain name is:
try typing in (don’t use a bookmark – type the whole thing in) the non-www version:
Did one work?
Sometimes one version of the domain forward to the other version. Try it both ways.
4. Try Going to Your Website From a Proxy
Using a proxy server – which is also called “anonymous surfing” you can call up your website. What this essentially does is you say you want to go to www.tonyherman.com (or your company website), so you put that in, then that other server goes and gets the page and then sends that page to you. That website (or page) is not coming from your domain name but through another server.
Try that by going here:
You’ll be going to your website from another network and this proves there’s something wrong with your network… which I’ll get to next.
Your Office Network
If everything I’ve stated so far checks out, then there are some adjustments that need to be made to your office network. In short, you have internal DNS (Domain Name Service) running. There, either the “A” records or “CNAME” records or both are incorrect or you don’t have any entries and those entries need to be added.
What’s going on is, you’re on a network that thinks it’s your domain name because that is how it was set up. That’s fine it was done that way but you need to add in the step of saying, “Hey, we’re ourdomain.com but our website isn’t hosted here on this network, so if anyone wants to see it, they need to go somewhere else.”
That’s the problem and that is what needs to be fixed.
To fix it, go into the settings of your internal DNS server. Pull up the records for your domain name. If you have “A” records, change the IP address to reflect the real IP address of your website.
To get the real IP address of your website, while on a network that’s not your office network, open a shell (or use the Terminal app on your Mac) and do a dig command on the main domain and on the “www” subdomain, like this:
; <<>> DiG 9.8.3-P1 <<>> tonyherman.com ;; global options: +cmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 52635 ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;tonyherman.com. IN A ;; ANSWER SECTION: tonyherman.com. 86263 IN A 18.104.22.168 ;; Query time: 70 msec ;; SERVER: 10.0.1.1#53(10.0.1.1) ;; WHEN: Wed Apr 26 19:20:56 2017 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 48 TonyMacbookPro:Desktop tony$ dig www.tonyherman.com ; <<>> DiG 9.8.3-P1 <<>> www.tonyherman.com ;; global options: +cmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 38494 ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;www.tonyherman.com. IN A ;; ANSWER SECTION: www.tonyherman.com. 86257 IN CNAME tonyherman.com. tonyherman.com. 86257 IN A 22.214.171.124 ;; Query time: 51 msec ;; SERVER: 10.0.1.1#53(10.0.1.1) ;; WHEN: Wed Apr 26 19:21:02 2017 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 66
In the answer sections, you’ll see the real IP addresses.
In this example, the real IP address for both tonyherman.com and www.tonyherman.com is 126.96.36.199. You can see the CNAME set up for the subdomain (www.tonyherman.com).
Once you’ve made these changes, restart your DNS service to make sure the changes take effect. Then, on a computer on the network, check to see if your website comes up now. You may need to close down and restart your web browser or even restart the computer for the changes to be seen.