Monthly Archives: January 2008

Go Daddy, Whoa Daddy!

I got surprised today! Shocked too! The source? Go Daddy.

The surprise: A nice, polite email telling me how much my auto-renewed domains cost. Not such a good surprise. I prefer gifts with some kind of value, be it monetary, physical, emotional, you know, good stuff. Directed to me of course, not other people.

Yes, it is my fault for not being diligent and luckily it wasn’t too serious. Three domains renewed all with private registration. It wouldn’t have been too bad if I hadn’t just renewed two domains the other night for $2 less per domain. So I was looking at a $6 dollar slap on the hand with a $27 dollar chaser for good measure (the 3 private registrations).

Thoroughly surprised and appalled at such an affront I was out for blood and so I called Go Daddy and I did it quick. Quick and aggressive. I punched those numbers on my phone with determination and a steel heart.

The Shock: After listening to the automated message routing me to who knows where (no shock) I end up talking to Moses in billing. Moses I say! Further, I understand him! This guy is speaking a language I know and he’s doing it better than I am.

Without crying I tell this Moses guy I was just billed for 3 auto-renewals with privacy options and I want it canceled. To add to the shock, Moses is nice and friendly. He tells me my options without even a hint at how I’m a dumb <something> for letting it happen. No preaching at all. He just tells me I can delete the order but the domains would be available for anyone to take.

This Moses guy is way too professional for me. I explain to my friend Moses that I renewed two domains for cheaper just the other day. Unfazed and again without any hint of me being stupid for letting this happen he explains he can’t drop the price after the fact. But we do figure out we can cancel the privacy options and get a refund for that.

Now, I’m pretty certain I could have worked it a bit and had the privacy dropped with a refund and redo the transaction with a discount but Moses was working his magic on me. I figured I’d eat the difference, it served me right. So we agree on this and Moses transfers me to support. Yes, the dreaded transfer.

Take a wild guess what happens next? Next thing you know, I’m talking to Linda. She must be related to Moses because she’s all nice and friendly and I understand her! Me and Linda strike up a great convo after I give her my account number, tell her my name and give her a password.

I’d say she wasn’t exactly sure what I was trying to get across with the cancellation of the privacy option. Either that or she wasn’t sure of the process. Even so, without missing a beat she gets things going. She’s on the ball and arranges it with the supervisor, sets it up and passes to me… and I fumble.

Seems I have to cancel the privacy on before they can process the refund and like I have any idea what my ID or password is. She helps me a bit by telling me its the same password as my Go Daddy account but a different ID. After that she waits patiently while I don’t find my account info. After fumbling around for a couple of minutes and feeling like a dolt, I ask if I can call back. She’s agreeable and tells me it’s ready and there’s a note in the file, I just need to cancel and let them know.

Things are really rolling now. I find my account details post-haste and do my part like a professional. I get the job done and call back. Now, obviously you know and expect what happens next?

I get in touch with John. John too is part of the same family, he’s all nice and friendly. I tell him once what the deal is and like it’s nothing to him he asks me for a couple minutes to get the job done. So, bing bang boom, with less than two minutes of silence John gets back to me and apologizes for the delay. He tells me it’s done and asks if there’s anything else he can do for me.

Well, shiver-me-timbers, who said customer service was dead? It’s alive and well at Go Daddy! I’m not sure what they’re feeding their support staff but I like it. Considering Go Daddy is well known as a low-cost option for a variety of web services I was not expecting such a pleasant experience. I can’t recall the last time I had such an easy exchange with any kind of support.

So, as much as I hate to push the ‘big-boys’ if this one experience is any indication of what Go Daddy is providing I’m in. I’m in enough to at least pay $2 more per domain!

A couple closing notes:

– Go Daddy can be found at:
– Unfortunately their 24/7 support line is not a 1-800 number.
– Fortunately the wait times were quite acceptable. My initial wait time was estimated at 4 minutes, I would say they answered in under 3 mins. When transferred to support another wait estimation of 4 minutes and again I was talking live in under 3. My second call was estimated at 6 minutes and I’d say it was under 4 mins.
– They have a nice option of being on hold with or without music.

Host Hunting.

My father is someone who enjoys spending. In my younger days he would often chide me about being cheap. I am certain he was disappointed that I never had it in me to work my way up to his lofty purchasing indiscretions.

On the flip side, in the early stages of my relationship with my wife I was able to shock her at how I wasted my hard earned money on frivolous things such as take-out. I have been with my wife for some years now and she has had an effect on me. What may not have come as a surprise to my father, my wife has been quite successful in guiding me to becoming more… lets say, thrifty.

I’m not sure I can say it any clearer. As you must have deduced from my wordy intro and such a descriptive title, when it comes to web hosts I can be down right tight fisted.

Seeing as I’m on the search for another host you get to see me rant about them. I could be the responsible type and argue both sides of the topic but that is beyond the scope of this ‘article’ and my current interest.

Now, lets consider some of the options on hosting plans. There are hosts that are setting limits like: Number of Domains (1), Addons Domains (None on this package), Email Accounts (3), Mailing Lists (No), FTP Access (1 Account).

What the..? They’re giving away what costs them money when providing ‘free’ domain (sometimes ‘free’ domain for life) and ‘free’ site transfer (they have to pay their employees to do this). These are items that actually cost them something but they limit options that cost them nothing or next to nothing.

Is it really fooling any prospective clients into thinking they get a great deal when they can have 10 email accounts instead of 3? The fact is, from day one they would have been further ahead by pretending these extras were the lost leaders instead of having true lost leaders like domain names.

