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August 10th, 2010, 10:22 PM #1When does a hosting service go too far to protect "newbies"?
I am just about ready to scream! (actually I already did!) Sorry for this long rant but I am tired of hosting services screwing people by trying to over protect them from themselves.
Helping my friend's local PTSO (PTA) get a website up and running. She needed it "yesterday" and I recommended dotster to get a domain name. My friend accidentally bought a dotster.com hosting package along with her domain. So final decision was to just stick with them and see how it went. I was sure I was going to be impressed, but nothing can be father from the truth!
Goal was to throw up wordpress and a theme and have her do as much as she could with some tutorials I showed her, get the basic content in, and then I'd pop in and see how she was doing and help her style it and get a basic functioning site up for the first day of school. Long story short, something went amiss with a widget she added, that basically disabled the whole widget panel and I start hunting for the widgets.php file to find line 942 referred to in the error message and see what's up. Should take all of a couple minutes but NO!
I spent about 45 minutes last night hunting for files, any files, there should be an entire wordpress installation, not to mention all the files that go along with the theme installed. Made 6 different FTP logins, using their 3 different versions of options (something else i'd never seen in the 12 years i've been working with websites) - still NO files, just IMAGES folder and 2 index files in a root directory. Can you really hide an entire WP installation? I thought I must really be losing it! Went through their entire control panel, NO files but the same folder and 2 index files when you used the online file manager. Where in the sam hill did they put the wp installation? The site was still up, ugly, but up, so I knew the files were somewhere.
After sitting on hold for almost 20 minutes tonight, come to find out I am not allowed to access my own files because I used their "quick install" (not fantastico, but their own version like fantastico, which took about 10x longer than any fantastico installation i've done btw). If I had wanted to be able to see my files then "you should have installed WordPress manually". (Seriously???? Then you should have WARNED ME!)
He told me there was a way to see all my files -- by going to the same area where the install was done from, and after about 10 clicks or so, the link he said "would show me all my files" was the homepage of the website! I about fell out of my chair!
In order to access the files, tweak file permissions, upload batches of images or upload widgets or any other WP file manually, we have to escalate a ticket to the higher beings and see if they will allow us to have access to the files. (which by the way will take up to 72 hours for the lord of permissions to grant such, should he desire). Lower man on the totem pole recommends we just reinstall everything. (Nice answer! - especially when it should take all of about 2 minutes to delete a line of code at most to fix the problem)
I've seen this problem with godaddy where the permissions are so overzealous it's insane. Even a new laptop I bought came with a program to "make it so easy to access everything i need" and it is basically a control panel for dummies to link to wireless and such. It has caused me nothing but problems and after hours of trying to uninstall it finally just gave up cause you can't!
Am I the only person tired of companies who think they have to control us and protect us from ourselves that in the end only causes much bigger headaches?
I have used dotster for years for domain registration and have loved their service. Even had a domain name I had decided against renewing that showed up in my account still, 2 months or so later, and clicked on it to see just how much they'd try to get out of me to keep it months after it technically expired, as I've heard nightmares about people and expiring domains. It was the same price! After that I have recommended them wholeheartedly but now.... I am at a total loss of words!
August 10th, 2010, 10:32 PM #2
I've never been one to buy a hosting package from a domain company. I'm actually fixing to move all of my 30+ domains from Dotster -- I thought $15.95/yr was high, their upping to $16.45/yr is ridiculous. (Offtopic humorous story, I tweeted about my move (@them) in regards to the pricing. Their action? They followed me.... lol).
August 10th, 2010, 11:03 PM #3
That story is hilarious Shawn! Dotster is a little higher than many on the reregistration of domains but I've learned over the years that you do get what you pay for. I had one registrar that was in Australia and they were fine until I didn't renew until the last day, which technically had already expired in australia time so I had to pay like $30 extra dollars to get my domain name back. Couldn't even call them without trying to add international calling to my phone. I was really impressed when I was still able to get my domain back 2 months after the fact with dotster for the same $15.95. Have heard of companies charging $200-$300 to get them back.
August 10th, 2010, 11:05 PM #4
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
1and1 has the same kind of issue with their one click installs.
Sorry you had to go through this, I scream at GoDaddy whenever I have to do anything at all with the few sites *someone* (not me) still has there. (We're moving them but not as fast as I'd like, lol)Deborah Carney
TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com
August 10th, 2010, 11:11 PM #5
I always advise - "Never, never, never use your domain registrar as a host."
As far as Dotster pricing...try calling up and asking for a lower rate. Tell them you can move your domains to (Moniker or somewhere) for much less. They may give it to you. I still have a couple domains there and am paying less than GoDaddy rates (only $7.99 - have been for years.
August 10th, 2010, 11:48 PM #6
Ive never had any problems with Dotster, other than their pricing. I don't like "coupled hosting" just for the fact that if the relationship fails, you may not keep your domain. This is NOT A PROBLEM with Dotster, Godaddy, etc (the big ones) but that has been my policy since I started buying domains (10+ years ago -- that problem was WAY rampant). MANY hosting/domain companies worked like that.
But I also remember paying $30.xx+ a year for a domain with Network Solutions. But that's back 10 years ago (and they were about the only game in town). Now, $16 is just killing me.
August 11th, 2010, 12:16 AM #7
August 11th, 2010, 12:19 AM #8
After reading all of the comments. I think rather than reinstalling, I'm going to move them to my server (which was actually the original plan).
Hopefully we'll be blessed and the DNS servers will populate fast LOL
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