When deciding to setup this blog I had a few choices:
1) What domain do I use?
I have been hoarding a few us domains at WordPress.org, do I use one of those or look for a new domain with my name? What registrar do I use if needed? I already had been using GoDaddy for 5 years. I did not like that GoDaddy does not allow you to point sub domains to different parts of a website and other advanced featured were part of “Deluxe” domain management.
2) If I don’t use WordPress.org, what hosting do I use? I have had a simple family website at GoDaddy for years. GoDaddy was overly complex for page management, you had to traverse multiple pages to get to the hosting management. With the economy package you could only host one domain per hosting package.
I saw a few people I follow on twitter use Namecheap for domain registration. The web site seemed to be affordable and not overly pushy. I also saw that they allowed for ddns! I actually caved in a few months ago why dyndns started to push people to but services, so if I could cancel dyndns, I would be saving money! I could also host 5 domains using a single hosting package (in the future I could consolidate my godaddy site). Web searches also showed some happy people using them for domain registration but hosting seemed to be mixed due to some issues with support. Overall, the price and featured of the basic hosting killed GoDaddy and was just more competitive versus a more premium site liked SquareSpace.
So yesterday afternoon I pulled the trigger and picked up chrischua.net (and another domain to park)
along with the basic hosting package. The process was fairly smooth, it asked me what domain to associate the hosting with during checkout.
My first support contact
I was a little hasty to get my blog setup, but I was really confused on how to get to the cpanel, it wasn’t linked from the Manage Hosting page.
I clicked on the Live Chat pink and after a few minutes a person was helping me. It seemed to take a few minutes for the person to respond after each question, as if he was either doing research or was distracted by other conversations. The person did figure out that I needed to look in my email.
I had a second question about why DDNS was not available from manage Domain page. He did provide the correct info that I had to transfer the domain to the primary Namecheap DNS servers (since I associated it with the hosting package it was assigned to the hosting dns servers). The CSA transferred me to the Domain team to complete my questions about DDNS. The second person advised that I just needed to hit the “transfer domain back to use” link under Manage Domains which sounded easy so I clicked the link and thanked her.
Now I was off setting my blog with a subdomin and putting up my first list when BAM. Error from the proxy that it could not resolve chrischua.net. What gives? I opened up
Live Chat again and asked what was going on. I think I got the same CSA (who still asked me for my domain info) who determined that I needed to setup my A records after transferring my domain back to the primary servers. I found that really odd, they own both servers, they should have just don’t zone transfer to keep everything in-tact. The CSA should have at least instructed me that I would have to recreate entries.
After recreating the entries, with the CSA Assistance and waiting for replication, I was back online.
This morning I received a welcome letter from Namecheap:
“If you’ve had a less than satisfactory experience in any of our processes, I would be grateful to know so I can make sure they are addressed properly. Please let us know by replying to this email. ”
I replied and described my issues. Within a few minutes I received a nice response that they would work to improve the experience and look into zone transfers and linking some of the host management options from the management page.
Overall not a bad experience, just one that needed to be refined. I was very appreciative of the quick email response and I hope that they are sincere with their promise to improve service.