Your DNS settings should not cause any problems, but sometimes you may run into issues that need to be corrected. You should always be ready a DNS troubleshooting strategy.
DNS problems can lead to website downtime, which translates into lost traffic and revenue. Here’s what you need to know about DNS issues and solutions.
What Is DNS?
When you go to a website, your Internet service provider looks up the DNS record to connect to that site’s IP address. If you search for this site, for instance, your ISP will be able to find it because everything is connected without any errors.
While there are many DNS servers worldwide, there are only 13 root servers on which to locate a website’s IP address. These include IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) and ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
What Are Common DNS Problems?
You should understand that any problems that arise are likely between you, your registrar, and your host. Identifying where the problem is makes DNS troubleshooting easier.
In many cases, you will only receive an error that says, “DNS server is not responding.” That message isn’t much help, but it tells you that the problem may originate with you, your host, or your registrar. In other cases, it may be a problem between your device and ISP.
Incorrect nameservers can cause traffic to not reach your site. As many sites use third-party DNS redirect services to increase load time, the problem may be caused by those third-party hosts.
If you’re unsure where the problem is, you can use online resources to identify the error. OpenDNS CacheCheck will query your site and provide an error report using its servers around the world.
How to Fix DNS Problems
The first step in DSN troubleshooting is to run a diagnostic check to be certain that it is a DNS error. Assuming it’s not caused by your modem, router, computer, or ISP, you can look into other options.
In most cases, you shouldn’t need to check your DNS nameservers. However, this may be a problem if you’ve recently switched to a third-party service like CloudFlare. If you have changed nameservers, check to ensure that you have input the info correctly.
You may also need to check nameservers if you’ve switched registrars or hosting services.
You can also check that your IP address is correct. This should never be a problem, but it can happen. Check with your host to find your site’s IP address and then use DNS lookup to see that it matches. If there’s a problem, you should contact your host.
In some cases, there is little you can do to correct a problem. If your host’s servers are down, you can’t fix it. You may just have to wait for connected services to resume and your site to come back online.
Find More about DNS Troubleshooting
Sometimes the problem isn’t with DNS. You need to identify the error causing downtime before you delve into the DNS settings. Check out our blog post about steps to take when your website is down.
The more you know about the error, the easier it will be to correct and avoid in the future.