site will not load with the www but will without

Posted on 2008-11-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-25
We have a client whose site won't load with the 'www' in front of the domain name, but will without the 'www'.  Her site is http://www.twoviewsphotography.com/. We are trying to help resolve this issue has her hosting company, but are unable to figure out what could cause this. We have had her run a tracert and it is hitting our server, so it is just unable to resolve the domain name when there is a www in front.

My question is, has anyone seen this before, and if so where does this error occur and who can fix it? I'd like to know if there is something we can do with the server to make the www resolve in her area, or at least provide her an explaination she can take to whoever's responsibility it is.

Question by:jenie_penny13

Expert Comment

ID: 22951447
There are two parts to it. First, www.domain.com has to have a DNS record. "www" is just like any other subdomain, like mail.domain.com or oldnews.domain.com.

Second, the server has to handle the requests. Since mail.domain.com and domain.com can point to two totally different servers, they have to be specified. Most hosting companies automatically "allow" it with or without the prefix, which means they create the record and specify that www.domain.com and domain.com point to the same directory in the web space.

If your web hosting company and your DNS hosting company are the same, they should be able to get it running. If they are separate companies, you'll have to make sure www.domain.com and domain.com point to the same server, and you'll have to make sure the web host points them to the same directory.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 22951454
usually it's a DNS issue I believe.
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Expert Comment

ID: 22951553
Would this related to missing CNAME Record of www in the domain DNS settings?
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Author Comment

ID: 22951562
thank you!

We use cpanel and a WHM so I believe we can edit their DNS and are their hosting company. When looing in the customers DNS Zone their is an entry for www that is set as a CNAME and points to twoviewsphotography.com.. There are also two nameserver entries (NS) that go to ns1.sitezhosting10.com. and ns2.sitezhosting10.com. . There is then an A record that point her domain name to

I'm not a server expert by any means, but that seems like it is all set correct... am I mistaken? Attached is the full screenshot of her settings.

Expert Comment

ID: 22951608
If the www is set as a CNAME to the main site, all should be good on the DNS side of things. Just need to make sure the web host points both to the same directory in the web space.

Author Comment

ID: 22953534
thanks! This is the response I received from our server provider:

I've verified everything and it all looks OK to me. DNS is correct, resolves properly, httpd is configured, no duplicated entries either. Server side it should all be working good.

By the look of the things, I'd say somehow DNS for www got cached and doesn't expire and thus different content served. I've verified that by using 3rd party proxy service, and both loaded same site so the server is indeed properly configured to serve the website.

I guess this means it is related to the ISP's DNS servers?

Accepted Solution

kdtresh earned 2000 total points
ID: 22953709
DNS changes can take up to 48 hours to propagate. You can try opening a command prompt (start->run, type cmd and hit enter) and use the command "ipconfig /flushdns" (without the quotes) to flush your local cache. If your ISP's DNS servers are still hanging onto the old info, you'll probably have to wait for them to update.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31516429
thanks for the help, I appreciate it!

Expert Comment

ID: 23341426
It works for me.

It sounds like they didn't set up their NS records correctly.
You need to have a record with "www" and one without "www"

It can take up to 72 hours for the changes to take affect, BUT usually its quick.


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