Why we charge DNS support fees.

We often get asked why we charge a setup fee for configuring DNS services for a third party web hosting service. 

Website.world is in the business of selling websites. As a service to our website building customers, we also sell domains. And we sell those domains at super discounted prices, because we want to encourage new domain registrants to learn about our wonderful website building services. 

Every so often, we have a domain registrant who buys a domain through us at a discount price, then wants to connect the domain name to a 3rd party web hosting service. We have no problem with that, and we provide free access for our customers to login, and setup their own DNS configuration for their domain. Many other domain registrars don't allow that for free. But we do, we simply charge for expert IT assistance to setup your DNS configuration for you. 

DNS is not a straight forward business, it uses some technical jargon, and the process often confuses people. Often the instructions provided by the third party web host are not straight forward. Often the third party web host does not provide very good support either. So these customers then ask us to support them with setting up their third party web hosting service. This sometimes even involves them asking us to login to their 3rd party service to ensure they have set it all up right. We also have to consider if the customer wants email here, there, or anywhere. 

It's sort of like: 

taking your own food into a cafe, buying a coffee,
then asking the cafe to heat up your food. 

However, we are happy to help customers with setting up their 3rd party web service, we simply want to charge for our time, if the customer wants us to provide expert professional assistance.  

Since we are not receiving revenue for hosting a website, it makes sense that we should be reimbursed for the professional service time we provide. If customers setup their own DNS, we would not need to provide any support. So it really is an expert service they are requesting. Expert services do come at a price, and that is not built into the very low cost of domains we sell.

Our domains are preconfigured for use with our services, because this makes life easier for us and our customers, as there is no additional work to do if customers use our web hosting service. 

Real World Example - Lost Email Services, and 4 Organisations In Dispute

Recently a domain registrant lost email services for 24 hours, because their web designer contacted us, and told us to change the nameservers to a third party. We did as requested, because it seemed reasonable request. However, that request killed their email service, and DNS updates can take 24 hours to correct. So then we corrected the DNS to get email working. We had no clear instruction as to how to get their web hosting to work, so we could not action that part. Then their web designer came back to us asking us again to change the DNS as before, as the website was not live. We then got stuck in a battle between a registrant, a web designer, and their preferred web host. The registrant and their web designer did not have the technical skills to update the DNS such that the registrant could keep their email running and have website hosted elsewhere. The website hosting company didn't provide any support at all. The web host should have been providing more support, as it is them who will profit from getting the website live. So everyone was depending on us to get their complex relationship of 4 organisations to work together. And we only profit $4 a year on domain names. The organisation(s) who should have been providing expert assistance is either the web designer professional who earns $1000+, or the web hosting company who earns $200+. In this case, that design professional did not have the required skills to support her customer. The web hosting company didn't provide any support at all. And since we do provide a great support service, everyone was looking at us to sort our their problem. I will note that this customer was more than happy to pay our support fee, and we did get the problem solved. We even had to login to the third parties web hosting control panel to fix it up. I feel that our support fee was well earned that day. 

What services are included free with domain registrations. 

When you buy a domain, it is sort of like buying a company registration. You are simply registering the right to use the name for as long as you renew it. Any other service that might be anticipated as being provided, is not a free service unless you also host your website with us. 

  • Website hosting is not provided free with domains, you need to pay someone to host your website
  • Website design is not free, that is a professional service
  • Email is not provided free with domains, email is provided free with websites
  • DNS support is not provided free with domains, DNS support is not needed for customers who host their website with us.
  • Expert IT assistance with third party services is not provided free with domains, you should ask your third party service providers to provide that assistance, and they can login to our control panel, and make any updates that you want. However be careful considering the above examples.

What do other domain registrars do? 

  • Most website building services who sell domains won't support DNS updates to point to 3rd party web hosts.
  • Some cheaper domain registrars charge for custom DNS modules, so you pay to customise your DNS, even if you DIY
  • Most IT companies charge for their time in supporting customers for any issue
  • Many domain registrars charge more for their domain, so the DNS fee is built into their RRP domain renewal price. 

How can i change to another domain provider?

If you find a domain registrar who will provide you free DNS and more friendly free IT support, for a lower cost, we would encourage you to change providers. It is easy to change providers, and we won't take offence. You simply need to ask us for your UDAI, such that you can transfer your domain. It is best for you and it's best for us, if you get your web host to be your domain registry. It's not comulsory, but it is for the best. Unfortunately, some of the cheap off shore hosting companies don't support .nz domains, and therefore you have a conundrum. You might also find that same offshore provider also doesn't support all nz payment gateways, nor subtleties in nz rural delivery addresses.

What about email services? 

  • Our fee to configure your DNS to support any third party web hosting provider or any third party email provider is only $30. 
  • If you want us to provide you an email service, while you host your website elsewhere, the fee is $7 a month, plus the one off DNS fee above if required. 

Posted: Thursday 3 March 2016

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