I haven’t slept well lately, and as I write this, it’s around 3:20 a.m. on a Friday morning in which my “day” started at around 9:30 Thursday night. I used to maintain this type of schedule all the time but the birth of my children altered that – I went from perpetual night owl to up before the sun, usually collapsing in a heap sometime shortly after 5 p.m. then lather, rinse, repeat. My kids are old enough now that they go to school and can I don’t have to watch them quite as hawkishly as I used to. So periodically I have nights like tonight, where I can spend the wee hours of the morning getting things done, before the typical hustle and bustle of my day actually begins. Not quite catching up, not quite a jump start – just touching bases, so to speak.
One such base tonight was to give a thorough review of my “overall internet profile.” While dpmcintire.com is part of that profile, so too are USFL.info, Amendment25.com, and as I counted tonight, no fewer than 30 other internet domains. Some have sites behind them, some don’t; some are business oriented, some related to Oak City Media and WKRP, which is my chief philanthropic endeavor (donations to which are tax deductible… hint, hint…) Others I’m reserving for future use or transfer… for example, when they were born I reserved the “.com” domains of each of my children – just in case they may someday need them for some reason.
The review is aimed at one goal: dropping the current provider of all my internet-related services (including dpmcintire.com) in favor of another. GoDaddy currently hosts dpmcintire.com as well as 32 of my 33 domains and all actual site hosting. That’s about to change, even if it means the temporary destruction of this site. GoDaddy, you see, has had its ownership and management bounced around quite a bit the past decade or so. It went from being essentially controlled by its founders to being owned by a private equity consortium of what I like to call “vulture capitalists,” guys who overpay for a business, then proceed to try and squeeze as much revenue out of it as possible to pay off the debt accumulated in the acquisition – then sell it off, hopefully reaping significant profit in the process. The vulture capitalists did their typical thing, and a few years ago took the company public via IPO, cashing out at a pretty significant windfall.
Now I have no objection to capitalism. What I object to, however, is the manner with which GoDaddy has gone about their business as a result of all this turnover. Prices raised on this or that with no underlying reason for doing so (can be easily justified in some cases, not in others). Promoting a truckload of “add-on services” which I suspect to customer asked for and which I certainly don’t need (okay, no big deal; I can click a box and say “No, I don’t want this useless service at $4.99 a month”). Charging for services on new accounts it used to provide free to older ones (kind of a bad move, especially with legacy customers who are expanding their book of business with you, but for new clients acceptable). And in my case at least, giving a heads-up that some services that were free as part of my long-standing overall service offering will be disappearing in favor of paid, a la carte alternatives… but without a corresponding reduction in my base rate. In other words? Even though you may have been with us for years, we’re going to make you pay more… for less, and we’re going to winnow your options to a point where you have no choice but to go along with it, eventually.
That’s a step too far.
I’ve done business with GoDaddy since 2006. The 32 domains I have through them currently represent the lowest total I’ve had registered with them. At one time with what is now the USFL section of dpmcintire.com, I had 26 distinct domains alone, all pointing to the same website (usfl.info). I was, back then, the kind of customer GoDaddy wanted to keep very, very happy. I had site hosting, e-mail, domains, the works, and was happy with them.
That’s no longer the case thanks to their new management and their practices. And tonight, thanks to my insomnia, I’ve taken the first steps to separate from them. I won’t say who the new provider will be, as I just established a business relationship with them hours ago and am taking a “wait and see” approach, ascertaining if they can do what I expect of them – what I used to get from GoDaddy. Thus far they seem to be meeting those expectations, and doing so cheaper than GoDaddy currently does – and much cheaper than GoDaddy eventually would charge for the same services if they go through with the full suite of their intended plans.
So dpmcintire.com, Amendment25.com and USFL.info will be on the move at some point… I’m on a month-to-month arrangement for hosting so I suspect whatever happens, it’ll happen within the next 45 days, tops. We’ll see. But when it comes to provision of certain internet services? I’m not going to be “nickel and dimed.” I’m not going to be told that services I’ve had free for more than a decade are now going to cost me, simply because the provider feels it’s an untapped revenue stream. I’m not going to pay more and get less.
When it comes to the provision of internet services? I’m the master of my domains… 🙂