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Returning users return to cached site after shutting down Netlify site and changed registrar DNS records

I’m having an issue where returning issues are still seeing the cached netlify site, even after shutting down the netlify site. The domain is https://promu.io

  1. I deleted all records off Netlify DNS
  2. Turned off custom domains
  3. Went into namecheap and changed the DNS records to point to the new address
  4. Waited over 72 hrs

Is anyone else experiencing this? Can anyone please help?

@carpedn Nothing in your DNS points to Netlify and your files are not being served from Netlify, so this isn’t a Netlify issue. Have you tried clearing your cache with Cloudflare?

Hey @gregraven, thanks for your response. I just signed up for a premium Cloudflare account and tried clearing the cache. Waited more than 72 hrs and returning customers are still seeing the netlify site.

I messaged their customer support, and this was their response:

Domain promu.io has grey-out cloud for its A record 23.227.38.65 with DNS only - reserved IP. That means Clouddflare doesn’t provide CDN service - DNS service only. So purging cache via promu.io Cloudflare Dashboard won’t help here.

By curl https://promu.io - the response header DYNAMIC cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC means content is from origin web server not from Cloudflare CDN cache.

Is there anything else you can forsee me trying without asking our customers to clear their local cache? Any help would be greatly appreciated. this has been an ongoing issue for a couple weeks now

@carpedn As I stated before, nothing in your DNS points to Netlify and your files are not being served from Netlify. What makes you think this is a Netlify issue?

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@gregraven, thanks for your response.

As mentioned in my first post, the domain https://promu.io was originally hosted with Netlify DNS. Returning customers are still hitting the netlify site when they type in the domain, even after I’ve removed the DNS records and shut down the netlify site.

Please see attached screen recording of a customer seeing the netlify site on their cached main browser (safari), and the shopify site when in incognito

Screen recording here

@carpedn This seems to be a browser caching issue, not a Netlify issue. There’s nothing I’m aware of that can be done on the Netlify side to eliminate this behavior.

@gregraven Thanks for your response.

I see. Is there any possibility I can recover my netlify site? I have deleted my netlify site already… Ideally I would like to bring back the site, and push a new home page so people can be redirected to the new site?

Any help here would be greatly appreciated

@carpedn As long as no one else has taken the name you assigned to your Netlify subdomain, it should be trivial to set up your website on Netlify again, but I don’t think that will do what you are trying to get done. The only way that visitors would reach your re-constituted website on Netlify would be if you re-assigned your custom domain to the Netlify version of your site, which means removing it from the other version to which you seem to be trying to transition. Any one of your visitors with aggressive local caching will be seeing the old version of your site on the other host, while new visitors will be caching the Netlify version, which seems counter-productive to what you seem to be trying to accomplish. There is no easy way of assigning the same custom domain name to two different servers, which is what would need to be the case in order to re-direct visitors from your custom domain on Netlify to your custom domain on the other server.

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Hi, @carpedn. I do agree with everything @gregraven is saying here. To summarize, if previous visitors are still seeing the previous site at Netlify there there is something happening in the local browser to cause that.

A HAR file recording would tell us more than a screen recording. If the issue persists, posting a link to a HAR recording would be idea.

About possible reasons for the local caching, services workers are the most common cause of this:

About recovering a deleted site, there is no way to do that. However, if you still have the original files or a link to the Git repo it was using, it should be possible to make a new site just like it. (You can even use the same site name as before if no one else is using it.) So, you cannot restore the deleted site but you can recreate it if you want to.

If there are other questions please reply anytime.

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@Luke You are correct about having to have the files on hand. When I said it would be trivial to set it up again, I assumed the original files would be available for upload. Alternately, if your site had been crawled by the Internet Archive, the Wayback Machine might have a copy, but it can be tedious to recover more than a couple of files that way.

Thank you all for all the responses. This has been helpful

With regards to the HAR file, please download here

My plan right now is to

  1. recreate the netlify site
  2. remove https://promu.io from the shopify domain
  3. reattach it to the netlify DNS
  4. pushup code to manually redirect to https://www.promu.io (note the subdomain)
  5. Remove https://promu.io from netlify domain

I’m hoping this works. please let me know if you see any problems with this

@carpedn Your custom domain seems to be loading as you described. Is your issue resolved?

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@gregraven, thanks for checking in.

Yes that seemed to have worked. Returning users that visited https://promu.io while the domain was active (netlify) got redirected https://www.promu.io (shopify)

However this seems to have introduced a new issue. The subpath doesn’t get respected when redirecting to the www domain. For example, https://promu.io/pages/example goes to https://www.promu.io, so all my google search results with subpaths are redirected to the www homepage.

Can you advise how I can write my redirect rule to respect the same path when redirecting to the www site?

ex. https://promu.io/pages/examplehttps://www.promu.io/pages/example

This is my netlify.toml file, which is currently incorrect:

[[redirects]]
  from = "/*"
  to = "https://www.promu.io"
  status = 301
  force = true

Have you referred to the docs about this?

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Hi, @carpedn. When did you make the HAR file? I ask because I see the following headers for the path / request:

age 67803
cache-control public, max-age=0, must-revalidate
content-encoding br
content-length 11916
content-type text/html; charset=UTF-8
date Wed, 05 May 2021 01:34:32 GMT
etag "9f7e9f7d5bf6638dc01003769470f5cc-ssl-df"
server Netlify
strict-transport-security max-age=31536000
vary Accept-Encoding
x-country CA
x-language en,en;q=0.9
x-nf-request-id 372d04f6-f70c-4c21-aafc-89383a1d632c

This response occurred on May 5th, 2021. This was over a month ago. If you just made this HAR records now (and not back on May 5th) this is strongly suggests that a service worker is the source of the data.

In addition, there is no IP address for that response. As it would be impossible for Netlify to reply without an IP address, this further supports that the issue is completely caused by the local browser and not by Netlify. Again, service worker is the most common reason why a browser isn’t actually making an HTTP request to the server.

If there are other questions about this, please let us know.

EDIT (two edits): The only solution for this is in the support guide - which is to manually unregister the service worker in the end user’s browser. Also, we’ve seen Safari return 200s for locally cached content even though the cache-control headers say public, max-age=0, must-revalidate. This is Safari not following HTTP standards and a bug in Safari itself.