Help Getting Started-So confused where to start!

I believe they did it for us.

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When we looked before, most hosting sites seemed to be $10-$15/month. Or would be $1/a month but then $10 a month after a few months trial, etc. Maybe things have changed.

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By the way, your domain registrar is GoDaddy:

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They did register it for us, I checked back the e-mail log of when it was set up.

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Wonder who the actual registrant is for the domain name? :thinking: Previously this was easy to determine. Ever since the Euro privacy laws changed this has become more difficult.

Never mind.

It's TechSurgeons LLC.

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My personal advice:

  1. Create your own GoDaddy account for free
  2. Call GoDaddy at (480) 463-8390
  3. Explain to them that you own midwestnomads.com and have been hosting with TechSurgeons
  4. Tell them that TechSurgeons seems to have registered the domain name in their own name instead of in your name
  5. See if they can arrange transferring the domain name into your GoDaddy account

This will likely require proof and create some discussion. You might need to look into the terms from TechSurgeons to see what you're up against. Without having ownership/control over your domain name, your options may be severely limited.


You could instead see if GoDaddy can change the registrant information, particularly the email address, to you. TechSurgeons might agree to this directly. It would at least give you ownership of the domain name without you needing to have the domain name transferred to your own account (and allow you to do so later if you desire).

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I can't find any terms and conditions from them so not sure. I don't know if they would make us pay a domain fee or what.

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Thank you so much for all the help! You have gone above and beyond.

I had been looking at some different hosting and was considering Bluehost and it seemed like it might work better with Word Press and offer better support(plus included SSL so I don't have to deal with that!) but I don't know if GoDaddy would be better because of the domain name issue.

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Wish I could do more here. :blush:

Doing some research is good. I'm partial to GoDaddy as I've used them for many years and can't beat their prices anywhere for the product (and great tech support). They have limitations (which some around here will scream about), but most providers do. I'm presently redeveloping my ACME client (software that actually gets your Let's Encrypt certificates) to specifically make it easy to use GoDaddy shared hosting with Let's Encrypt certificates. As @jsha mentions and explains well below though, they may not be the right hosting provider for you.

Keep in mind:

Your domain registrar is the company through whom you "lease" your domain name (midwestnomads.com).

Your hosting provider is the company who maintains the webserver that holds your WordPress contents.

You set the records of your domain name (at your domain registrar) to point to the webserver (at your hosting provider).

They can be the same company (and there are benefits to this including convenience and cost).

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Whatever direction you go, we're here to help you get free Let's Encrypt certificates. Just let us know.

:slightly_smiling_face:

I'm going to be away for a bit, but I'll check back later. I've asked one of the engineers from Let's Encrypt to "review" things.

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Hi @Midwest! Welcome to the site. I'm glad you've gotten some help from Griffin. I disagree with him on some of these points, though.

For instance, @griffin said you're getting ripped off at $85 per year plus $25/year for SSL and $20 one-time setup. You can find something cheaper for sure, but that's within the ballpark of what I'd expect to pay for web hosting. Some other options for comparison are Wordpress's hosted option, called "Wordpress.com", at $60 / year for personal or $96 / year for premium. Wix and Squarespace, two other entry-level hosting services, are $168 / year and $144 / year respectively. (Note: I don't endorse any particular hosting providers, these are just for comparison).

It sounds like @griffin is getting a really cheap deal with GoDaddy, but has to re-upload his sites every year, which is probably a hassle that you're not interested in. GoDaddy charges extra for certificates in the same way your current hosting provider does - but they charge $63/year! However, they do let you upload your own certificates, which your current hosting provider doesn't. This is one area in particular where I disagree with @griffin: I think uploading your own certificates to GoDaddy is very hard, while @griffin thinks it's easy. I think it's so hard I actually wrote a documentation page about it: https://letsencrypt.org/docs/godaddy/.

One of the questions here is: Is it fair to charge extra for SSL certificates, when they're available for free from Let's Encrypt? Our advice to hosting providers is that they should automatically include SSL in all their hosting plans, rather than making plans without SSL cheaper and charging extra for it. I checked out TechSurgeon's hosting plans, and it looks like their current offerings all include SSL built into the price (which is $240 at the low end!). Perhaps they are quoting you a higher price because you have an older, cheaper plan, and they want to start charging more in line with their current offerings? It's definitely a bummer that they're charging more now than they used to, but it's not inherently a problem from the Let's Encrypt perspective.

