February has been fairly quiet for me. The market continues to seesaw, but a few companies that I have expressed interest in have been heading in a slow downward direction. JNJ comes to mind at the moment, it finished the day a bit below $100. However, I am not here to talk about stocks, but to describe what I did with my domain and hopefully give people a little primer on how things work.
What did I do?
My term for my previous host was coming to an end and I had never had trouble with the provider. My website doesn’t need any fancy functionality, but the amount that the previous provider was charging for renewal was fairly high for what I need. I shopped around a little bit and since I am relatively lazy I looked at GoDaddy first (Brand name recognition!). I had two main objectives:
- Domain Privacy
- Low cost
What is Domain Privacy?
Every website can be looked up in the Who Is Directory (whois.net). Go ahead take a look. This website can provide a lot of information about the owner of that site. This information can include:
- Geographic Location
Having this information public can potentially lead to security issues, including identity theft. This was the main issue I was concerned with. With so much available, having the above information can be used and abused by third parties. If you have Domain Privacy, then depending on your provider, they may or may not shield all of this information from public view. My name was available with my original provider, but the rest was not. However, having an individual’s name is about all you need with Google these days. Not very private if you ask me.
While I know my way around the WordPress source code, MySQL databases, HTTP servers and code necessary to get a website up and running, I don’t need or what that access. With my previous provider I could have done just about anything to the underlying server my site was running on. I never looked into any of that over the last year (with the exception of adding some security features). The price for that functionality is wasted. So I had to find a cheaper provider that does little more than provide with with a hosted WordPress install.
I had originally only planned to use GoDaddy as my domain registrar and use their Domain Privacy service. They have a setup using something called Domains By Proxy, which will keep your personal details hidden. In addition to that service they provide other features that protect your domain from harassment and spam. The process for transferring a domain took the longest. Since I had Domain Privacy on my other service I had to turn it off, transfer the domain to my control and initiate a transfer with GoDaddy. Once GoDaddy had requested the transfer, it took about 5 calendar days to complete. If this transfer is made in error you have time to cancel the transfer with your current domain registrar.
Once I had the transfer initiated, I began to look for a new home for my WordPress install.
GoDaddy Once again
I didn’t travel very far to find a new home. I looked at what GoDaddy offered in terms of hosting and they had a plan for $3.49 a month for a managed WordPress install. Basically, they take care of everything for you and all you have to do is write blog posts! This was ideal for me and I began the transfer after signing up for a 3 year term. The total cost was around $20 more expensive than a 1 year renewal at my previous hosting service.
Additionally, if your blog is small they provide a tool that you can use to read your WordPress install on your current provider and port it over to their servers. After a little work setting up the appropriate FTP accounts (File Transfer Protocol) and reducing some of the security I added, I was able to copy my entire site (files and databases) in about 10 minutes.
While my domain name was being transferred, I verified that all of the functionality still worked appropriately. GoDaddy gives you a temporary domain that looks like garbage when you transfer a site. This domain enabled me to log into my site and verify that everything made it. Easy!
Domain Transfer complete
Now that I had transferred my domain and website to my service, all I had to do was associate my website with the domain name and the domain name servers (DNS). What is DNS you ask? Every web address www.whatever.com(org, etc) is associated with an IP address. An IP address looks something like 123.456.123.145, which to most humans is gibberish. How would you feel if you had to type 18.104.22.168 into your web browser every time you wanted to search Google? And then again for each website you liked to visit, it would not be fun to surf the web! What a DNS does is associated the name of your website with the IP address it can be accessed at.
GoDaddy makes this very easy and with little effort I was able to make these changed to my managed WordPress site.
That was what I did to change my website from one provider to another. There are probably cheaper providers than GoDaddy, but they met my needs. I am pleased with the overall easier than expected transition from one hosting/domain registrar to another.
Being self sufficient was something that was important to my Grandpa. It didn’t matter what type of work it was. I hope this will help anyone else who is contemplating transferring there site/domain to another provider. The steps will largely be the same, but of course will vary.
Disclaimer: Long JNJ