What to do if you can’t add a website

Sitebeam performs various checks when you attempt to add a website to ensure that you don’t add a website which doesn’t exist, or can’t be seen by Sitebeam.

If you are trying to add a website and Sitebeam won’t let you, try these steps in order:

Check that the web address is correct

Copy and paste it into your browser, and make sure it goes to the desired website. This is by far the most common problem.

Check the website is currently working, or very slow

If the website is currently down, then Sitebeam won’t be able to access it. Sitebeam gives up trying if it can’t access the homepage for the website within 10 seconds.

Check that the website is visible on the public Internet

If the website is on a private network – for example, your Intranet – then Sitebeam almost certainly can’t see it. This is a by-product of the security of your network, and not something that Sitebeam can circumvent by itself.

Did the website only just go live?

Websites which have just had their DNS settings changed may not be visible to Sitebeam yet, just as they may not be visible to other people on the Internet. Changes to the DNS for a website can take up to 48 hours to propagate across the Internet, although usually less.

If these don’t work

In very rare cases, some websites can’t be accessed by Sitebeam due to the network we’re hosted on (for most users, this is the Amazon cloud).

In these cases, the website is actually blocking access to itself from certain networks, including our own. Their reasons may vary, but include:

  • Security – blocking the Amazon cloud, which could potentially host bots
  • A mistake – an excessive or incorrect IP range has been excluded in error

If this is the case it is currently beyond our control to fix. We can only suggest that the website owners review their firewall policies.

Adding a website that you know will fail, on purpose

For advanced users, you may wish to add a website which you know will fail at the time you add it (for example, because it needs authentication). You intend to add additional settings to it later that will ensure that it can be accessed – for example, setting specific cookies or providing authentication details – but you can’t do that until the website has been added to Sitebeam.

In these rare cases, we suggest adding a website with a different address that works. You can then edit the settings for the website (Site Settings > Pages to test) and modify the web addresses at this point to be whatever you wish. The validation rules are less onerous here and will permit this.

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