If you have a web site, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not owning your domain name. This week, Daniel Brusilovsky learned that the hard way when his new Teens in Tech site went public.
I was providing hosting for the site on my
DreamNightmareHost virtual server, which proved unable to handle the load, no matter how much additional RAM & CPU I gave it. We decided to move the site to a MediaTemple Grid Server, which should be better able to handle sudden load spikes. At the same time, I moved most of my sites, including this one, to a separate Grid Server account.
Unfortunately Daniel doesn’t own the teensintech.com domain name. It was registered by a former partner who left and who we have been unable to contact. Without cooperation from the domain’s owner, it isn’t possible to change the name servers to point to the new host. As an alternative, Daniel registered a few additional domains including teensintech.net. Since the domain is still pointing to my DreamHost account, I was able to redirect it from there, although it isn’t the same as having it moved properly, since it depends on DreamHost’s server being up to serve the redirect.
A few years ago, Jimi M’baye had a similar experience. He originally used the domain studio-dogo.com, but the developer who registered it and created the site disappeared, so Jimi was never able to regain control of that domain. Instead, I registered the domain studiodogo.com (listing Jimi as the domain owner), which he is still using. The site is still hosted at my DreamHost account, which doesn’t seem to have any trouble with it since it uses only minimal PHP scripting.