Help! I Can’t See my Newly Launched Website

Relax.  In most cases, the rest of the world can view your website.  It is live and showcasing your new business or law firm.

So why can’t you see the website?  The issue has to do with either:

  1. Caching of the content;
  2. Caching of the network IP address;
  3. Propagation issues or, in very rare cases,
  4. A change that needs to be made to your local server/firewall.

Caching of Content
You may not be able to see your newly launched website because you have visited your old website. Your computer is trying to save time and bandwidth by showing you a previous version of your website.  You have what is known as a cached copy.

To check to see if this is the case, press the F5 button on your computer when you are on your home page, and see if that refreshes your website.  If you see the new homepage, great, then you were simply caching the content of the site. Problem solved.

Caching of Network IP Address
Computer networks also try to save time looking up a website address.  Every time your website loads, it needs to look up where in the world your website is actually located.  To save time, if you have visited your site before, your computer may have cached that lookup of the network IP address.

To help resolve this, you must clear your DNS cache.  Sometimes, a reboot of your computer will solve this issue.  It’s easy, so try that first.  Other times you will need to manually reset your cache.

Windows® XP, 2000, or Vista®

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Go to Run.
    • If you do not see the Run command in Vista, search for “run” in the Search bar.
  3. In the Run text box, type: ipconfig /flushdns
  4. Press Enter or Return, and your cache will be flushed.

MacOS®

  1. Go to Applications.
  2. Go to Utilities.
  3. Open the Terminal application.
  4. Type: dscacheutil -flushcache
  5. Press Enter or Return, and your cache will be flushed.

Propagation
If you have cleared your cache copy and your cached IP address, and you still see your old website, don’t fret.  During any site launch, there is always a propagation time for network changes.  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may take up to 24 hours to update any new web records across the entire internet.

In these cases, the ISPs are completely in control. Over time, the new records will propagate to every ISP in the world.  Typically, this happens over the course of a day. There is nothing to do but wait for the update to occur.

Change to Local Server/Firewall

Still not seeing your website? In extremely rare cases (only two that we’ve seen out of hundreds of law firm website clients), your IT department may need to make a change to your local server/firewall.

Sometimes your law firm local server is manually pointed to the old IP address and needs to be updated (zone file/forward lookup zones). Or the server itself needs to have the DNS cache flushed.  Ask your IT department to run nslookup for DOMAIN NAME. It should be pointing to IP ADDRESS.


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