At Home with Tech

It’s time to maximize the potential of all your gadgets.

Tag: .com

What to Do With Your Dormant Domain

This is one of the many dead ends on our glorious world wide web. I’m pointing out this particular one, because it’s what’s left of my never-launched website from years back.   It’s time to take this back to the future!

This is one of the many dead ends on our glorious world wide web.
I’m pointing out this particular one, because it’s what’s left of my never-launched website from years back. It’s time to take this back to the future!

In what now seems like some distant era, I purchased my own .com domain. Yes, once upon a time, I registered barrettlester.com. I was so excited. The power to control your personal brand… worldwide. The possibilities were almost endless. I plunked down some serious coin and paid up for a whole decade.
(The longest option available)

But as Peter Parker has taught us…
“With great power comes great responsibility.”

I quickly constructed a few quaint pages using Apple’s iWeb and
now-defunct MobileMe.
But it was undeniably a homegrown effort.

I stared at my creation, late at night. It would always be imperfect. And like RoboCop before he found his groove, I was unable to pull the trigger.

I never launched barrettlester.com.

Years past. Other projects took precedence
And eventually, I forgot about it…

Do You Need Your Own Domain?
The other day, I received a check-in email from Network Solutions, the domain registrar where my dormant domain is parked. And it reminded me of my little cliffhanger…

I think the problem was I never had a specific goal for my website. I wasn’t promoting a business. And the idea of publicly sharing a more personal reflection now seems entirely sophomoric in today’s more advanced and potentially dangerous online landscape.

Nor have I had a strong reason to pay for a more professionally constructed site.
Ultimately, my LinkedIn profile has largely satisfied my need for a public online identity.

The Power of Blogging
I grabbed my keyboard and nervously typed in my URL for the first time since my son was born. I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to see.
(pause)
My computer struggled for a few seconds… Finally, I stared at a cold line of text:

“http/1.1 Service Unavailable.”

Ugh. You’re telling me… I think this was a remnant from my failed launch attempt in the previous decade.

Seeing nothing at all would be better than this sad residual message.

And then it hit me…
I had abandoned my URL, but I had not backed away from asserting my public presence online.

I’ve been blogging every week for the past three years!
I just chose a different name for this endeavor.

Suddenly, the next step seemed quite obvious…

Domain Forwarding Can Fix Your Problem
Not that there’s likely a whole lot of folks out there typing in barrettlester.com. But I realized those who do should be properly redirected to athomewithtech.com.

For better or for worse, that’s where I’m at these days.
Who knows… barrettlester.com could eventually see the light of day… but for now, all it needs to do is simply give a nod to my blog.
(I’ve already done something similar by extending my blog’s identity to include .net, .org, and .info suffixes.)

So I logged onto Network Solutions and clicked on their ‘web-forwarding’ service.
Their cost: $12.99/year.
(another fee!)

But I figured I’ve come this far…

A few clicks later, the domain-forwarding transaction was complete.
And then I promptly stood up and went to bed.
(Domain forwarding takes a little time to take effect.)

The next morning I woke up, got my cup of Joe, and typed in my URL.
And Voila…!

There was my blog.

We’ve All Got Something to Say
Does this feel like a Seinfeld episode?
Let’s review…

I spent some money on my very own URL. Then did nothing with it.
Years later, I paid more money just to hide it in a different way.

It’s all about nothing.
I continue to spend money on seemingly nothing.

But if you’re reading this, that means you’re the Horton to my Who.

“I am here! I am here! I am here! I am here!!!”

Somehow, you heard me.
Possibly now… because you simply remembered my name.

So I’d say a little web forwarding is money well spent.
And a hidden URL can still carry your good name forward…

Yes, I am here.

GoDaddy Says Four Paths to Your Blog is Better than One

Want to corner the market on your blog’s name?  Is .com not good enough for you? Well, GoDaddy is there to help you buy up all the available matching top-level domains.

Want to corner the market on your blog’s name? Is .com not good enough for you? Well, GoDaddy is there to help you buy up all the available matching top-level domains.

The calendar on my iMac recently reminded me it was time to renew the ownership of my blog’s domain name.

