Company website not accessible from within domain

Hi,
I have a Windows 2016 Server Standard with a domain (example) abc123.com.  The website for the company is also abc123.com and it's hosted on another shared server on the Internet.  When the users on the domain try to browse to abc123.com, they get the page cannot be displayed message.  I know what's going on but I don't know the best way to fix it.  DNS is pointing to the internal IP address of their company server to access the website.  I tried to ping abc123.com and got the IP address and tried to put that in place of the internal IP address but still got the page cannot be displayed on the browser (even after ipconfig /flushdns).  I tried to access their company website by IP address but since it's on a shared server I got the message, "Sorry, the site is not available."  I really don't want to change the domain name on the Windows 2016 server and dismount and reconnect all the workstation to a new domain.  So I'm wondering if there's a good workaround to make this work.  Thanks for your time and help!
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Matt KendallTech / Business owner operatorAsked:
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Not in your situation. You could make the website www.company.com and train users to always I clue the www.  

But because of how active directory works, you can't have the AD domain and the website be exactly the same and still have clients reach that website. One of them must be different or a subdomain, or similar.
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DrDave242Commented:
Does the website respond to www.abc123.com? If so, simply tell your users that they have to include the www when browsing to the site from inside the office. If they complain about having to type three w's and a dot, roll your eyes and tell them to suck it up*, because there's really no alternative without renaming the AD domain.

If the site doesn't respond to www.abc123.com from inside, see if it does from outside. If www.abc123.com works from outside but not inside, the site most likely has an HTTP redirect in place: it's redirecting requests for www.abc123.com to abc123.com. This isn't a problem from outside, where those names both resolve to the same address, but it causes a failure from inside. Your only options in this case are to either get rid of the HTTP redirect (which may require a call to the web host) or, once again, rename the AD domain.

If www.abc123.com doesn't work from inside or outside, you may be able to change the site's host header so that it will accept requests for that address. This may again require a call to the web host. If that's not feasible for whatever reason, you're unfortunately stuck with one option: rename the AD domain.

* This is not at all advisable if the CEO is the one complaining.
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Matt KendallTech / Business owner operatorAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your reply Cliff and DrDave.  When I pull up www.company.com, it comes up on a computer off their network but does not forward to company.com that I can see.  The www still remains in front of the domain.  I'm not sure if it's being forwarded or not.  If it is being forwarded, do I just delete the A Record or CNAME for WWW on that domain?  And, I don't need to make any changes in their DNS on their server, correct?  Thanks again for your help guys!
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DrDave242Commented:
When I pull up www.company.com, it comes up on a computer off their network but does not forward to company.com that I can see.  The www still remains in front of the domain.

In that case, it sounds like it's not being redirected. Is there already a host (A) record named www on the internal DNS server? If not, you should create one and give it the IP address of the website. Flush the DNS resolver cache on an internal client (the ipconfig /flushdns command will do this) and try to browse to www.abc123.com from that client.
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Matt KendallTech / Business owner operatorAuthor Commented:
Thanks so much guys for your advice.  DrDave, I added the www as an A record in DNS on the server and voila!  After the DNS flush, www.company.com pulls up fine.  Have a great day!
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Windows Server 2016

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