This could be a little long but bear with me as I hope it’ll be informative.
I have 4 sites with HostPapa and other than a couple of minor issues its been an ok’ish experience. Each one was purchased/created on one of those “Get your own website and email for 2/3 dollars/pounds/euros a month” deals.
Recently I was experiencing a couple of problems with a site and discovered it was due the host using an older version of PHP, I asked if they could upgrade it but was told the only way to do so was to move to one of their much much more expensive plans, needless to say I decided to look elsewhere.
Having chosen a new host we started the process of copying the data from the existing HostPapa server to the (soon to be) new one, all good so far …
So, now we get to the point where either the nameservers at HostPapa need to be told to point at the new server or the domain is transferred to a new registrar, this is where you need to start paying attention reader…
I start digging in the HostPapa client interface and … there was no way to either change the nameservers or release the domain name as everything was purchased as a bundle, the hosting, the email, the domain name, everything.
The only way to release the domain name for transfer was TO CLOSE THE ENTIRE ACCOUNT!
OK think I, its draconian but there will be a transition period between me closing the account and it actually being closed giving time for the domain name to make its way through the system to the new host (This can take days by the way) … You’d think that wouldn’t you?
But NO!, within 1 hour of me filling in the ‘please close my account’ form the site was gone and the email was inaccessible and 2 hours later I can’t even login to check on a support ticket I wrote to ask ‘WHAT’S GOING ON???’
The site being down for a couple of days is inconvenient but the email! that is a very different proposition, I had a very very unpleasant 3 hours of trying to work out alternatives when an email poped into my personal account from HostPapa telling me they’d reactivated the account for 7 days to allow for the changeover…… phew! Everything is back up, Site, Email, everything.
What to take away from this:
- At the point of writing this its been 3 days since the domain name transfer was initiated and it still hasn’t come through, this is I understand normal and can easily take upto a week.
- The bundle deals are not as good as they seem.
- DomainNames, Site Hosting and Email are separate things, having them under one contract is a bad idea.
- If you are planning on moving hosts then BACKUP AND TRANSFER before you initiate the closure of the existing account and then grab the changes when you finally assign the domain name to the new host.
- Do NOT use an email address associated with the domain as your contact email.