I finally got all of my domain transfers and hosting sorted out — my corporate domain is now with GoDaddy both as the registrar and the web host (although the archive of my business blog is still down), my Yahoo hosting account is cancelled, and I never have to talk to Melbourne IT again. I had a problem with GoDaddy’s nameservers not propagating things properly on the transfer, which meant that I spent 24 hours without a website and email, but it all seems to be sorted out now.
I’ve previously documented the problems that I’ve had with Yahoo and WordPress hosting:
Yahoo’s MySQL installation, besides being out of date, is somewhat screwed up; this, in turn, seems to be impacting the ability to do a WordPress upgrade or even a separate WordPress install. My advice: avoid Yahoo Small Business hosting if you need anything but the exact WordPress version that they’re offering, which is currently 2.0.2. This likely won’t be a problem until a major WP upgrade occurs and you really want some new feature in the new version.
This became a real problem last week when I was dabbling with MySQL and couldn’t set permissions properly on the database; I just got fed up with Yahoo’s non-standard MySQL and WordPress installations, and decided to move it over to GoDaddy, where I have been hosting both this blog and my wine club’s site/blog for some time with good results. In the post linked above, I stated that I was reluctant to consider GoDaddy because of crappy technical support, but I’ve had pretty uniformly crappy technical support from every hosting provider and concluded that GoDaddy’s technical support isn’t outstanding in its crappiness — in fact, in getting the problems sorted out over the last week, it’s been pretty good.
I went with GoDaddy’s Linux-based Deluxe hosting package, which gives me 100GB disk space, 1TB of monthly data transfer, 6 FTP users, 25 MySQL databases plus PHP, CGI, Java, Ruby and a ton of other stuff. This is way bigger than I need for any single domain that I own, but it allows me to host multiple domains on a single account, so I’m using it to host my corporate domain, this blog domain and a few other domains that I have without buying anything extra for each new domain (except the domain registration, obviously). Most hosting plans on any service, even the lowest level starter plans, are far bigger than I need for any site that I need hosted, so the multiple domains per account is perfect for me.
I don’t like that you have to have one primary domain on the account, so that all others are contained in subdirectories of that domain; other hosting solutions that I’ve used that support multiple domains in a single account allow the domains to be in sibling directories, hence better isolated and not dependent on the existence of the primary domain. To fake this out, I put my unused sandykemsley.com domain as the primary and everything else as secondary domains in subdirectories off that; I then redirected sandykemsley.com to kemsleydesign.com, which means that no one can accidentally navigate to one of my secondary domains by going to a subdirectory in the primary domain. Okay, problem solved, but I had to have a dummy domain to use as the primary in order to do this, or put a bogus domain name in there.
Another GoDaddy annoyance is the lack of a proper file manager in the domain administration: there’s a Java ftp client, handy for uploading/downloading files if you don’t have access to a real ftp application, but although you can see the file structure on the server, you can’t move files around. That means if you upload something to the wrong directory, you have to delete it and upload it again, which became a bit of a pain when I was moving things around to create the primary/secondary domain structure within my hosting account. Not sure whether it was Sympatico DSL upload speeds or some choke point on the GoDaddy server, but the uploads are a bit slow. Yahoo, and other hosting services that I’ve worked with, have a file manager functionality that allow files to be moved and copied around the site without uploading again.
The one thing that kept me on Yahoo for so long was their webmail: it’s fast and easy to use with great spam filtering, and it’s integrated with my free Yahoo account (which I use for filling out web forms) so I can just click between them in the Yahoo environment. They also allow 2GB per mailbox for the email accounts included with the web hosting account.
GoDaddy hosting packages, on the other hand, come with seriously inadequate email accounts of 25MB each, and their web mail is good, but not as nice as Yahoo’s. However, most of my mail ends up downloaded to Outlook, so I’m really only dependent on the webmail interface when I’m travelling without my computer or to pre-filter for spam (with both Yahoo and GoDaddy, you can increase the accuracy of the spam filters by marking any spam that appears in your webmail inbox, but if Outlook downloads it and deletes it from the server, it’s too late). The spam filtering is working pretty well so far, certainly as accurate as Yahoo.
In order to get more email space on GoDaddy, I purchased a Deluxe email plan, with gives me a total of 1GB of storage divided however I want between up to 5 email addresses. Since I only use two actual POP email boxes — everything else is handled through email address forwarding — this works fine for me. 1GB works out to be plenty: even when travelling for a month over Christmas, I had less than 50MB of email accumulated (but more than 25MB) in my webmail to download when I returned.
In my previous post comparing WordPress experiences (linked above), I mentioned that GoDaddy didn’t allow multiple users per MySQL database, which would require that any applications build in their own authentication; I haven’t reinvestigated that issue, but I don’t think that it’s going to be a big problem.
All in all, I now have an infinitely more competent registrar, and properly working MySQL and WordPress, for a fraction of the cost:
- Web hosting deluxe (allows multi-domain hosting) = $6.29/month = $75.48/year
- Email plan = $19.99/year
- Total = $95.47/year for my two domains (this one and my corporate site), with room to add any number of other domains until my space/bandwidth is used up
- $11.95/month = $143.40/year for my corporate site
- Same amount for this blog’s hosting
- Total = $286.80.year for my two domains, and an increment of $143.40/year for any other domains that I want hosted
Never having to talk to Yahoo customer support again: priceless.