Maintain Your Domain: Why Your Website Magically Transformed into Porn

Sam Hagan attempted to visit Alpha Phi’s website one day, hoping to check out the latest updates by her University of Texas sorority. Instead, she was blindsided by “babes in bikini bods” and images of Tara Reid’s fanny.

Instantly and unexpectedly, the site that the sisters of Alpha Phi had set up had vanished completely, the garish pink logo and lewd images leaving no trace of what had once been an appropriately named domain. It ‘s not hard to set up a website for your small business or organization. All you have to do is find a reliable web host, choose your new domain name, put content on your pages and let the traffic roll in, right?

It would be nice if you could just “set it and forget it” like Rotisserie Ron says on those infomercials, but that just isn’t the case. Aside from continually putting fresh, updated content on your website, a big part of actively maintaining your website is staying knowledgeable on web hosting policies and terms of agreement. One important thing to keep in mind is that your domain name won’t be yours to keep forever (Otherwise, how would web hosts and domain registrars continue to make money?).

It is vital that you or the person who maintains your website remembers to renew the registration for your current domain name. In fact, web hosts have begun advertising automatic domain registration and renewal, which gives domain owners the ability to check a box that will automatically renew your registration when it expires. You’ll most likely have to pay a varying fee, which means that making sure that the credit card associated with the account/domain name hasn’t expired is also important.

An expired credit card was, in fact, the downfall of Alpha Phi’s domain name, which, in turn, had an expired registration and was up for grabs to the creepiest bidder. Most people are unaware that it is possible for anyone to use a bot to scan for expired domain names, which allows that person to purchase a domain name once it expires. Spine-chilling. So if you don’t want to see “baby apes in boy band clothes” or something equally disturbing, please for the love of bees maintain your domain.

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