Ok, before I go any further, I will admit this post is coming a little late in the game. Most of the plans I’ve seen have become much more reasonable and have updated offerings. Sadly, I would speculate the change is due to pricing wars (or option wars) and not from customers complaining that they don’t appreciate the strategies.

As I hinted this reminds me of the strange pricing model you used to see fairly often in software. You know, that completed software package that allows one user at one computer for $39 but with a flick of the software switch you can have 12 users for only $3000, 64 for $50,000. Same software, same code. Where did this pricing idea come from?

There are a few things that should be the main focus in the cost of plan. Those are: Storage Space, Bandwidth (Traffic) and Server Load (CPU/memory usage). Some of the other features do increase some costs, but they are secondary. A plan should mostly be priced and monitored on the said three items.

For example, does it make sense for the poor sucker who had to purchase a Gold Plan at $30 a month to park 50 domains that are taking up zero bandwidth, a minuscule amount of drive space and basically no resources? Specially when the other guy has a Copper plan, for the low introductory price of $4.99 a month, and is hosting 1 site, taking up 2 gigs of space, 2000 gigabytes of bandwidth and is burning out CPU’s like crazy with custom coded software.

I’m just trying to say, as I search for a new host, my crazy mind keeps bouncing back to the whole idea that it would make me much happier if they would just be straight forward. Oddly, I’m not the type who appreciates the marketing garbage and the attempts to convince me how beneficial the Ultra-Diamond package is because it has a mailing list option.

Now before everyone goes crazy and wants to debate, obviously the pricing schemes must allow for facility costs, hardware purchases, employees and various standard business costs. That’s standard business and of course the company needs to make something. Further I do understand that some of the pricing schemes have to do with targeting specific buyers but I wouldn’t have had as much fun writing about that.

If you were able to last this long, I’m surprised. I’d be happy for any comments or suggestions on good, affordable hosts. I’m quite interested in slicehost but $20 a month for a hosting plan is downright painful for a ‘thrifty’ person.

Technical Skill Semantics.

This entry is going to be a bit rough on me. As someone who dislikes technobabble with excessive terminology and classification this entry is going against my grain.

You see, I’ve been looking for some casual contract type of work and find myself a bit uncertain as to how to rate or grade my skills.

Using some of the terms found in ads I wonder, am I a Ninja? Is a Ninja better than an Expert? Obviously a Guru is much more skilled and knowledgeable than an Expert. It takes years and strict training to become a Guru and I know I’m not that in any technical abilities.

So, should I consider myself a Star? I would sure like it if everyone called me Star. Better yet, Super Star! I assure you I am not a Rock Star and I don’t know what that has to do with web skills let alone what a Wizard does.

One thing I am certain – I’m not is a Fiery Dancing Faerie Master! OK, I admit I just made that one up.

It could be my age as I’m now deep into my thirties. I’m pretty good at understanding terms such as ‘basic knowledge’, ‘good’, ‘understanding’ and ‘excellent’. I do start to waver a bit with the semi-obscure or relative terms such as ‘intermediate’, ‘advanced’, ‘experience with’, and ‘expert’.

I further admit to finding it confusing when someone is advertising a ‘Junior’ position with a list of 10 or more different major skills. Another speed bump for me is ‘expert’. There is no way we have millions of experts and all willing to work for $10 to $15 an hour according to the ads. An expert to me is someone who has mastered their chosen profession, who lives and breaths it, someone who can school a teacher.

So my point as you may be wondering is that we need a good Technical Skill Rating system to gauge proficiency. You know, like the standard trade skill apprentice, journeyman and master. Something of that like. Is there something out there I, and most companies, don’t know about?

So back to my search where I can at least feel safe in understanding what ‘Local’ means.

Throw another blog on the fire!

So hey, I figured over 200 million blogs just didn’t cut it. Obviously we needed one more and I was the person for the job. I am certain the world needs my in depth, thoughtful and sensitive take on various IT type topics.

To be polite, I’ll give you a brief run down on what to expect – The what and why:

What: Topics will typically fall in the categories of web development, software/applications, search engine optimization (SEO), some business and marketing, programming, IT and Internet in general. Expect the content to focus more on my opinions or feelings regarding the specific topic.

Why: I can’t say one reason stands out more than any other, so in no particular order:

  • Research: I find myself spending a lot of time researching various tech related topics and thought my confused ramblings may help save someone else save some time.
  • Self Development: I’ve been away from full time web developing for several years and I want to update my knowledge and learn a few new things. For me writing, summarizing and ‘teaching’ (in this case preaching to) others is the best way for me to learn.
  • Can I have that in layman’s terms? I find it common for people to get caught up in the technology aspect, the terminology and various other things that can over-complicate the issue or message. I prefer to have it boiled down to a simple summary. Hopefully there will be some of that here by either myself or others.
  • Opinionated: I’ve always had strong opinions. I’ve done a pretty good job of saving the Internet from them but I think its time to let it out. Translation: I like to express my opinions and the medium of blogging and/or articles writing. This is a sad sample to show I can put a bunch of words together that can make sense. Who would like to hire me now?
  • Sharing: I like to share, it makes me feel happy and purposeful.

Expect some real content to follow soon as well as some additional details in the ‘About’ section.

Finally, as some of you may notice and as a good indication of my layout/design skills, the site is running a stock WordPress template. I do expect to do some modifications over time but do remember, “Content is King”. I’ll bet someone who had poor design skills came up with that quote.