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Cannot Access Externally Hosted Domain from Internal Network

Posted on 2014-02-19
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Last Modified: 2014-02-19
Here's my setup:

I have an internal network with the domain corp.domain.com. I have a DNS server with two zones; corp.domain.com and domain.com. The corp.domain.com zone has the A records for all of our servers and workstations. The domain.com zone has the A records for www, mail, and other subdomains. We can access all of our subdomains that exist on local servers via our web browsers with no issues.

The problem is with our website. It is not hosted locally, but through GoDaddy. I have A records under the domain.com zone pointing to the IP address provided by GoDaddy. The A records I have setup are www and *.

The website is a Wordpress site, and the only way I have been able to get it to "somewhat" work is to change the Wordpress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to be http://www.domain.com instead of http://domain.com. After making this change, I can enter www.domain.com in my browser and it will take me to my externally hosted site, however entering just domain.com will not.

I performed an nslookup on my DNS server and here's the results:
> nslookup domain.com
Server:  localhost
Address:  ::1

Server:  domain.com.corp.domain.com
Address:  xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (IP address for external site)

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Question by:steven_theck
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Accepted Solution

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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 39871451
Create another A record, and leave the host blank. The wildcard * record will NOT include that, so you have to create it explicitly.

Then test with nslookup. And to avoid the nslookup issue you had above, put a trailing period after the domain. So instead of "nslookup domain.com" use "nslookup domain.com." and it won't append the default search domain.
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Author Comment

by:steven_theck
ID: 39871480
@Cliff Galiher Thanks for the quick reply. I forgot to mention it, but I do have a blank A record with the correct IP address for our website.

When I perform an nslookup as you described, here's the results:
> nslookup domain.com.
Server:  localhost
Address:  ::1

Name:  domain.com

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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39871492
Since it isn't returning the external IP, that indicates there is an issue with your DNS setup. I'd recheck the record setup.
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Author Comment

by:steven_theck
ID: 39871573
I double-checked my DNS records, and I actually didn't have a blank A record for the external site (it was setup as a name server). I added the blank A record and it didn't make a difference.

A bit more information about accessing my website:
The Wordpress site I'm working on is not at the root of my web host. It is in a separate folder (www.domain.com/newsite/). My currently active website is located at the root. If I go to http://domain.com/newsite/, it will redirect me to http://www.domain.com/newsite/ and work just fine (since that is how it is configured in Wordpress. With my current site, I can go to http://www.domain.com and it loads, but it will not load if I go to http://domain.com. The current site is a PHP site, not Wordpress.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39871578
Did you verify the new record via nslookup?
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Author Comment

by:steven_theck
ID: 39871681
I did. After adding the record, the address is showing up as it should with nslookup.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39871699
Then this is much more likely an issue on the web server. The next thing I'd do is watch the network traffic with something like the developer tools built into new versions of IE or the firebug extension in Firefox. Actually see if the browser is hitting your site and if the redirect is working as expected.
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Author Comment

by:steven_theck
ID: 39871708
Well, it appears to be working now.

I performed an ipconfig /dnsflush and cleared my browser cache, but it still wasn't working. I then pointed the root to the newsite folder within Wordpress to make the new site active, and domain.com still wasn't working. Just to see what happens, I changed the Wordpress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) from within Wordpress back to domain.com, and it is now working just fine (as domain.com and www.domain.com).

So I assume the issue was not having the blank A record within my DNS, but it just didn't update right away. Thank you for all of your help Cliff!
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