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.