The digital era has witnessed a growing number of businesses leveraging the power of the internet to reach global audiences. Websites have become a critical tool in today’s business landscape, forming the cornerstone of many digital marketing strategies. However, it is not uncommon for website owners to encounter accessibility issues post-launch, especially over various networks. This article delves into one such issue and the journey to its resolution, providing a case study for those who may encounter similar problems.
The focus of our narrative revolves around a recently launched website. Initially, it seemed to perform flawlessly, readily accessible from home and office broadband connections. However, an accessibility issue surfaced when the site was accessed over 3G, 4G, and LTE networks. In these cases, instead of loading as it should, the website redirected to a cPanel misconfiguration page.
This problem manifested in real-world scenarios, too. When a user disconnected WiFi on a mobile device and attempted to access the site via mobile data, the site didn’t load as expected. Instead, the user was navigated to the aforementioned misconfiguration page. This issue not only limited the website’s accessibility but also impacted the user experience negatively, potentially driving away potential customers.
Following the identification of the problem, an intensive search for solutions began. This investigation encompassed extensive searches on Google, consulting the web hosting manager (WHM) and cPanel, and updating various elements of the site in hopes of remedying the issue. Despite these diligent efforts, resolving the issue proved elusive.
The breakthrough came when attention was drawn towards Google Workspace, a suite of cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration tools. The suite includes a tool for managing DNS settings, specifically adding the correct Zone File entries, which became a critical aspect of this troubleshooting process.
The Culprit: Incorrect DNS Settings
After a painstaking process of elimination, it was determined that the issue lay within the DNS settings, specifically the AAAA record in the Zone File entries within Google Domains. Over mobile data and certain VPNs, the site would fail to load due to this incorrect DNS configuration. The AAAA record, responsible for mapping a domain name to the IP address of the computer hosting the website, was erroneous, causing the site’s inaccessibility over certain networks.
The Solution: Correcting DNS Settings
To rectify the problem, the erroneous AAAA entry was deleted from Google Domains. This simple action corrected the DNS misconfiguration that was causing the accessibility issue. As a result, the website began loading correctly over mobile data and the VPNs that previously encountered issues.
Conclusion: The Importance of Correct DNS Configuration
This case study underscores the importance of correctly configuring DNS settings when launching a website. DNS misconfigurations, such as an incorrect AAAA record, can cause accessibility issues and negatively impact the user experience, especially for those using mobile data or VPNs. Therefore, it’s crucial for website owners to ensure their DNS settings are accurate and up-to-date, checking and rechecking these settings if any accessibility issues arise.
Remember, a website’s success is not just in its design and content but also in its seamless accessibility across various networks and devices. Paying attention to the technical aspects of your website, like DNS configurations, can make all the difference.