Also, @griffin said:

I don't think I've seen anything in this thread to suggest that's happening. [Edit: griffin retracted the above, so I crossed out my reply]

Anyhow, to sum up: The best answer for you is going to be using a hosting provider that gives you built-in SSL for a good price. It sounds like you can get built-in SSL for $105/year at TechSurgeons. If you find another hosting provider that offers similar features for a lower price, and you don't mind the hassle of switching over, you should go for it! But I don't think you're getting ripped off, even if you choose to pay TechSurgeons extra for SSL. And I do think if you go with GoDaddy and try to install Let's Encrypt certificates every 60 days to save money, you'll find that there's a big hassle factor.

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I may have been more than a bit overzealous. Thanks much to @jsha for his excellent analysis. The cost and level of support do usually go hand in hand. I often feel that the tech-gurus frequently get the best deal at the expense of the tech-novices, which certainly brings out my temper. Admittedly I can't know for sure how things will progress with TechSurgeons, so I'll hold my tongue and see where things lead. Regardless, I'm happy to serve and hope your road forward leads to great things! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Sure, though the flip side of this is that some people are perfectly happy to pay those tech-gurus for their expertise, and sometimes doing so is far easier than learning to be a tech-guru oneself. It sounds like the OP here is getting great customer service that they're happy with, and while it's certainly possible to go cheaper if one wants a do-more-yourself solution that doesn't mean it's going to actually work out better. Time is money in a lot of ways.

[My personal low-to-no-traffic Wordpress blog costs me well under $20/year at AWS, and that's if you include the whole cost of the domain name that I'm using for other things too. But there's a lot of setup I did to get it that cheap (I only have the Wordpress server running on the rare occasion I make an update, and then copy all the pages to S3 and just use their static hosting), and it's all stuff I've just thrown together to learn but isn't really something easy for someone to put together themselves. Plus AWS charges by the byte, so that cost would go up substantially if I ever, like, got any real traffic.]

It's really annoying that they want to charge more for adding TLS to your hosting plan, but they could just be forcing you to switch to one their newer more expensive plans that just have it included.

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I concur. It always seems to be a mixed bag when selecting a hosting provider. Some are certainly more user-friendly than others. You have to determine what's right for you.

I don't believe though that any "service company" should register domain names that they're being paid to manage in the name of the company. That's like me working as your chauffeur and registering your car in my name. If you don't want my services any more, do I get to keep your car? It really does not add any "complications" to put the customer's contact information (especially the customer's email address) as the registrant. That's the whole reason there are fields (like technical) in the domain registration. The compliance with Euro laws and the many privacy "services" have all but ruined the function of the public registry. I must acknowledge though the underlying problem being the abuse by the few deviants who ruin it for everyone, which seems to be the case so often in many areas of life.

Any technical company claiming that they need to charge (especially ongoing) for the "difficulty of managing SSL certificates for their customers" seems dubious. Just saying "we're greedy" like the big boys would seem to suffice. To me this differs from paid consulting where the consultant must gain an understanding of the requirements and systems then properly implement. A "service" generally controls the requirements and systems and thus only needs to replicate their own procedures, which should take virtually no time or effort. This all comes before the fact that charging for SSL in this age is like charging for oxygen.

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I do believe they are charging since for the SSL since we pay a lot less than their current lowest plan. I asked about the domain name and they said that yes, it was Go Daddy and that

"Happy to do an account change to yours if you have one, or to unlock it and provide the Auth Code if you have an account elsewhere."

So I assume I could create a GoDaddy account of my own have the account changed? Would that likely require a fee from GoDaddy then?

At this point, I think I'm just going to leave things as they are with Tech Surgeons and just pony up the extra $ for them to do the SSL. I thought it would be a straightforward process to do, but it looks like the whole thing is way more complicated than I realized.

It seems like I might save a little bit elsewhere, but that could require a lot more work on my end and less reliable/extensive tech support(going by the reviews anyway for some other hosting sites.) It's also hard to tell with so many hosting plans what their cost really is as so many have "intro rates" and then add on fees. I may try to see if I can get more info from Tech on what exactly my current plan includes as I have no idea on how much storage or anything that it includes. (my husband set it up several years ago) I have no idea if it's shared hosting or how it goes as far as speed/load time.

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