Tag Archives: websites

A fresh coat of paint.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.22.01 AM

The new look

 

I’m trying something new – a fresh, simple coat of paint on the site. Please let me know if there are bugs to squash or fishiness about.

I basically pulled out all of the garbage that  had for some reason found its way into the sidebar, and went to a much wider content view so I can use bigger pictures and fewer words!

Here are some samples of the new post styles:

Regular posts, like this post about pancakes, can now sit in the full browser for most people, while this video post can let the video breath. One of my favorite posts so far  is this conjurer post where I can show a photo and video in a much smaller space.

I’m pretty happy. For the curious, I am using a heavily modified version of Hustle from Woothemes.

 

Website Drama – Forgetting the basics

Well, the cobbler’s kids and all that – last week my website went down.

I’ve been going through a process throughout the last year of consolidating some various web properties I own, shutting down experiment sites, consolidating blog posts, setting up new hosting, and transferring domains. Kind of a year long housecleaning project that I have placed on myself.

Well, that is all well and good, except that last week I really screwed up something. I forgot to renew brianwyrick.com.

It seems stupid, it seems obvious, and believe me, I swore at myself many times that day, but here is how it happened.

1) e-Mail

I have not used brianwyrick.com for email in quite some time – I have however, traditionally had a catch all address for this domain that I monitored and let SPAM fall into. I registered brianwyrick.com almost 10 years ago – when I registered it, lord knows what email address I used. During my cleaning, I moved the DNS for this site to my shiny new DreamHost account. When I logged in back in May, I noticed that I still had some time on my registration, but my intent would be to move the registration at a later date. I should have moved it then.

After deciding to move the DNS to DreamHost, I opted to set up a Google Apps account for all mail going to @brianwyrick.com – at my old host I had an in-box set up and mail was forwarded to my main address, and I had just completed moving all of the leftover mail to that account.

Now, here is where the first problem arises – in order to complete the gMail set up, I must prove I own the domain – in order to prove I own the domain, I must upload a file to the site – I do that, but realize my DNS is still propagating, and Google is not catching the new site yet – so I decide to come back later and do that. The only problem? I don’t.

Since I don’t really use brianwyrick.com for email, I don’t really mind not getting all of the SPAM – I realized later that I have yet to complete that, so I do (If memory serves, there was an account I needed to adjust that was using brianwyrick.com) I finish the Google Apps set up and set my forward and life goes on, hunky dory.

I don’t remember when all of this happened, and I don’t know if it they really did, but I will give Register.com the benefit of the doubt that this entire time they were sending renewal emails to an email address at brianwyrick.com.

2) Register.com Lets me down – hard.

It was my fault – I assume they where sending me emails. I didn’t get them. I didn’t renew my domain. It expired. I didn’t notice until I when to my site and it was gone. I will admit that, but here is what I wish would have happened.

Register.com had to get a message back saying the email had failed. They have other ways to contact me. I wish they would have called or sent a letter. If they has sent a letter, it honestly would have went to the wrong address, since my information was so out of date. I would have gladly updated that, had they attempted at any time in the past few years to get in touch about updating it.  I realize that it isn’t their fault they had bad information, but I would think they would want to attempt to keep it current. Hell, they could have just checked brianwyrick.com and found a million ways to contact me.

3) The chat

I’ll admit a bit of a panic fell over me when I saw my site was down – I immediately attempted to transfer to DreamHost. A few minutes later, when my wits came about me, it occurred to me that I would not be able to do that, so I logged into Register.com to renew.

I forgot how expensive they are. Goodness.

I logged into the chat to talk to a sales rep and asked directly if I could be waived the 25 dollar reinstatement fee and if I could register my domain for 9.95 instead of 35 dollars. I also asked if I could get free private registration, since that was the deal at DreamHost. I was told no.

I pressed until I got the domain for 35, without the reinstatement fee and opted for no private registration (I will be transferring to DreamHost when I can). Now my site is up and running again and and all is well, or so I thought.

4) Google results gone.

Screen shot 2009-09-20 at 12.15.40 PM

I’ve had my site since before I cared about search – but for the past 5 or so years, I have used my name and Google as a play ground for SEO. Today I searched for my name and found that my site was already blown away and gone. This was terribly disappointing, and I am glad that google has already re-indexed my site – but as you can see from the screen shot above, all was not well over the weekend.

The Lesson

This has been a great way to get down to the root of the problem I had, and honestly a great experiment in what happens when sites fail, and how fast search positions can be lost and (hopefully) be re-gained. I would still like to know why it takes Google so long to re-index 301 re-directs though. Anyone know?