Newbie here, please let me know if I can add any more details or if I'm missing something entirely obvious.

I got my site up and running on an EC2 and I was able to view it with the public DNS.

I pointed my domain to the instance using this guide. I created an elastic IP for the instance, I created four NS records and two A-name record (www, non-www) using route53. I passed these NS records to my domain provider.

The domain appears to have propagated - when I go to the URL, I get redirected to a very old (two restarts ago) public instance DNS address instead of the new one with the elastic IP. I CAN SSH in to the instance using the new domain name but I can't access it from the browser. I checked my security groups, and HTTP/80 is set to allow all traffic.

I tried accessing the EIP directly (redirect), pinging the EIP (time out), accessing the Public DNS directly, pinging the Public DNS, I tried stopping and starting the instance and repeating all previous steps, and I checked that port 80 is open in the security group, but the domain still redirects me to an old public DNS.

Chrome gives me the error ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT in the browser after I (301) redirected to the old URL.

Not sure where to go from here.

  • Did you clear the DNS cache on your computer?
    – 13dimitar
    Mar 31 '17 at 12:41
  • Can you send the domain name and the ip address that you want to access? Mar 31 '17 at 12:49
  • Yes, also tried a different machine.
    – Rachel Fee
    Mar 31 '17 at 12:52
  • What are the name servers for the domain? If queries for the domain get sent to different name server, you will receive incorrect answer. Check the whois database if you're not sure.
    – 13dimitar
    Mar 31 '17 at 13:13
  • Question: how long did you wait after the dns change? Don't be surprised if it takes multiple hours for your changes to propagate. Did you try a tool like "dig" to get more insight in your dns changes, and make sure they are correct? I assume hitting the EIP directly with your browser returns the correct site? Also, is the behaviour consistent between the www and non-www url? Mar 31 '17 at 13:13

Looking into the issue, doing a nslookup on the domain gives me:

Name:   www.racheldoesfestivals.com  

This is an IP belonging to AWS, so I'm assuming this is going to the right place. I would check to see if that matches the EIP, but based on what I'm seeing below, I'm going to assume this is correct.

Using curl against that IP, I get:

[root@server nginx]# curl -v
* Connected to ( port 80 (#0)
> GET / HTTP/1.1
> Host:
> User-Agent: curl/7.47.1
> Accept: */*
< HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
< Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 14:04:00 GMT
< Server: Apache/2.4.25 (Amazon) PHP/5.6.30
< X-Powered-By: PHP/5.6.30
< X-Pingback: http://ec2-54-211-187-124.compute-1.amazonaws.com/xmlrpc.php
< Location: http://ec2-54-211-187-124.compute-1.amazonaws.com/
< Content-Length: 1
< Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

This shows to me that I'm indeed hitting a webserver running on, but the webserver I'm reaching thinks I should be somewhere else, and is forwarding me to http://ec2-54-211-187-124.compute-1.amazonaws.com/ (This is not Route53 related).

This means that somewhere on the webserver located on there is some code that is triggering a redirect. This could be in your webserver (apache) config file, it could be a .htaccess file, or could be in the application itself.

A lot of websites during the setup phase, make you input a 'primary' website address, which you get redirected to if you visit in any other way. In the past trying to solve this with Wordpress (if this was miss-configured on initial setup) you needed to modify a setting in the database before you can visit the website without being redirected.

I can confirm that we are getting to a working webserver and DNS is working, because running the following command: curl -vH "Host: ec2-54-211-187-124.compute-1.amazonaws.com" Which tricks the webserver into thinking I'm visiting the website returns me html of: RachelDoesFestivals - Guides, musings, media, and other nonsense from a festival obsessionist

If you are patient, you might be able to get into the website using: http://www.racheldoesfestivals.com/wp-login.php
Then fixing the site address in settings->general

  • Thank you for the detailed explanation! Yes, you're correct that is the EIP. I did have Wordpress set to the old Public DNS, I've updated that in the db just this morning - if that's it though it's taking some time. I also had a "hello world" test file at the root that wasn't working, but is now. Nothing in .htaccess or apache conf causing a redirect. EDIT - sorry premature edit.
    – Rachel Fee
    Mar 31 '17 at 14:42
  • You might want to check that you haven't missed a value in the DB, because I was definitely able to replicate the issue just now. Even visiting the admin panel URL: http://www.racheldoesfestivals.com/wp-login.php I can see it's still trying to pull css/js from the old url. One thing to remember is that 301 redirects (what we see visiting the root of the site) are designed to be cached in your browser, so once you've visited it, it will always redirect unless you manage to clear the cache (chrome dev tools doesn't help here).
    – KHobbits
    Mar 31 '17 at 14:53
  • Switched over to incogneto and... GOT IT! Yaayyyy, thanks so much! ...And in the end, my server was set up right after all. Of course. sigh
    – Rachel Fee
    Mar 31 '17 at 14:58

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