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Tutorial Why do I see the Default Web Site Page?

Overview
The Default Web Site Page is a placeholder page for domains that resolve to a server using cPanel & WHM. It often appears when a visitor navigates to a domain that's not configured on the specific IP address the visitor's computer resolves the domain to. The image below shows an example of what the Default Web Site Page looks like:

default-website-page.png

The troubleshooting steps below are intended to assist hosting account owners and resellers determine the reason why the Default Web Site Page appears when navigating to a domain. Hosting account owners have access to the cPanel interface, and resellers have access to the cPanel interface plus a limited subset of functionality in the WHM interface.

Step 1. Determine which IP address the domain resolves to from your workstation.

The ping command is a simple method you can use to determine the IP address your domain resolves to from your local workstation. You can use ping on Windows (via the command prompt), MacOS (via the Terminal app), and Linux (via Terminal). Here's an example of what you will see when running the ping domain.tld command on your operating system:

Code:
ping domain.tld
PING domain.tld (1.2.3.4): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 1.2.3.4: icmp_seq=0 ttl=61 time=66.548 ms
64 bytes from 1.2.3.4: icmp_seq=1 ttl=61 time=65.201 ms
64 bytes from 1.2.3.4: icmp_seq=2 ttl=61 time=64.479 ms
In this example, "domain.tld" represents the domain name you are checking, and "1.2.3.4" represents the IP address your workstation resolves the domain name to.

Step 2. Determine which IP address is assigned to the cPanel account associated with the domain.

cPanel users can find the IP address associated with the cPanel account next to Dedicated IP Address or Shared IP Address (depending on the type of IP address assigned to the account) when accessing the Server Information page in the cPanel interface:

server-information.png

serverinfo.png

Reseller users can also find the IP address associated with the account under the IP Address column when accessing the List Accounts page in the Web Host Manager interface.

Step 3. Check if the IP addresses detected in the previous two steps match.

If the IP addresses found in the previous steps match, proceed to Step 4. If the IP addresses do not match, proceed to Step 5.

Step 4. If the IP addresses match.

Try clearing the browser cache on your local workstation using the instructions available at:

Tutorial - How to clear your browser's cache

If the default website page still appears after clearing the browser cache, then it’s likely the issue relates to server configuration problem. You’ll need to contact your hosting provider’s support team to report the issue. The following document is available to help you to identify your web hosting provider if necessary:

How to Identify Your Hosting Provider - cPanel Knowledge Base - cPanel Documentation

Step 5. If the IP addresses do not match.

The IP address detected in Step 2 is almost always the IP address the domain needs to resolve to from your local workstation. Here are some common reasons why the IP address your domain name resolves to from your local workstation doesn't match the IP address associated with the cPanel account it's associated with:

A. Your DNS cache is out-of-date. Try clearing the DNS cache on your local workstation using the instructions at:

How To Clear Your DNS Cache - cPanel Knowledge Base - cPanel Documentation

Then, repeat Step 1 to determine if the IP Address now properly reflects the IP address found in Step 2. If the IP addresses now match, navigate to the domain in a new window or tab with your web browser to see if it now loads the website's content. If the IP addresses now match, but default website page still appears, refer to Step 4 above.

B. The A Record configured for the domain points to the wrong IP address. To verify the A record is setup properly, you should first identify the DNS host for the domain. You can use a tool such as Whois.com to check which nameservers are authoritative to your domain, or you can also ask your web hosting provider for information about your DNS host.

If you determine the name servers utilized by the domain are associated with the cPanel server your account is hosted on, browse to cPanel >> Zone Editor and click the Manage button to confirm the A record for the domain uses the correct IP address. If it doesn’t, click the Edit button and replace it with the correct IP address identified in Step 2. Upon correcting the IP address, refer back to Step 1.

If you determine the name servers utilized by the domain are associated with an external DNS server (e.g. your domain registrar), refer to that DNS server's support team or documentation to verify how to manage the domain's A Record.

C. DNS records for the domain were recently updated by your hosting provider. If your hosting provider recently changed the IP address assigned to the cPanel account, and you’ve confirmed the A record is setup correctly, then it’s possible it’s simply a matter of waiting for the DNS change to propagate throughout the Internet. This can take as little as a few minutes, and as long as a few days.

Step 6. Check your NAT configuration

This step is intended for System Administrators with root access to the cPanel & WHM server.

For servers using a 1:1 NAT Configuration, use the methods below to verify it's setup correctly.

A. Execute the following command to verify the /var/cpanel/cpnat file exists and references your local and public IP addresses:

Code:
# cat /var/cpanel/cpnat
Here's an example of how the output will look on a server using a 1:1 NAT configuration:

Code:
# cat /var/cpanel/cpnat
172.16.0.28 10.18.16.76
In this example, 172.16.0.28 represents the local IP address, and 10.18.16.76 represents the public IP address.

Here's an example of a command you can use to verify the local IP address configured for your server:

Code:
# ip addr | grep inet
    inet 127.0.0.1/8 scope host lo
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host
    inet 172.16.0.28/24 brd 172.16.0.255 scope global dynamic eth0
    inet6 fe80::f816:3eff:fe08:bd38/64 scope link
Here's an example of a command you can use to verify the public IP address configured on your server.

Code:
# curl myip.cpanel.net
10.18.16.76
If either IP address in /var/cpanel/cpnat does not match the IP address detected using the above commands, execute the /scripts/build_cpnat command to see if rebuilding your /var/cpanel/cpnat file corrects the issue:

Code:
# /scripts/build_cpnat
B. Verify the Apache virtual host for the affected domain uses the correct local IP address in the Apache configuration file. To check, first execute the following command to view the Apache configuration file:

Code:
# view /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf
Next, type the forward slash key with a specific search term. For example:

Code:
/ServerName testdomain.tld
Remember to replace "testdomain.tld" with the affected domain name. This should bring you to Virtual Host entry for the domain:

Code:
<VirtualHost 172.16.0.28:80>
  ServerName testdomain.tld
    ServerAlias mail.testdomain.tld www.testdomain.tld
  DocumentRoot /home/testdomain/public_html
  ServerAdmin [email protected]
  UseCanonicalName Off
If the IP address in the virtual host does not match your server's local IP address, rebuild the Apache configuration to correct the mismatch:

Code:
# /scripts/rebuildhttpdconf
Step 7. Contact your web hosting provider.

If the previous steps are unhelpful in getting your website to load the correct content, then the final step is to contact your hosting provider’s support team for assistance. As noted earlier in this post, the following document is available to help you to identify your web hosting provider if necessary:

How to Identify Your Hosting Provider - cPanel Knowledge Base - cPanel Documentation

Additionally, if you have questions about these troubleshooting steps, or about cPanel & WHM in general, register an account on the cPanel Forums and join the discussion! We have a team dedicated exclusively to the cPanel Forums to help answer any questions you have.

Thanks!
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