Downtime
Downtime Downtime is when your site does not work. It's really bad.

Downtime is when your site does not work. If the site does not work - you'll not get any benefits from its existence. Downtime is opposite to uptime. There could be various reasons why a site does not work. Most usual cases: problems with server, server overload, application error, network problems and so on. The first step of fixing en error is detecting. There are special instruments, called website monitoring services, which may check sites for errors over the time. Such tools help you to detect error and provide primary analysis of its reasons. Also, usually some information could be found in server logs. If you have access to them, you should review. If not - ask your hosting company to provide them. Detecting of errors may help you to evaluate the reliability of your site and hosting.

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  • CM.Glossary.Uptime
  • CM.Glossary.WebHosting
  • CM.Glossary.Availability
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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 > speed

We’re happy to announce that we've finally released “Response time check” tool to diagnose poor website performance. Speed is one of the most important things in website workflow as it affects not only Google rankings but also your visitor conversions. Here in this article:

▶​ Which components make up page load time?

▶​ Website speed optimization.

▶​​ How to measure your website response time with HostTracker?

 

We’re happy to announce that we've finally released “Response time check” tool to diagnose poor website performance. Speed is one of the most important things in website workflow as it affects not only Google rankings but also your visitor conversions. A recent study shows that visitors aren’t willing to wait more than 3 seconds for a page to load. And truly, we all know how waiting for a slow loading website can feel like an eternity when you’re trying to get some vital information. Actually, a lazy website may cost your business. What really matters is that simply taking a few steps in optimizing website performance can make a very big difference. So, let’s look at some common causes of a slow website and how you can speed these things up.

Which components make up page load time?

  1. DNS lookup time - the amount of time it takes a domain name being mapped to an equivalent IP-address to be found. 
  2. Connect Time (TCP) - how long it takes to establish a connection to the web server. 
  3. First Byte Time (TTFB) - the time it takes to get the server response as well as the interval since the server receives HTTP request till the server sends the first byte of the response back. 
  4. Download Time (Content Time) – the time span between start and end of content load.

Note: If you’re using SSL Certificate for a secure connection, you’ll need an extra time to spend on authentication, that means additional time for establishing a link between your web server and a browser.

All these components together stand for the page response time. See, it's quite possible that your website is slow because of the problem with one of the five things mentioned above.

Website speed optimization

Website loading speed depends on several factors and each of them could hold things up. Let's find out the most common reasons why your website speed may be slow.

When something wrong with the website itself:

  1. Third-Party Objects. Different third-party plugins hosted on the page can slow down your website. Even though the most powerful services such as Google Analytics integrate these scripts async and seamlessly for website performance, still placing third-party plugins will cause a delay in loading as each one of them adds up to the total number of requests that are being sent. Although the website speed is affected by numerous things, yet it is primarily impacted by the number of HTTP requests your website makes. So the golden rule of optimization is the less weight website to carry, the faster it works.

  2. Media From Other Sources. The more external media files on the page, the longer your website takes to load. Such bulky content has not only a negative impact on web page speed but it’s also one of the surest ways to make visitors leave. How can it be avoided? First, place someone else’s media in moderation; Secondly, use proper graphics file formats; Thirdly, leverage reliable local storage. If you do a couple of these things, you’ll see significant improvements in no time!

  3. Bulky code/ Inefficient SQL. Inefficient code or unoptimized database queries can have a really degrading effect on your website performance. Consider doing some code optimization like editing some scripts, HTML, CSS code etc; or database optimization like adding some indexes, altering the queries, modifying the structure etc. Problems with code are usually the culprit of dragging your website performance down.

When your hosting is killing your speed:

  1. DNS – your website destiny depends on the DNS server choice you make. The faster your DNS server, the quicker content on your page will be delivered.

  2. The Data Center Location. Do not neglect geography. It’s important to ensure that your vis­i­tors are hit­ting the near­est data col­lec­tion cen­ter. Understanding the time taken on transmitting information gives you a better awareness of user experience you’re providing, because you know, it takes time for data to be delivered. If the site is a global resource, it is recommended to use CDN (Content Delivery Network), that is, a network of globally distributed web servers which is used to deliver website content to the local end-users as fast as possible. Essentially, it’s hosting your files across all this server network and delivering them from the closest location. It’s worth noting, that in recent years the popularity of cloud hosting has skyrocketed. No surprise as it costs less, provides more and gives the opportunity to benefit from infinite flexibility.

  3. Choosing the wrong web hosting service. The reality is that sometimes the biggest problem with your website performance is that it requires simply more resources, than your web host can provide. Consider searching for a web hosting company that best suits your needs. It should go without saying: choosing a good hosting company is a key to high website performance.

How to measure your website response time with HostTracker?

In the Response Time Check window please enter your URL, task name, and specify the Timeout value.

Note: Every time your speed value exceeds this threshold, you will receive a notification.

Armed with this tool you’ll be always updated on how well your website loads - website statistics and history of events are always available in a convenient format (see the picture above).

Hope you enjoy this article! Remember the hardest thing in optimization is often to simply get started.

 

 

 

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