So I have — er, had — this client. Let’s call him Mr. X. I didn’t design his website originally; I inherited him from a colleague who had designed it and was hosting it, and who wanted to get out of the business altogether. The colleague had Mr. X’s domain registered in his own account, and he transferred the domain to me. So I was hosting Mr. X’s site (at a very reasonable cost), and a couple of times Mr. X contacted me to make minor updates to his site, which I did. Other than billing him quarterly for his hosting and annually for his domain renewal, and those couple of minor updates, I didn’t have any other contact with Mr. X.
Next thing I know, Mr. X calls me to tell me that he’s hired someone else to develop a new site for him, and he’ll have new hosting as well. Okay. It would have been nice if he had at least asked me for a quote, but that’s fine — he has every right to go with someone else.
I sent him the ftp login info so that he can give it to his new webmaster to grab the files from the existing site, in case those are needed. I also suggested that he open an account with GoDaddy so that we can transfer his domain to his own account, since I have no desire to continue to renew Mr. X’s domain every year and bill him for it. If he’s not hosting with me, and not paying me anything to do updates or other maintenance to his site, handling his domain renewal is just not worth my time. So I walked his secretary through opening a GoDaddy account, and I transferred the domain to him.
Mr. X’s hosting was paid up through the end of the quarter, so I told him that I would keep his hosting active through July 31, but his new webmaster needed to either have his new site up and running on the new host by then, or move the existing site to the new host, in order to avoid any downtime for his site.
The last week of July arrived. Before I shut off his hosting, I decided to see if he’s got the site hosted somewhere else yet. Nope. It’s still pointing to my server. I email Mr. X. I get a reply back from his secretary, who said that he’s out of town and she doesn’t know anything about a new webmaster. She was under the impression that the domain transfer was all that was needed. (Even though I made it very clear in my earlier emails that the domain registration was completely separate from the hosting.)
I explained that she really needed to get Mr. X to get his new webmaster to get either his existing site or his new site up and running on their new host (whoever that might be), and to change their nameservers to point to the new host. I explained that if I just shut off his hosting their site would disappear from the web altogether. I also noted that they could renew their hosting with me so as not to have any downtime if there were any problems with the new webmaster or the new host. She said she would talk to Mr. X about it.
Aug. 1 arrived. I checked, and sure enough, the site was still live on my server. I emailed Mr. X and told him that he either needed to get his site running on his new host immediately or renew his hosting with me, because as soon as I shut off his hosting on my server, his site would disappear.
I received a reply email that said, simply, “This has been taken care of.” When I checked again, the domain nameservers were pointing to GoDaddy’s nameservers. So I shut off the hosting on my server.
Now his site consists of a GoDaddy parking page.
I suspect that Mr. X never did hire another webmaster. I have the feeling that he was expecting his secretary to build him a new site, and that she knows virtually nothing about it. I don’t know why he told me that he had hired someone else, nor do I know why he was so determined to move his hosting somewhere else. He had never complained to me about any problems with either the site or its hosting, and he certainly wasn’t overpaying for the hosting. I believe he may have thought he could save some money, somehow, although the small amount he was paying me for the hosting meant that at most he could only save a little tiny bit on his hosting by going with a cheaper host.
I tell myself that you can’t save people from their own mistakes, and that his site is now his problem, and his problem alone. Nevertheless, I hate to see a site disappear from the web, and kill its standing in the search engines, due to the owner’s stubbornness, lack of knowledge, and unwillingness to listen.