How many times have you had to change hosting companies? For your sake and your sanity I hope the answer is never.
Your website is your digital life. Be it business or a personal blog your website needs to be easily accessible to you at all times to make any changes you may require, from a content, programming or design aspect. And this is normally the case. Most web hosting providers give you a litany of easy to use frontends and desktops with which to manage your site.
Most provide easy FTP access as well. But what happens when you find yourself at the mercy of an unscrupulous service provider who tells you everything you want to hear when signing up but drops the hammer on you when you want to move on?
This unfortunately is more common than you would think and more common than is acceptable. Many low cost web hosting providers have absolutely stupendous rates which they use to lure you in. Once you’re signed on that’s when the fun begins. If you never have a problem or need support then hooray for you. But oh heaven help you if you need tech support with these budget providers. The first cost cutting measure is to lose any telephone support.
I don’t mean some support I mean ALL of it. There’s not a phone number listed anywhere. If you do find one it rings into a voicemail box of the janitor’s office. If he picks up the phone he doesn’t speak English. If you speak his native tongue then he’ll quickly switch to something else. If you speak every language they switch to binary. You laugh but I’m serious. Your only assured way to contact these companies is through email. By assured way I mean hitting send over and over on message after message, opening one support ticket after another. When the reply finally comes it is written by a person whose writing classes stopped sometime before third grade, in Afghanistan. Oh and they aren’t even replying to your original problem. They are responding to your email asking why they haven’t responded.
So you’ve now decided, after much gnashing of teeth and strewn obscenities, to move your website over to another hosting provider who has better support staffed by people from the planet earth (or one of its close neighbors at the least). My advice is to start the process early. It took me nearly three months to move my site from one of these bottom feeders. Not only do you deal with the standard issues we’ve already discussed but you get to see an entirely new level of scumbaggery.
While fighting with the provider to free my site, which they locked to their domain servers, my domain registration ran out. They then proceeded to register my domain name, helpfully they claimed, so no one could snatch it out from under me. They were more than willing to hand it over for a small fee of $ 100.
Moral of the story is don’t be cheap. You get what you pay for. A domain stealing janitor from the planet X.