Domain Hosts Won’t Always Tell You When Something’s Expiring

One of my customers runs a very successful dog training business in Chicago. A year ago, I’d helped her move her Web site to a new host, although we kept her domain name/DNS hosted with her original service. To facilitate this, we purchased that domain hosting company’s DNS management service, which was priced at $5.00 for twelve months.

Everything worked great.

Fast forward a year, and the customer calls me in a panic as her Web site has suddenly become unreachable — with some random “placeholder” Web page coming up instead. She thought her Web site was somehow hacked. In reality, it was something much less sinister, albeit entirely avoidable. Within minutes, I’d determined that the DNS management service we’d purchased a year ago had expired, so requests for her Web site were not being directed properly. The hosting company never bothered to send out any kind of e-mail notice in advance of this. In my eyes, this is not a good business practice.

I renewed the DNS management option (which cannot be ordered for more than a year at a time), reviewed the DNS records, and soon her Web site was reachable again. I suggested to the customer that she setup an Outlook task reminder for the sole purpose of having her renew the service in 10-11 months. At some point, I told her she ought to consider moving her domain name and Web hosting to another, more proactive host that takes a more proactive approach to customer service.

  • teddgcm

    I don’t know about others, but Godaddy is relentless with letting you know your domain is expiring. They send emails and snail mail to remind you starting 2 or 3 months before the expiration date. they are so thorough about it that it almost becomes annoying.

  • LW Irving

    Are you sure that the contact details on the domain record are correct.
    It may be that the reminders are being sent to an old email account

  • Mike

    So, what ‘management’ does this service actually do?
    Sounds like it is nothing more than a DNS host, and a poor one at that.

  • Matt Wilkinson

    I guess that is the flipside — that you get “too much” notification when a service is expiring. Network Solutions is much like GoDaddy in that they pummel you relentlessly with e-mails about services expiring.

    Still — having to delete annoying messages is slightly less evil than not knowing something is about to expire.

  • Matt Wilkinson

    LW — good call. I did make sure the contact info was valid for the domain, which it was. They simply didn’t send anything.

    Mike — the service basically lets you customize the various DNS records for the domain (MX, A Record, CNAME, etc).