All right, then…
Wouldn’t want ‘At Home with Tech’ to suddenly disappear.
(I know you would all feel a disturbance in the Force.)

So I jumped onto GoDaddy to renew my ongoing pledge:

  • To help frustrated citizens live in harmony at home with their sometimes not-so-helpful technologies

Would You Like Fries with That?
I’ve always found shopping on GoDaddy’s website to be something of a circus.
(though I’ve noticed their TV advertising of late has moved back from that cliff)

In every nook and cranny, there’s an attempt to ‘upsell’ you.
(It’s like walking into a department store to buy a pair of shoes and walking out with a bulletproof tuxedo.)

Not that all the bells and whistles for your website aren’t a good thing.
It can just be a bit overwhelming.

That said, I did notice one ‘opportunity’ that peaked my interest.

I was presented with a ‘bundle offer’ that would extend my ownership of the
At Home with Tech name beyond the .com world to other top-level domains. (TLDs)

Now, I could also own the matching .net, .org, and .info suffixes.

And the low, low price for this ‘massive’ jump in web presence beyond my blog’s current .com existence?

  • $17 per year.

Interesting…

So I thought about it a bit.
I already owned the URL I wanted.
And I wasn’t really sure why I needed to corner the market on the name using other suffixes.
(When was the last time you used a .info address?)

The Brand, the Brand, the Brand…
So I called up GoDaddy to see what they had to say about their offer…
I spoke with a very down-to-earth customer service rep and explained my situation.
And even though I knew it was his job to sell more ‘product,’ he gave me a simple, well-balanced answer:

  • It’s all about protecting and building your website’s brand.

You wouldn’t want some other parallel universe ‘Lester Barrett’ blogging about his little tech woes using .org. That would get really confusing.
(And then I’d have to meet him in some Star Trek-like Lazarus/Thunderdome Nexus to work out our differences.)

Also, what happens if the occasional reader gets your URL extension wrong and can’t find his way back to your blog? Owning a broader market of the possible URL suffixes will help her find you.

So theoretically, this $17 investment will increase readership.
And isn’t that the endgame?

Click.

The entire At Home with Tech team immediately held a party to celebrate this important moment of expansion.
(Translation: I went to the kitchen to treat myself to a chocolate chip cookie.)

Then I sat down again at my computer.
Now what…?

How to Forward your New Domains
It was time to forward my new URLs back to
the mothership – athomewithtech.com.
Because at the end of the day, remember, I’m still writing only one blog. I’m not trying to duplicate my content across the new URLs.
(Google spiders actually frown on that kind of practice.)

And I’m not trying to confuse anyone.
(That can happen easily enough on its own when I go off on some tech rift.)

So how exactly do you forward your new domains back to your main one?
Well, I figured GoDaddy should easily be able to easily explain this.
I called GoDaddy back and spoke to an equally friendly customer service rep.
And he explained the simplicity of domain forwarding on GoDaddy’s interface:

  • On the Domains page, select the domains you want to forward
  • Click on Forward
  • And then click on the drop-down Forwarding Domains
  • Type in your main domain name
  • Click on 301 Permanent
  • Click on Forward Only
    (not masking)

And that’s it!
Now, when someone types in .org or .net, it immediately goes to the .com address.
Ta Dah!…

GoDaddy’s website said it may take a few moments for updates to take effect.
My GoDaddy buddy admitted it could take up to 2 hours.
(I liked the honesty.)

Waiting to Eat Valentines Day Cookie

But then I felt like my three-year-old son staring at his Valentine’s Day cookie jammed with M&M’s on top.  I just couldn’t wait that long…

Ten minutes later, I tried on one of my new URLs.

BAM!
There it was!

BAM!! BAM!!!
There were the other two!

Q.E.D.
(Quite Easily Done!)

The More the Merrier
So there you have it.
Or rather, now I’ve got them…
Three more top-level domains to help you find your way to
‘At Home with Tech.’
(should you ever get lost)

And everyone’s happy!

  • GoDaddy is psyched, ‘cause they’ve got more of my money.
  • I’m excited, because I feel I’ve done something good for my blog’s health.
  • And maybe you’re happy too?

Well, two out of three isn’t bad…

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