I can never forget the experience with the first web hosting company I dealt with –CalanHost. It was an attractive company in the way it captured its market share swiftly and because of Sean Cahill’s smart attitude. Just like a momentary high school crush, CalanHost faded like a shooting star, following the fashion and catching the last subway train of the dot com bubble.
It was 2003. I was inexperienced with web hosting services, so I not only hosted my website with CalanHost, but also registered my domain name through CalanHost and I didn’t notice that I had no direct access to the domain control panel until I was aware of the risk of losing my precious domain that I had been building successfully for a year.
I chose CalanHost because of Sean Cahill. Dealing with a smart customer support person is a pleasure you don’t get very often.
Personally, I had no grudge against Sean. His reply to a customer indicated that it was his partner’s fault. Since he was the customer support person who represented CalanHost publicly, his name was pointed out everywhere. (Yes, here in this post as well.)
Sean Cahill registered customers’ domains through Domains Priced Right, a reseller of the ICANN accredited Wild West Domains, a subsidiary of GoDaddy.
The administrative contact was Sean Cahill and CalanHost was the registrant of customer’s domain names. Customers had no direct access to the domain control panel.
Then CalanHost was out of business.
It was a near-death experience.
I was very glad that GoDaddy contacted me to renew the domain when I was in despair; Luckily, WebStrikeSolutions contacted me as well since CalanHost operated as its re-seller.
I don’t believe that it was Sean Cahill’s intention to have listed himself as the administrative contact and his company as the registrant of customer’s domain names. It’s just that domain registration was new at that time and it wasn’t within the expertise of an emerging web-hosting provider like CalanHost.
The Lesson I Learnt from the Near-death Experience with CalanHost
- Register your domain name with an ICANN accredited domain registrar
- Make sure that you have direct access to the domain control panel
- Make sure that you’re the administrative contact and / or domain registrant
- Register your domain with a mature domain registrar who’s an expert and reliable
I have been using GoDaddy’s domain registration and renewal services for over a decade since then and I will continue to do so.
A domain name is an asset, as valuable as your brand. It’s wise to choose a reliable and mature registrar rather than an emerging one just to save $1 or less, otherwise it’s only penny-wise but pound-foolish.
Twists and Turns
5 years later WebStrikeSolutions was sold to EasyCGI. Since I used rewrite software to make my websites’ URLs search engine friendly but EasyCGI didn’t support this rewrite software, I switched to Applied Innovations after a short time with EasyCGI.
I eventually decided to switch to the Linux platform when I found blogging systems’ instantaneity was tailored for search engine optimization and WordPress became perfect.
It was worthwhile to make the once and for all decision to switch to the Linux platform, power my websites with WordPress, switch the database, and use .htaccess to redirect URLs, because I could concentrate on blogging thereafter.
Pleasant Time with BlueHost
I was with BlueHost, a WordPress recommended host. The company offered the first year of new domain registration free through its sister company FastDomain, an ICANN accredited domain registrar.
This time I made sure that I had direct access to the domain control panel and that I was the administrative contact.
Almost everything was perfect with BlueHost. The only problems were the power outages that happened sometimes in Utah, where BlueHost’s servers were located. That’s why I started looking for a new home for my websites, keeping in mind my twin priorities of uptime and server speed.
Actually, I kept renewing my domains with BlueHost even after I moved to InMotionHosting. My domains were perfectly fine with BlueHost. I only transferred them to GoDaddy a few years later just for convenience. The transfer process was much smoother than I expected.
My Current Home—InMotionHosting
I have hosted my websites with InMotionHosting for quite a while. It grabbed my heart with its Max Speed Zone technology. I can’t say that it’s perfect; but after all those years’ trouble, my expectations have become realistic. I know my ideal, perfect match only exists in my imagination and I should learn to be content with what I have now.
Since I have registered my domains with GoDaddy, and host my websites with InMotionHosting separately, I point my domains’ name servers to InMotionHosting’s servers.
Make an Informed Decision
You can read webhosting reviews by real users on WhoIsHostingThis to help you make an informed decision. Its awesome comparison tool can help you compare data by user review score, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and price.
InMotionHosting is its top recommended host for VPS hosting. If you’ve outgrown or will outgrow shared hosting, InMotionHosting is your fast, scalable, and affordable one-stop solution.
BlueHost is the third top recommended host on WhoIsHostingThis.
I don’t have experiences with SiteGround, which is the top recommended host on WhoIsHostingThis. Since my experiences match with the WhoIsHostingThis recommendations, SiteGround is probably a pretty good choice for start-ups and shared hosting.