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Keeping Track of Domain Expirations? 39

Posted by Cliff
from the managing-domains-across-many-registrars dept.
phutureboy asks: "Between providing hosting for several dozen web sites and consulting for a number of clients who run their own servers, lately I find myself overwhelmed with keeping track of domain expirations. Although the domains which I've personally registered are consolidated under one Register.com account, there are many others spread among multiple registrars, to which I may or may not have administrative access. It would take days or weeks of frustration to audit them all and make sure my clients' contact information is up to date. Does anyone have any tips for dealing with this mess?"
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Keeping Track of Domain Expirations?

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  • by sfjoe (470510) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:28PM (#7664753)


    http://www.gnu.org/software/gcal/gcal.html
  • by jaredcat (223478) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:34PM (#7664808)
    I have abour 200 domains that I administer for my company. Most of them are in 1 DomainDirect account, but there are a bunch spread out over 5 or 6 different registries.

    The best solution that I've come up with so far is to have all of the domain registrars use the same email address (in this case admin@mydomain.com) which I use ONLY for contact with the registrars, and I put it under a very heavy spamfilter rating.

    Then the only problem is that I have to remember to check that email account once a week or so.

    Jared
  • Yes. 6 simple steps (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    1. Open Evolution
    2. Open Konsole
    3. In the Konsole window type "whois
    4. Set Alarm in Evolution for 1 month prior to above domains expiration date. Then cut and paste who is output into the notes section of the alarm.
    5. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for all domains.
    6. On the second day, find something useful to do with your time and quit being such a putz.
  • Domain Reminder (Score:5, Informative)

    by ziggles (246540) * on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:35PM (#7664816) Homepage
    http://www.domainreminder.org/index.php
  • Transfer... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by avalys (221114) on Monday December 08, 2003 @08:38PM (#7664836)
    You could always transfer all the domains to the same registrar. It can get expensive, but some companies give you bulk discounts.
  • switch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kayen_telva (676872)
    perhaps move them all to a registrar [srsplus.com] that specializes in bulk domains (7.95 domains and transfers too) !

    not an ad ! my former employer used them.
  • Register the domains so that they all expire at the same time. You can make May domain month.
  • Try AutoRenew (Score:4, Interesting)

    by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) * on Monday December 08, 2003 @10:27PM (#7665479) Homepage Journal
    First step is to transfer them all to a lower priced registrar: Reason for this is easy, registrars are now a commodity and the lowest price wins. I use godaddy for everything and have found their customer service to be pretty good.

    I register everything in my customers names except for the technical contact and then I turn on the AutoRenew option for each one. Godaddy then sends me a few notices as a reminder before actually renewing them. I never worry about losing them.

    I actually foot the bill for the auto renew as a bonus for hosting with me and customers like that, it's a good sales point to let the customer know once you have reeled them in. The little things mean a lot.

    Hope this all helps.
    • First step is to transfer them all to a lower priced registrar: Reason for this is easy, registrars are now a commodity and the lowest price wins. I use godaddy for everything and have found their customer service to be pretty good.

      I register everything in my customers names except for the technical contact and then I turn on the AutoRenew option for each one. Godaddy then sends me a few notices as a reminder before actually renewing them. I never worry about losing them.

    • > First step is to transfer them all to a lower priced registrar: Reason for this is easy, registrars are now a commodity and the lowest price wins. I use godaddy for everything and have found their customer service to be pretty good.

      I would say that the best price/features combination should win.

      Personally, I find the package offered by eNom to be very comprehensive, their suppot quite good and the price cheap - as long as you buy through a reseller and not directly from eNom (e.g., $8.88/year from n [namecheap.com]

      • I would say that the best price/features combination should win.

        I fully agree.

        Personally, I find the package offered by eNom to be very comprehensive, their suppot quite good and the price cheap - as long as you buy through a reseller and not directly from eNom (e.g., $8.88/year from namecheap.com).

        I looked at namecheap.com and it looked pretty interesting. However, I had two bad first impressions about them.

