From an industry-watcher’s point of view it can feel like local hosting companies are a dying breed, with more and more offshoring and international acquisitions - like Freeparking in 2020. But when you’re close enough to see the effects on New Zealand businesses and web developers, you realise that the logic of “bigger is better” doesn’t work for everyone.
^^ That introductory paragraph article was originally published on 25 July 2022, but it's still incredibly true today (29 September 2023). We'll get back to the original article soon, but first here's a very relevant update.
2023: Freeparking and Discount Domains customers are knocking on our door again
This morning we have been hearing from customers of Discount Domains (which is owned by Freeparking). They're calling us because a nameserver outage has pulled their websites offline. We don't know what's causing that - after all, they're not our nameservers - but we do know that transferring domains and hosting from Domains Direct to another provider (like, say, us) would cut those failing nameservers out of the loop.
Situations like this aren't good for anyone.
The problem right now is that to transfer a domain, you need to get an EPP or Auth code from your current provider. And in the case of Discount Domains, customers can't log in right now. Freeparking itself is reporting a similar set of issues - major outages to its Web Hosting and DNS Hosting platforms.
So there might not be a quick escape, but it's not too soon contact us so we can help as soon as possible.
We've said this before but it bears repeating: Situations like this aren't good for anyone. A lot of New Zealand businesses can't trade online today. That's the worst part but there's more.
The people answering grumpy phone calls and emails from locked-out customers may be our competitors, but they'll be having a very tough day at work, for no fault of their own. Somewhere (but probably not in New Zealand) there is a team of engineers under pressure to understand exactly what's broken and fix it. There's a good chance they'll be looking into the way a multinational giant, Dreamscape Networks, tried to absorb a tangle of NZ brands and systems into its infrastructure.
We're about to return to the rest of the 2022 version of this article. As you'll see, those attempts to unite Freeparking (and its other NZ brands like Discount Domains) into the Dreamscape platform have faltered before.
Back to 2022, and another cycle of pain
When we first wrote this article in 2022, the latest example of this was Freeparking’s migration onto a new platform. We saw reports of everything from Freeparking customers being unable to login, to DNS problems taking websites offline, to domain management issues. All of which are accompanied by the very familiar story of a customer support system that isn’t actually supporting customers when things go wrong.
A lot of the Freeparking customers who spoke with us had chosen Freeparking because they wanted to host locally and enjoy kiwi service. Now they have to move away just to go back to getting what they want.
An annoyingly familiar story
In a lot of ways this is quite similar to Openhost’s troubled migration onto Crazy Domains infrastructure in 2021. As well as being the end of a brand that had been a powerhouse of local hosting, for a lot of customers that migration was a series of painful screw-ups. We saw it as a good example of why local alternatives matter.
Openhost turned into Crazy Domains shortly after it had become part of Dreamscape Networks International Pte Ltd. If you’re a Freeparking customer and “Dreamscape Networks International Pte Ltd” sounds familiar to you, that’s because they also own Freeparking.
Do we see a pattern?
You can always come home
New Zealand customers don’t deserve to be hung out to dry like this, but it keeps happening anyway. If you don’t want to be given the run-around by a massive hosting provider that doesn’t take NZ seriously, then you’ll be pleased to know a few things about us:
- MyHost is 100% NZ-owned and operated, and we're staying that way. (We're owned by SiteTech Group, along with sister companies like SiteHost and Domains Direct).
- Our expert support team is mostly based in Auckland and answers tickets in minutes, not hours. We don't outsource support, so everyone you deal with is a member of the MyHost team. We're available 24/7.
- We make it easy to self-manage your web hosting and domains through high-quality online tools.
- We offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Our Web Hosting packages start at $8.95/mo and our domain prices beat Freeparking’s.
- We'll help migrate your site and domains from Freeparking (or anywhere else) - contact us to chat about that.
- Our Auckland data centre is hooked up to hundreds of solar panels which offset thousands of tonnes of carbon every yeear.