I’ve been putting this off for months, but I’ve finally made the change, and it wasn’t that hard!
What change, you might ask? Well for the past 12 years this website was an increasingly embarrassing one-pager. It was hosted by Hurricane Electric, one of the earliest hosting companies (they did manage to get a two-letter domain). I’ve never had a problem with them, but they seem to be getting out of the hosting business and don’t offer the latest bells and whistles (like automated WordPress installs). They were also costing me $10 a month, which for a small website was a bit much.
I had Hurricane Electric providing my nameservers and email service as well as hosting. Switching over was scary because I have a lot of ongoing projects and it wouldn’t do to start losing emails. Especially if I broke things and couldn’t figure out how to fix them quickly.
My first step was to build this new site using another domain I have (exeye.org) so I could get it minimally presentable before the cutover. It turns out that WordPress is not very good at being moved; instead of having everything relative like any good programmer would design things, WordPress is full of absolute paths and names of external resources like the database. I was a little overwhelmed by the prospect of having to move my website from exeye.org’s WWW directory to exeyesoftware.com’s new home. The NC how-to page, which was not very encouraging, came out to be 41 pages long when I printed it. Luckily NC support, which is very good, handled the job of moving WordPress for me.
I also created a new catch-all email account for exeyesoftware.com at NC and set up my email client to be listening to the new account in addition to the HE one. Finally I turned on NC nameservers for the domain. For a day, while the new nameservers took over, both the HE account and the NC account were active so you’d get to me regardless of which nameserver you got. After a couple of days I just removed references to the HE email account, and it was all done.
Now I’ve got all the goodies of a modern web host, like cPanel, WordPress, and a zillion other things. I don’t have extensive experience with other hosting providers, especially the current crop, so I don’t know how NC compares. All I know is that I’m really happy with them, especially their support.