        First, they are running their site on Microsoft W

        • > I looked at namecheap.com and it looked pretty interesting. However, I had
          > two bad first impressions about them.
          >
          > First, they are running their site on Microsoft Windows. That gives me
          > questions about the intelligence of the company and security of your domain
          > registrations. It is likely to have about as much security that Hotbot,
          > running on MS Windows, did when they had thousands (or was it millions) of
          > their email accounts compromised. We don't really want every virus that
  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Monday December 08, 2003 @10:41PM (#7665575) Homepage
    Hunt around and find a registrar offering a sweet deal on 10 years of registration and forget about it. Usually you can get them down to $10-$15 per year and maybe cheaper if you transfer a bunch of domains over. I converted all my domains to the 10 year plan when tucows ran their last special and now I don't have to go crazy worrying about it anymore.

    In 10 years, the Internet and world will probably be a very different place. Get the monkey off your back.
  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Monday December 08, 2003 @10:49PM (#7665627) Homepage
    Ok, here ya go, these guys are running the special this month.. REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN FOR 10 YEARS for $79.95

    http://www.koredomains.com/ [koredomains.com]

    Make the problem go away!
  • by E_elven (600520) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @12:00AM (#7665975) Journal
    1) Go to Staples (or OfficeMax)

    2) Buy 12 post-it notes (you can get more if you're on a high-end budget. But get a val-u-pak, then.) Also buy a pencil (not a pen -very important!)

    3) If you don't have a wall or refrigerator door, get one.

    4) For each month, take a post-it note, write the month's name on top. For each month-labeled post-it, write down the *name of company; *domain in question; *registrar used; *logins, passwords etc.; *contact information (which you update when it changes); *day the domain expires; *any other useful info (you can create a code for this so it's easier to store in the small space.)

    5) Apply post-its in annual order to the wall or refrigerator door. If you store sensitive data such as the domain password for IBM, you can place the note *inside* the freezer box of the refrigerator. VERY secure.

    Hope that helps!

    .
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Melbourne IT have a managed service called Corporate Domain Management whicb performs an initial audit and consolidation of domain names and then simplifies ongoing management tasks through dedicated account management, online access to your portfolio etc. They have a growing list of corporate clients and listed in this years annual report IAG, St George, Smorgon Steel amongst others. There is a product description on on www.melbourneit.com.au
  • You can right a shell script to parse the whois based on a list of domains and have it email you if the date is close.
  • You don't have to renew the registrations right before they expire, you know. Just make a big list and renew all of them at the same time, once per year.
  • Impose some rules (Score:1, Redundant)

    by gilgongo (57446)
    The only thing you can really do is to consolidate them all to one registrar.

    But then to prevent getting into the situation again, you should impose some "rules" - which is what I did:

    1. All new domains must be registerd with the "approved" registrar, by you. You will not deal with any domains that are not.

    2. Any domains you are taking over must transfer to the approved registrar before you will commit to managing them.

    3. Any transfer away from the approved registrar automatically relieves you of any r
  • Why not just write a shell (or Perl) script to run a whois on each of your clients' domains, grep'ing for "xpires on:" (or whatever) and stripping out all non-date info.

    Next, have it write out all domains with a month or less before expiration to a file. If the file is not empty, have it email the results to the appropriate people (I'd make it you -- and you can notify your clients if they maintain control over the domains).

    Finally, run your script as a weekly cron job.

    If you're extra-serious about

  • by Grab (126025)
    When you work it out, I suggest you tell Microsoft so they can use this for keeping track of when to renew their Hotmail domain names...

    Grab.
  • Spend the days or weeks needed to audit them all. Alternately, contact your customers that have registered their own domains and remind them that it's their responsibility to maintain the registration information unless they give you access. We don't let any that we have control over expire, but I get calls from customers who have let their own domains lapse from time to time. Nothing I can do about that.
  • Wow, thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I have read what everyone said, and here is what I decided to do:

    1. I wrote a quick batch/commandline PHP program which will retrieve and parse the whois information for a list of domains on a daily basis, and mail an expiration report to me. It's not perfect but it works. The script can be downloaded here: http://www.axis80.com/domain_watcher_20031209.tar . gz [axis80.com]

    2. When each client's domain comes up for renewal, I'll check their contact information and make
  • I'm looking at godaddy's registrar offerings with great interest as one of the features they offer (and which I've not seen elsewhere) is domain synchronization.

    Move your domains over, hit the button, and they all now expire on the same day. One post-it note on the fridge, one payment.

    (I said "looking at", not "using" since naturally I'm reserved about leaping into something just because the marketing looks good .... a trial registration with a single throwaway domain seems to be working out well, though

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