As I was browsing around for some new and exciting Christmas web hosting offers, I found an interesting offer… well, rather an interesting page with an offer. I stumbled on it on Friday and since I already have an account with this hoster, decided to pursue other matters. Today, when I checked on it – it still there. Amazing, isn’t it?
If you, however, still interested – you may even sign up with Dreamhost using our promo code: ZEALUS200812. You’ll get a free domain while you’re at it.
Running your company’s web site doesn’t really require .com domain. However, for marketing purposes, .com domain is almost a necessity, since most people are so much used to all domain names ending in .com (unless you are running del.icio.us, but that’s whole another story and you wouldn’t need an advice in such a case). One of our clients is running a web site with .us domain (actually, he’s the only client who has a non-dot-com domain, as far as I know), but he is marketing to a different niche and in a different way.
In the early days of .biz and .info these TLDs were offered at a huge discount, or even for free. A lot of fraudsters, scammers and spammers have grabbed nice looking domains in those zones which led to the common perception of these domains as “knock-offs”, “fakes” or businesses in third-world countries that shouldn’t be trusted. Currently it’s not exactly true, but that’s what we usually hear from prospective clients when choosing domain name for their web sites.
.COM is a must if you are running E-commerce web site. I would also suggest same approach if you are running web hosting business. There are a lot of aftermarket names you can snatch for a very low fee (we also have some hosting domains for sale). If that’s too expensive – your business model must be wrong.
Beginning this year I grabbed couple of special hosting deals with Netfirms. I was attracted by low cost and ability to run PHP4, PHP5 and .NET all under same account. As I spent more and more time trying to figure out why the heck a bunch of familiar and well-worked out scripts wouldn’t run on Netfirm’s hosting platform I came to know how messed up the whole deal was. Tech support responded to my e-mail after 4 days (I already forgot I filed a ticket). Performance was iffy at best – sometimes on par with my home-run server, sometimes way slower. ASP.NET application that runs without any tweaking on my company’s internal server failed to start in seemingly similar environment on Netfirms. You think I could use their tech support? Yeah, right.
So couple of days ago, as both my domain and account were reaching expiration date, I decided to move out. Transferring domain was the easiest, so I did this as soon as I have made the decision. Canceling account, however, is a much more difficult task. First of all – there is no way you can cancel from your control panel. And, there is no way of canceling via e-mail request to support. The only way to cancel the account with Netfirms is to call their toll-free number (I don’t want this idea to really get out, but I was expecting a 900- number) between 9am and 5pm EST and request the cancellation over the phone. Let me check what year is this? Right, still 2007.
Generally, I wouldn’t go over such a routine task as canceling some online service unless there was some incentive. Well, the incentive is as follows – nowhere on Netfirms’ web site nor in their knowledge base does it say how to cancel the account. While doing the digging I stumbled upon someblogs that describe exactly same problems with Netfirms I was facing – poor service, non-existent customer service, hard-to-find cancellation procedure.
However, I don’t see anyone at Netfirms to care. They seem to be overly busy taking new sign ups.