I’ve had my domain riffie.com hosted and registered with Pair Networks since 1999. The site is just one page with a picture of my old cat Riffie who lived from 1990 – 2007. I’ve always had plans to put up more pictures or do a proper write up, but nothing has ever taken shape unfortunately.
A couple of months ago I received a voice mail from pair Domains stating that messages sent to the e-mail I have on file for my domain were bouncing and that I needed to update the information. I gave them a call and they sent over a PDF form since I no longer have access to that e-mail due to some trouble with the server. The process involved filling out the form and sending it back to them with a picture of my drivers license. Luckily I had been corresponding with their support department with my Yahoo address since 2013 so this was already validated in their system. Thankfully the process went fairly smoothly and I managed to update all of the whois information. Phew!
I hadn’t had a need to log into the pair Domains account since 2015 when I paid for a five year renewal. Upon logging in and looking it over, I saw that interface was very rudimentary. One of my plans has been to cancel the hosting I have with Pair and move the site over to GitHub Pages for free. This would require quite a few changes to the DNS records and I soon realized it would be a hassle through the Pair Domains interface. The first step then would be to move the domain to a new registrar. I started looking at other registrars to see what they offered. It has been an interesting experience. Prices for .com domains range from $8 to $17. There are plenty of add-ons, such as DNS, SSL Certificates and even in some cases e-mail. I read a lot of reviews on Reddit and read through the documentation pages of a few registrars to get an idea of the services they provided.
After much thought I decided to transfer riffie.com over to Google Domains where I also have another domain registered. I thought that at least by doing this I would consolidate the domains into one account and not have to worry about logging into two separate places to manage DNS. OpenSRS which is owned by Tucows handles the registration duties for Google so it’s pretty rock solid. The pricing for domains through Google is $12 a year which isn’t too bad. I started the transfer on 5/22 and it completed 5/27. Google Domains has a really slick interface for managing DNS and I was able to easily create a new subdomain blog.riffie.com and point it over to a server at Reclaim Hosting where I work and have a test account. Finally I could transfer this blog to a proper domain.
It was certainly a fun learning experience researching the different domain registrars and I learned a lot about the industry even though I’ve been working in hosting for many years.