Imagine you’ve moved a client to a new web host. You’ve updated their nameservers and the client’s site has propagated.
But the old site is still displaying.
Oh no. What’s going on?
That’s what happened to a friend in an online design group last week, when they shared a problem they were having with a client site.
Site Moved to New Web Host, Shows Content From Old Host
My friend, I’ll call them Lee, backed up the client’s website and moved their client to a new web host.
I’ll call the new host Host 2.
Lee updated the nameservers for the client’s domain name registrar to point to Host 2.
Made sure to lower the Time to Live (TTL).
And waited for the new server information to propagate to the domain name servers (DNS) across the web.
After checking an online DNS checker, Lee discovered the propagation was complete.
The nameservers had been updated around the world with Host 2’s information.
Host 1 information was no longer included in the domain name registration records.
But when Lee visited their client’s site, the site was still showing content from Host 1.
Wait, what’s going on?
How Lee Resolved the Problem
After a bit of discussion and troubleshooting in the online design group, Lee was able to resolve the problem.
Here are the steps.
- Lee took the first step in resolving the issue by confirming with DNS Checker that the propagation was complete.
- The next step was to clear the cache in their browser and test the site across multiple browsers. No luck, the old site was still displaying.
- Lee checked the client site on an another device, their smartphone, which used a different Internet connection.
The correct site displayed!
By confirming the site displayed correctly on their smartphone, Lee was able to narrow down the problem and knew what step to take next.
- The final step, which resolved the problem, was to flush the DNS cache.
What is DNS Cache?
The DNS cache is a temporary database that stores DNS records for all the websites you visit, or have tried to visit, on your digital device.
Think of it as a local phone book to help you get to sites faster.
Flushing out, or clearing out, the DNS cache erases the existing records and starts new.
For Lee, rebooting the router to clear the DNS entries is what solved their problem.
Depending on your circumstances and how you connect to the Internet, you may only need to flush the DNS cache in your operating system.
Finding the solution to the issue wasn’t difficult, but it did took some sleuthing by Lee.
If you find yourself in a similar situation after you move a site to a new host, content from the old host is still displaying, one of the steps should solve your issue. Good luck!
Shoutout to my friend Chris Wiegman for his help with this post.