POST method example
POST method example Example of monitoring a webform with POST method.

For example you have such simple form:
form action="some-site.com/some-script.cgi" method=post
input type=text name=login value=''
input type=password name=password value=''
input type=submit name='Submit' value='Login'
/form
User fill this form with value login: Peter and password: 1234 and click submit. If everything is Ok, script prints "LoginOk" on the result page.
For making a monitoring task to control this script, create task with next fields:

URL: some-site.com/some-script.cgi
Http Method: choose POST
In "POST parameters" field you should add three strings:
login=Peter
password=1234
Submit=Login
In "Content check" field: LoginOk
Results: HostTracker with every check will fill this form and assume that it is OK if the set keyword LoginOk is returned.

  • CM.Glossary.WebsiteMonitoring
  • CM.Glossary.HTTPMethods
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"Thank you so much for your service. We were suspecting problems with our hosting company but they denied any problems saying the issues must be at our end. We know we do have issues at our end but still suspected that wasn't the entire story. Your service was able to prove that they are indeed going down regularly - on average twice a week during the trial period. Thanks again for providing the information we needed to make a proper decision on this issue."
- B.
Why a low uptime may affect not only your revenue, but also your company's reputation?

While you may be spending more time and resources on developing your website, you need to be sure that the core of the website is still performing well. There is a strong correlation between uptime and visitor conversions. Are you still wondering why is website uptime so important? Then take a deeper dive into this...

While you may be spending more time and resources on developing your website, you need to be sure that the core of the website is still performing well. There is a strong correlation between uptime and visitor conversions. Moreover, nothing drives your visitors to your competitors faster than multiple extensive and ongoing downtime issues. Are you still wondering why is website uptime so important? Uptime is being considered a critical metric of the website well-being. It reflects the percentage of time your website happens to be available to the visitors. Let’s take a deeper dive into this.

Track your website uptime or you put your business at risk

Imagine, you’ve already done all hard work – built a dream team of talented individuals (designers, copywriters, developers etc.), who are shouldering their delegated roles perfectly. And together you all created more than just a website - a master of the Google search that reflects on your personal brand. This suggests you put specific keywords and phrases throughout your website and your brand’s online profiles – so that if people go looking for you on Google, they are likely to find your website.

And there is someone who wants to visit your website, but a current outage is stopping him from camping on the webpage. No matter who you are, a multinational corporation or news portal, if your website goes down for even several minutes, it can impact negatively on your reputation, revenue, productivity and appeal among your visitors. Apparently, downtime is bad for your bottom line, but it costs differently within industries. Business size is the most obvious factor, but it is not the only one. Most of the visitors have a short patience span for even minor website hassles, especially when it comes to making major purchases. Therefore, ensuring your website stays up is a key to your successful business.

Inaccessible website is your clients’ losses

It seems that, inaccessible website puts the visitors off from using it. If your website is designed, for example, for reading books online but inaccessible at the moment, all your customers, including your loyal ones, wouldn’t be able obtain the information they need from your website. This suggests, all your readers won’t be able to get to know you and vice versa you won’t be able to connect to them. Imagine that right now there is someone who wants to buy or read a book from your platform. Try as he may, he can’t reach your website, because it’s closed. And now, he’ll think twice before going back to the platform that evokes frustration and irritation in him. He will definitely find another platform where buying and reading are much easier. Having an online 24/7/365 presence means you are very likely to gain more customers, increase your credibility and spread your business.

Server is down?

Reliability is a key piece of a good web hosting. Reliable web hosting providers not only try to keep the websites always online, secure, and fast, but also ensure that they’re reachable. Consequently, if you’re an unreliable hosting company, you put businesses that use your service at risk. Every minute their websites are down they are paying for it in business success and positive image among customers. What could it mean to hosting providers? In the era of an increasingly connected world, information spreads faster than ever. And we all know the power of customer reviews. Negative feedbacks mean little unless they have a profound effect on a company's ability to do business as well as the ability to stay ahead of the competition. When the company, in particular web hosting company, lost the faith of their clientele, this lead either to huge outflow of service consumers or potentially damaging situation for a brand.

Another example of how company’s reputation could be burned worst by downtime is an online store. Research shows that 60% of shoppers are surfing the net and even more read product reviews before making a purchase. There are many reasons why people choose not to shop at an online store, but perhaps the most striking is when specific website is down. Obviously, it would be a real struggle to keep the visitors on the website in case of a sudden server downtime. Downtime should be considered something to be avoided at all costs, because visitors are not going to wait at your doorstep. They’ll certainly leave your portal and never come back, as how they can lend an air of credibility to your website if you can’t help yourself…

Warren Buffet once said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”.

Out of a search engine?

