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Mysterious problem with website - help appreciated!

3:27 pm on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from GB 

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joined:May 24, 2006
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I have been having a major issue with one of my websites which is seriously impacting traffic and income, and I just don't know what is causing it or how to fix it. If anybody has any ideas they would be very much appreciated.

Just before Easter I started getting emails telling me that my site was down. However the site wasn't down completely - I was still getting about one fifth of the traffic I would expect at that time. I COULD see the site in the UK, but it was taking over 2 minutes to load a page! I contacted the support desk for my dedicated server, and they couldn't see a problem there (US). But emails kept coming in reporting problems - from the US, Canada, South Africa, various parts of South America, Italy and Spain, and also the UK. Some people couldn't see the site at all; others could see it, but very slowly; others could see one page but had to click over and over again to move onto another page.

Over the Easter weekend I took down more and more code from the site in an attempt to find out what the problem was. At one point I thought I had fixed it by taking down the banner ad at the top of each page, and sent out an email to subscribers letting them know the site was back up. But I woke up the next morning to find 40 emails telling me there were still problems!

I continued to take code off the site until all the banner ads, statcounter code, and everything extraneous, was gone. Only google adsense ads remain. The site now FLIES for me and I thought everything was fine, although traffic has remained low.

However, I am still getting emails from different parts of the world telling me the site is down. They appear totally random - one in Italy, one in the UK, one in Brazil. Somebody in the UK today searched through Google for the site and was given the message that the URL couldn't be found - while a colleague in her office could see it and click around with no problems. Traffic is still about 60% of what I would expect at this time of year and I just don't know what to do or try next.


[edited by: engine at 8:58 am (utc) on April 24, 2009]
[edit reason] see WebmasterWorld TOS [/edit]

2:00 pm on Apr 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Dec 7, 2000
posts: 267
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'Try next'?

I am not sure what exactly could be the problem. But you can try:

.switching hosts.
.use proxy surfing to test your website from different IPs and see if you can verify the reports.

6:06 pm on Apr 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from KZ 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 10, 2005
votes: 24

What comes to mind are DNS problems. Do you use some sort of reverse DNS checking on your site, for example writing full domain names to your server log instead of IP addresses? If the reverse DNS check fails or is delayed, this may have impact on the speed of your site for some users, but not for others.

Assuming you are on Linux:

You have a dedicated server which gives you the possibility to look in all log files stored in the /var/log directory and subdirectories. You may find errors or other information in these files regarding the slow performance of your site.


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