If you are familiar with web hosting, you probably know of the two mainstream platforms: Windows and Linux. Most shared web hosts offer Linux hosting due to the low cost and low maintenance, but there are also shared and dedicated hosts that offer Windows and even Mac hosting options. When selecting one of these options, it could get confusing, so I’m going to help you understand which platform is best for you. (more…)
If you visited Omega Web yesterday afternoon, you would have noticed an outage due to changing web hosts. I recently switched over to Host Gator for a couple of reasons and I sure hope I am here to stay. To recap, I purchased my first web hosting plan from FatCow in January of this year. I was happy with FatCow until they screwed me in June by suspending my websites for having “too many requests to the server.” I had to act fast, so I went to a company I knew and trusted, which is GoDaddy. (more…)
After posting about how to connect your custom domain email address to Microsoft’s Outlook.com service, I noticed that I forgot to mention why you should do this. I use GoDaddy for my web hosting and I feel that their email packages are lacking features, overpriced, and slow. I finally decided to use Outlook.com instead and it’s working much better for me – and it’s free.
Some Hosts Charge Extra For Email
In the case of GoDaddy, some web hosts charge you extra money to use their email services. When I was hosting with FatCow, unlimited IMAP email addresses were included with your hosting for free, but GoDaddy charges a fee per month for the smallest plan that includes one email address, 1GB of storage, and only supports POP3. To upgrade to IMAP services, it’ll cost you $3.19 per month extra.
Microsoft Exchange Is Outrageous
The alternative to using GoDaddy’s email services is to opt for Microsoft Exchange. I have used Exchange for about three months in the past and it has wonderful features – email is instant, calendars stay in sync, contacts are on all devices, and I never feared of an email getting lost out in cyberspace. The only problem with Microsoft Exchange is that it costs $8.49 per month for a single email address. This price is way too expensive for an email plan that basically does the same thing as Gmail or iCloud.
GoDaddy’s Email Is Slow and Spotty
After using GoDaddy’s email service for about three months, I think it’s safe to say that it is very slow. When I try sending large files (using Apple’s Mail client, not the GoDaddy webmail), it would often take many minutes to send or simply time out. This is not the kind of service I want to pay almost $40 a year for.
Outlook.com and Google Apps Are Free
What many bloggers and web designers don’t know is that services like Outlook.com and Google Apps allow you to use their servers and it’s absolutely free. Google Apps functions the same way Gmail does and includes unlimited emails, IMAP support, and more. Outlook is Microsoft’s newly-launched web email service and they plan to add IMAP support in the near future.
If you are planning to sign up for web hosting, I would advise you to read the fine print before you confirm your order. Like any large business, web hosting companies are going to try to squeeze as much profit as they can from each customer, no matter if they are being fair or not.
As I have written about my personal experiences with FatCow before, I am not a happy customer. They suspended my websites without warning, they wouldn’t help me when I asked them why they were suspended, and now when I go to cancel my account, there’s a $35 “early cancellation fee” that I have to pay for.
Nothing Is Unlimited
When you visit FatCow’s homepage, they flash information about “unlimited” storage space, “unlimited” bandwidth, and “free” services. The main reason I chose FatCow is because they offered unlimited web hosting for about $40 a year, which is pretty cheap compared to GoDaddy, Host Gator, and some other popular web hosting companies.
The only problem with “unlimited” is when it’s not actually unlimited. If you are overloading the server that your website is hosted on, they will simply remove it from the Internet. Server overloads can be caused by corrupt programs, an influx in traffic, or many people posting on forums, blog comments, or another program that sends requests to the web server. If you truly had unlimited bandwidth, server overloads would be nonexistent.
“Free” Is The New Trial Version
Another thing that FatCow tries to sell their web hosting with is all the free “extras” you get when you sign up for a plan. The extras can vary from a 1-800 phone number to Carbonite computer backups, but none of it is truly free. If you go to sign up for a service like Carbonite, you will find that you only get a small window of time where the service is free, which is technically called a trial. After, say six months, you will have to start paying for Carbonite yourself and FatCow’s “free extra” will expire.
You’re Leaving Us? There’s a Hidden Fee For That
If you ever decide to cancel your FatCow account (like I did), you will learn that they have a $35 cancellation fee. Most services have an early cancellation fee, but I feel that FatCow’s is a bit excessive. They tell customers that they can cancel the service at any time and be refunded for the remainder of the year they paid for. This sounds great, but when you only pay $40 for an entire year of web hosting, use it for six months, and then pay a $35 cancellation fee, you don’t get refunded anything.
Avoid FatCow, They’re Greedy
Before you even think about signing up for FatCow, just ask yourself if it’s worth the hassle. I know there are many customers who are probably happy with FatCow’s services, but I know I wasn’t. It’s worth finding a web host that tells you exactly how much bandwidth and storage space you get, what their policies are for cancellation, and how they operate without having to find out the hard way.
Go Daddy Auctions
Ever since I started buying and selling domain names for profit, I have experimented with different buying options. I purchased OmegaWeb.com by calling the phone number I found in the Whois contact and paying the guy with PayPal, I have experimented with purchasing domain names on eBay, and now I have officially tried out GoDaddy Auctions. On GoDaddy’s website, you can access their Auctions feature, which allows you to bid on premium domain names, expired domain names, and names that people no longer need or want. To buy or sell domain names (all names except bargains and GoDaddy closeout domains), you must have a valid GoDaddy Auctions membership.
When a domain name expires on GoDaddy (note that this is specific to GoDaddy, other registrars do it differently), they make attempts to contact the owner to renew the domain. If the owner never answers the emails after 26 days, GoDaddy will list the domain name in their “Expiring” category on the Auctions page. If nobody bids on the domain in the expiring bin, then they move it to the closeout category. To purchase a closeout domain, you do not have to pay the $5 a year membership, and most domain names are $10-20. If nobody bids on it in the closeout bin, it is officially an expired domain name and is available for anyone to register.
I recently purchased AquariumWatch.com on the GoDaddy Closeout Auctions to start a blog about aquarium keeping. It’s not the best domain name in the world, but it does have the keyword “aquarium” in the name and it’s catchy. I snagged it up for only $10, but what I didn’t realize was that you also have to pay the annual renewal fee – so it ended up being $23. The domain was registered in 2011, so it’s old, but I have no way to determine if a website was ever on the domain. As soon as the domain name expires, GoDaddy takes down the website that it was associated with and parks it… If the Wayback Machine has never archived the website, then you’re pretty much shooting in the dark with trusting that it’s an okay domain name.
Overall, I’m happy with my experience using the GoDaddy Auctions. After you pay for the domain name, they have to hold it for one week (not sure why) before releasing it to you. After the week is up, the domain name goes into your GoDaddy account for you to do whatever you want.