To communicate with your site, information must pass through many different machines. Any of them could be introducing delays that hinder or prevent access to your site. It is possible to view the progress as information passes through these each of these different machines (or "hops") by using a tool that traces the route to your site.
An example of a route trace (hop 1 took 31.304 milliseconds or 0.031 seconds, for example):
banshee:~# traceroute intershop-center.com
Notice that all the hops are under 100 ms (0.1 seconds). If you are experiencing problems you'll likely see some hops over 300 ms when you run this, probably in the first few hops (your ISP). The only hops we have any control over is are last two, we cannot control delays or timeouts introduced by your ISP or any of the other imtermediate hops.
If you have Windows, you can often run a trace route by opening a DOS window and running "tracert abc.com". If you have Windows and you don't have "tracert.exe" in /windows (or simply want an easier-to-use interface):
A good way to see if the problem is with your site is to trace the route to your site from other servers around the world and compare those route traces to yours. If other servers can access your site OK, then the problem is clearly not with your site. Another place to run traceroutes.
If you get a "lookup failed" or a similar error, that means that your IP address could not be looked up. This could mean that the organization that registered your domain has disabled access to your site because you failed to pay for your domain registration or renewal. You will need to check the status by contacting them.
There is also an extensive online manual available.
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