Then, on approximately Friday, 10th June, this happened:
And it wasn’t because I had decided to capitalise on my site’s massive traffic by turning it into a highly profitable music-based search portal (because it doesn’t get any).
What had actually happened is that I lost my domain name. This is because my domain provider, Web Mania, went out of business without telling me. But they did notify me that my domain was due for renewal – back in April. They sent a reminder email saying,
To prevent any disruption in service, it is important that you renew your account before it expires.
Yes Web Mania, it is important – which is why I did it immediately. I paid my renewal fee, and received email confirmation that said,
Thank you for renewing your account. Payment has been received.
So I naively assumed everything was fine. I mean, Web Mania took my money and sent me email confirmation that they had renewed my domain.
Unfortunately, one vital step was somehow missed from this process: the bit where they actually renewed my domain. That bit didn’t happen. I was no longer master of my domain, and I only found out that Web Mania had gone into liquidation by googling it when they didn’t reply to my emails or phone calls. There was absolutely no indication on their site, I received no notification by email, and there wasn’t even an apologetic message on their helpline.
And it looks like I’m not the only one. I can’t say I ever thought to contact my local paper about my website going missing, but this man did having been in exactly my situation.