There is a website [some random service]. Its name is [somerandomservice.com]. Many people seem to access this site just fine,
yet many others just get a blank page. If I PING the site everything looks good. The IP address that PING gives me is
[188.8.131.52]. If I try this IP address in my browser I get a page that says
“If you can see this page, then the people who manage this server have installed cPanel and WebHost Manager (WHM) which use the
Apache Web server software and the Apache Interface to OpenSSL (mod_ssl) successfully. They now have to add content to this
directory and replace this placeholder page, or else point the server at their real content.”
But again, the most confusing part is that many people on several soap forums say they have no problems at all accessing this
site – how could this possibly be?
I’ve changed the site and IP address above, but the idea is the same.
The short answer is that what you’re seeing is totally expected. The IP address actually isn’t enough to identify the site you
want to go to. That’s true for many sites, including the one in the original question and http://somerandomservice.com.
It’s also true for http://ask-leo.com.
I’ll discuss why.
If you go to http://somerandomservice.com (it’s a real site, I own it), you’ll see something like this:
However, if you look up somerandomservice.com’s IP address – 184.108.40.206 – and go to http://220.127.116.11 you get something else entirely…
The problem, in a nutshell, is shared hosting.
The server at the IP address 18.104.22.168 hosts many web sites (48 as I write this) of which somerandomservice.com is only one. The IP address alone is not enough information to tell that server which site it is you want to see. As a result, the server displays a default page. In my case, I made my own custom page to help direct people to other sites, in your case the default page provided by the server management software is shown.
The same’s true for http://ask-leo.com; its IP address, currently 22.214.171.124, will actually end up redirecting you to that same “No Site Here” page above.
When you visit a site using its actual name, like “somerandomservice.com”, the IP address is used to locate the server, and then the name you’re asking for is also passed along. You can think of that request as being something along the lines of “Hello 126.96.36.199, I’d like to view somerandomservice.com, please”. Without the domain name, the request is more like “Hello 188.8.131.52, show me your default site, please”. On servers that host only one site, the results may be the same; on others, though, they’re likely quite different.
As to why some people can see the site by name and others get only a blank page, I’ll refer you to Why can I not access certain web sites? which touches on many of the potential reasons.