Downtime issues contribute negatively to your search engine rankings as well. This implies, when Google try to rate your website and find out that it’s down, your website in most cases will temporarily drop in the Google search result rankings. Generally speaking, short periods of website downtime won’t hurt your search rankings that much, but long, consistent ones - will blow your rankings to bits. Scary?

Proactive monitoring of your website is the best way to stay one step ahead of any website bottlenecks and outages. You may rest easily using HostTracker service. HostTracker'll let you know whenever the incident is escalated, as well as, you will be in advance of your website issues. Spot problems before they arise and protect your business from losses that they can create!

 

 

 

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Home > Blog > Domain expiration
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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Monitoring domain and SSL certificate expiry dates

▶ Monitoring domain and SSL certificate expiry dates.

▶ How to activate the SSL certificate monitoring tool and domain monitoring settings?

▶ It takes only several minutes with HostTracker. 

So many domain names are lost in this fashion. The domain name holders have their names taken away by others, simply because they miss the renewal alerts and they do not notice when their domains are not running the show anymore. Although the whole system for domain name holders is not very practical or sensible, reality confirms that dropping a domain name is a significant problem nowadays. Anyone who holds a domain name is very much prone to losing it, ranging from big corporations, like Microsoft, to small private firms. Trying to solve this problem, HostTracker has developed utterly useful tools that highly increase the chances to reach 100% uptime.

Controlling tools

Registrars are obliged to keep the registered name owner always updated on the status of a domain and must notify of the impending expiration at least two times. One of these notifications must be sent about one month prior to expiration and one must be sent about one week prior to expiration. But “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not”. That’s why a lot of very bad things keep on happening. For instance:

  • Alerts go to the spam folder;
  • Responsible employees are taking time off work;
  • Or just there is something more important that should be solved just at this moment and the domain renewal is put off for the better times.

Problems like these occur very often.  Moreover, when we face them - no one can recall the timing of the registration, the timing of payments, the cards from which the money was written off etc.

Are you getting the idea that it’s truly important to pay attention to this stuff? Use HostTracker tools. The service will monitor your domain/SSL certificates for many different status changes, such as when a domain becomes registered, when it drops and becomes available, when it's renewed and everything. You can enable automatic summary reports that are emailed on a daily / weekly / monthly basis (or at any interval you choose). The reports can include renewal dates of registration and any other useful information and can be sent, for example, via SMS, email or a Skype. These instruments are also fully configurable and can be used together or separate with regular uptime checks.

Domain Monitoring Service Settings

Applying domain monitoring settings takes several minutes:

simply enter the domain name. You can click on "Add list" to monitor more than one website. You may also configure additional options by clicking on "Subscriptions" bar:

  • “Up” - the domain renewal notices are emailed one month, 7 and 3 days prior to expiration.
  • “Down” - you are notified that your domain name has already expired.
  • “Repeat” - you receive alerts every day until you renew the domain name.

Put tick marks next to the contacts of people, who should be informed in case of any problems.

If you want to be notified not only by email, but also by other messengers (Skype, Viber, Hangouts, Telegram), add them in the "Add Contact" bar or in the "Notifications" menu on the main page screen.

How to activate the SSL certificate monitoring tool

Since Google announced that they’re going to be using whether or not a server uses SSL as a ranking signal, the number of people interested in purchasing SSL certificates has skyrocketed. Why are SSL/TLS certificates so beneficial? 

The idea of using SSL/TLS certificates is crystal clear, as it is a type of encryption used for securing web sessions. HTTPS keeps both your websites and your customers' personal information private and secure. As when a SSL certificate is used, the information becomes indecipherable to everyone besides for the server you are sending the data to. This protects it from "domain slamming", "email phishing" attacks and other harmful activities.

Therefore, it is vital not to miss SSL/TLS certificates expiry dates. Both domain monitoring and SSL monitoring instruments are operating alike and have the same configuration, which includes:

  • Sending renewal notifications 30, 7, and 1 days prior to certificate expiration.
  • Sending instant reports when security certificate is becoming “off”.
  • Reporting daily about the necessity to renew the SSL/TLS certificates.
  • Selecting groups of contacts who can be informed in case of a crisis/emergency.

With activating the two monitoring functions in the Business or Enterprise packages, or in a trial mode, you’ll be always aware of the certificate or domain expiry dates. Or at least, in case of unintentional domain losses, you will be eager to know the reason when, why and how it has happened and sort out the problem.

HostTracker is client-focused

That’s why one of our founding principles as a company included remaining flexible and adaptable, as well as open to improving our service. As the technology world changes, we’ll be ready to make quick, minute adjustments, add new tools and implement new features to improve our product.

Many of our features and enhancements are available online and have been minted due to the customer requests. Therefore, we are looking forward to hearing your feedbacks, suggestions and new creative ideas.

 

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