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Archive Of Our Own Error 503: 4 Easy Fixes

Oops! The Archive of Our Own servers is having difficulty handling all the requests.

Please bear with them as they work to fix the problem. They apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Archive of Our Own recently faced Error 503, a server issue and outages. This is a problem with the website itself and can be solved by changing the DNS, installing the Firewalls and contacting the website’s customer care.

This may be annoying and frustrating to most of the users. Let’s continue reading about what causes these errors and how to fix them.

What Is Archive Of Our Own?

Archive of Our Own (AO3) is one of the world’s most popular and well-known platforms for fanworks.

Additionally, it is a fan-created, fan-run, nonprofit, noncommercial archive for transformative fanworks, such as fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, and podfic.

AO3 hosts more than 11 million works in over 59,000 fandoms, ranging from books and literature to movies and video games.

Users can create an account to share their fanworks. Moreover, they can keep track of works they want to read or revisit later.

Additionally, they get notified when their favorite works or authors update and participate in challenges. 

Users can also search for works by various criteria, such as fandom, rating, category, relationship, character, tag, word count, language, etc.

Why Does Error 503 Happen On Archive Of Our Own?

Archive of Our Own has recently faced Error 503, a server issue and outages.

This is not a problem with your device or connection but with the website itself.

Here are some of the causes of error 503 on AO3:

1. High Traffic

High traffic causes 503 errors when the website’s server cannot handle many user requests at that moment.

Additionally, the server lacks the resources or capacity to process all the requests and needs time to recover or fix the issue.

Some other possible reasons are:

  1. The website hosts a popular event, promotion, or content that attracts many visitors.
  2. The website is targeted by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, a malicious attempt to overwhelm the server with fake requests.
  3. The website has poor configuration or optimization, which makes it unable to handle normal traffic levels.

2. Server maintenance

Server maintenance is one of the common causes of a 503 error.

Additionally, it means the server is undergoing scheduled or unscheduled updates, repairs, or improvements that prevent it from serving regular requests.

During this time, the server may display a custom message or a generic 503 error page to inform the visitors that the service is unavailable.

However, server maintenance usually lasts for a short period to ensure the optimal performance and security of the server.

3. Wrong DNS Configuration

In rare cases, a wrong DNS configuration can cause a 503 error.

The DNS server you are using may have problems, such as being overloaded, corrupted, or outdated.

However, this can result in the DNS server failing to resolve the domain name of the website you are trying to access and returning a Service Unavailable – DNS Failure error message instead. 

Moreover, this error is usually temporary and can be fixed by restarting your router, modem, computer, or device. 

Archive with 503 Error
Archive Our Own is facing a 503 error.

How To Fix Error 503 On AO3?

According to AO3’s official status on Twitter, @AO3_Status, they often experience high traffic and server load, which can result in Error 503 or slow loading times.

Moreover, they also perform regular updates and fixes, which can cause temporary downtime or errors.

However, they usually announce these events on their Twitter accounts and Known Issues page.

Additionally, some of the fixes to this issue are:

1. Fix High Traffic

The website owner can upgrade their server or hosting plan to increase their resources and capacity.

  1. The website owner can use a content delivery network or a caching plugin to reduce the load on their server and improve their performance.
  2. The website owner can implement security measures such as firewalls or DDoS protection services to prevent or mitigate attacks.
You can install a COMODO firewall to maintain high traffic.


2. Server Maintenance

To fix server maintenance, wait until the server is back online or contact the website administrator for more information. You can also try some of the following steps to troubleshoot the problem:

  1. Reload or refresh the webpage (the F5 key or the Ctrl + R keyboard shortcut). Sometimes, just trying the page again will work.
  2. Restart your router and modem. Then restart your device
  3. Check if the website is down by plugging its URL into a service like Freshping’s Is it Down tool.
Is it down?
You can use Freshping Tool to check the server status.

3. Fix DNS Configuration

You can try changing your DNS server to a different one, such as Google Public DNS or Cloudflare DNS.

These free and public DNS servers may be faster and more reliable than your default one.

Here’s how you fix the wrong DNS configuration:

  1. Open the Control Panel > Network and Internet.
  2. Then, click Network and Sharing Center and then Change adapter settings on the left side.
  3. Further, right-click on your network connection and select Properties.
  4. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on Properties.
  5. Click on Use the following DNS server addresses and enter the preferred and alternate DNS server addresses. For example, you can use Google Public DNS by entering as the preferred DNS server and as the alternate DNS server.
Change the DNS
  1. Click on OK and close all the windows.
  2. Finally, restart your browser and try to reaccess the website.

4. Contact Customer Care Support

You can contact the website directly for help. There’s a good chance that the site’s administrators already know about the 503 error, but letting them know, or checking the status of the problem, isn’t a bad idea.

Most sites have support-based social network accounts; some even have phone numbers and email addresses.

Contact to the customer care
Contact customer care.

The Bottom Line

AO3 always works hard to improve its site and provide the best experience possible.

Moreover, you can contact them if you have any feedback or suggestions, as they value your opinion and support.

I hope you can fix the 503 errors with the suggestions above and relish the site.

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