back to article There's a way to dodge Fasthosts' up-to-160% domain renewal hike but you're not gonna like it

Life is about to get a lot more expensive for some customers of Fasthosts with domain renewal price hikes as high as 160 per cent coming into effect late next month – unless of course they buy early. The UK-based web-hosting firm contacted customers – El Reg saw the letter – to warn a "new pricing structure will be applied to …

  1. Lee D Silver badge

    Or... just take your domains elsewhere.

    1. TinTinTeroo

      e.g.

      www.easily.co.uk

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        www.easily.co.uk

        That url is too close to ww.weasily.co.uk for my liking... :-)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: www.easily.co.uk

          And "we don' need no steenkeen weasils" doesn't trip off the tongue quite right.

        2. David Haworth 1
          Coat

          Re: www.easily.co.uk

          Quoth the AC:

          > That url is too close to ww.weasily.co.uk for my liking... :-)

          No it isn't. It's stoatily different.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Or www.lcn.com

        1. Cursorkeys

          Re: LNC.com

          We use LCN as a registrar and host, seems reasonable and the support is decent.

          Have a huge bunch of domains on Fasthosts that we were debating keeping as they were set up by marketing, guess we'll transfer any we want to keep to LCN (probably none) and just let the rest lapse.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Happy

            Re: LNC.com

            Cross charge marketing and let them deal with it...

        2. dansjk

          be careful, all is not what it first appears ...

          ... whilst LCN's annual subscription is cheaper than fasthosts, they charge £4.95 per year for domain privacy - which is free at fasthosts. Time to look at other suppliers ...

          1. ikec

            Re: be careful, all is not what it first appears ...

            domain privacy has never been free at fasthosts

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Personally, I use Tagadab:

      .uk domains at £10.00 + VAT for 2 years

      .com for £7.99 + VAT for 1 year

      There was a time I used to use a much better niche company (justhename) but they got bought out and ended up being under the PlusNet brand when BT took over. Needless to say, they're just completely gone now. But they had cheap, simple, easy domain management and didn't try to faff with anything else, and they had one really cool feature they called "URL Masking" (which was actually an Apache reverse proxy set up at their end, so that you could forward the domain to, say, cheappwebhosting.com/~username/folderpath/, and it would retrieve all requested files from there and present them as youdomain.com/filename - it was a fabulous way to make your domain very portable (store the same files anyway, change the path), without anyone knowing where it was actually hosted).

      If anyone knows a company with a feature like that, give me a shout, or I'm going to have to read up on the Apache docs and do it myself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        they had one really cool feature they called "URL Masking" (which was actually an Apache reverse proxy set up at their end, so that you could forward the domain to, say, cheappwebhosting.com/~username/folderpath/, and it would retrieve all requested files from there and present them as youdomain.com/filename - it was a fabulous way to make your domain very portable (store the same files anyway, change the path), without anyone knowing where it was actually hosted).

        I don't know if EasyDNS's Mark J is still reading this, but I think they have a domain masking feature somewhere (I think it was at EasyDNS, been a while since I looked at that - I tend to host if a different way). The only problem with that is that you cannot apply SSL security to it (cert wil point to the wrong domain name).

        Apropos registrar, I'll remain with EasyDNS. Good, cheap, reliable and sane: works for me :). Busy convincing a friend to ditch GoCrappy who just casually lost the A record of his website. Just like that, gone, reverted to their own hosting - yet nobody had been near the account (at least, that's what they think, I hang up after it took them > 10 min to get that confirmed).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you're right. But only in principe. In reality, people are incredibly unwilling to move elsewhere, even when price goes up, sometimes significantly. The reasons are always the same: intertia / laziness, and fear of fuckups in the transfer process (which do happen), plus total lack of customer support when they do. And when the average website owner's IT skills are limited to how to use google and dropbox, they will be paralysed by a thought that something might go wrong. So, they're ripe for lifetime price hikes. I wish it were otherwise, I sincerely wish customers abandoned the predators en masse, unfortunately, homo sapiens just isn't like that :/

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An issue for some, less for others

    Got notification of increase the other day.

