For the longest time, we’ve been using GoDaddy for domain names. And for primarily three reasons:
- It was I was using for my personal domain names
- It was pretty cheap, all things being equal
- Inertia (it wasn’t so unpleasant that I felt I had to move)
And yes, #1 & #3 are effectively the same reason.
That changed today. For those who might have tried to access our website this morning or tried to send us an email, it failed. What’s more, it failed ignominiously. Why would such a thing happen?
Well, because GoDaddy changed our domain name from pointing to our servers to pointing to theirs instead (you know, the ones that are plastered with advertising and oh so tasteful?). I called GoDaddy to find out what happened; it turns out our domain had not been renewed. Even though we had set the “auto-renew” flag to true, even though we had two credit cards on file which were both valid, GoDaddy elected not to renew the domain.
Their position is that the specific RE domain was not linked to the credit card, and so it lapsed. When I asked about notifications, they said, “well, we sent out an email saying your domains were expiring and you should do something about it”. Yes, they did send that email. Of course, they sent out a ton of other emails for the other domains I have with GoDaddy (all of which were set to auto-renew) and everything worked out fine for those.
The net result of this is that we are moving from GoDaddy to DNSimple. DNSimple is much more techie friendly, there’s no annoying upselling and advertising everywhere, and the rates are cheaper, if you have enough domains. Which we do.
The lesson here is that GoDaddy didn’t have to loose me as a customer. If their “your domain is expiring” email had been adeptly worded — or, even better, a dedicated email saying “your domain will expire because the financial information is incorrect” — it would have been caught and all this anguish wouldn’t have happened. But, it did and we’re moving right along.
DNSimple uses a flat rate tier structure; coupled with their rather high transfer fees and we’re going to be more in the red this year over DNS but will make back the costs on year 2 and be black there on out. But, DNSimple isn’t all peaches and cream; the transfer interface is a bit clunky, not to mention very manually intensive. Of course, if I had the copious free time, I could probably script something up using their RESTful API, but that’s actually more time consuming (coding/testing/etc — the by hand approach I can do here and there while I’m doing other things).
Another thing; we’re going to stay on GoDaddy until all the subsidary domains change over to DNSimple and we’re satisified with the stability of our configuration. We’ll probably migrate the main domain cluster over an upcoming weekend to limit any possible disruptions. Watch this space and our twitter feed for more details.