Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

One solution is to get your own domain. That way, it can be used conveniently with an online service, such as Gmail.

I've used for several years in order to avoid notifying my contacts I've changed my email address. I now find that the site is working, but it doesn't allow any view of my account. The page merely says, "It works! This is the default web page for this server. The web server software is running, but no content has been added yet." Are you able to help me?

In this excerpt from Answercast #60, I look at the problems that arise when your email provider goes away.

Help retrieving website?

Unfortunately, probably not specifically with respect to

What it looks like has happened is that they've probably gone out of business. I honestly don't know - but what you're seeing (a default server page like that) is what happens when a web server is at the equivalent of reformatting and reinstalling your PC. It's a web server that's been reset to its initial state without any of the content being added.

Typically, that happens when a domain name is sold, a service is sold, or a service shuts down.

So, I don't really have any help for other than keeping an eye on the site and seeing if anything changes over time.

Permanent email address

Now, I understand what you're trying to do. And it's a very laudable thing to try and have happen. That is to have one email address that is yours and always yours and never needs to be changed.

Unfortunately, the only way to do that - is to do it with it under your control. And that means purchasing your own internet domain; for example, an internet domain like I can put an email address on that domain, and as long as I keep registered, that email address will always be mine.

It doesn't necessarily mean that I have to run a web server to have email. Domain registration services often provide features that include web-based email accounts or email accounts that you can use through normal email programs.

Further, they also often provide forwarding so you can actually service your own web-based domain email using a service like Gmail or Hotmail. And if either of those ever goes away, you can simply change the forwarding to some other service that does work.

Your own domain

So, the only way to really have a domain (an email address that would never, ever go away as long as it's in your control) is to purchase your own internet domain and then set the email up on that domain.

Popular email services

Short of that, the only thing that I can really suggest is to use one of the more popular email services like Gmail or Hotmail or Yahoo. To be honest, I've never heard of and I suspect that's one of the problems.

Things like Gmail and Hotmail and so forth are not going to go away and certainly not anytime soon, simply because there are millions and millions of people relying on those email addresses.

So, those are the two things I would point you at:

  • Potentially purchasing your own internet domain and setting up email or email forwarding off of it;
  • Or switching to a different email service (that's not dependent on your ISP) that's more likely to be around for the long haul - like Gmail or Hotmail.

Article C5900 - October 10, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Douglas A. Brace
October 10, 2012 8:48 AM

I've got my own domain that I registered through Google (and automatically through Go Daddy).

It basically gives me my own domain name PLUS all of the Google services that I can customize to my needs.

Fred Nerd
October 10, 2012 4:03 PM

Not sure if it's like that elsewhere, but in Australia ISPs automatically set up email accounts and tell unsuspecting users that they HAVE to use them. 2 years later, they ask for my help to switch service providers "but I need to keep my email [address]" It's too late and they're stuck with that ISP. NEVER use an ISP email address, especially not for business. Gmail is good, you can always forward/POP3 when you get your own domain later.

Ken B
October 11, 2012 7:17 AM

A quick look through Internet archives shows that, sometime between December 2011 and June 2012, the site went "offline". A "whois" shows that the registration records for was last updated April 9, 2012. (The domain's anniversary date was May 7, so it's quite possible that the domain was sold to someone prior to expiring, and they have yet to do anything with it.)

It's too late to do anything about your "forever" mail, but it's not to late to restart and do the right thing... Domain names are super cheap nowadays, and sites like GoDaddy let you register a domain for 10 years for under $15. As long as you pay the registrar's bill, the domain is yours, and you can change ISPs, webhost providers, etc. etc. etc. without anyone knowing or caring, as your e-mail address (and website, should you build one) remain the same.

Robert R
October 15, 2012 12:39 PM

One thing to watch out for when you get your own domain. Ask the registrar how they do spam filtering before forwarding the email. We got stuck with a registrar who filters out a lot of legitimate email and there is no way to check and release the email that is good (e.g., like Postini's spam checker does for example).

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