    While a significant hike as proportion of last years price, the difference in cost to us for operating a domain for a year is less than the income of selling a couple of units of the product it supports - a product that our customers buy in hundreds of units at a time.

    Expect my boss will gripe and question whether it's worth moving to different provider. But effort and disruption of moving would easily wipe out any savings.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Price gouging.

    Or am I missing why, exactly, it costs 55 quid more per year for them to register .clinic compared to .uk ...

    1. John Riddoch

      Re: Price gouging.

      Probably because the owners of .clinic are charging more to domain resellers.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Price gouging.

        As I said, gouging. Somewhere, anyway. And the suckers are falling for it. Remember, folks, it matters not what your name is ... what matters is that the search engines know your handle. .com, .uk, .org, .clinic, all of them are worth EXACTLY the same amount. Get the cheapest, duckduckgo will point the masses in your direction regardless of your chosen TLD.

        (I haven't had to register a new domain in around two decades.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Price gouging.

          Not always that easy.

          1) If your preferred name is gone you are still going to want to try to brand as close as possible with the domain. So if your company is ACME Clinic then you may find that the best address for you is acme.clinic as the others have gone.

          2)Fraud. You start selling online through acmeclinic.com and then some shyster in faraway lands registers acme.clinic and starts stealing customer card details and ruins your reputation.

          3)Passing off. Someone with the company name ACME herbal medicines registers acme.clinic and then starts selling through that and become more popular. Traffic that was intended for you mistakenly goes to this herbal site.

          These reasons are used to try to extort money from you to buy the raft of new TLDs but the fact is they can be an issue, especially if your company is not extremely well ranked within the search engines to start with because you haven't been operating very long.

        2. brotherelf

          Re: Price gouging.

          Eh, depending on legislation in your country, you might need to defend your trademark (by making sure nobody gets the domain in other TLDs) to keep it valid. Yes, still price gouging, this time endorsed by the lawmakers.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: Price gouging.

            Defending your trademark does not mean you buy up everything with your trademark on it.

            You literally just sue whoever put up that domain with the unauthorised usage of your trademark, and force ICANN/whoever to suspend the domain / remove it when that court case starts / finishes.

            It's like saying "to defend the trademark Nike, we need to buy up anything that has the word Nike on it". It's just a nice way to go bankrupt fast.

            That said, where there is fair usage (e.g. "nikesucks.com") then they'd rather pay the $50 to own it themselves than let someone else humiliate them in court by winning rights to such a name (which they often do). But then, surely, that person would just buy "nikeREALLYsucks.com" if they couldn't get the first one anyway?

            It's all pointless and achieves nothing but some people have domain-name fever and throw their money at naming authorities, while everyone else just thinks up a name that nobody else is using or makes do.

            I remember when novatech.com used to be a military equipment supplier. The number of times I landed on there by mistake when trying to get to novatech.co.uk was unbelievable. And then Google came along and it's quicker to Google "novatech". It seems that, in the intervening years, they obviously paid someone money for the .com too, though.

            1. wolfetone Silver badge

              Re: Price gouging.

              "You literally just sue whoever put up that domain with the unauthorised usage of your trademark, and force ICANN/whoever to suspend the domain / remove it when that court case starts / finishes."

              Not really, not all the time.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Price gouging.

              "You literally just sue whoever put up that domain with the unauthorised usage of your trademark, and force ICANN/whoever to suspend the domain / remove it when that court case starts / finishes."

              And back in the real world...

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Price gouging.

      Simple. Non-standard domain names TLDs are the vanity plates of the Internet world.

      You are paying for "ownership" of an arbitrary string. Certain strings are "worth more" because the people in charge of writing the strings down say so.

      It's literally that simple.

    3. Tannin

      Re: Price gouging.

      Why does .clinic cost$55 quid more?

