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Competence is sooooo nice

It’s nice to be able to use this public forum to thank people who’ve gone the extra mile for you…

For the past few days, I’ve been struggling with how to set up a blog for a client. Normally, that would be pretty easy, and I even have a hosting service I’ve picked out for this purpose (their link is on my Shameless Commerce page).

This particular setup was complicated:

  • The client has a commercial website hosted by a company that makes “cookie cutter” websites for real estate professionals. They also handle the name servers for his account.
  • His email comes from the site he used to register his domain originally.
  • The blog is hosted on another hosting service.
  • His domain registrar is in Australia.

Using my own domain as an example, the objective was to have www.feigenson.us go to the real estate website, blog.feigenson.us go to the new hosting service, and email@feigenson.us go through GoDaddy, as it does now.

What does this all mean?

When you register a domain, like feigenson.us, you do it through an agency called a registrar. They take care of whatever magic is required to register you with the Internet gods. But they don’t necessarily do anything else (although they certainly try – just try doing this at GoDaddy, and you’ll be saying no on about 10 subsequent screens trying to sell you stuff you don’t want).

When somebody types the name of your site in their web browser, behind the scenes your computer asks a device called a domain name server for the actual address of the site – every machine on the Internet has a physical address in the form of 192.168.0.1 – four sets of one- to three-digit numbers that is unique. The domain name server looks up feigenson.us and says it’s at (for example) 192.168.0.1. Then your machine connects with the server to get the web pages.

Hope that’s clear, because now things get confusing.

For this client, I had to deal with the current hosting service, which also did the DNS service, and the registrar in Australia, and the new hosting service. And of course, 90% of what I was told was incorrect.

Thanks to my son Alex, who told me how it should be done. I’m sorry I didn’t talk to him first, because he was the only person who got it right. I spent hours on the phone getting the usual nonsense before I talked to him. The Australian registrar was very nice and helpful, but not quite right. The hosting service for the real estate website was totally wrong, and totally unresponsive to emails. It was clear that the first line phone support didn’t know much about what I wanted to do, so their suggestions were mostly wrong.

Armed with my son’s information, I contacted InMotionHosting, and they immediately understood what needed to be done. Not only that, but they offered to do the entire procedure for me! Holy mackerel. By the next day, it was done! They told me what they needed to get the Australian company to cede the registrar function to them, and then they moved the name servers from the real estate web hosting site to InMotionHosting.

This is a level of service that’s hard to comprehend for a company that charges under $100 per year for a website. Smart, knowledgeable people. Instant response to technical questions, and people who actually do what they say they are going to do. That’s why I recommend them – and if you’re thinking of getting a hosting service, try InMotionHosting.com. [If you click on that link and sign up, I get a commission – but I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t believe in them.]

While I’m praising…

A couple of weeks ago, a young sales rep at Best Buy in Pleasanton also went the extra mile for me. Adam, thank you. Normally I don’t associate Best Buy with intelligent, caring service. What a pleasant surprise! Adam went out of his way to put together a package that let me buy a sales bundle even though some of the original components were no longer available. It took him a long time to get around the Best Buy systems, but with the help of his manager, he prevailed. Good work Adam, and good work Best Buy for hiring this fellow!

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