Domain Shenanigans: Updated

Posted by Shawn Parr on |

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Years ago I registered several domain names, including this one, with a great company called Server Central. I had both hosting and domain registration and it always worked great. Eventually they spun their consumer level hosting and domain registration off into its own company, WingSix. Things continued smoothly.

In the intervening years however WingSix was bought out, merged, etc, and things got a bit sketchier. Now it is under Westhost, part of the UK2 Group. During those transitions there was a meltdown on the server where my VPS was hosted and both the redundancy and backups failed, and my old site went offline forever. Luckily most of the content was well out of date so i considered it a an irritation but not a huge loss. At that time I switched from using hosting to self hosting at home with a static IP address, and put up the previous version of my site using Wordpress.

Time has marched on, and due to shenanigans with dealing with Westhost over the hosting issues I decided to look at new registrars when getting a domain for a new project. I ended up going with NameCheap as the price was okay, they have a good reputation for support, and their control panel is pretty much straight to the point. Since I have a new domain there I decided to try to transfer one of my other domains over to see how the process would go. Turns out there are more shenanigans ahead.

As is typical there is a registrar lock on the domains, which I have to remove before I can transfer them. However unlike most companies that include this in the domain control panel I've discovered the WestHost requires emailing a specific address and making the request that way. In addition it has been so long since I've configured my domains that I apparently can't remember the passwords to their domain control panels. For some reason they aren't managed directly within the Westhost main system. Even if this is because of their long history Westhost probably should have brought them into an integrated system. If there was a way I was supposed to do this I was never given the option. I clicked the link to reset my password and low and behold it fills out a form to send an email to a human being, so I have to wait for that to happen. It did take less than an hour (an hour? in 2013?? for a password reset???) and instead of doing a reset they emailed my password to me in clear text. I'm starting to feel like my domains are under siege.

I'm not sure which side this issue falls on, but during the transfer process NameCheap also states they can't determine the Administrative email address. I do have this set properly in the domain control panel, and with my general Westhost account, and running whois on my computer shows my name and email address, so I wonder if this is actually a NameCheap issue.

Well now I'm waiting to find out how to get the registrar lock removed. Wish me luck, likely I'll need it.

UPDATE 1/16/13: My domains are free.