Domains for free

Tripping over to Loren Webster’s In a Dark Time weblog, I was surprised to see “Domain expired”. However, it’s been renewed so more poetry should be forthcoming. If you’re thirsting for the words now, then you can use his “tilde” URL – Now might also be a good time to go to his front page, because I can see he’s added new material. You won’t be able to comment, though, or access a permalink unti his DNS renewal has propagated throughout the threaded void. The registrars say up to 72 hours, and an expiration can take longer than a new domain. Still, less than a day, I estimate.

This is a good time to mention that several .info registrars, such as my own, Dotster are giving away free .info domains. One site started it – DomainSite, but they’ve since gone to a fee of 0.99. Which is still very cheap.

So far, I’ve snapped up the following domains:

Some of these really beg for a site, don’t they?

There is a limit of 25 domains per registering entity, in this case myself. This may only be for each registrar, but I think 24 domains is enough, don’t you?

Why is this happening? Most likely to begin to fill up namespace for this new TLD (Top Level Domain), and start generating interest in the .info domain. This domain is an unrestricted domain, which means anyone can register a domain name–here’s your chance to have a free domain for one year. Next year, of course, it will cost you.

Going back a moment to Loren’s site, the use of the tilde (’~’) has been around since Apache was a pup, I believe. My first site was a ’tilde site’, before buying my first domain (not easy to obtain in the early days; free at first, and then horribly expensive until Internic decided to allow competition).

A tilde site is one in which multiple accounts are hosted in one shared environment, and each account has a specific name attached to it, such as my own, ’shelley’. These are hosted in a specific directory, usually labeled the ‘home’ directory. A person can then access the site using the IP address or general name for the server, followed by a /~(name), and the web server, at least Apache, will serve up the pages until whatever domain name they use propagates through the system.

So if I, in my gluttony and greed for domains, happen to forget to renew my domain registration (horrors!), you could still access my site using, or this weblog using

Of course, using the tilde site to access the page could cause some interesting challenges if you’re using the top level relative URL, as I am using for some my of my stylesheet effort. The reason why is that the top level domain in this case is no longer, but And there is no /look, /photos, or /mm subdirectory at this location.

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