      Because any tool dumb enough to want .clinic instead of something sensible like .co.uk is just about certain to be dumb enough to pay 55 quid extra. Or 155 quid extra for that matter.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Price gouging.

        Registering cynic.clinic today!

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: Price gouging.

          Blocking *.clinic at the mail server today.

        2. wolfetone Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Price gouging.

          "Registering cynic.clinic today!"

          Go ahead. You won't beat the clap.clinic website!

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Go ahead. You won't beat the clap.clinic website!

            I'm not even TOUCHING the clap.clinic website.

  4. batfastad

    Transfer

    I was using the UKReg brand of Fasthosts for years, many years ago. And they were overpriced even then.

    Moved all my domains to namecheap.com and gandi.net (for the TLDs that namecheap didn't support at the time). Highly recommend both.

    1. Redstone
      Pint

      Re: Transfer

      I like namecheap.com too. I have been using them for a few years now and never had any problems with them. I transferrred 4 domains over to them earlier this year and ended up paying less for all four of them than what the previous company wanted for just one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Transfer

        I just checked out namecheap, they are not bad, but not always cheap:

        .game $ 389.88 - Renewal Price $389.88

  5. Colonel Mad

    1&1

    My .co.uk doubled earlier this year

    1. beeurd

      Re: 1&1

      Nominet increased their wholesale prices earlier this year. Most .UK resellers adjusted their pricing accordingly.

  6. TRT Silver badge

    Today...

    I shall be mostly renewing my domain names.

    - Jesse

  7. Solarflare

    and .clinic will leap from £24.99 to £64.99.

    Personally if I saw "www.x.clinic" I'd take it as a scam site...I would recommend peopld use .com/.co.uk etc

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Moved my .com domains to Freenom as they only charge cost for them, unfortunately they don't appear to take .co.uk domains so will have to move these elsewhere or renew them now at Fasthosts before they hike up the price.

  9. Doc Ock

    www.clap.clinic

    I wonder who's got that ?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Clapham health services.

  10. Don_Duende

    123reg getting greedy

    as mentioned in the article, 123reg have been hiking their prices, with no explanation.

    I've been migrating all my domains to namecheap and thus far am happy with their pricing and their service.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: 123reg getting greedy

      Probably because most people just leave auto-renew on (Oh wait so do I, but I use Enom because I am to lazy to go elsewhere.).

      I expect they are trying to get a cash injection with people renewing for longer as I don't remember Nominet or Verisign being that high (CentralNic however were mind boggling).

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: 123reg getting greedy

      Nominet put their wholesale price up at the end of last year. Which explains the all the UK domain price-rises - or at least some percentage of them.

      Then while you're at it, why not bung something on all the prices? The .clinic one could be whatever crap registrar bought that from ICANN in the hopes of .riches - but has ended up with .tumbleweed, and so is desperately trying to recoup their .losses...

  11. davidp231

    Fasthosts.. meh.

    Still pester you to update your card details despite you migrating everything away from them a few years ago and closing your account with them.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Fasthosts.. meh.

      Pestering for card details years after you left? Sounds like GoDaddy's behavior toward me. I wonder who copied who. As for "Just Move", I have never used Fasthosts, but experience with other registrars and hosting companies leads me to expect you should block out some time on your calendar and be prepared to be reminded of the Petshop sketch (The admin server is currently pining for the fjords...)

  12. Daniel Hall
    Thumb Down

    Worked there..

    6 odd years ago.

    Terrible company with regards to foresight.

    This article surprises me just as much as when they launched redhat on hyper-v before it was ready. Not.

  13. MrKrotos

    Another vote for namecheap.com

    I was using 123-reg for a while, got sick of their system not working right and the fact they lost a domain for a friend during a transfer in to 123!

    The price hikes are just adding to the reasons to stay clear of these.

    "My .co.uk doubled earlier this year" owned by the same company as Fasthosts!

