Where Is My Third Post? – or – Goodbye To My Domain (A Love Story)

Moving your domain... not as simple...I have promised, now about four weeks ago, that I would write three postings about the progress of transferring all my company clients’ websites from Flash to our new HTML/JavaScript engine. But, an unexpected obstacle loomed in the distance on the tracks… something dark… something evil… something called ‘Domain Transfers’! [Twilight-Zone Tune Here].

Once upon a time…

… a man with a mission got what he needed. He forked over the dough with a hosting provider for his very first dedicated server. Ah! All the magic this man would now do! The price was good, at the time, and immediately he set up his domains and was on his way.

And a simple phone call to the same service provider, a couple of months ago, asking how to migrate the old server to a new one, was simply answered with taking a new server, setting it up, and simply cancel the old contract.

Sounds simple, heh?

Well… my dear ladies and gentlemen; Nothing is Simple! Because this is when I found out that, instead of having my domains separately, they were actually locked in with my server account.

Whoops.

This meant that, if I would cancel my server, I would also cancel my domains. Well, that could not happen! And since a couple of years I manage all my domains through a third party vendor that I am happy about.  But still, this handful of older domains was sitting there, nicely tugged away, snuggly against my server like a Siamese twin.

So, eventually, I knew it had to be done anyway, so why not now? And started preparing my clients and the websites for an as smooth as possible transfer of servers and domain names. And smooth it went…

Now, for people who are not known with domain names and transfers of them – it is quite a hassle. With a very good reason, I might add. These days, transferring a domain requires multiple steps of authentication, authorization and legal protocols. This is a lengthy and by far not an ‘as secure as can be’ process, but it is better than nothing at all.

When I was so much younger, and a couple of friends and myself decided to start a more erotic based website, we actually got a perfect domain name for this; girladdict.com . For the purpose; catchy and easy to remember. A very nice and powerful domain name, and strangely enough, not taken. So we started building, having fun with it, and then getting swamped with the work. It sounded nice, buying content at the time, watching adult material and putting it on the site. Yeah, right… once it becomes work – it’s work! And since it took more than an additional 8 hours a day to work this site outside our own regular work, our interest quickly faded. Oh, the first two months we were very successful, growing within two months to 50,000 unique visitors a month.

But, anyway, laziness kicked in, and we decided to quit our endeavor.  But we still owned this domain. And it was there, being renewed every year, I paid my fees for that, and the domain was dormant for years. Until, one day, there was an offer. $25,000 for the domain. Woohaaa! Riches! Wealth! It sounded good to a couple of early twenties! But, that was the time that domains fetched way more than this, and now it seemed, our domain was in the game. So we decided to wait.

And then. One evening… poof! GirlAddict.com was gone. Just, vaporized. A quick call to our registrar learned that I personally approved the transfer of the domain to a new domain registrar. I mentioned I did not do such a thing, and asked the people at my registrar how they would undo the transfer.

The answer was simple; they could not.

Because, and so I learned, once a domain is transferred, it is irreversible. I received a lousy reimbursement for the registration fees of $40 a year… which, back then, was a good price. And we went to the ICANN, who is the monitor of domain registrations and traffic, but they were simple; the damage was done, the domain was not ours anymore.

And we were not based in the US, so dragging anyone in court would not prove a thing (and, well, we lacked funds anyway). So, yes, we just sat there, sad, beaten by red tape… and domainless. Worse, we noticed not a week later a trashy, amateurish, virus-ridden porn website on our precious domain. But, nothing we could do (yeah, yeah, I know, we gave up easily. But, come on, we had important things to do like, well, gaming and such).

Back then, a registrar simply could decide to approve your verification and allow the transfer of a domain. There were no automated emails to the admin address on file, double-sided authorizations and security checks like they have now.

I am getting way of track again – well, you have gotten used to that by now, don’t you?

So, I do approve of the better regulations for transfers. But, there is something though, something I cannot quite grasp. After going through all the authorization/authentication/security protocols, I have to wait suddenly 3-5 days for the domains to be available again.

Why?

It is still something I do not understand. In this world of fast paced internet activity, some things bring everything to a screeching halt. It is the same things with the bank transfers in this country; they have to take between 3-5 business days to complete. Why? Why? Why? What is it with the magic 3-5 business days?

But with banks, I can see the reasoning that they want to keep the money in a separate account and gather millions of dollars in interest on it. But a domain name? Storing a domain name, well, will not do anything. Are they cashing in to park it on a ad-based website in the meantime? I have no clue. But I surely do not understand it.

Because, well, that you are out of your money for a number of days during a bank-transfer, you finances still go on. But if you lose control of your domain name for a couple of days; your site is dead. Not remaining motionless, it is simply dead. Gone. Bye-Bye.

Soooooo…. that is where I am right now. Dealing with the transfer times to get my clients over to their new HTML/JavaScript system. I guess they have to wait a little bit longer… just like you have to for my third part of The Great Migration.

The Plot Thickens…

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