HOSTED WEBSITES AND MANAGED DOMAINS

STATUS AND RISK

I register several domains and host a variety of websites on a server called DigitalFundi which I rent from SingleHop in Chicago at a cost exceeding USD$200 per month.  Until now this cost has been covered by my paying clients, but these have all gone, and I’m covering the cost myself.

I plan to move all my websites to a cheaper set-up, probably hosted by Krystal in the UK.

I also plan to charge for hosting a website, at a rate equivalent to that charged by Krystal for hosting a single site; £50 a year. (see their Amethyst plan)

I have no plans to charge for my time for supporting your site.  I see it as a form of contribution to the community.

This is an opportunity for you to evaluate the risk that at some point I will no longer be able to look after your domains and websites, and your organisation must be able to look after its own assets so that you are prepared in the event that I “fall under a bus”,

WEBSITES

Your four options, if I am hosting one of your websites:

1. DO NOTHING

I will start charging from 1 Oct, and will migrate your site to a new server (at a time of my choosing) and carry on supporting it as I do now.

However, this is an opportunity for you to think about your website, how it is hosted, managed and paid for, and how supported, bearing in mind the proverbial risk that I might “fall under a bus”.  If and when that happens you will need to sort your website out with no help from me, obviously, so this is an opportunity for you to take control now.

2. TRANSFER TO A CHOICE OF YOUR OWN HOST
– continue with my support

You open your own hosting account.  I recommend Krystal Amethyst (other are available), and give me the login details and I will arrange the transfer and continue with supporting as now.  The difference is that you are responsible for paying for, and renewing, the hosting costs and you also have control of the account and can change passwords and grant access to whoever you wish to provide support.  Useful for when  I “fall under a bus”.

3. TRANSFER TO A CHOICE OF YOUR OWN HOST
– find someone else to support the website

As above for opening a hosting account.  But if you have found someone else to look after the site (and maybe redesign it at the same time), then I ask that you get them to carry out the transfer to the new site – I will help as appropriate.

4. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT

You may decide you no longer need a website, or you may be part of a national organisation that gives you the option of hosting pages about your organisation.  It’s up to you, but please decide quickly so I don’t move your account unnecessarily.

DOMAINS

In many ways your domain name is your most important asset.  Without it you have no website and no email addresses.  It is set to point to a server where your website is hosted.

All the domain names I register on your behalf are held with GoDaddy. I can continue with this, and will charge you at cost for each renewal.

Even if you take the Do Nothing option for your website, I recommend that you or your organisation create a GoDaddy account and we transfer your domain to that account.  You become responsible for paying the cost of, and renewing your domain name, and can control the settings.

All the time I am able, providing you share login details, I’m happy to continue making sure the domain settings are correct - usually this just measn making sure it's pointing to the correct name servers for the web host. But it means that you have full control if I am not available.

Other domain registrars are available if you don’t want to use GoDaddy, but transferring a domain will be slightly more complicated.

EMAILS

Domain related Emails

Most of my hosted accounts have a few email addresses setup, mainly for forwarding, but some as "real" mailboxes. If these are POP3 accounts, the master emails are held on your PC. If they are IMAP acounts, the master emails will be on the server. Please note that I have never offered back-up for email accounts and have always recommended a POP3 setup.

If you are taking option 1 or 2, and are making extensive use of the server for storing emails, then we will need to discuss the best options, and I reserve the right to charge for any storage required.

If you take option 3 or 4 for your hosting you will need to remember to make a plan for your email settings and accounts.

Emails for Account Management

If and when you register your own account for domains or hosting, it is best to use an email address not associated with your domain, e.g. a GMail account. This means that if there is a problem with hosting, a message can be sent which should still reach you. Ideally use an email address associated with your organisation rather than with an individual. This provides continuity when responsible indiviuals within an organisation change. You just need to transfer access to the email account, rather than have register a new email address with the various providers.

David Marsh
28 Aug 2018