    123-reg, webfusion, godaddy, Heart Internet, Domain Factory, Host Europe, Paragon Group, Server4You, Serverloft, World Hosting Days and NamesCon are all the same company now, see: http://www.heg.com/#ourbusiness

  14. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Amazingly enough I'm trying to get into my UKReg account to take my domains away from them and I can't get in. Supposedly bad password, so I reset it. Still bad username or password. I smell a rat!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this pushed me to...

    ...cancel my domains with them. very therapeutic.

  16. rctempire

    HeartInternet

    Surely some people use HeartInternet as a reseller?

    Keeps cost down and you can manage costs for the clients.

    1. Picky
      Happy

      Re: HeartInternet

      I do - they even reduced prices recently ....

  17. mark0x

    Transferred away

    Just finished moving 149 domains over to Namecheap. It's a shame as we'd been with Fasthosts for years but I found this recent price hike sheer greed and they have failed to justify it in any way.

  18. 1Rafayal

    Fasthosts, lolol

  19. Fonant
    Thumb Up

    Mythic Beasts FTW

    Consider supporting Mythic Beasts, who in turn support open source in the UK. Perhaps not the cheapest, but they have plenty of clue.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Daily Mail

    Prices SOAR 160% to £10 a year.

  21. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Gimp

    Since no one else has mentioned it.

    The wholesale price of a .co.uk address is currently around £4; I doubt the others are much more, if ANY more.; so they are minting it.

    Gimp, because you have to be one if you put up with price gouging (hence it being named fanboi).

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're all at it!

    Godaddy suddenly started charging me 20% TAX on all new products and renewals a couple of weeks ago, its the last straw. They said the UK government demanded it. I moved 602 domains to Namecheap who don't charge 20% TAX despite also being based in the US. I'm going to move all my Fasthosts domains to Namecheap too.

  23. knottedhandkerchief

    Moved all from fasthosts to lcn.com (mostly .co.uk) - very smooth and easy, and very nice user interface, bodes well. Chat was answered immediately. Free transfer of .co.uk and kept the remaining term, and exactly half the price of fasthosts after their rise, and discount price breaks. Shame about the lack of free privacy, though for individuals, not needed for .co.uk

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Another few hundred moving from 123REG to LCN

      I'm moving mine. A little care is necessary with some so aiming at about 10/day but finding the LCN UI easier to use than 123reg. I've persevered long enough with 123 despite several cockups especially in respect of charges.

      123reg make it hard to find and navigate to the outbound transfers page so if you've got multiple names to shift set a browser bookmark or you'll have to follow the same tortuous route each time.

      My current difficulty is that 123reg seem to like charging for domains set to not renew and moved elsewhere. I can't prove that some domains I'm certain I set to not renew seem to get changed back. Maybe they have database crashes and roll back to a prior version?

      I'm currently trying to cancel the Direct Debit at the Bank to make it harder for them to charge.

      Clearly the biggest benefit of moving is to those with loads of domains but even if you've just got one, for co.uk the process is trivially simple and not much harder for .com. I can see no benefit in paying double even for a single name.

      Yes I inherited a couple of names at Fasthosts, those will move today.

      As regards domain privacy, personally I'm not worried about disclosing street address. The email address will attract spams and scams so I use a Gmail reserved for domain name registration (I set a filter to highlight and forward relevant ones to my normal account but diarise a regular check too just in case) a phone number (free Sipgate) that goes to voicemail (never gets any).

      BTW Nominet never use postal or phone contact but rely solely on email as a client of mine found when they'd not updated their email. They lost their domain by failing to respond to a trivial technical query from Nominet. Rather than suspend the name Nominet cancelled and immediately released it to the open market with no other warning or period or suspension. Luckily I spotted the issue and re-purchased. Who would ever have thought Nominet could screw up...

      I'd better clarify the nominet query: My customer had registered his name as like "freds enterprises trading as Fredco" rather than "freds enterprises" then use a separate field for "Trading as Fredco". OK strictly "wrong" but sufficiently misleading to justify cancelling the registration?

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