The Domain Transfer Companies Shuffle should be a dance of a few enjoyable, easy to learn steps. Sort of like line dancing. But it isn’t… line-dancing, or enjoyable and easy to learn.
I had (have) this Reseller Account through HostGator. I love it, because I can subdivide my domains and have extensive controls over things like the DNS records and technical things, which I love to be in my hands and not somebody elses.
However, on another, much cheaper hosting plan with Hostgator, I can get much more hosting space and much more bandwidth. The only downside, from my current point of view, is that I don’t get to have the Reseller perks – that includes tools to actually resell the space.
But, have I decided, I don’t really have time to set-up the whole thing, although I almost have, and I really don’t have time to provide the inevitable support that I would have to once I resell the accounts.
So I signed up for a Baby Croc Shared Hosting package which saves me a bundle of cash each month (in fact, I have paid it a year in advance) and now it’s happy days.
The last niggly bit is transferring my domain names away from the worst ever hosting company I’ve had to deal with. I signed up with that company years ago, because they had extremely cheap hosting plans. But, my momma used to say – you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
Anyway, I discovered that one monkey runs the show there – he’s sales, support, customer care, everything. And because he does everything himself, he does it slow and half arsed and he’s rude like you wouldn’t believe somebody in business could be rude to their clients. I won’t mention the name of the hosting company just yet, because he’s not beyond being spiteful and doing something to my domains to prevent it from being transferred.
I scouted a few domain name registrars, because it really should be easy: find the guy who can do it cheapest and go with them. But there’s so many domain registration companies out there, it’s probably easy to get conned. For that reason I tend to stick to the names I know.
My first thought was Registerfly.com. I’ve used them before, long ago, but only briefly. They’re cheap’ish and provide Whois protection through privacyprotect.org, which is something I was looking for. I signed up for an account and started the whole process to transfer domains for something like $8.89. I was 1 click away from committing when they showed the charges one last time, and for the first time in the process, an additional fee of $0.43.
I mouse-overed the charge and it said something like ‘for years our prices have been cheap, but ICANN imposed a fee that we cannot absorb, and thus the fee’. Now 43 cents is nothing, however I remembered why I had a bad experience with registerfly.com in the past.
I signed up for a domain and was promised this free and that free, most notably web hosting space. However, I couldn’t get them to give that to me and I really can’t remember the reasons now, because they used to use India-based technical support and communication beyond the manual that they obviously referenced, was difficult.
I couldn’t help but wonder, why not show me the measly charge of 43 cents from the word go, why hide it right up until I’m about to click pay before you suddenly shove the charge in there? My suspicion and doubt of their business practice made me cancel the transfer right there.
They area actually the reason I gave up on Hostgator’s Reseller Account, because it comes with a free eNom Reseller Account. I’m based in Malaysia and Malaysia is the origin (or used to be, I believe we’ve been cleared) of lots of credit card fraud. For that reason, Enom says it doesn’t accept payment by credit card from my IP Address.
I tried to do the respectable thing and email them to ask for alternatives, like can I fax my card details, etc. They replied and basically said that sure, send through the card and copies of your ID and we’ll evaluate it. It will take a long time and we can’t guarantee that it will be accepted.
I can spoof the IP Address, of course, because last year I had to register something through them and I mom helped me do it, successfully, with my card details from South Africa. However, I can’t be spoofing IP Addresses everytime I want to register a domain.
So Enom was crossed off the list. Besides, if you don’t get it at reseller prices, their domain registrations are actually quite expensive.
Possibly the cheapest, known name I came across, and I know gazillions of people use their services every day. The .com name would have cost me something stupid like $6.95.
However, and again, this was the reason I skipped on past godaddy.com, they want to charge another $6 or $7 per domain for the Whois Privacy Protection. I was once again left to feel like it’s something they could offer for free – why make a name for yourself offering the cheapest domains around, only to blow the price out of the water by charging it’s value in Whois protection?
Having Googled ‘domain transfer companies‘, I turned to several forums for advice. The guys above were mentioned, of course, but I’ve whittled them down for the reasons given. Another company, which came up often with mostly good references, were namecheap.com.
The domain names are not that cheap, in fact a .com will cost $9 something.
So what made me choose namecheap.com as my domain name registration company?
Well, first off all, they offer WhoisShield free of charge, which is great, because that means it will hide your street address, name and telephone number from a casual Whois search. Not sure why in this day and age, ICANN still insists that you display your private information like that.
Secondly, I found a discount code for namecheap.com, FEBLUV, which discounted each domain by $1, so that the total amounted to $8.41 per domain. This is still more expensive than godaddy.com, but remember you get the WhoisShield for free – which to me is valuable. Besides, I love discount, so just the mere fact that I got something for less was compelling enough.
Thirdly, the reviews said they have great support and easy to use systems. I agree with the easy to use system, however the Support is double-sided.
I wanted to transfer 3 domains and 2 worked beautifully. The second of the 3 actually had privacyprotect.org enabled, which I didn’t realise. The confirmation email which sets the transfers rolling inadvertently got sent to privacyprotect.org’s email address (which shreds it, I’m sure), and thus the transfer was never initiated.
I contacted namecheap.com’s live support and they said I should get the protection removed. I did that and contacted the live support again and spoke to one Svetlana H. Again, somebody with dubious English capabilities (pity I don’t speak… Russian?), referencing a manual. My repeated explanation of what happened, how I fixed it and how I needed the request resent, lead to nothing.
3 chats, one lasting 10 minutes, one lasting 12 minutes and the last lasting 18 minutes, left me with the answers that a) the current transfer can’t be cancelled (it was awaiting confirmation that would never come), and b) the confirmation email couldn’t be resent.
I knew that to be false, so I emailed the support address. I’ve learned over the years that the live chats are usually out-sourced to some god-forsaken-cheap-but-language-limited-overseas company, whilst support emails are usually handled by the company people themselves. This could be an illusion, I’m not sure.
Anyway, while I was working on this post, a good man name Jerry replied and said it was possible to redo the transfer request from scratch and he’ll do it. I’ve replied him the details he needed and now, as we speak, the transfer will be initiated.
So, in about 5 days, this blog will reside under the same good host, HostGator, and under the same domain name, but will be ever so slightly different. I just hope I can effect the move without interruption, but it looks like that should be fairly painless.
And that was my little adventure into the world of domain name registration and domain name transfers. I hope that knowledge is useful to somebody other than me.