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Regular domain plus WordPress not accessible from inside network

Posted on 2014-11-17
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Last Modified: 2014-12-08
We recently hired a vendor to create a new website on WordPress.  I can access http://www.ourdomain.org as always.  From OUTSIDE the network, I can access http://www.ourdomain.org/wp/wp-admin.  From INSIDE the network, I cannot access the /wp or /wp/wpadmin.  I get a "this webpage is not available" error and the detail error states "The server at ourdomain.org can't be found, because the DNS lookup failed. I do have a DNS entry in our forward lookup zone for "www" that points to the correct address - as pinged from either inside or outside the network.  Why can't my internal network find the /wp site?  Do I need to make a manual entry in the forward lookup zone?  Is this possibly a SonicWall firewall issue?

Thanks for your help.
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Question by:sksaathoff
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Accepted Solution

by:
carlmd earned 500 total points
ID: 40447528
Yes you will need to add the other specific URL's. You can test by doing an nslookup just on www, which should return the local address of the server. Do the same for the other complete url's and you will see they are not found.
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Author Comment

by:sksaathoff
ID: 40447605
I had already performed the nslookup with the results you predicted.  I already have a Host(A) record named "www" that statically points to the domain IP address.  What type of record do I use to create the URL?  I tried a CNAME and it gave me an error that said "The DNS name contains records that are incompatible with the CNAME record.  I put "www" in the Alias name and tried leaving it blank.  In the FQDN box I tried both www.ourdomain.org/wp and http://www.ourdomain.org/wp - and some other variants.  I get the same error.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 40447868
If you can access http://www.ourdomain.org from inside your network, then DNS is correct and there is nothing more to do there.  DNS only deals with resolving the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) portion (the "www.ourdomain.org" part)of a URL.  If you can access http://www.ourdomain.org but not http://www.ourdomain.org/wp, then you need to check the site to see if there are any redirects in place or any references that might use a different FQDN for which you might need to add a DNS record.

Is "ourdomain.org" the name of your internal AD domain (assuming you have one)?  If so, make sure the site doesn't have URLs which reference "ourdomain.org", but only "www.ourdomain.org".
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Author Comment

by:sksaathoff
ID: 40465408
Our internal domain is different - xxdomain.local - not even close to the public domain.  The "wp" folder is in the same GoDaddy folder as our main site.  How would I look for redirects?
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Author Comment

by:sksaathoff
ID: 40465414
Disregard the former question.  I used Redirect Checker.  I get a "301 Moved Permantently" returned.  Given that fact, what's the next step?
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Author Comment

by:sksaathoff
ID: 40465580
I called GoDaddy and we discovered the problem, but not the solution.  My DNS record for www points to the public domain.  However, the WP site was created without the www (i.e. http://publicdomain.org/wp, rather than http://www.publicdomain.org).  If I create an A record with nothing in the top box, thus pointing only to publicdomain.org and set it to the same public ip as www, I get a webpage that says "pageok" in the top left corner, and nothing else.  I changed the WP site URL to include www and I can get to the site, but the pictures won't load.  I am not worried about that because I assume that's internal to the site design.  Also, I can get to the wp-admin site after adding the www.

So now I need to know what DNS entries I need to make so the publicdomain.org without www in the front will allow the full wp site in.  I have mail and autodirect A records in the publicdomain.org on my local DNS server.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 40465675
If you have a blank (same as parent) A record in the "publicdomain.org" zone which points to the same IP as the www record, then there shouldn't be anything more to do with DNS.

At this point I would do a network capture when browsing to the site from outside your network, and then compare it to a capture performed while inside your network.  You can see if other DNS queries are being made, any problems, redirects, etc.

It's for reasons like this (and others) that I don't recommend setting up any sites on just somedomain.org, but instead always use www.somedomain.org.
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Assisted Solution

by:sksaathoff
sksaathoff earned 0 total points
ID: 40465707
I also tried reversing the DNS entries, creating an A record that pointed to the pubic IP (replacing the www record) and then creating a CNAME record with "www."  I got the same result.  I could get to the server without using "www" but got only the "pageok" in the upper left hand corner of the web page.
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Author Comment

by:sksaathoff
ID: 40465712
How would you recommend I go about doing the network capture?  Apologies, but I'm a "general I.T." person, not a networking expert.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 40465793
I just did a google search for "wordpress pageok" and got a bunch of hits, particular in combination with GoDaddy.  You might want to peruse those.  GoDaddy and Wordpress is not in my wheelhouse.  Are you sure everything is working fine outside of your network?  BTW, you should also be able to test inside your network, just configure your machine to use an external DNS server (like 8.8.8.8) instead of your internal one.  The results I browsed indicated it was often a configuration problem with GoDaddy, and so would be independent of your internal network.

In regards to a network capture, you need to install a capture program like Wireshark or MS's Network Monitor or Message Analyzer.  Start the capture, browse to the site, stop the capture, then examine the results.  However, examining the results from a network capture takes some practice.  You can filter the results and so forth, but you kind of need to know what you're looking for.
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Assisted Solution

by:sksaathoff
sksaathoff earned 0 total points
ID: 40478923
When I reversed the DNS entries, that took care of it.  The pictures load fine now.  I think they just loaded slowly.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sksaathoff
ID: 40486402
Reversing the DNS entries was an idea I came up with and would provide a solution to others.
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