Feb 14


So you’ve registered your domain name and paid for web hosting and your blog or website is up and running. Great! But don’t forget to renew them when the time comes.

Very often you can set up your domain name and hosting to auto-renew which is a great idea. But if you haven’t updated your payment card details because you’ve missed that critical email alert, you may face losing your domain name – and risk someone else snapping it up before you get the chance to renew. Fail to renew your web hosting and your blog or website is taken down and your email comes to an abrupt halt. I know – it’s happened to me (twice).

I’ve missed the email to renew hosting on two occasions amidst my other emails.  I do monitor my website uptime with Montastic and knew the site was down. Initially, I just thought it was server maintenance which happens occasionally. Emails dried up. After several hours I logged in to my website control panel and discovered that no site was being hosted as the web hosting had expired. Thankfully on both occasions, after filling out the Contact Us form and responding promptly when they explained that hosting had expired, my site and emails were quickly reinstated after paying my renewal fee.

I vowed not to let it happen again. I’ve set up SMS reminders for domain name renewal and web hosting on Google Calendar. I’ve blogged about SMS reminders before and so far I’ve found the Google Calendar SMS reminders to be excellent. You can set up reminders years in advance on Google Calendar. I also have all events synced to Rainlendar my desktop calendar so I get a second nudge. I went for a reminder a week in advance so that for auto renewals I can check payment card details are up to date and for other sites I’ll just go ahead and renew.

How do you deal with domain and hosting renewal? Have you lost a prized domain name because you forgot to renew it? Drop a comment below.

Dec 31
Top posts of 2009 on Tech and Life
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Blogging | icon4 December 31, 2009| icon3No Comments »

Most visited posts

Here’s a list of the most visited posts on this site throughout 2009. Site analytics are from Woopra. I’ve only included those posts with over 500 hits. As you can see I had a phenomenal response to my slow Firefox post. If you’re new to this site you should find some interesting older posts listed below. If these aren’t of interest, have a look around – there are about 90 posts to choose from at the moment.

Is Firefox slow for you? Here’s some tips to try which might speed it up – 11736 visits

Installing Easy Peasy Linux on my Acer Aspire One netbook – 2880 visits

Finding lost bookmarks in your info archive – 2037 visits

Send free SMS reminders to your mobile phone -1128 visits

Some Ubuntu resources for beginners – 776 visits

Uploading files to your website with Notepad++ – 649 visits

What is the best time to tweet? – 599 visits

Useful links: A to Z of search – 543 visits

Most retweeted posts

What is the best time to tweet? – 29 tweets

Is Firefox slow for you? Here’s some tips to try which might speed it up – 19 tweets

My top 15 useful bookmarklets – 13 tweets

Installing Easy Peasy Linux on my Acer Aspire One netbook – 9 tweets

Some Ubuntu resources for beginners – 5 tweets

Quick tip: Disable or remap the Caps Lock key in Windows and Linux – 5 tweets

Can I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has visited this blog throughout the year – hope you found your visit was worthwhile and thanks too to all who’ve taken the time to comment on the posts. Please subscribe to the RSS feed if you can – I blog in my spare time and it’s blog comments and rising subscriber numbers which are a great encouragement to keep blogging. Link back to any of the posts if you can and retweet any if you like them. And if there’s anything you’d like me to cover, or like to see more of, drop a comment below.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2010!

Oct 23

There are times when you might want to set up reminders on your phone from your PC rather than from the phone itself. You might not have your phone handy, flat battery,  left it at home or work, etc. A number of web applications allow you to send free SMS reminders to your cell phone; some require registration and some don’t:

Remindr – No sign up required. A really simple interface which also offers reminders through twitter, jabber and email; currently, SMS reminders are disabled. If these come back, I’ll update this post. However, before SMS reminders were disabled, I wasn’t able to receive any in the UK; but perhaps it worked fine in other countries.


Task.fm – You have to register for this one. Also offers reminders through twitter and email. Task.fm uses natural language and can understand many different time and date formats.


and here’s the reminder settings dialogue box:


SpringPad – Have to sign up for this. You can add your local time zone in the Settings panel but I could not add my mobile phone profile as a new channel. I didn’t find the process intuitive enough, or perhaps SpringPad can’t deal with overseas telephone codes:


Remember the Milk – Register and set up your local time zone under Settings (General tab). Set up your cell phone under Settings (Reminders tab):


My UK provider O2 was listed but, as with SpringPad, I failed to get a reminder sent to the phone even though I seemed to follow the correct procedure.

Google Calendar – You’ll have to register if you don’t already have a Google account. You can tell Google Calendar how far in advance of your event that you want the SMS reminder. Look for the “Reminder” option on the right side of the Create Event form under the “Options” section. It’s just a simple select box. To set up where you want to receive reminders, you need to go to Settings and then click the Mobile Setup tab. Enter your phone details and you will be sent a verification code to your phone. Enter the code you are sent in the last box on that page and you are good to go.

Which free SMS reminder services work in the UK?

Of the five choices I could find to send free SMS reminders to my mobile phone, I found that only two would work to a mobile service in the UK – Task.fm and Google Calendar. Google Calendar allows reminders in advance of your event and also requires verification of your phone details. A nice idea as it prevents any possible abuse whereby someone might easily send unwanted ‘reminders’ to someone else’s phone. The other 4 services that I listed don’t require any verification that you are in fact the owner of the phone receiving the reminders. However, having said that, I really liked Task.fm. Again, this service allows reminders to be sent in advance of the event. I found it really quick to set up a reminder – even quicker than on the phone. The free account comes with unlimited email reminders and up to 15 SMS reminders per month, while the pro account at $3.99/month allows unlimited email and SMS reminders.

Have I missed any free reminder services here? Which service do you find works best in your country?

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