Uptime
Uptime Uptime is the period of time when a site performs well.

Uptime corresponds to the time when a site is accessible from the Internet. The opposite term - downtime - shows for how long a site has not been working during specified period of time. Usually uptime is measured in percents, and for period of time is choosen year. Percents over the year could be easily transformed into time values. Some typical values of uptime and corresponding period of unavailability during the year are shown here:

90% - 876 hours

99% - 87 hours, 36 minutes

99.9% - 8 hours, 45 minutes, 36 seconds

99.99% - 52 minutes, 34 seconds

So high uptime is really important. Even if it seems that 99% is pretty high value - it corresponds to several days of failure. If that happens in a row, many clients can be lost. Uptime value is usually guaranteed by web hosting, where the site is hosted. Website Monitoring may help you to increase the uptime and check if the value, declared by the hosting company, is real.

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  • CM.Glossary.Downtime
  • CM.Glossary.WebHosting
  • CM.Glossary.Availability
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Very useful for my company's website verification whether it's up or down and be notified immediately about it, even if using a free account!

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Domains: do they have afterlife?

Every year, millions of domain names are lost. What happens after domain expires? How long will your domain wait for you before someone grabs it? And how to omit this?  

Monitor your domains for any changes. You can keep an eye on the state of available domains which you like, but don’t forget your own ones too. There is a wide variety of services, like HostTracker, which provide an easy, efficient way to track any changes of domain’s state.

Domains: do they have afterlife?

Everyone may face the problem of losing the domain name. Every year, millions of domain names are lost. Mostly, it happens unintentionally, the owners miss the renewal notices for various reasons and they do not figure out that they are in the process of losing their prized domain until it is too late! In this article you will get to know about the most known examples of domain expirations. Moreover, we will see that big companies, such as Microsoft, Foursquare, Yatra, are also insecure to "the drop game". Additionally, you will find out how to keep the domain name if you forget to pay for domain renewal. How long will your domain wait for you before someone grabs it? And how to omit this using HostTracker's Domain expiration and Certificate expiration functions?

How Microsoft lost hotmail.co.uk

One of the most striking examples of dropping the domain name ocured in 2003 due to what is called the collective negligence. In spite of the fact, that people were trying to check up on what was happening and somehow to deal with the problem, Microsoft behaved as a typical bureaucratic organization. It turned a blind eye to people inquiries. Despite being warned that it’s time for the domain renewal, Microsoft overlooked these notifications. Therefore, the domain was returned to the pool of available domains. Moreover, its mail service wasn’t accessible in England.

Luckily, the domain was grabbed at once. The new owner was so kind that tried to inform Microsoft immediately that they needed to re-register the domain and restore the service. Nevertheless, Microsoft didn’t seem eager to get their site back and ignored these messages. Microsoft realized the issue just when journalists contacted it.  Only then, the software giant reached a new owner of their domain. What is more, even after that, during a long period of time Microsoft had been stalling for time before the problem was sorted out. It seems that no one in the UK could deal with the problem, because only the central office was responsible for domain registrations.

Fortunately, hotmail.co.uk was regained. But still, Microsoft didn’t officially confirm that hotmail.co.uk had been dropped.

Only a registrar for all .uk domains shed light on this situation and born out that hotmail.co.uk had failed to be renewed despite being warned about the importance of the renewal procedure. Moreover, the registrar confirmed that the domain was snatched up by a private person. Apparently, all notifications via mail were ignored by the giant. It’s interesting that it wasn’t the very first time when something like that has happened with this company. In 1999, Microsoft had similar bad experience.

What happens after domain expires?

The procedure depends on registrar of the domain names. In addition, this procedure has changed many times over history. In this article we will be concerned with the most typical up-to-date procedure.

The first stage - the registrar shows loyalty to the client and gives extra time for domain renewal (grace period). Your grace period may take about from one to 2-3 weeks. This window can have a few deadlines - for example, a free update period, an additional fee etc.  When the domain is in a grace period where all services are shut off, it isn’t available for registration by anybody else.

The second stage - the auction. After the registrar is sure that the domain renewal hasn’t been done, he puts it up for auction. It's a registrar’s chance to bring in extra income- the domain can be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Let’s be frank, it works- many domains are snapped up at auction. Let’s look at some of the most popular auctions:

  •  Go Daddy Auctions
  •  NameJet
  •  SnapNames.com

Each registrar cooperates with only one of these auction services. Domain names are exclusive to one auction, as the sell-off can’t take place at two locations. How does the auction work?

To begin with, there is often the opportunity to place a backorder. For example, if someone is very interested in scoring your domain name. In this case, the buyer will get the notification about the expiration status of the target domain and, definitely, leverage this opportunity. It’s worth noting that during this period, domains can be included in backorder auctions, where another participant can bid on your domain name. Generally, an auction can consist of several stages, as well as, after the main auction can follow the closeout of least desired domain names.

In addition to this, there are such sites that collect information and provide it in a more convenient way. For instance, these sites will help you to discover that more than 3 million domains have expired for the last 10 days. Furthermore, you will realize that even expensive (costing up to $ 500K) domains can be dropped after a while.

The third stage - domain "death". The domain disappears, and it can be retrieved on a common basis. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely if a domain name has any marginal value, as well as, consists of unambiguous words and is well-promoted. If so, the domain will probably get purchased, as nowadays it is also kind of business.

