… aaaaand we’re back!

It’s been… let’s call it an interesting few weeks.

Back in mid-February, we were visiting friends in Florida. The day after we arrived, I woke up to a notification on my phone that a lot — a lot — of money had been charged to my credit card by my webhost (the service that you pay to host your website(s)).

That also ate up most of the wiggle room on that credit card we had been planning to use on said visit with said friends in said Florida.

Bad times.

I contacted the webhost right away, politely explaining that, Ahem, evidently my card was a) charged at all and b) vastly overcharged for c) nothing I was aware of, and asking if they would kindly reimburse that money immediately — that same day would be great — so that we could continue our vacation uninterrupted.


Turns out I was in the wrong.

Here’s the thing: Webhosts lately offer really good deals for new customers. They’ll give you vastly cut rates if you go with them for an introductory term of your choosing (typically for one, two or three years, paid up front). The catch, such as it is, is that after that introductory term, the price jumps up to full pop. And they’ll usually default to doing that with a renewed term length matching the first. So for instance if you take advantage of the good introductory rate for a three-year term, once that time is up, you’ll usually be automatically rolled into the full price for another three-year term.

Now, you can pretty easily opt out of that. It’s not a gotcha move on their part. But you have to be mindful enough in the moment — signing onto a new website, handing over a few hundred dollars, making sure all the technical background stuff needed to make the host access and show your website properly, etc. — plus be fine knowing that you may have service disruption to your site without that safety net, to turn that off.

And… I wasn’t.

So what happened was that the day we flew to Florida, I received an email from the webhost, duly saying, ‘Hey, just to give you a heads up, tomorrow is your renewal date and you’ll be rolled over into another three-year term at full price. Let us know if you’d like that changed.’

But given everything else we were dealing with that day we flew out (let’s just say I had technology issues that were only discovered by chance, and that led to an extra detour and cost once we landed in Florida) frankly, checking my email was among the last things on my mind. And so the following day, as they said they would, they charged that full three years’ regular fee up front to the credit card, which is what popped up on my phone.

It turns out I had 30 days to request cancellation of the service and refund of that money. So we enjoyed our trip as well as we could — helloooooo other credit card we didn’t want to use at all — and once we were back home, I started hunting around in earnest for a new webhost. The one I had been using had been adequate, but I did have some issues with their help desk in the past. Plus, hey, if I could get another introductory low price at a different webhost for a few years, I might as well take advantage of that. And in three years, I’ll figure out my next move. I even planned to give myself a better heads up this time: I literally set a reminder for myself on my phone for three years less a couple of weeks in the future. No more surprise several-hundred-dollar charges for me, thanks.

Evidently this webhost’s post-introductory costs are about in line with other webhosts. Well more than I was expecting I was going to be paying,. But after doing a bit of soul searching and asking myself if I should still bother with it at all, I concluded I still wanted to retain my domain name, and still wanted to have a little corner of the internet that’s mine. And I’m willing to sock away a little bit each month and each year to keep it going indefinitely.

And as a side note, I may — just may — have a second domain name moved over to this new webhost as well, which I’m planning to expand into a whole website of its own this year, both as a promotion for a new business and hopefully a way to get some… hell, any… extra income. That would also help offset webhosting fees going forward. In this day and age, having your own corner of the internet costs more than you may think. Or at least more than I thought, to be sure. But such is the cost of doing business.

So I found a new webhost, signed up for an account, migrated my site to its servers, cancelled the old webhost service (for what will thankfully be a full refund) and thought that everything was ready to go.

But it wasn’t.
Because of course it wasn’t.
This is technology and me we’re talking about. It couldn’t just work.
Nope. I was getting page not found errors when I’d try to view my site.

The (genuinely snappy and very insightful) help desk at the new webhost told me I need to make a couple of techy stuff changes on the new account in order to have the website show properly. It was the kind of thing one only has to do once, when first choosing or moving to a new webhost, and then doesn’t need to bother with again, so it wasn’t at the forefront of my recollection of another box I had to check off.

With some hunting down of how and where to do that, I got it all done and, once the site was back up and viewable, then happily discovered I could still use my old website login information to finally get into the business end of my website and do things like, for instance, put up a new post explaining what’s been happening lately and why you may have encountered a problem loading my site over the last few weeks.

Not that I’ve been slammed with queries about why my site is now.
Not that I’ve had one query, actually.
I’m choosing to see that not as no one ever visiting my website and instead that it was the silent masses getting the error message. They aren’t the kind to make an issue of things.
Yeah, that must be it.

For now, I’m really happy to be at a new webhost that seems to be a good fit for me, and to have my site back up and running and accessible.

I have plenty more to write about, but that’s for another time.