How to check if a website is down

Published: Artem Prysyazhnuk 2023-01-02 all articles | Glossary | FAQ

Every site has a chance to go down and become temporarily unavailable for its users. And if a website is down right now, it becomes a source of a headache for its owner as well as for a responsible webmaster. Considering that there are a lot of websites down in online space all over the world every second, this isn’t something unnatural. And every seasoned webmaster is ready for such situations and prepared to shorten the time when a website is down to a minimum.

But when you’re new in this field and working with a website for the first time, you could be actually confused about what to do if your website is down. Especially when you’re not a webmaster and really don’t know a thing about such matters. But there are a lot of methods to see if a website is down, check its status, verify its performance and otherwise check what’s happened. Usually it’s as easy as it sounds - type your website’s URL, press the button and see the result.

But to be effective you should really know what to do and how to do it. Simply put, you need to know and understand which tools to use and when, and how to use those tools in a proper way. And on top of it, you need a useful and versatile toolkit to deal with the website’s problems in time and to prevent those. Otherwise there might be (and there will be) consequences you definitely don’t want.

How to check if a website is it down and what might happen if it is?

how to check if a website is it down

Usually, if a website becomes inaccessible for users for the first time in a webmaster’s practice, a webmaster won’t even know that it happened. If this happens, novice webmaster will be able to understand that my website is down only when its users start complaining. Or if this webmaster runs diagnostics to see if website is down from time to time. But novices rarely do so. Therefore, they don’t know what hit them or even don’t even know at all that they’ve been hit. Because of the lack of properly set up monitoring procedures, obviously.

And if such a situation arises without a proper and fast response a website owner along with a webmaster will suffer from consequences. Because if there is a problem with a website’s availability, all services connected to it will suspend their activities. In particular, search engines and advertising services will exclude such a website from its queues. And Google will be first to do so. On top of it, most promotional services will follow suit along with some affiliation programs.

In most cases, a website will be suspended until the issues are resolved and thoroughly reported by a website owner. And if website downtime was not due to force-majeure or a website down for maintenance, it will still lose its rating in queues upon relieving suspension because of lowered uptime. Also, there will be a lot of complaining customers who will probably leave your website and go to its competitors.

All this will lead to major financial and reputational losses. Simply put - your website’s uptime will go down, your ratings in various promotion and development services will go down, your users will leave. And you will obviously lose money because of it. Both paid for subscriptions to services, and not received due to the loss of potential customers.

How to properly respond to “why my website is down?” issue

For users there is a two-way answer for a question - to check “is the site down or just me?” and check server down or network connection down. Sometimes it’s the former, sometimes it’s the latter. But there are no common and solid reasons for a website to go down. Strictly speaking, there are a whole lot of such reasons. That’s why it’s hard to react quickly if the thing happens and you have no countermeasures set up in before. But a webmaster can at least narrow down the source. And it’s important to know how to do it if you have no monitoring set up.

First and obvious source to look at if a website is down - its server. Determine if there is server down or there are other reasons for inaccessibility. Servers can be unavailable for various reasons, so you should check all of them. Try to ping your website. Search for your website and hosting at DownDetector. Check a host for maintenance notifications and accessibility alerts. Ask hosting Support whether there are software problems on a server. All of it will help to understand whether there are troubles or not.

If there are no troubles with the server. try to look for networking issues. Run traceroute/tracert software and check network status between users and your website/server. Check DNS servers and DNSBL blacklists. Use DownDetector once more to look for networking issues in your host’s region. And use a good tool to test connections from various locations like HostTracker free tools.

The most useful check to see if website is down

useful check to see if website is down

The best approach to situations when a website is down is to prevent them. Or at least to be prepared for them with a proactively configured monitoring routine. It will help to check to see if a website is down round-the-clock. But there are various approaches to setting up website monitoring, and for most webmaster’s manual one is a no-go from the start.

To be always in check of your website’s status, you need an automated website down detector with additional diagnostics tools. Something useful and reliable. Like a HostTracker service. for example. Speaking in general terms, this service will help with how to check if website is down from all possible angles. And it will do it round-the-clock automatically.

If we start speaking technically, with an automated web-based website down tracker you will be able to keep your website, its hosting and its servers under constant monitoring to prevent accessibility issues from happening.  Or at least from causing sufficient damages to your website’s reputation and status as well as your finances.

For example, HostTracker platform provides its users with all necessary tools to deal with diagnostics on a 24/7 basis, including checking your website from various locations around the world. Its tools will provide all required information without bothering a webmaster with the need to conduct manual accessibility tests or make significant adjustments.

Simply put, it’s a website down detector online with a complex toolkit to check all website’s metrics. From downtime statistics using its website downtime monitor, and down to hardware status checks. From basic worldwide network tracker and checker and down to server software status tests. It can even reboot server software if a host allows it and gives you a specific privileged account for your dedicated or physical server.

On top of that, speaking about the capabilities of HostTracker as an example of the best monitoring service available, this platform has an in - built instant notifications system. It works as its name suggests. If you as a webmaster opted in for a monitoring service and set up all required tools, it will instantly send you an alert message in case of emergency. No matter the time, if you didn’t set up a notification schedule. You can even set up working shifts for alerts in case there are more than one webmaster responsible for a website. Also, this alert service works with almost any modern messenger from Telegram to Slack.


Forewarned is forearmed. If you are not prepared for situations when your website is suddenly down, you will not be able to properly and quickly react and find out the source of troubles. This will be followed by rising of your website’s downtime and lowering its ranks in various services. And this only will lead you to losses, both reputational and financial. Which means that you absolutely need to be ready for such situations. And not only to deal with them on time, but also to prevent them.

Simply put - you need to have an already configured monitoring sequence which is already up and running round-the-clock. This way you will be able to react to various accessibility issues as soon as such issues arise. And you will be able to solve them in a timely manner without suffering from any major losses. Therefore, users will be satisfied, and your website will have the topmost possible uptime.

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About author

Artem Prysyazhnuk
CEO and founder of HostTracker LTD. He's a passionate entrepreneur with a strong technical background in F#. Artem has been working in the software development industry for over 20 years.