Some extra good examples

In 2010, a well-known website Foursquare forgot to renew their domain name. Luckily, they noticed this in time and quickly sorted out the problem. Nevertheless, customers couldn’t reach the site during this period of time. At that time the internet was bombarded with these news, yet the company has taken the advantage from this situation.

However, sad examples do exist too. In 2012, a popular Indian travel site Yatra.com, with millions of visitors and huge income, dropped their domain. Therefore they lost not only money, but also their reputation, clients and the trust of their partners. Eventually, the domain has been restored. The company hasn’t been as successful since.
Such common experience has held almost everyone once in a while in their history, from banks to giant companies.  Actually, HostTracker had such experience too and it was the reason why we decided to write this article.

Web site monitoring service almost lost its domain

The truth is that host-tracker.com was almost lost despite having an instrument for keeping an eye for an expiration date and sending renewal alerts. Actually, this feature became HostTracker’s last resort, as all domains and sites are being monitored by HostTracker’s own monitoring system. In a manner of speaking, even though at that time the HostTracker company got the renewal alerts, everything seemed to be fine, as the auto-renewal was on. However, for some reason, the automatic payments didn’t pass through and the domain wasn’t renewed. To be honest, we are still not sure why did that happen, as their support could not explain the issue clearly. Luckily, we noticed the problem in time and solved it quickly.

To sum up:

  • Renew your domain in advance. In this case you might want to ask your registrar to set up your domain to auto-renewal in advance with your approval beforehand. Moreover, you will be notified in case of any problems.
  • Backorder does work. Just before HostTracker entered their grace period, someone had tried to contact HostTracker by mail to acquire the domain name. So pay attention to such things!
  • You would better not enter the grace period. Once the domain expires, it can be easily renewed at the regular price within a few days and HostTracker showed this. The disadvantage is that all customers will be greeted with the message that domain page isn’t available. You should never allow a domain to expire because working on recovering it can take a vast amount of time.
  • Monitor your domains for any changes. You can keep an eye on the state of available domains which you like, but don’t forget your own ones too. There is a wide variety of services, like HostTracker, which provide an easy, efficient way to track any changes of domain’s state. Check out the description of such HostTracker’s tools here in our blog.
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Home > Blog > blacklisting

Anyone can be blacklisted – so what can you do? How can you detect such problem? Are there any protection mechanisms? This is what this article is about.

Are you sure that your domain isn’t currently listed with some anti SPAM-database? We recommend you to check this out!  As you can be one of those who accidentally fall into being blocked due to spreading spam, malware, viruses or just having dangerous, illegal or prohibited content (links to such content) hosted on their pages. Apparently, anyone can be blacklisted – so what can you do? How can you detect such problem? Are there any protection mechanisms? This is what this article is about.

Why is this happening?

There are tens of thousands of different DNSBL-servers up for grabs out there and they all have their own set standards and criteria for which IP should be blacklisted. Moreover, these conditions are constantly changing. Therefore, there’s no guarantee that even a law-abiding domain which meets all standards of copyright and trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and other applicable regulations and statutes of law, one day wouldn’t be filtered out by the search engine as one that spreads spam.

Actually, HostTracker’s team recently faced the risk of being banned too. HostTracker, in its capacity as a website monitoring service, sends daily many various reports to the people that requesting them, hence it was easy to determine that some of our emails hadn’t been delivered and were dumped into a spam folder.

So what should you do?

Understanding the problem is the first step to fixing it. So it’s crucial to be aware of the warning signs of listing threat and be able to quickly take steps to cut back if you recognize them. Since we recommend adopting our new feature - "DNSBL" on the "Check site instantly" bar - we have implemented just for you:

This option is not exactly brand new, as there are dozens of different check services out there (for instance, Mxtoolbox), which offer a convenient help in testing whether your domain is on some blacklists. But soon we realized that we also needed to arm HostTracker with this check, as without having had such tool in place, we were flying blind.

In light of what was written above, we provide the illustration of how the "DNSBL" check works:

If HostTracker detects some suspicious activity from your IP address, you’ll be notified immediately with an alert of a possible listing reason. For you it means - the ability to track the reason why the site was blocked to its origins.

Usually, the domain will be blocked not at once but only after a thorough analysis of many factors. If you have already discovered your IP on one or more blacklists, don’t panic, more often than not, all you need to do is to follow their specific removal process. That implies, you should visit the corresponding blacklist's website and, following the removal instructions, enter the domain name and press "Delist". Additionally, you may need to contact the blacklist with a removal request. Note that, previously you have to resolve all issues that caused the blacklist.

So, if you happen to discover your IP address involved in spamming – resolve the underlying issues and you’ll be removed automatically, once a certain period of time elapses. How to stay protected and off of blacklists? The best option is to use PTR or SPF for messaging, as this’ll eliminate the likelihood of your domain name getting fraudulently spoofed and abused by spammers, or blocked for appearing to use a dynamic IP address.

There's no single cause of being blacklisted. Generally speaking, if your IP has been tagged illegal accidentally, the removal process won’t take much time and effort. But it is essential to be proactive, so that to be able to act fast and be in tune with such situations. The sooner you find out about the issues, the easier they are to deal with and the more likely that your domain name won’t be deemed illegal among the entire set of DNSBL databases. Use our new option "DNSBL" on the "Check site instantly" bar to be always aware of the "status" of your resource and never be tossed and turned by the tides of website hassles and outages. Remember, we’re looking forward to any interesting comments and suggestions regarding our service and its work.

 

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