View Full Version : Domain Name Snafu

September 15th, 2002, 12:33pm
Hi everybody,

If you haven't been able to access the site during the last few days it's because the domain name "online-sweepstakes.com" expired a few days ago, therefore making this site temporarily unreachable through that domain.

For the next few days, please use this ip address to access the site:

I've had to make a lot of changes in order for the site to work through the ip address. Most of the links on the site are working now, but I still have some work to do to get MySweeps, username/passwords, and some of the forms working the way they should. Once everything appears to be working OK, I'm going to send an email to all registered members informing everyone of the problem and the workaround.

I'll post more details about this problem later, but for now keep in mind that any links with "online-sweepstakes.com" in them will not work for most people for the next 24-72 hours, use instead.


September 15th, 2002, 6:27pm
Alright, everything should be working fine now. Let me know if you have problems.


September 15th, 2002, 6:31pm
Hi Brent,

I've been trying to post a new online sweep over the past couple of hours, but I'm getting the same error message you get if you go to www.online-sweepstakes.com.


Originally posted by Brent
Alright, everything should be working fine now. Let me know if you have problems.


September 15th, 2002, 6:41pm
Hi Star,

I'm on it, give me a few minutes.


September 15th, 2002, 6:47pm
The Add-a-Sweep form is fixed, try it now. :)

September 15th, 2002, 6:53pm
Looks good - thank you! :D

Originally posted by Brent
The Add-a-Sweep form is fixed, try it now. :)

September 15th, 2002, 8:20pm
Thanks Brent for your email reply - got it the same time Balayeur and Patsrina saved me:)

It was miserable without you guys!

September 15th, 2002, 8:50pm
Thanks for the help Katie, and thanks for the e-mail Brent, letting me know how to get back home :cheer:

September 15th, 2002, 9:01pm
When you register a domain name (like "online-sweepstakes.com"), you have to pay a yearly fee to keep it activated. If you don't keep the domain name activated by renewing it every year, it will become expired. Once a domain name expires, it will eventually be removed from the DNS (Domain Name Service) records that all ISPs use to look up the IP addresses of websites. Most ISPs update their DNS records every 24 - 72 hours. As the updated DNS records propagate through the Internet (the ISPs), the expired domains are gradually removed.

In this case, the "online-sweepstakes.com" domain name expired a week ago last Friday and was removed from the current DNS records sometime this last Friday. As the updated DNS records made their way through the Internet, more and more people could no longer access the site using the normal URL- http://www.online-sweepstakes.com/.

I didn't notice the problem until very late last night. Normally, I would have received emails and snailmail informing me of the payment's due date, but because the registration information they have for me is old and out-dated, I didn't get the notices. (the street address on record is actually my parents' because I tend to move around a lot & the email address is from the old LoopyNet site- all it gets is spam [well, mostly] and I normally don't check it)

The first thing I did when I noticed the problem was renew the domain name [for 3 years no less]. Then, because I had hard-coded all the links on the site with "online-sweepstakes.com," I had to go through all the code and change them all to relative links (which I should have done in the first place) so they can work with the IP address. After that I had to change some of the javascript (MySweeps, cookies) and php (forums, cookies) around so they could both read and write cookies based on the IP address instead of the domain name [which is why everyone had to login again].

Everything on the site should work exactly the way it did with the domain name- just make sure you use the IP address to access the site:

Gradually, over the next 24 - 72 hours, most everyone will be able to use the normal URL [http://www.online-sweepstakes.com/] again- it just depends on how often your ISP updates its DNS records. But chances are if you can't access the site with the normal URL now (meaning your ISP has updated their DNS records over the last 48+ hours), you can expect your ISP to update them again in approximately the same time frame.

Thanks everybody for your understanding. I realize many of you depend on this site for your daily dose of sweeps, etc., etc. and I don't take my responsibilities lightly. The problem was completely my fault and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.

And that's the rest of the story...


September 15th, 2002, 9:06pm
Thanks for the email notice, Brent, and thanks for letting us know what's going on.

