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4 Steps to Leave a Bad Web Host … Plus Some Jokes

  • Hosting Industry

Having problems with your hosting company? This article will take a look at how to go about the switch. Of course it’s not so tough to sign up with a new provider (in fact … I, uh, well, I think I know of one), but first you have to know how to leave. We will keep it as simple as possible, with a 4-step plan to jump over to another hosting service.

We will take a look at why you specifically might want to leave Go Daddy – because there are a slew of reasons listed not just in the blogosphere but in mainstream media (and take them or leave them – I will just review and assess those arguments). First, I will cover those reasons. Then I will get into the specific how-to content of how to leave any host that is giving you a headache.

Additionally, since we are looking at web hosts, this seems to be a great opportunity to also look at other types of hosts – no reason to leave them out. I will briefly examine other hosting situations and how you can walk out the door without getting hurt or arrested (common problem when drunkenly leaving a cocktail part host). I’ll go ahead and start with parasitic relationships.

For Parasites: Why & How to Leave Hosts

You want to leave any parasitic interaction you are in because that’s just not nice – and I believe you are, at heart, a good-natured hookworm. Simply detach yourself from the intestinal lining. I know the blood tastes good, but you may cause anchylostomiasis, so please return to the contaminated produce from whence you came.

Why Leave Go Daddy? An Even-Handed Review

Even though I have heard complaints about Go Daddy over the years, I was honestly a little surprised when I just Googled, “How to Leave a Bad Host.” What popped up was a 50/50 mix between general how-to pieces and ones specifically targeting Go Daddy, including an incredibly harsh piece from Forbes.

In fact, there’s even a registrar out there that is so specifically anti-Go Daddy, they will help customers switch from the company to anyone, including their competition. Why is the Internet giant so unpopular, and how can you switch to something better? Well, let’s take a look – and I will be as fair as I can with this:

Why Leave Go Daddy (per Forbes)?

  1. Questionable Advertising: Some have complained that Go Daddy’s advertising is sexually objectifying to women, as with backlash for its Super Bowl ad covered by CNN. However, it’s interesting to note that behind the advertising is a female executive, which makes that argument more complicated.
  2. Bob Parsons, The Elephant Hunter: The founder and executive chairman of Go Daddy was himself targeted (by wildlife lovers) when he posted a video of himself killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. Now, if you want the other side of this, Parsons did explain why the shooting was a good thing. Many, though, weren’t hearing it: Consumerist reported that 20,000+ domains left in protest.
  3. Front-Runner on the Web: You may have heard the claims that Go Daddy purchases domain names searched by visitors to their site and then raises the price to increase their profits. An executive at Go Daddy claimed they never “front-run” or “domain-hijack” (the practice of grabbing domains and inflating) because they have SSL encryption on their site. Hm … I don’t see any https on their homepage, where you can conduct searches, so that’s a bizarre claim (granted, searching when logged in would encrypt with SSL – so no front-running of logged-in customers at least). However, Network Solutions and various other organizations have been faulted for the same practice; and who knows, maybe they’re honest about their non-participation in this practice.
  4. The company initially supported the US’s 2011 Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which Internet freedom activists viewed as a thinly veiled attempt at censorship. To be fair, the company then twice revoked their support of the bill. However, many rejected their change of heart over the legislation and continued with their planned “Dump Go Daddy” Day in December of the same year. Unfortunately for those involved, the boycott did not pan out as advocates would have hoped.
  5. I Feel a Bit Insecure: In September 2012, Anonymous was (originally) credited for mounting an attack on Go Daddy that pushed the majority of its hosted websites and email off the Web and back to the Pony Express days. It turns out  (if Go Daddy’s own claim is valid) that a supposed member of Anonymous may have actually punked the media with this one. Go Daddy’s interim CEO at the time blamed the denials of service on “a series of internal network events that corrupted router tables” and said the problem would not recur. Either way, their customers were not happy, as evidenced by the “mentions” directly below their tweet on the subject several hours into the debacle.

That covers why Go Daddy may be worth leaving, from Forbes’ perspective. Now, when you look back over all of those reasons, frankly and fairly, they are not wholly convincing – at least not functionally. They may be convincing ethically of course. Lifehacker provides a service/usability comment that is worth mentioning if you could care less about Internet legislation, elephants, and gender equality. The site complains of Go Daddy’s “cumbersome control panel and restrictive service,” along with pointing out that its service is not as cost-effectiveness as its reputation might imply and that the signup process is unnecessarily complicated.

