Domain name redemption fee

After years and years of working with domain names (buying, selling, configuring, etc), today was the first time that I needed to recover an expired domain name.  I thought I didn’t need it, but I was wrong.  I needed it, I needed to unlock it, and I needed to transfer it to another owner.

Not even seeing the domain in my GoDaddy account sent me directly to the knowledge base search.  Gladly, I wasn’t the only one with this problem, so a helpful article describing how to unlock an expired domain has been created previously.  When I tried the instructions, I found the domain alright, but I wasn’t allowed to unlock it.


Assuming that I need to renew the domain for at least a year, I tried that option.  Now came the big surprise – the redemption fee.  Can you guess how much it was?  Here’s a hint:

Redemption fee

64 EUR fee for a 9 EUR domain… WOW!  Given that all these processes are fully automated and don’t really require any manual labor or other extensive resources, I think that’s a bit too expensive.  About 60 EUR too much, I’d say.

Obviously, that’s not an option now.



GoDaddy goes down, the cycle is complete

Back when I just started doing web things, there weren’t Web 2.0, cloud computing, or much of web services.  People used to do their own thing, and that’s exactly what I was doing too.  I had a home server that was my web, email, ftp, dns, file, and print server.  And maybe something else server as well. I just don’t remember anymore.  But gradually, companies started popping up left right and center, that made it easier to have your stuff somewhere else, somewhere other than your own server.  And one of the first things that I “gave away” were the domain names.  I tried a few companies back then and chose to go with GoDaddy, because it was by far the cheapest I could find.  Then my web server was moved to a VPS hosting, which was cheaper and faster than my home server machine.  Then email went to Gmail.  Then I got rid of printers at home.  Then I moved my pictures to Flickr.  And then the rest of the files ended up on either Dropbox or Evernote.  The home server was long gone.

In the last three or four years, I’ve been feeling the need to reverse that migration.  First, when my web hosting company got hacked and lost all the data (yeah, apparently they weren’t keeping backups either).   Then with some migrations issues I had over Gmail, which just didn’t have all the tools I needed.  And now with GoDaddy going offline for a few hours yesterday, because of a DDOS attack against their servers.

When considering such a move, one of the first thoughts is usually – do I really think that my own servers cannot be hacked or DDOSed?  Of course not.  They can, and probably will.  But there are two small things to remember here.  Firstly, I am a much smaller target than GoDaddy. And secondly, having control in your own hands is important.  Need backups?  Do them yourself.  Being hacked and need to move to another host urgently – you have everything you need to do so.  Something went down, it’s up to you to fix it.

I’m not saying that I am moving everything back onto my home server yet.  But I am seriously considering getting some of that control back, and hosting it on my own server.  After the GoDaddy incident yesterday, I am most definitely setting up my own “DNS friends circle”.  And with disk space getting so much cheaper, I am seriously considering moving the emails and files back to my own server again.  Especially after I discovered that Flickr lost or corrupted some of the files that I’m storing over there.

This whole thing of moving back and forward is nothing new though.  Progress often happens in spirals.  Think, for example, about the desktops.  Things started off as dumb terminals connected to a central mainframe computer.  Then then moved into standalone desktop computers.  Then terminal servers got popular again, with slightly less dumber terminal clients.  Then desktops and laptop again.  And now once again things move to the cloud, somewhere far away from the end user.  Who, in tern, moves to a smartphone or table, which is, arguably,  the next reincarnation of the desktop computer.

Things go back and forward all the time.  So I’m thinking it’s time for me to get some of my things back.  Even if just for a while.

The hopeless case of GoDaddy brevity

GoDaddy has been known for its horrible website for a long time now.  Anyone who has ever hosted a domain with them, knows how counter-intuitive, cluttered, and noisy that website is.  But there was still a little hope that one day they will realize this and maybe, just maybe throw 99.99% of all that junk out of the window.

Today I lost that hope.

Continue reading “The hopeless case of GoDaddy brevity”

GoDaddy is being sold to Silver Lake

According to GigaOm:

Go Daddy, the largest domain registrar and a web hosting provider, is reportedly close to being sold to a group of private equity firms including KKR and Silver Lake Partners. The purchase price is about $2 – 2.5 billion, according to several news outlets.

That’s the same Silver Lake that helped so much to screw up Skype.  If you haven’t yet found an alternative to GoDaddy, you should be looking.  That reminds me that Automattic has become a domain registrar quite some time ago and I haven’t heard any updates on that.

Sold domain –

I’ve been buying domains for a few years now.  Every time I have an idea for a project, I go and buy a domain for it.  Sometimes the project idea actually gets implemented and lives for a while.  Most of the time I just put it on the shelf.  I keep domains for two-three years just in case I go back to the project and then I expire them.  A few domains I keep longer, in hopes of selling them later.   I sold a few domains before to clients of mine, but I’ve never sold anything to an unknown party.

Today I did.  Well, technically it took longer than just today.  But today the deal is officially closed.  I put one of my domains – – on the auctions at GoDaddy and someone bought it for $500 USD.  While I could have bargained for a better price, I really didn’t want to.  It’s a 5-letter .com domain with no promotion, no prior website.  I had it for about 5 years.  I thought the price was about right and GoDaddy made the rest of the procedure ridiculously easy.

I have a few domains up for sale, but at the rate it goes, I don’t expect it to be my primary source of income any time soon.  Heck, it won’t even qualify for business by any measure.  Just a little extra PayPal cash.

Automattic becomes domain registrar

Matt Mullenweg reports in his blog that Automattic became a domain registrar.

As some folks have noticed alreadyAutomattic is now a “real” domain registrar (ID #1531). This has been a goal of mine for several years now, chiefly because I am a bit of a domain collector myself and I’ve never been completely satisfied with the domain buying or management experience on any of the usual players. Second, custom domains are a popular feature on and should become even more popular with some changes we’re introducing this month and it’ll be good to be able to provide a fully integrated experience for our users there. It’ll be a few months while we build all the tools necessary to begin taking advantage of our registrar status so in the meantime we’ll continue to use Godaddy, who has been an excellent partner.

These are excellent news!  I do agree with Mutt that current domain registration and maintenance experience is a pain in the back.  No matter which registrar you choose, there is always something awkward about it – prices, support, control panel, etc.  I am using GoGaddy for a few years now, and while they provide excellent discounts and DNS hosting uptime, their control panel is horrible.  Yet, it’s still better than most.

Automattic on the other hand, is a company known for it’s humanity in policies and user interfaces.  WordPress being just one of such examples.  Them becoming a domain registrar gives me great hope of having a better domain registration and maintenance experience one day.