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Jul 22, 2010

What To Do When A Website Isn't Loading

Any number of problems could cause this. There might be a problem with your router. Or with your PC. Or your browser. Or it could be something with the site itself that's completely out of your control.

The first thing you should do is try another browser. If you generally use Firefox or Chrome, try Internet Explorer--it's already on your PC. If you only use Internet Explorer, maybe this is a good time to install and try something else.

Rebooting everything is another good idea. Shut down the PC, unplug the router from the AC power, then unplug the DSL or cable modem's power, as well. Wait a minute, then plug the modem back in. When the lights indicate it's working properly, plug in the router. Wait for the lights on that, too. Then boot your PC and try again.

If that doesn't get you through, see if using the IP address rather than the domain name will work. Every domain name is just a pointer to an IP address, and it's possible that somewhere down the line, your PC is getting bad information about at what IP address that page is located.

The easiest way to find a domain's IP address is to visit Self SEO's IP finder. You simply enter the URL, press ENTER or click Get IP, and up it comes. Then you paste the IP address into your browser's address bar.

If the site still doesn't come up, relax. It's not your fault. The site is probably down and there's nothing you can do about it.

On the other hand, if the site comes up via the IP address, but not the URL, something is giving out wrong domain name information. It just might be your hosts file. This would effect any browser you use. Select Start (Start, then Run in XP), type notepad c:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts, and press ENTER. Look for the domain name in the resulting text file. If it's there, add a pound sign (#) to the beginning of the line that contains it. Save the file, restart the browser, and try again.

If that doesn't work, try another computer to see if the problem is with yours. Or take your laptop to a nearby café to see if the problem is with your router or ISP. Or combine both tests by using one of the public computers at your local library. If the site is accessible everywhere except in your home, you have a right to complain to your ISP.