Sailing the seas of online marketing and plundering the riches as an affiliate pirate.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NameCheap sucks - URL redirection

I just talked with NameCheap live support and here's what they told me:
we are having a technical issue with forwarding at the moment

That's their answer to my question as to why domains using default NameCheap nameservers and URL redirection (301 or standard 302) do not work (again!) and we get a "The server at domain.com is taking too long to respond."

Now, this is far from new. NameCheap had been under a DDoS attack in October last year which made all of their domains using NameCheap DNS servers, unusable. That is, you could use their domains if you parked them on some hosting and changed the nameservers. You could not use them if they were on NC DNS servers and using CNAME, URL Redirect, URL Frame or any other form of redirection. That means affiliate URL redirection, affiliate URL cloaking, Blogger blogs using CNAME alias; they were all down for a few days, and some people lost a lot of money.

Then just a week ago there had been a Connection failed: too many connections showing up instead of domains using URL redirection. Apparently it was either some technical problems or a DDoS attack on NameCheap again.

Now this is happening once more, and while NameCheap support say they are working on fixing it ASAP, I am rather disillusioned with their service and looking for an alternative. I've been registering domains at NC for use in cloacking and redirecting affiliate links, since they offer low price and free Whois protection. However this "domain downtime" is unacceptable. Hosting problems I am familiar with; however, I haven't even heard of domains themselves not working before this NameCheap fiasco. How hard can it be to simply redirect a domain to another URL?!

The truth is, NameCheap sucks, and hard. The fastest tech support is useless if all they can tell me is that "they're working on it" and in the mean time the domain redirection is timing out. They even delete all the (polite!) posts that their members post on NameCheap forum about the redirection problem, or say that "it's a problem with your browser cache".

OK, I guess that's enough of the ranting. If anyone has any suggestions of a good alternative to NameCheap where I could buy .com and .net domains under $10 and get a free or cheap whois protection, please let me know. All I care about is fast and stable domain redirection. I used to think this comes without saying, but NameCheap proved me otherwise.

Blogger blog posts disappear from homepage

I've had problems where posts on my blogs on Blogger.com were gone from the homepage completely. They are still accessible via blog archive or direct bookmarks, but the main page becomes blank. This bug happened to two of my blogs yesterday and the day before yesterday. Needless to say, it's no fun, and your visitors won't appreciate not being able to read the posts either.

Thankfully, there was an easy fix. If you go to your Blogger Dashboard and then Layout of the bugged blog, click Edit on the Blog Posts element, and then click Save without changing anything, that should do the trick and make your posts appear on the homepage again. I've read reports on the Blogger support group on Google that publishing a new post helps as well.

This happened once to my DarkfallBlog and about three times (!) to AoCBlog. However it seems everything is going fine after I "fixed" this invisible posts on the homepage bug yesterday. I am posting the solution in case someone still needs it anyway.

ClickBank HopAds

On 16th February, Clickbank has introduced HopAds: a text ad system serving ads for various products from CB's marketplace. It is not in fact a contextual advertising system, for the script doesn't read your site's content; it picks the ads depending on what keywords you enter.

You can see the ads in action to the sidebar on the right. HopAds are served from the new hopfeed.com domain, so that's what you want to block with NoScript if you do not wish to see them.

I have no idea what their EPM and other stats are compared to, say, AdBrite or AdSense. However, it has some advantages such as no special requirements for the website HopAds are shown on. It is also not against terms to show them on traffic exchanges.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Connect failed: Too many connections - NameCheap

NameCheap fails once again! Right now I'm getting a "Connect failed: Too many connections" message on ALL of my domains which use NameCheap nameservers. That includes pretty much all domains I use for affiliate link redirection. Thank you for wasting my affiliate clicks, NC.

Since this is not the first time I'm having problems with them, I'm strongly considering moving all of my domains to another registrar. You know, one that isn't so cheap.