I Made the Move to NameCheap

Date Tue, July 1 2014

If you’ve been paying attention to this blog or Facebook or Twitter, then you’ll know how frustrated I was with the Web host I was using. After reviewing their services, I experienced a period of down time for almost 24 hours (coincidence? God, I hope so!). I missed it because I as out of town for the night.  It took over an hour for them to fix the issue and credit my account for one month, but I was already done.

I had been thinking about moving to Namecheap, where I am an affiliate. One of my domains was also expiring, so I renewed that as well.

It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but I was probably more frustrated than the situation warranted. Here’sa rundown of what I did.

Both 7and1.net and reviewsbycole.com were already registered with Namecheap. I immediately noticed there was no way to log in to cPanel through the Namecheap dashboard, which is not at all integrated with cPanel. There are a few options replicated between cPanel and the Namecheap dashboard. This frustrated me, especially because I’d never before used the same company to register domains and for hosting. I found the info, which included a randomly-generated username that I will never  remember in my email. I finally signed in to my cPanel.

I began the process of archiving and downloading content for each of my subdomains and, finally, my personal blog itself. After I unpackaged everything in my new hosting space, I noticed that there was no handy instant-access URL. I searched for what it should be, but found out that Namecheap doesn’t provide one. Queue my first chat with tech support, who told me I could edit my host file or purchase a dedicated IP. I opted for the former, which worked but is totally unnecessary.

Once I uploaded La Galerie, it worked fine, and I knew it would once I went live.

I opted to install Lyrical Musings next because it’s my smallest blog. Files uploaded fine but I ran into an issue with redirecting, and I knew it was a WordPress issue. When I went to check options in my database, I realized it hadn’t uploaded at all. IO figured I’d forgotten, but I tried to upload it twice and it just wasn’t working. I made another backup from my old host, this time without any compression. That worked. For some reason, PHPMyAdmin was having trouble with its own compression. Lyrical Musings began to work and a quick saving of permalinks was all that was needed.

I repeated the process for my personal blog, which went off without a hitch when I was previewing the site. Then, I headed back to my dashboard to change the nameservers over to namecheap and clicked what seemed like the right button to switch DNS back to them. A few moments later, my site was showing up and pinging that it had switched to Namecheap’s servers. During this process, I realized email wasn’t working, however. Queue the second time I went to tech support to ask why . This was a very frustrating experience because the staff member didn’t understand what I was asking and actually told me to buy hosting, which was the very reason I was there! I saw a new option in my control panel to have email switched over, so I clicked it and asked if this would solve the problem.

I waited for my blog to show up, but suddenly a Namecheap placeholder appeared. I contacted tech support for a third time who explained to me that, no, I didn’t want to switch DNS to them. Instead, I was supposed to click to use  custom nameservers and then choose the option to use Namecheap’s nameservers. I.. don’t know why. This seems a little confusing. Once I did this, my domain propagated in a few minutes, however.

With those kinks worked out, I was ready to transfer the behemoth: Reviews by Cole. I uploaded the archive — the largest by far — and unpacked it without issue. I changed a few settings in the config file, and I was ready to switch over to Namecheap. This time, I knew which option to select and it was done in a few moments with absolutely no downtime or email issues.

I was frustrated during the process because of Namecheap’s awkward dashboard, and not everything was a intuitive as it should be. However, it’s done, and I’ve already noticed some perks because of it. You may notice that Reviews by Cole is running more quickly.

Anyway, I’ll return to  regularly scheduled (or hurriedly written!) posts tomorrow!

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