Your blog’s not so pretty once your domain name expires

You might think that because I don’t post to this blog as often as I used to, it’s not as valuable to me anymore. I might have thought the same thing, until I almost lost it. There’s nothing like having something go away to show you how much it means to you. It turns out I value this blog as much as I ever did, maybe more. I think it has provided entertaining and amusing content. Once in a while, it even contains information that could be considered useful. It’s not a widely-viewed blog, but I believe those who visit get something for their time. That matters to me.

Last week, when I clicked on my bookmark for this site, the browser timed out. I switched to a different browser and was met with the horrifying info that my domain name had expired.

That awkward moment you realize your domain has expired.

How does a blogger let his domain name expire? I mean, seriously?

That is a good question that merits a feeble answer.

This blog began life as a self-hosted web site. When I switched to WordPress, I couldn’t transfer the domain name to them, so I left it with its original registrar and paid WordPress a yearly fee to map the blog to the domain name. Simple enough – not really, but that’s another story.

My domain name was on auto-renew with the original registrar, which was joyously convenient since I never had to manually make a renewal payment. I never had to have any contact with that company at all. It was automated bliss, until it wasn’t.

The credit card used for auto-renew was stolen and subsequently canceled. You know how you have to update all your online payment methods when you get a new card? Well, you might forget about updating it with the company you haven’t had to think about in three years. You might. I don’t know, maybe you have a better system than I do. If you have a system at all, you have a better system than I do.

Anyhow, I learned I hadn’t auto-renewed my domain name at the same time I learned it had expired. This was around the same time I learned I no longer had a functioning blog.

You know how you realize something still matters to you? When you panic at the thought that you’ve lost it. Fortunately, the domain name had expired only the day before, which means it hadn’t yet been auctioned off to the domain name speculators. It only took about four days’ worth of frantic phone calls, an equal number of emails, and an extra reactivation charge to bring my baby home.

Now that I’ve got my domain name back and my blog visible again, I can rest easy and spend my time wondering which other service will quietly fade into cancellation next time I have to replace a credit card.

 

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