I run several websites from a “Reseller” account. Recently, all of my websites stopped loading and/or were very slow in loading in a web browser. This is a very rare thing with my website provider. So, I put in a ticket to their tech support area to have it looked into and I learned something new!!

They told me they checked my websites and all seemed to be working well. But they suggested that I run a “Traceroute” on the sites to see if there were any bottlenecks between my Mac and their hosting servers. A Traceroute just checks the path from your computer to wherever a site is hosted. If you are having this type of slowness problem (and there may be other causes) you might consider running a Traceroute. Here is how it is done on a Mac.

Go into your Utilities folder and open the Terminal application. At the prompt, type in “traceroute”, a space and then your domain name (without the quotes) like so:

In this case I used the Macessence blog address. When you hit “enter” the Terminal app will load the traceroute of your website. It will look like this:

You can see that the route of travel to my Internet Host is rather circuitous. My host provider told me to look for speeds greater than 200 ms or any asterisks. Apparently, speeds over 200 ms indicate a bottleneck and asterisks indicate the route has timed out. As you can see, my speeds never approached the 200 ms barrier. So, the route from my machine to the Macessence website is good to go. The slow down must have been in some other area.

Checking a Traceroute is no big deal. It just takes a minute to boot up the Terminal app, it runs rather quickly. But, it is one step in a process of elimination for troubleshooting website slowness.