A while back a blogger acquaintance of mine recommended trying a free cloud based host with cPanel. I usually don’t bother with these kinds of things, but since it included cPanel I thought what the heck. I’ll just use one of my domains that I don’t do much with.
I figured I could use it for testing, creating tutorials, and to purposely break and fix things to write about.
The drawback was that free accounts only came with a limited amount of web space, but for what I intended to do with it I didn’t need much anyway.
I’m not sure how this host goes about generating funds to pay for the service. If I remember right they had various paid plans with more space available. So, I assume that they were banking on the idea that a specific number clients would upgrade and use their paid plans in order to pay for the free ones.
Now I don’t use this account on a regular basis. I rarely do anything with it at all, and I check on it once per month or so if I am lucky. It had been a while since I logged in and I thought I should head on over there and make sure everything was well.
When I punched in the good ol’ web address I was presented with this lovely page:
Which is a little misleading as it says: “This domain name expired on June 15 2014”. At first I was like what the heck, did I forget to renew it. As I was looking at this less than pretty page I remembered that this domain doesn’t expire anywhere near this date.
It says this because the free host that I was pointing my domain name to (DNS) had expired. IE: Their domain name expired not mine, and since my domain name points to it, and it no longer exists, this is what I see as well as everyone else in the entire internet world.
As soon as I point the DNS to a non-expired DNS server I won’t see this message.
Whether or not they just forgot to renew their domain, or they went out of business without any warning is a good question. I am going to keep my domain pointed to their name servers for a few more days to see if it comes back online. If not I will point it to another server.
Like I mentioned I don’t do much with it other than testing so it’s not a big deal to me. I also have the files that are contained on this server stored on my local computer if I need them.
This does serve as a good reminder though, and that is that a host could go out of business and/or disappear at any moment. If they do, your files go poof (disappear) along with them. I tend to think that it’s a little more likely to happen with free hosts, but paid providers certainly aren’t immune to this happening either.
If it is truly dead and gone the only thing that surprises me about it is that it lasted as long as it did for free. I know I have had an account there for well over a year, and possibly closer to 2 years.