For those of you who have tried to visit my website (loogslair.net) over the past month or so, you’ve probably been surprised to have the page load up only to be greeted by some generic blond-haired girl with a backpack smiling rather constipatedly, as opposed to the usual mascot. Attraction to said blonde notwithstanding, that’s not what should be coming up when typing up that URL.
The reason behind this current lapse in the website’s existence has to do with VizaWeb, the webhosting company once advertised by tech guru Leo Laporte and has since become legendary in their ineptitude and lack of service. I moved the website to a new webhost last summer, and was under the impression that I had transferred the domain registration to Yahoo. Clearly, that’s not the case: while I’m listed as the Administrative Contact and Yahoo is the Technical Contact for the domain’s WHOIS listing, VizaWeb remains as the “Registration Service”, and it’s clear that they still exhibit some control over the domain, as once the domain “expired”, the URL began pointing to the aforementioned blonde chick.
So my question is twofold: what to do in order to get the domain back up, and what to do in case I can’t.
As for the first question, I’ve contacted Yahoo; they can’t do anything. I’ve contacted VizaWeb, or at least tried; the tech support number on their website is a facade, and my support ticket has gone for more than two weeks now without a response (probably because I’m no longer a paying customer). I’ve reported them to the BBB, but I expect that to have as much effect as a flea on an elephant. I’ve considered taking legal action, but don’t know what sort of lawyer this would require (Internet law? Commercial law?) and expect that the cost of filing a claim against VizaWeb would completely defeat the purpose.
The other consideration is what to do should the domain end up being frozen for all eternity by VizaWeb because of their lack of communication. The website is still up, actually – it’s at http://loogaroo.startlogic.com – but several parts of it, notably the message boards, need a domain name to use for its URL, and the links at the top of every page don’t work because they refer to the domain. This is the second domain name I’ve used, as well; the first one, loogslair.com, got snatched away from me when my first webhost was an ass and decided to list a phone sex service as his technical contact number. I’m really not keen about having to register a third domain and moving everything again, especially since loogslair.net has been paid for and should be operational. I’ve actually considered taking the thing down, but I know that enough people still visit the site for various reasons – plus I’ve continued to promote it through my YouTube videos and such until the outage – that such a move seems a bit rash.
So, yeah. If anyone has any thoughts/advice on what to do going forward, I’m all ears.