Mystery: Intermittent "err connection refused" on 301 redirect to my domain

This one is a real mystery I am hoping someone can help with.
I operate one website, hosted by WP Engine. I purchase domains from Namecheap and 301 redirect them to specific pages on that site. Lately, those redirects are showing intermittent “err connection refused” errors. This is occurring mainly in Chrome but I have seen the issue in Firefox as well, on two different computers on two different networks in two different homes.
I have tried:
-Flushing DNS cache on the computers with ipconfig /flushdns

  • This fixes it for one page load and then when I enter the url again (www.390FawnDrive.com for example)www.FawnDrive.com then it goes back to the error
  • I have flushed the server side caching and the browser cache and history multiple times as well as the Cloudflare cache
  • I have been employing this exact same method to redirect urls from namecheap to my site’s pages for years with hundreds of urls… nothing has changed except these errors are now popping up.

Thanks for any help!!!

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Neither domain is on Cloudflare. You’ll ask your host here for further help I am afraid.

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Thanks for the prompt response. The root domain is at www.thomashenthorne.com and it is indeed on Cloudflare with Argo.

The 301 redirect in the case of www.390FawnDrive.com is to 390 Fawn Drive, San Anselmo, CA | Just Listed

Hope this helps.

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thomashenthorne.com is, but what’s the issue about that domain? The other two domains are not relevant in this context.

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That domain loads just fine → sitemeer.com/#https://www.thomashenthorne.com

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The root domain loads just fine.
The other domains use 301 redirects (permanent forwarding) to pages on that domain. Those redirects are timing out with connection errors. I should put “domains” in quote because the vanity url are not real domains, they just 301 forward to thomashenthorne.com

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But that brings us back to the original response, these domains are not on Cloudflare, so you need to discuss this with your host.

If you have a web related issue with a domain on Cloudflare, that’s the right place. Otherwise it is beyond the scope of the forum.

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These domains aren’t hosted. They are 301 redirects. There is no host to discuss with.

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That redirect still has to come from a server and that’s your host. Point is, these domains are not on Cloudflare, so whatever they are doing Cloudflare is not involved.

Do you have an issue with a domain on Cloudflare?

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You’d have to add them here and use the following tutorial:

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In that case they’d be hosted by Cloudflare and the redirect would come from there, the question though was why there are intermittent connectivity issues and those are not Cloudflare related but will be something on the current host.

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They point to GoDaddy and NameCheap, so those certainly are the source of the problems.

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Thanks both for your continued help.
The strange thing is… a flushdns command makes the domain redirect work fine until I do another reload.
The other strange thing is I have been doing this with “dummy” namecheap domains (property addresses forwarding to pages on thomashenthorne.com) for years … hundreds of these. I haven’t changed anything so I’m wondring what has changed.
Namecheap is located in Eastern Europe… I wonder if my geoblocking in Cloudflare on thomashenthorne.com is somehow rejecting the 301 redirect from the dummy domains?

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I am afraid, that’s really something to discuss with your host and would be off-topic here for now. Of course you could move these domains to Cloudflare and configure the redirect on Cloudflare’s side, but that would be a whole different subject.

Any current issues are not Cloudflare related and your Cloudflare domain loads fine.

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Thank you… I will go back to Namecheap on this. Every entity involved (Go Daddy, Namecheap, WP Engine, Cloudflare) sends me to a different entity so it’s been interesting.

Also I can’t figure out why this happens ONLY on Chrome… and reproduces easily (go to 390FawnDrive.com, it loads, then reload it again, you get error, then flush dns, it loads, etc)… this does not happen in Firefox or Safari. This is super strange.

Thanks again

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That’s the point, Cloudflare is not involved :slight_smile:

Your Cloudflare domain works fine and the others do not involve Cloudflare. It’s difficult to tell what the issue might be and it could be anything from caches, to DNS and routing or network issues. If your host can’t help you it might be an idea to ask for help in a related forum, such as StackExchange or Reddit.

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One last try at this… don’t kill me… :grinning:

I just ran a ping test on site24x7.com and when I first loaded 390FawnDrive.com it gave normal responses… then it said unreachable and gave the error:
" * The Name Server domain is not reachable from the Internet because there is a firewall or filtering router that is blocking connections to port 53 on this host for both UDP and TCP connections. The firewall configuration must permit connections on this port from any host on the Internet for the DNS to function properly." It also says “The SOA record for the zone is required to be present in the primary Name Server and is not found. This usually means that the zone file is not setup properly in the primary Name Server host. It may also be due to any of the following reasons.”

This makes me wonder if it’s my Cloudflare firewall rules. If 390FawnDrive.com is forwarding to thomashenthorne.com and the Cloudflare firewall sees a repeat visit as a potential denial of service attack, couldn’t it theoretically reject the connection or issue a challenge?

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As mentioned, Cloudflare is not involved here in the first place as that domain is not using any of its features here. So it’s not Cloudflare’s DNS, not Cloudflare’s firewall, not Cloudflare at all.

It would be only an issue if your Cloudflare domain did not load, but that’s not the case.

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Remember that any connections to a FawnDrive domain have nothing to do with Cloudflare. Not until a browser executes the 301 redirect to connect to thomashenthorne does Cloudflare come into play.

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OK thanks much to you both.

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