Moving domains – goodbye

from Michal's blog

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General | Published 2023-01-22 19:06:14 UTC

Hi! If you're reading this, it means that you must have found my new domain, and I must apologize for any incoveniences (in case you've tried to send me mail or visit my website in the past few weeks), as I have failed to do my homework properly. Let me explain.

See, when I originally wanted to have a website, I wanted to do everything for free. That meant free hosting (courtesy of Endora, a local Czech web hosting company which has an ad-supported free tier) as well as a free domain with a custom 2nd level domain (i.e. not something like, which meant going straight to Freenom and picking up, which you might recognise.

My first two years with Freenom were actually very painless. I had the domain set to another DNS hosting provider, where I did my DNS configuration (as Freenom's own DNS configuration utility didn't allow wildcard records!). I had to break my "internet presence for free" dream with a paid (but still reasonably cheap) VPS provider, though (as I wanted to manage my own Linux install to make it do more than serve HTML or light-on-resources PHP pages).

Fun fact: I picked this TLD – .ml – in particular, as it sort-of matched my first name, more specifically, the first and last letter. Also, thanks to this domain name choice, I finally got my own l33t internet username – prochazkaml.

But then (more specifically, in the 2nd week of January 2023), I was at school during a break with my laptop open, and I needed to grab something from my site, when disaster struck: my website was inaccessible. I tried it on my phone, and it didn't connect either. What was stranger was that on my phone, it redirected to stating that the "page was not found".

My first thought was that the school's IP was somehow blocked (as I have a fail2ban instance running), but that wasn't it, as I asked one of my classmates who has mobile data to see if they could connect to my site. They couldn't.

Then I tried to log into my VPS provider's control panel, where I expected to see some sort of error, but no. The server was up and running without issues, and I could log in with VNC. When I was there, I grabbed the IP address, and to my shock, I could log in via SSH with the IP, but not with the domain name!

At this point, panic started to kick in, as I logged into my Freenom account and found out that my domain,, disappeared from the list. That meant that not only my website, but also my email server was inaccessible. I of course tried to re-register my domain immediately, but that wasn't (and as of the time of writing still isn't) possible, as their registration form didn't (and still doesn't) accept any new registrations. Contacting support was a dead end as well, as their own mail server appears to have gone bust.

Then I looked at Freenom's score over at Trustpilot, and... well, let's say that I should have checked sooner (by which I mean at the time I registered this domain). I made sure to leave a review of my own in there after my own experience. That said, for a free service, what else could I have expected.

After a few considerations, I have registered a new domain name – – with a local Czech domain name registrar. It's a paid domain, but it's essentially pocket change (6 € per year), so I'm fine with it. As a bonus, it now shouldn't get auto-flagged as spam (as Freenom's domains often do) by search engines or email providers, so that's neat.

Yeah, I originally just wanted to add a little blurb on my homepage about this issue, but it grew a bit out of hand, so I turned it into a blog post which you've currently read.

TL;DR: Yes, I have moved domains, and I sincerely apologize to any issues caused by that. I have had registered with Freenom for over 2 years, but they decided for whatever reason to purge my domain from existence. I would not recommend anyone to work with Freenom unless you want to experiment with a free domain and learn setting up DNS records. Other than that, Freenom appears to be a very dodgy company which does not deserve your time, attention or money.

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2 comments total, 2 shown | Page 1

test | Posted on 2023-04-21 19:34:40 UTC


prochazkaml (Administrator) | Posted on 2023-03-30 12:14:55 UTC

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa pain

2 replies to this comment

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