Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moving domains from 1 and 1 to NameCheap

Every time I think of a new "killer start-up" website idea I rush to to find that perfect .com domain name that maybe - just maybe - is still unregistered.  Normally I'm disappointed to find that almost every combination of relavent keywords was registered by domain squatters years ago.  I end up with some mediocre name with far too many letters and maybe the odd hyphen or two.  But I register them anyway.

Previously I used because ... well they were cheap - like 8.99 (now 10.99).  But unfortunately there are other costs: my time, my sanity and full rights to use my domain how I need.

Firstly, the user interface for their admin console seems to have been carefully designed to enrage its users.  Trying to do any simple task involves checking boxes and selecting obscure menu items and then waiting... maybe it will happen, maybe it won't.  Cancelling anything is virtually impossible.  Transferring your domain to another host is less fun than putting a hot poker up your pee hole.

But the biggest aggravation is that their DNS system does not let you define a wild card subdomain like *  When I build a website I like to have several versions live for clients to check out such as and  Also, a cool new feature of Google App Engine (GAE) is that it will map application versions to subdomains automatically.  So if I put a new version live "2012-11-28" I can see it at without any extra configuration.

But not with  Oh no.  In fact they limit you to making 5 subs domains on all of your domains.  If you have 20 domains with them you can still only create 5 subdomains between all of them.  Pathetic really.  They do this to force you to buy a more expensive package that allows you to use your own damn domain name how you bloody well like.  Infuriating.  If only they had a warning on their home page: "We are cheap but we will shaft you eventually"

So I googled about a bit for a good, cheap, popular domain host and came to NameCheap.  I'm pretty happy with that choice so far.  The UI is a bit dated but does everything I need without the hair-pulling-out.

The price is right too - I paid 8.69 USD for each transfer for a year including privacy protection.  That was using some discount code I pinched off the web SWITCH2NC that gives 1 dollar off.

Now I am happily all transferred over to NameCheap and it was a breeze.  Wild card subdomains are F.A.B.

So its cheaper and better.  The end.

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