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Email and web-hosting service question

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
When I moved into a new home which had fibre installed I decided it wasn't prudent to pay circa £150 for BT to install a telephone line. This meant that I stopped the broadband service with the ISP I'd used since 2000 (on dial-up for the first 3 years). Back in 2000 part of the deal was that they obtained a domain name on my behalf. In the past decade I have become very accustomed to using my own domain email addresses and it really helps with contact, user accounts and spam control. The ISP I was leaving offered an email and web hosting (only 100MB - but enough for me) service for £20 per annum so I opted to stay with them for that part of the service. (Madasafish JustMail) Unfortunately they were over-zealous two days go and dropped my domain entirely, having deleted my web site (just some iMac G4 20" tear down shots) and only left me with a single email address which I have never published. They say they don't manage the domain - although they have for a decade!

I see my options as follows;

1. I have a MobileMe account which I know I can assign the web address to an iWeb (or other) site on MobileMe - can it also alias all the email addresses?

2. Get Nominet to transfer the domain back to my former ISP and pay them
£20pa for email. They've generally been good - hence how long I've been with them - but this latest incident has made me question their service.

3. Go to someone else to offer the service. Who?

Desired end state:
- to be able to have emails sent to anything@mydomain.co.uk
- have a small personal website
- just a home user so needs to be low cost.

Very grateful for any hints/tips.
post #2 of 3
I would never recommend people take email or web hosting services with an ISP. They just end up using it as a bargaining tool to get you to stay with their broadband service.

Pick any of the thousands of cheap hosting companies around. This one is quite affordable:

http://www.5quidhost.co.uk/hosting.php

There are others:

http://www.eukhost.com/cpanel-web-hosting.php
http://www.webhosting.uk.com/

Use a whois database search to find out who is managing your domain. Paste your domain into this site:

http://whois.domaintools.com/

You will see the domain registrar and you can contact them directly. They can setup an online account for you to manage your domain. Whatever service you decide to use, you simply update your nameservers on your domain name account. This way there's no risk of losing it again.

The safest service setup is the following:

ISP - only get broadband, phone and TV services from them
Hosting Company - only get hosting and emails from them
Domains - get this from a 3rd party and point to your hosting nameservers

With the 3 parts independent, none of them can use any lock-in tactics to get you to stay with their service.

One thing to note is if you used IMAP email, all your old email is still on your old ISP's servers so you need to download it. If you used a POP account don't worry as it's on your computer.

As a step-by-step, I'd do the following:

1. get control of your domain name and put it into an account with a domain registrar
2. find a cheap web host e.g one of the above that allows add-on domains, PHP and MySQL support is good to have. Then you just type in the domain to use it with your host and any corresponding email addresses.
3. in your domain account, type in the nameservers of the host you signed up to

That should be it. This way if you switch ISP, it's no problem because your email and domain is separate. If you get problems with your hosting such as slow emails or website, it's no problem as you cancel your account and go with another host and just point the domain to it.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Marvin,

Thanks very much for taking the time to give me a really decent answer.

The last certificate I got from Nominet has Freenetname (the ISP back then - now Madasafish) as the domain owner but searching whois.domaintools.com I see it has my name, home address and telephone number on there now. I was also very seriously surprised that I was getting >500 hits on my page per month as I though it would be closer to 0, although as far as I know it is the only iMac G4 USB2.0 tear down site online (not any more!)

I'll definitely check out 5quid host - looks idea for my needs.

Thanks again

mrtotes
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