At this point, all I can say is that I have been through several days of pure hell moving this blog to NameCheap Hosting from HostGator.
And a word of advice, avoid NameCheap.
The reason I went with them in the first place was because I really liked the company. They became known for Domain Registration and when GoDaddy started shutting down the domains of political bloggers because they do not agree with their opinions, NameCheap had a “Move Your Domain Day” and GoDaddy lost a lot of business. I wrote this post on the event 3 1/2 years ago. And I encouraged as many people as I could tell to avoid GoDaddy because of their censorship policies, something that NameCheap is adamantly against.
Now let me just state for the purists, we are not talking about hosting a controversial blog. We are only talking about registering the domain. This is the equivalent of calling 411 to get a phone number for someone and the operator refusing to give you the number because they support something the operator is against. The Domain registration simply means the name of the website – the URL if you wish. The actual host can have terms of service and the blogger can be shut down for violating that, but that is just the server. All he need do is get another host that does not object to his content and point his domain at the new host. Pretty easy. But GoDaddy confiscated the Domain Name. And they are only the agent, not the actual owner of the Domain.
As far as I know, GoDaddy no longer censors people. But I no longer use the for my Domain registration.
And as far as internet services, there were no companies I held in higher regard than NameCheap. Until this week.
It was not that I was particularly unhappy with HostGator. But I have a dedicated server. For those that don’t know, what that means is that the server is mine to do with pretty much as I please. Shared hosting is much cheaper, but you share the server with dozens or even hundreds of other users. So the server admins are always shutting you down if you start getting a lot of hits – because it slows the rest of the users websites down quite a bit. After several times when I was getting a lot of hits and seeing my server host take me down – usually when there is a big story or a big election in progress – I had to bite the bullet and go with a dedicated. And the cost is very high – HostGator’s lowest price on a dedicated is $174 per month.
So when I saw an ad for NameCheap hosting, I checked it out. And it turns out that the server is much cheaper there. But they don’t come with the administrative interface I like – WHM / cPanel – but you add $25 per month for that. So taking the same basic server on Namecheap I had at HostGator and adding $25 per month for the software, it would work out to less than $100 per month. A $75 per month savings.
But I opted for a better server, more RAM, disk space and CPU cores and speed. And I am still saving $50 per month.
And they would migrate the entire server over for free, and do it when I schedule it.
How good is that?
So last Tuesday night at Midnight (really Wednesday morning) they did the migration as I slept. So when I got up Wednesday AM, it was all completed. Sweet!
Except there were a number of problems. Some I expected. For one, it takes time – 24 to 72 hours – for the new IP addresses to make their way around the internet. It usually doesn’t REALLY take but a few minutes for it to mostly work, with some slower issues.
But this was really more than that. It was totally screwed up.
And it should be noted here that they do not have a phone number you can call, but they offer a “Live Chat”. HostGator has both options and I usually go for the chat session because you can copy and paste info rather than try to speak cryptic passwords and such.
So after a 15 or 20 minute chat session trying to find out what was wrong, the person told me I had to contact my hosting people.
YOU ARE MY FREAKING HOSTING PEOPLE!!!!
I finally realized that if you have an actual problem, you just open a ticket. Unlike HostGator, where the person on the other end of the chat actually IS the tech support person and can resolve your problems, not so with NameCheap. The chat people are technically useless. The best they can do is tell you to open a ticket and wait.
And wait. And wait.
And the support person that finally gets the ticket seems to blow you off right off the bat. Wait 72 hours.
But this was not simply an issue of your new information making it’s way through all of the servers in the world. It was more than that. Really weird stuff was happening.
So after a couple of tickets with no resolution, I began digging into it myself.
And after a full day of fighting it, I realized that they had failed to put in the new nameserver IP addresses. And for a Domain Registrar to miss that…
So then I found out that my varight database was corrupted in the migration process. I tried to repair the database with a software utility and it slowed the server to a complete stop. I tried to reboot it and the request to reboot just sat and sat. So I opened a ticket for them to reboot the server manually.
But instead of rebooting it, they told me the server had high CPU usage (like I didn’t know that already) and said it was probably a DDOS attack.
All I wanted was for them to reboot so I could restore from backup.
Eventually the server rebooted and I did a restore. But I still had a corrupted database. And in looking at the issue myself, because I had no confidence in NameCheap and frankly, my blood pressure couldn’t take any more. It turns out that the backup I used to restore from was done after the migration – the time zones were completely different. So I went back a day and did another restore. This one worked!
But during the chat session that I kept open for a couple of hours, I told the person that if this didn’t work, I would just go back to HostGator and use the 14 day money back guarantee their website shows. And she informed me that it didn’t apply to dedicated servers and sent me a link to the fine print. It seems it doesn’t apply to anything, really. So there is not money back guarantee if you are not happy.
Blood pressure rising again.
But I have everything working again. I think. But I learned enough about NameCheap Hosting to tell my friends and fellow bloggers to stay away. They have really poor support, essentially no money back guarantee and the “chat” feature is completely useless. And I had to wait over an hour for my ticket to be picked up by a tech support person who was completely unhelpful.
And I am pretty sure their 100% uptime guarantee will prove to be just as worthless as their 14 day money back guarantee.
I’m staying for now and I am extremely unhappy with NameCheap. The main reason I am staying is that I don’t want to go through this migration process again.
And I just got this response to my ticket:
We have reviewed Support history regarding the matter and we feel that we owe you our deepest apologies for the inconvenience you experienced.
Please rest assured that such issues are very rare and we do our best to resolve them once identified.
We value our relationship and thus we decided to provide you with a discount of 5% on the upcoming renewal in appreciation of your patronage.
Again, please accept our sincere apologies for this matter.
We look forward to working with you in a cordial and positive atmosphere again soon.
Technical Support Team
So $5 for 3 days of headaches. I suppose that covers most of the Advil. And we will see.
But for anyone considering moving to NameCheap – I would urge you to find another host or prepare for the worst. And that is based entirely on my experience.
Article written by: Tom White