We’ve all been there. We wake up one morning to discover our website isn’t loading. We’re also not getting emails. Sometimes, oddly enough, people are reporting your site is down but it looks okay to you.
What on earth is going on?
Is your server down? If it is, how’s that affecting emails?
Is DNS down? If so, then CloudFlare is having a bad day and it’s not just you.
Because it’s the last thing we think of, it usually takes us a good 30 minutes to realise that our domain name has expired. And slowly but surely, our services are disappearing off the face of the internet.
Not only do we crap ourselves, but we realise that even after we update our domain registration, we still must wait for the updated name-servers to propagate worldwide again.
If it’s our own domain name, we’ll get over it. It’ll maybe dent our reputation slightly, but we can handle it. Much worse, however, is when it was your client’s domain name that expired.
Your client is now stranded up the proverbial creek without a paddle for the rest of the day. With no website and no emails.
That sort of burn leaves its mark for a long time. So what can we do about it?
What are our options to protect against expiring Domain Names?
Actually, there aren’t a lot of options. There are 2 main approaches you can take:
- Register your domain for many years (but it will still expire one day)
- Auto-renew your domains.
The 2nd option is fine if it’s your own domain name. But what if it’s for your client? If you auto-renew your client’s domain names and they decide to not renew their services with you, you’re the one out of pocket.
We know that the looming threat of domain name expiration, while not life-threatening, is a major pain. Surely in this day and age it should be easier to track?
There is another option: Domain Monitoring.
iControlWP Introduces Domain Name Monitoring
As part of our mission to steam-line and simplify website management, we’ve created the brand new Domain Name Monitoring agent inside iControlWP.
We’re making the Domain Monitoring system available to all existing and future iControlWP clients for absolutely free.
This is a new add-on and we’re releasing it as-is to start getting feedback from you. We’d like to know what you’d like to see added and improved.
For the moment, you can access your domain name expiration details in 1 of 3 ways
- from the main sites listing view when you click on a site, the summary will detail the domain expiration date.
- from the Domain Monitoring add-on screen you can see a list of all domain names on your account order by expiration date (most critical first).
- from the Environment tab when you’re managing a single site.
1) Access Your Domain Name expiration from the Sites Summary Panel
We’ve now added the Domain Expires entry so you can quickly check the status of a domain name at any time.
2) Access expiration dates for all domains from inside the Domain Monitoring Add-On
It will all domain names on your account and their associated expiration dates.
All results will be ordered by expiration date, in ascending order (i.e. domains closest to expiration will be shown first)
Known Issues With the Domain Monitoring Add-On
Unfortunately there is absolutely no standardisation in the Domain Whois availability for all domain registrars.
This means that the information available for a .com domain is not the same as that available for a .io, or a .nl, or a .co.uk
But we can only make do with what we have and this is just the beginning.
The registrars for the following domain name extensions do not supply expiration date information and so we can’t provide this inside iControlWP.
- … there may be others.
Q: How can you get access to the Domain Monitoring Add-On?
You can access it today – it is available for free on all iControlWP accounts.
Suggestions and Comments
This is just the first step in domain name monitoring. We plan to add more, such as notifications as an expiration date approaches.
If you have any requests or comments about this new feature, please leave your comments below.