Choosing the right service provider is just so important. Here's a story of something I experienced recently that really highlighted for me the problems when your provider is ... difficult to work with.

I was asked to help develop a site on a customers hosting.  This isn't normally a problem, I ask for a FTP login or access to their admin hosting panel so I can fix issues that may occur during the work. When I say 'may occur', I mean - will occur.  It's inevitable that something will go wrong and when it does, you need to be able to resolve it.

This should have been a simple request - it wasn't.  Once my client got me the details, I tried to log in via CPanel. The hosting provider preemptively blocked my IP address and told me (via a webpage) that I had been block. 

Of course, I asked them (via my client) to whitelist my IP address and was informed that they don't run a black or white list.  Yes, I was shown a webpage that said I was black listed.

All credit to the provider, they cleared the block.  So I tried to FTP in.  Nope, was blocked immediately.  This meant I couldn't even contact the hosting provider as I was blocked from their servers too - I couldn't log a fault with them. 

Given all this, my client decided to transfer to my hosting service.  

This should have been simple.  All we needed was to get a backup from the current server, upload the files, point the domain name servers to Cloudflare and voila, operational again. 

I know, I know. I'm using jargon.  The point is, for someone like me, it really is a 'follow the dots' process. 

Connecting with my client, we did a screen share session and we updated the name servers for the domain.  We saw the update save, checked the settings and I got notification the new host had the domain. 

Then ... it all stopped.  Checking, we found the hosting provider had changed the settings back.  When a ticket was lodged we were told that the DNS had to remain pointing to their hosting and we could use the zone editor on their hosting to make the changes. Which is sub ideal, as I couldn't get in.

That was a work around though and we did that.  In the meantime, we requested the domain keys for the domains we were working on so we could transfer them out to another provider who didn't have all these ridiculous restrictions. 

The response came back.  "You have to cancel the services first, then request the domain keys."

Cancelling a service, will stop the domain services working and take our website offline until the domain was transferred!  

There was nothing else for it, the cancellation was requested.  Once that had been done, we requested the domain keys.  THEN we requested the transfer.  It can take several days for a domain to transfer between registrars and there's nothing we could do but "hurry up and wait".

Eventually though, it was done.  Once the client and I had full access to their business assets (domain names), the activation of their sites on my hosting was nearly instant. 

This little saga took WEEKS and I'm now just getting to making the changes that were requested. 

Do you know who manages your domain names?

Do you know who hosts your site?

Do you have your login details for those providers?

How easily can you contact these providers? 

Remember, your domain name and hosting are business assets and should be treated carefully. 

What experiences have you had with your providers? 

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