Usability Issues with Domain Management

January 10, 2008

Topics: Usability, Web Development.

Working as a web developer, I find myself dealing with a lot of different domain registrars, hosting services, etc. It’s inevitable. It’s also not the slightest bit uncommon to run across one very specific usability inconvenience with how these services manage their services. (Not all of them — but enough that it’s irritating.)

This specific problem is that when you’re managing domains, some of these services handle multiple-domain management in the following manner:

  1. Select the action you wish to perform.
  2. Select the domain you wish to change.
  3. Rinse and repeat.

It should be readily apparent what the problem is: choosing the action prior to choosing the domain is an extremely ineffective way of making a large number of changes to a specific domain.

Now, the way I tend to work (and I don’t see any great likelihood that this will change) is to focus on a particular site and do everything I need to do on that site in one working session.

End result: if I need to make, say, five changes to a domain, I need to take 10 individual actions. If I selected the domain, and then performed a variety of actions on that domain, I could easily reduce this to only 6 actions.

Even if I needed to work a different way, such as making the same change to a large number of domains, this continues not to be an efficient way of making the same change on a large number of domains, which would be best handled by allowing selection of multiple domains for simultaneous changes.

At any rate, if you happen to be a large company which manages hosting and/or registration of domains, don’t set up your management interface like this. It’s annoying.

End rant.

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2 Comments to “Usability Issues with Domain Management”

  1. Yeah…you can’t manage DNS settings via FTP, though. 🙁

  2. I despise domain admins for the most part (most that I’ve seen, since I haven’t used one as you describe in your post). I tend to do 99% of what I need to do via FTP — whenever possible anyway.