September 15th, 2002, 10:10pm
......mistakes were made......entirely my fault......You don't know how refreshing it is to have someone accept responsibility for a small lapse while at the same time making herculean efforts to correct the problems. Sure do appreciate your forthrightness and all of your efforts.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder......and that certainly does apply to Online-Sweepstakes.com

Need to start a "get Brent a secretary fund" so all the i's get dotted and the t's get crossed in a timely fashion!

Hang in there bud!:grin2:

September 15th, 2002, 10:31pm
That is way complicated, Brent and why we rely on you! You are the smart programmer; without a secretary. ;) Thanks for everything!

Vicky:cheer: Yeah, were back!

September 15th, 2002, 11:08pm
I haven't been able to get here since Thursday night. The only person I talked to was Geo and he said he was able to get in but with some problem's. Thank's again Geo for all the emails!!!

I've never received an email from you at my iwon address, not sure why. I've definitely been going through withdrawl's the last couple of day's. Thank's Brent for all you do at this site, it is the most awesome sweeps. site on the web!:)

Take care,


September 16th, 2002, 3:15am
Thanks everybody! Just a quick note before I'm off to bed:

I just tried the domain- http://www.online-sweepstakes.com/ and it works for me. Keep in mind that how soon it will get corrected for you will solely depend on your ISP updating their DNS records. My ISP must have done an update in the last few hours. Hopefully, it will work for most everyone by tomorrow. Good night all. :)


PS - Anne, I sent you a PM.

September 16th, 2002, 7:08am
I thought this was some kind of test! Now I know how much I love this place.

September 16th, 2002, 8:27am
Brent ,you are great .It has been said before but can not be repeated enough-Thank you for all you do!!:cheer2:

September 16th, 2002, 9:04am
Brent, Thought I was losing my mind!! Couldn't belive it was gone. You are a genius--THANKS for bringing us all home!!! You don't know how much you are appreciated!! THANKS AGAIN!!!

September 16th, 2002, 9:15am
Thanks Brent! Boy - the old adage is true - you don't know what you have until it's gone! When I couldn't get in on Friday my hubby heard my oh! Nooooo! in the other room and came running (LOL) - thought that there was some god-awful tragedy! I told him my favorite site was gone and he just rolled his eyes!

thanks again Brent! whenever you want to set up that paid membership you let me know!!! I tried other sites while you were down and none could match this group in content, people or administrator!!!! Keep up the good work!:cheer: :cheer2:

September 16th, 2002, 9:50am
Thanks Brent It nice to be back on!!!

September 16th, 2002, 10:26am
Thanks for all of the hard work Brent! :smile3:

September 16th, 2002, 11:03am
Talk about your withdrawal! Phew! ...the cold sweats ...the DTs! I am so glad you and your site are back, Brent! Thanks for all you do with this site. I am very impressed with you and your site. Truly, I am.:cheer: :D

September 16th, 2002, 11:24am
Let me add my thanks to Brent for all his hard work, for his consideration in e-mailing us, and for his prompt attention to fixing the problem.

Many, many thanks!

David :) :) :)

September 16th, 2002, 1:19pm
You'll never believe this, but a long time ago (while you were on hiatus), someone looked up (maybe George?) the domain name and found that you owned it until September of 2002.......which was very calming to all of us. At that time, I promised myself that I was going to send you an email in August of this year to remind you......and I forgot! Sorry, I really planned to do that follow-up, and failed in my mission! lol!
Anyway, don't worry about anything......in spite of panic and withdrawls, we are just grateful that you are here. Nobody can stay on top of every little thing! Just keep doing what you do; you're the best!

September 16th, 2002, 2:34pm
You kick all kinds of booty, but this is my favorite part:

The first thing I did when I noticed the problem was renew the domain name [for 3 years no less].


September 16th, 2002, 3:54pm
Brent you ARE the best!!! Your my hero!!!:cheer3:

September 16th, 2002, 6:04pm
I don't seem to be getting the underlined links to each forum in my e-mailed messages from the site. (The weird thing is, I could've sworn I got a few earlier.) Now, the links only seem to be partial addresses, so I can't just click on the message and be connected. :confused:

September 16th, 2002, 6:53pm
flamingthing, Vicky told me about that problem a couple of hours ago. It should be fixed now (as long as you can access the site via the domain name now).

Thanks everyone! :smile3: