When any subdomain of thenifty.me is loaded, users cannot access it from certain locations (Canada, Ukraine, or even certain locations in US). Chrome reports:

The server at *.thenifty.me can't be found, because the DNS lookup failed. DNS is the network service that translates a website's name to its Internet address. This error is most often caused by having no connection to the Internet or a misconfigured network. It can also be caused by an unresponsive DNS server or a firewall preventing Google Chrome from accessing the network.

Google crawler sometimes reports the same error. The thing is, I can access that page and so can other users from other locations. The sites are on S3 buckets, but I don't think that makes any difference. I made users try with different browsers, so that's not the problem either. The same device can get to the website from another location. What else can it be?

  • Why are you using a wildcard (asterisk) in the lookup? – Craig Watson Dec 15 '14 at 17:16
  • If you mean the wildcard in the quote is just to signify any subdomain, I put it there when I wrote the question. – aledalgrande Dec 15 '14 at 17:24

Following some cursory checks (see: What Is My DNS, Pingdom, MX Toolbox), I can see that the domain is resolving correctly on various servers around the world.


The MX Toolbox checks have shown that your TTL (Time To Live) is set to 604800 seconds. This means that any DNS recursor can cache your details for up to 7 days, so if you change your IP address, it can take up to 1 week for this change to propagate around the world. A week is abnormally long so I would recommend changing this. Most shared hosts recommend 4 hours (14400 seconds) or a maximum of 1 day (86400 seconds). If your DNS is set up as A records and rarely change, 1 day is OK.

Also, the Pingdom check shows that your NS servers are not accepting incoming connections. I would double (and triple) check these to make sure that your domain provider's nameservers are updated with your DNS provider (if they differ) - see here for documentation.

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  • Thanks I will check how to change the TTL on name.com; for now I don't have a separate DNS provider, but if this continues I might go for Amazon Route 53. – aledalgrande Dec 15 '14 at 17:31
  • That so-very-long TTL is the one set for the NS records right? I don't think name.com lets me change it. Quite a PITA. While migrating to Route 53: If the registrar has a method to change the TTL settings for their name servers, we recommend that you reset the settings to 900 seconds. IF. Only. – aledalgrande Dec 15 '14 at 18:08
  • Actually that might be the SOA record (which I cannot change either). – aledalgrande Dec 15 '14 at 18:14
  • The high TTL I mentioned is indeed for the NS records. Now that you've updated to R53, your TTL is a much more sane 48 hours for the NS records, and 1 minute for the A record at the apex. – Craig Watson Dec 15 '14 at 19:15
  • I'm pretty sure this will fix the problem, these DNS servers are also distributed, so if it was because of blacklisting it should behave better now. Will have to wait for the servers around the world to update to confirm. Thanks for pointing me to the right direction. – aledalgrande Dec 15 '14 at 19:24

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