How to check whether a site is up or down

It’s usually easy to check a site’s online status. But what you see isn’t always the same as what everyone else does. In this post, John Espirian explains a simple way to check whether a site really is up or down.

Update 2 July 2015: The Down For Everyone Or Just Me website has now moved to http://isitdownorjust.me.

We’ve all been there. You try to access a website but find that it’s not responding. Perhaps it’s not important and so you decide to try again later. Or perhaps it is important and you decide to let someone know there’s a problem.

Is a site up or down?

When is a site really down?

Website administrators appreciate when users do some basic checks before raising the red flag.

Typical conversation

User: Your site’s down.
Admin: No, it’s fine here.
User: But I can’t get in …

Why does such a situation arise?

The problem

Our browsing experiences are not all the same. There may be times when you’re unable to reach a website that’s working perfectly well for everyone else. This can happen for many reasons:

  • Software: your antivirus program, web browser cache or cookies may be at fault
  • Permissions: parental controls or corporate restrictions may prevent access
  • Network: routing issues or other problems with your ISP could stop some sites loading

The solution

My top tip for checking whether a site is up or down is to use the following free service:

Down For Everyone Or Just Me – http://isitdownorjust.me

A free online service for checking whether a site is up or down.

The service is simple to use: enter the site name you’re trying to reach and click the or just me? link to check its status.

Use http://isitdownorjust.me to check whether a site is up or down

Enter the site’s domain name, then click the link

This site is up

This is the result if a site is up

This site is down

This is the result if a site is down

If you use the service regularly, you might want to create a bookmark that checks a specific site. To check my site, for example, the address would be http://isitdownorjust.me/espirian.co.uk.

So, that’s it. Next time you need to check whether a site is up or down, you’ll know what to do.

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Thanks for reading, John Espirian