Thursday, September 06, 2007

Domain and hosting problems and how to prevent them

I have had a client choose to register their domain and host their website with AnywhereHost. About two weeks ago, AnywhereHost upgraded their servers and in the last week, they and GoDaddy, their registrar, have been having problems. This makes the client’s website intermittently down. It also has made the client’s email stop working entirely. As you know, email is essential to day-to-day operation at any modern company. Can you trust your email to a $7/month company with personnel that you’ve never met in person. This hosting company, AnyWhereHost has been called multiple times, but they refuse to answer their phone. We have been unable to obtain the domain from them.

The best advice to prevent this from happening to you is DO NOT allow a shared hosting service to register YOUR domain for you.

I know from experience. Many years ago, I tried to retrieve my domain from a hosting company and spent hours on the phone. It turned out that the hosting company had been bought out and split. I was talking to the part of the company that kept the old name, but had sold out. They still had my records, too, and told me I was their customer until I talked to a manager that knew the situation.

Yes, you do need to know something of what you are doing to enter information into a few fields at a third-party registrar, such as or You need to know your host’s name servers and that’s all. You can request those in a simple email to your host. It will cost you $15-$20 a year more to have a third-party registrar, but what is that small amount of money for a domain that you have control of at any moment. If you’re server and/or hosting company goes down, just move it.

Also, remember to regularly back up your online site to you local computer in case you cannot contact your hosting service.

-Stephen M. James

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