Lifehacker may not be entirely even-handed because that site and others have aggressively gone after Go Daddy for its initial stance on the Web liberty bill. However, if you have become frustrated with the hosting giant for whatever reason, or any other hosting company out there, feel free to tell us why below – or why you think they’re great, if you must :) … For now, let’s look at the specifics of how you go about removing yourself from a hosting environment you don’t like.

For Drunken Partygoers: Why & How to Leave Hosts

Often, when we are heavily intoxicated, we are not clearheaded enough to leave a soirée gracefully. Instead, when the host kicks us to the curb, we wander off down the road, knocking on the neighbors’ doors and asking if they have anything to mix with a half-empty handle of vodka. The answer is simple, really: any party you go to, always leave a carton of orange juice in your car. Done. And remember, that’s not just your car: it’s also your bedroom tonight (but not your bathroom – that ruins upholstery).

How to Leave a Bad Host, in 4 Steps

Here is a list of basic steps and considerations to follow when leaving a hosting company that you have determined is not for you:

  1. Registrar & Hosting Account Control: First, let’s a take a quick look at domain ownership and control of the site. When owners of businesses entrust a third party (such as a web designer) to purchase, set up, and administer a website for their business, it can lead to unforeseen problems. The domain is how all your business’s visitors know how to find you, and the domain registrar will respect its relationship with whoever bought the domain – whether or not that is you. In other words, you need to come to terms with the third party or hire an attorney if you aren’t the official owner. Similarly, the hosting account is where all the files for your website are stored. You want entry, of course, prior to any transfer.
  2. Find a New Host: When you want to leave a host you no longer want to use, you of course need to find an alternative – a new home for your site, which could be us. Make sure you find a host that has numerous third-party checks of quality-control and expertise, as we do http://www.superb.net/why-us/certifications.php. You also may want to review our articles explaining what each credential involves: ITIL certification, SSAE-16 auditing, and compliance with ISO 9001:2008.
  3. Route from Domain to Host: (**Note: It’s very important that prior to taking this step, you have backed up all the files from your old host – if you truly don’t have access to the account or are otherwise unable to use the old hosting service’s system. You can simply – though far from perfectly –back up your site by taking two steps from your Web browser: 1. Clicking on “File” > “Save Page As” on each page; and 2. Right-clicking each image on the page and selecting “Save Image As.”) You need the domain for your site to point to the new hosting service. Essentially, you will log in to the registrar account and set new servers that you are pointing the domain toward. When Internet users type your site’s address into their Internet browser, it will be transposed by DNS servers into the correct IP address for your site. That IP address is the server on which your site’s files are located. Once you make this change, you make the old host obsolete. The domain name will no longer point to the old server(s) and the files that are contained on that equipment.
  4. Design and Publish the New Site: This process is the same as when you originally created the site, hopefully much easier this time around. You already should have all the files and pages; you just need to re-upload them to the new hosting account. Of course this is a step you may want to perform – full design of the new site so that it’s ready for action – prior to redirecting the domain to the new hosting company. Also, you may want to make the move during the early morning hours so that it has as little impact on your business as possible.

For Fetuses: Why & How to Leave Hosts (Wombs)

All right, listen up, third-term fetuses: it’s time to start making preparations. Do not fear, this is going to be great. There’s a whole world out there, filled with sunshine and laughter and people staring at you and telling you you’re cute (don’t let them freak you out – they mean well). Exit through the front door. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Just wait patiently. Your host will soon be pushing you out. Go ahead and cry if you want … but overall, be calm, and get ready for some motherly love. (There’s also potential for some awful stuff out there, but let’s focus on the positive for now.)

Conclusion

So, leaving a bad host is not all that difficult. It’s a simple process. You just need to make sure that you have everything in place and ready to go when you make the transition. Review the quality of your new hosting service carefully. We believe we are the best web host in the world, and we want you to choose us. However, whether you choose us or not, we hope your new choice for hosting works out well. Good luck, and carry on.

by Kent Roberts and Richard Norwood

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