Site Outage

Under the subheading of ‘Why is this hard?’, I decided to transfer my domain to a new registrar, going from SOPA-loving, outage-prone Godaddy to what seemed to be highly rated (and much cheaper) 1&1. This was, by the way, mostly prompted by the exorbitant rates Godaddy wanted to charge me for renewal, something like $40 per domain per year. Anyhow, what I expected was a relatively rapid move, followed by 15 minutes or so of downtime while I set up DNS at the new provider. What actually happened was that Godaddy swiftly kicked the transfer through, while 1&1 took almost 24 hours (and would have likely taken longer had I not gotten impatient and sent a few choice emails to support). Here’s a good link describing the same general issue as told by someone else. This is apparently common.
Then, it turned out that 1&1 had perhaps the worst DNS control panel I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of REALLY bad ones). Almost any change you make takes 30 minutes to complete, the options are really limited, and somewhat confusing even if you know DNS well (I can’t image what it’s like for most folk). Also, the support is pretty bad. Not Verizon bad, but still pretty far off of acceptable. In the end, I just redirected DNS to a zone I built (for free, I might add) over on, which I am so far very happy with.
In short, if you are looking for a registrar, I would suggest you steer clear of 1&1. And if you don’t, then set up your DNS zone ahead of time, prepare your readers for an outage, and forward your DNS ASAP after the transfer.

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