Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Planet MUDDev notification

You may receive some duplicate Planet MUDDev blog entries. This may happen when the hosting provider switches from Bluehost to Hostmonster in the next couple of days. The same software is running on the new host, and it is configured the same way, and will be available from the same address. So it should transition seamlessly, but open source price gives open source quality! :-)

The reason for the switch is that I will be moving to a location without internet access, and my existing domain name hosting was to expire on the 2nd of May. The joy of switching hosting providers and domain name registrars in preparation for this, is described here: hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Also, for those who have read this far, there should be a new Planet RoguelikeDev appearing when the switch is complete. This is intended to contain the same sort of content as Planet MUDDev, namely posts covering the process of developing a roguelike. I would have made the link work right away, but the joy of switching hosting providers and domain name registrars prevents me from doing so.

Switching website hosting and domain name registrars

I'm moving my website hosting from Bluehost to Hostmonster. The software is already running on both hosts, but is waiting for the registration of disinterest.org to transfer from joker.com to namecheap. The switches both from Bluehost to Hostmonster, and from joker.com to namecheap, are both somewhat ridiculous.

Domain name transfer bullshit

Did you know that domain name registries have a 5 day period within which they have to transfer your domain, from the time you requested the transfer? So what do they do? They delay the transfer to take place at the end of the five days, giving you multiple ways to cancel the transfer but none to do away with this obstacle and nuisance. Here's the joker.com transfer process:

  1. You unlock the domain to allow transfers at joker.com
  2. You request the authorisation code to transfer the domain from joker.com.
  3. You give the authorisation code to namecheap.
  4. Namecheap tells you that it is waiting for the existing registrar (joker.com) to release the domain.
  5. joker.com sends the administrative contact (me) an email with a link to approve the transfer, which I click on.
  6. joker.com sends you a fuck you email with a date and time five days away saying it will only complete then, with multiple ways to cancel the process. All this in "English as a second language" English, which gives you the idea if you click on the link you'll probably cancel it, but the hope that if you click on it you'll be able to make the transfer complete. But you can't click on it, because you just know that if you do, you'll most likely have to go through all this bullshit again.
  7. Five days later, you're waiting for the process to complete, not knowing when it will happen because joker.com gave you the time in whatever their local timezone is.
The joker.com interface has not changed in the probably ten years I've been with them. The interface is confusing, to say the least. I've revoked access to the disinterest.org domain for an old email address using their interface, only to find out that I'd revoked access to my new email address. I thoroughly recommend you avoid joker.com as a domain name registrar. It was better than the alternatives whenever I started using it, but the internet has moved on even if joker.com hasn't. Oh, and to cap it all off, you can't modify anything to do with your domains while they're holding off transferring it for those five days. Another incentive to cancel the process, as a double fuck you with cream on top.

Namecheap is simply cheaper. It also has monthly coupons which reduce their prices for transferring over even further. It's a win-win to switch to them. Their interface is cleaner and much much much much easier to understand. They also have scads of glowing recommendations in various reddit topics which deal with domain name registrars. There's no way it can be worse, and should I need to transfer away from them, they can't delay the transfer more than the mandated limit of five days.

Hosting renewal bullshit

Bluehost and Hostmonster are the same. Their interface is the same. They used to have the same CEO at the same time. There's no discernable difference between them, besides the name and the logo. As far as I can tell, they are simply a market grab by having two presences on the market. It is something like 90$US a year to host disinterest.org with Bluehost, but by becoming a new Hostmonster customer and paying for 3 years, I can reduce the 3 year hosting cost from 270$US or whatever to around 150$US. I contacted Bluehost customer support and mentioned this, and they said "sounds like a good deal, you should move." But they wouldn't give me a better deal with Bluehost to prevent me from moving. It's a bit of a nuisance to move, but the savings are worthwhile. Maybe in three years, I'll switch back :-)