Domain Name Not Resolving

I have a website that is failing now. When I try to ping I get:

ping: cannot resolve Unknown host

This is a DNS issue, am I right? DNS are hosted on Cloudflare. Should I contact them or it could be a problem with the registrar?

Try the DNS lookup feature on It’ll show a “DNS traversal” link that you can use to check the response from each DNS server. There’s a chance that just one of the servers is having an issue.

It won’t be a registrar problem, as they’re not actually involved unless you’re using their DNS servers. It’ll either be your DNS provider (sounds like you’re using Cloudflare) or the registry for the TLD (.com, .net, etc) you’re using.

It’s very unlikely to be the registry if you’re using a major TLD like .com, but some ccTLDs like .io are known to have sporadic DNS issues. Note: The registrar is the company you register the domain through (Porkbun,, whatever). The registry is the company that runs the TLD (eg. VeriSign is the registry for .com and .net domains)


Interesting tool:

There is a problem with the DNS server at
Failed: DNS request failed: The domain name referenced in the query does not exist.

Thanks! It’s a site I built back in 2007 :slight_smile:

That error usually means that the registry’s server is refusing to serve the DNS response for your domain, or it doesn’t exist on the registry’s DNS servers at all. CloudFlare won’t be able to help with that, as it’s not even reaching their servers. You’ll need to contact your registrar and ask them about it.

Check the WHOIS for the domain and see if there’s a hold on it (Domain Status: serverHold or Domain Status: clientHold in the whois response). If so, you’ll need to contact the registrar and ask why they’ve locked the domain. This is pretty rare though.

Also double-check that the DNS servers are correctly set at your registrar - sometimes having no DNS servers set (somehow) can cause this.

Edit: Oh, also double check that you didn’t forget to renew the domain :smiley:


If you’re on linux and have the tools, I have used the following to check DNS:

dig +short NS

Then you can use dig +short A

From your post it sounds like the domain has a nameserver set which doesn’t exist.

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This outputs nothing.

Domain Status: clientHold

Sounds like there’s no name server(s) set for the domain.

Except it does have.

I will contact the registrar.

You can see an explanation of what clientHold means by clicking that link that appears next to it :slight_smile:

This status code tells your domain’s registry to not activate your domain in the DNS and as a consequence, it will not resolve. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.

Often, this status indicates an issue with your domain that needs resolution. If so, you should contact your registrar to resolve the issue. If your domain does not have any issues, but you need it to resolve, you must first contact your registrar and request that they remove this status code.

Only your registrar can tell you why the clientHold was added. Double-check that the domain hasn’t expired before contacting them - that’s one reason that’s pretty easy to fix (if it’s in the grace period, just renew it and it’ll come back) :slight_smile:


Yes I saw it. Domain should not have any issue. Will see what the registrar says.

When was it registered?

Some registrars are pretty slow at nameserver changes if not using their own ones.

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Is the registrar Alpnames by any chance.


Totally saw that after posting it in a new thread lol

It got resolved after contacting support. There was a pending data verification and the domain was suspended. The notifications were arriving to a wrong email.

All good now. Thank you everyone!


This is a lifesaver again. I changed my DNS server IPs but I forgot to update glue records in te registrar. You are awesome @Daniel


Happy to help! :smiling_face: