The worse possible thing that could happen to a blogger happened to me yesterday.
My domain registration expired.
Yes, it expired. And because it expired, justmemylee.com was dark yesterday. The bad thing about it is that I never even got a reminder from the domain registrar that my domain was about to expire. The even more bad thing about it is that I should have seen it coming.
But guess what? It gets even worse.
After realizing late Sunday afternoon that the blog was in limbo, I figured it was going to be an easy fix. Just pay the renewal fee and everything will just fall back into place. Crisis averted, right?
It wasn’t as easy as I thought. It turns out that the domain name, justmemylee.com, is registered at a company called Public Domain Registry. A company I had never heard of before. It didn’t alarm me too much that I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember ever registering the domain at this company. It had been such a long time since I registered justmemylee.com that it was definitely possible that I just straight up forgot where I did it.
I went to their website, www.publicdomainregistry.com, and to say that it was a huge waste of my time is putting it mildly. First, there was no place to actually renew the domain. Second, there was no contact phone number to call and actually speak to a live person. Third, the forms that were available to submit a request for more information/investigation just took me in circles. (Note: The request that I submitted on Sunday afternoon has yet to be acknowledged.)
Having no success with the PDR website, I then thought that maybe they were a parent company of other organizations like WordPress.com or GoDaddy. I’ve registered other domains at both of these places in the past so I just needed to figure out which of the two I registered justmemylee.com with. I was sure I was definitely on the right path.
Imagine my chagrin after being told by both WordPress and GoDaddy something I already knew? That justmemylee.com was registered with PDR. I was also informed that they weren’t subsidiaries of PDR nor were they even their partners. To make matters worse, the rep I spoke with at WordPress told me that renewing a domain after it has expired is not an easy process and that it could take up to 80 days to get it back up and running aaaand I would also have to worry about it being sold during the process of renewal.
So my entire blogging career, all one year of it, flashed before my eyes. Just when I was getting into the swing of things, the rug gets pulled right from under me and I, quite frankly, let it happen with my own negligence.
Bad blogger! Bad, bad blogger!
I allowed myself a few moments of despair but then I picked myself back up and thought about what I was going to next. I for sure wasn’t going to let this end my fledgling career as a blogger. I was having too much fun writing to let that happen.
I told myself that maybe the unexpected expiration of justmemylee.com was meant to happen since I was recently considering changing my domain name. I was having doubts about whether “Just Me, Mylee” was properly conveying the message of my blog and already toying around with other options.
Coincidentally, I had another domain registered with the same company that I use for blog hosting which I could use as my blog address instead. I would just switch everything over to that domain — all files, all media — and if that wasn’t possible, I would just start from scratch with Blog Post #1. Ground Zero. Anything that would allow me to continue to write and contintue share my writing without having to wait 80 some odd days to renew my original domain.
Now this is where I give shout-outs and send all the kudos to the folks over at Blue Host, my blog host of choice. It took one phone call for me to explain my situation, the prison that my current domain was in, and how I wanted to proceed next. The rep I spoke with commiserated with me for a few minutes, even went as far as looking at the PDR website to see what he could find, then explained to me what steps we needed to take to complete the move from my old domain to the new one. We spent about 20 minutes on the phone together then I waited just a little over an hour afterwards for my blog to be back up under its new domain. Hallelujah!
So the blogging lessons that I’ve learned through this whole ordeal is 1) Always keep track of where you register your domains and when they expire, 2) Don’t assume you’re going to get a reminder when your domain is up for renewal, 3) Choose a reputable company for your domain registration, 4) Back up your blog files regularly and 5) Never ever give up your blogging dreams even after you’ve made the biggest blogging mistake ever.
Please note the new web address for Just Me, Mylee is www.myleebee.com