Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

The fotoLibra site was down from about noon on Sunday 17th January to this morning, Monday 18th. Apologies for that. The problem was down to domain name system renewal propagation, which has now been sorted out.

When we started fotoLibra back in 2004 we got the website, and we had to pay some company in America to point people towards it — to make sure that an IP address, a series of numbers, in our case, would resolve into We paid them for two years. Hey — we didn’t know if we’d still be around in 6 weeks, let alone two years.

Two years later we were pretty confident. Things were going well. So we renewed the DNS service for another ten years.

And promptly forgot all about it.

Yesterday, when we logged on to fotoLibra and saw a holding page offering the domain name for sale, our first reaction was outrage. The second was self-blame. We contacted Network Solutions to demand to know why we hadn’t been told. They assured us they had sent renewal notices on November 30th, December 11th, December 28th and January 11th.

They were not able to reveal the email address to which the renewal notices had been sent. I see all correspondence through the email box we registered with Network Solutions, and I saw nothing. Of course, it could have landed in Junk. I get about 600 junk emails every day and before deleting them I speed scan the senders to ensure I haven’t missed anything I recognise.

Which reminds me — if you contact fotoLibra and you haven’t had a reply within 24 hours (longer at weekends) please send your email again, because it may have fallen into the Junk folder.

Anyway, because they hadn’t heard from us, they cut us off. I was watching Harlequins vs the Cardiff Blues when our technical development manager rang. “The site’s down. DNS service not renewed.”

It was then we discovered that our broadband service was also down. I couldn’t get on line, I couldn’t see the site. I rang our ISP, the wonderful Zen Internet, to hear a recorded message to say the Crouch End district was suffering an outage. Outage? Outrage!

So the elderly 3G phone was pressed into service, and I finally, after long delays and several hours picking through a tiny keyboard, managed to renew our domain name system. User names, contact details and passwords all seem to have changed over the years, but we managed.

Then comes something called DNS Propagation. It takes time to circulate info across the world wide web, and as I write the fotoLibra site is up and running on my computer here in London, on Network Solutions’ computers in the States, but not on Yvonne’s computer across the room from me.

It will all have resolved itself by 9pm GMT at the very latest.

I’m very sorry about this. It’s not my fault but I feel I’m to blame. To stop this happening a second time, please could you all make a note in your diaries to email me in December 2025 to remind me to renew our DNS through Network Solutions?

Many thanks!


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6 Responses to “DNS — The Fuller Story”

  1. Dave Carton says:

    Speaking as someone who is not the best organised person in the world Siri is your friend (other non apple variants are available!)

    ATB, Dave

  2. Still not 100% resolved here (southern UK, 14:53 GMT). Forcing Firefox to dump the cache (Ctrl+f5: other options are available) helps for most pages, but errors and the domain name page still occasionally appear.

    An example is trying to sort portfolio pages (“Order by..”) The following error message appears: “Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (2)”

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      It’s out of our hands, I’m afraid — the site’s operational functionality is coming back, but more slowly than we would have liked. It’s fully functional for me in Safari, Firefox and Chrome but only in Chrome for Yvonne in the same office.

      This is an awful warning to me to make my own separate notes and reminders for contracts that are going to expire — relying on the service providers only means they will bombard you with sales messages throughout the period which you then ignore until the all-important renewal message is sent and gets automatically junked.

      I am flagellating myself and have covered myself in ashes from head to foot. Will that do?