By Josh McCormick Nov 5, 2018

If you’re a website owner, you may have experienced a time when your website appeared not to be working. Perhaps you saw a 401 error code, or your site just never loaded and you see an error message. But for whatever reason, your website never displays properly, no matter what page you try and navigate to!

 

If you try to access your site on a different device, you may have found you get varying results. You try it out on your colleague’s computer. Doesn’t work. You ask another person. Doesn’t work. You try and access it on your mobile device, and voila! It works! But why doesn’t it work on your computer? Could it be an issue that only effects desktop computers and not mobile devices? Hmm, that doesn’t seem to make sense.  Even more confusing, you call us and we try and load it up right away and announce that it’s working for us! So what the heck is going on?

Don’t worry, it’s going to be ok!

The answer is actually quite simple, but often hard to initially diagnose. What’s going on here is that your IP address has been blocked. This means you and everyone that shares that IP address (like your colleagues in the same building as you) will not be able to access the site, but others (like your clients) can still see the site in its perfect working condition. Chances are your mobile device may have been using mobile data to access the Internet, and therefore had a different IP address and was able to access the website.

 

That’s all great –but at this point you might be wondering – what’s an IP address? And how did it get blocked? Buckle up, it’s time for a quick internet lesson.

 

 

An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a number that is assigned to a computer network. It’s the internet’s way of identifying a computer or network. Every device that’s connected to the same network will share an IP address. If one computer is detected as doing something malicious, the firewall will block the IP address. This then means everyone who is connected to the same network will no longer be able to access the website.

 

What counts as malicious activity? That depends on your website and how it was built. It also often depends on the hosting company you’re using for your website and what kind of settings they have installed. A very common occurrence could be too many failed attempts to log into your website (where all of your website files are stored).

How do we fix it?

So we know what’s happening, and why it’s happening, but how do we fix it? First, let’s identify what our IP address is. If you google ‘what’s my IP’ there will be a number of sites showing you what your IP address is. In fact, you won’t even have to access one of these sites, google will just display it for you at the top of the screen! If we’re hosting your WordPress website, grab that IP address and send it to us. We will simply unblock your IP address so you will regain access. It’s simple and shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes!

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