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Why Your Local Machine (Computer) May Not be Pointing to Your Newly Propagated Site
Note: DIG, aka Domain Information Groper, which I used to find out the new
IP address for my newly propagated web site, is built into my Mac. According to ns1.com,
(DIG) is the best tool for quickly diagnosing and understanding DNS responses. - Carl Levine, July 13, 2016
DIG provides a wealth of information about how a zone is configured, whether or not it’s working properly and can even be queued up with multiple queries at once. - Carl Levine, July 13, 2016
I have added the link to this great and highly informative article at the end of this post.
The other day I moved my business site,
interglobalmedianetwork.com, from Github
gh-pages to Netlify, where this site resides as well.
mariadcampbell.com immediately propagated, immediately showed up correctly on my computer, and everywhere else. However, this was not the case with
interglobalmedianetwork.com. For a while I couldn't figure out why it kept on pointing to my former
gh-pages hosting. I decided to check what
IP address my computer was pointing to and compare it to the new Netlify IP address.
First I typed the following command in Terminal to find out what
IP address my computer was being directed to:
host command returned the
IP address my computer was redirected to to reach
interglobalmedianetwork.com. Then I used DIG to find out what the NEW and ACTUAL IP address for interglobalmedianetwork was. I used the following command:
dig interglobalmedianetwork.com @dns1.p01.nsone.net
I am using a dummy domain nameserver (@dns1.p01.nsone.net) thanks to nsl.com's great article on the DIG command. Replace it with that of the hosting service you are using.
The following (example) results are returned to Terminal:
<<>> DiG 9.8.3-P1 <<>> example.com @dns1.p01.nsone.net a global options: +cmd Got answer: ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 60796 flags: qr aa rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0 WARNING: recursion requested but not available QUESTION SECTION: example.com. IN A ANSWER SECTION: example.com. 3600 IN A 18.104.22.168 Query time: 8 msec SERVER: 22.214.171.124#53(126.96.36.199) WHEN: Fri Jul 8 10:55:40 2016 MSG SIZE rcvd: 45
Using my actual dnsnameserver for Netlify (not dummy content here), I achieved success, and saw that the
IP address was different from the one returned from the
host command. The internet, my Google Pixel 2 smartphone, and my HP laptop were all seeing the newly propagated (and completely newly built) site, but not my Macbook Pro, where I do all my developing.
I thought a bit about this, and realized that PROBABLY I had added an
IP address for
interglobalmedianetwork in my local machine's
hosts file which still points to the previous
IP address associated with my previous nameserver.
I remember adding
IP addresses often back in the early days of WordPress development when
site propagation seemed to take forever, and I wanted to be able to see changes to my site in development before propagation was complete. I added the appropriate
IP address(es) to whichever
site(s) I was working on at any given time. The file which is responsible for this functionality is the
hosts file on our local machine (computer). Just remember that if you are having problems viewing your site after successful propagation, that the old
IP address might still be residing in your
In order to edit the
hosts file, you first had to run the following command in Terminal:
sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
If you have a more recent Mac than me (late 2015 Macbook Pro), you might have to run the following command instead:
sudo nano /etc/hosts
Because we are using
sudo here, you will be prompted to enter your
system password. Be sure to have it available!
The command will take you into the
hosts file via your Nano (Command Line Text) Editor. For example, there I saw a whole bunch of my sites'
IP addresses, including those for various variations of
interglobalmedianetwork.com. Since I didn't need any of them anymore, I simply removed them. The
hosts file has instructions as to what you can edit and should not. Read them carefully.
Next I had to save my changes and exit Nano, so I first typed the following on my keyboard:
control-o + enter (return)
This saved my changes in the
hosts file. Then to exit Nano, I typed the following on my keyboard:
This command took me back to the Terminal
Then I typed
https://www.interglobalmedianetwork.com in the Chrome
address bar and my site appeared! Of course this step can be reproduced in the browser of your choosing.
Happy site propagation!