No more host

I received my invoice to renew my hosting for two more years last week and with money being a little tight these days, I had to reconsider my need for a hosted site and email. In the past year I’d had a few problems with the DNS servers and email but my host had always been very responsive in resolving every issue. It was just a couple weeks ago I’d finally fixed all of my email problems.

I took a good hard look at my activity on my sited. Because of the email issues, I really hadn’t been using the email accounts much and I use Gmail for most of my correspondence. Most of the content I had on rbromig.org and mojoreisen.com was quite static and hadn’t been updated in quite a while, to include my genealogy data. Two of the three blogs on the site were about the only content that was active, and I had the conky page which has been updated quite a bit lately.

I had been providing email accounts for my son and daughter-in-law and they’ve already told me it was okay to terminate that. I went through recent emails and changed the addresses for most of the ones I cared about. I backed up the entire site to my local computer so I wouldn’t lose any content. I backed up the blogs and exported the two more active ones to WordPress.com so they’re up and running. I may have lost a few readers in the process but I probably didn’t have that many readers anyway. I created a page on this blog for the Conky information and changed the commands to download the script and configuration files from my Dropbox.

Just after midnight this morning, after I’d shut down my computers, I got an email alert on my phone from my bank informing me that the amount for the hosting invoice had hit my account. My invoice had said that it needed to be paid by the 7th so I wasn’t expecting it to go through so soon. I had hoped to have a couple more days to make sure I had everything ready to close my account. I left a message with support explaining the situation, my intention to close out my account by the 7th, and requested a refund. Within a couple of hours, I received confirmation that the money would be refunded and the account would be closed. When I checked my bank account this morning there was both the charge and the refund pending.

They’ve been an excellent hosting provider and they’ve been very responsive to any problems I’ve had. I evaluated my need for hosted email and content and decided it was something that was nice to have but not really necessary. I would like to have a place for my genealogy information so I’ll be looking to see what I can find for that. Some of the information can be put on my “Official” weblog on WordPress.com. But right now, not having some kind of web site up feels strange. I’ve had a personal web site of some kind for many, many years going back to the days when I had a dial-up ISP. I’m going to miss having a personalized domain name.

Messing with email

Last night I was thinking about upgrading my laptop to Mint 18.1 even though 17.3 will still be supported for a couple more years. I don’t have much data on it but I figured I’d run a back up and make a list of applications and settings. The laptop was my only Linux machine that was receiving email (but not sending) from my hosted accounts I I figured I’d jot down the settings. I decided to compare them with the Thunderbird settings on my Windows 7 PC which was also receiving but not sending. The settings were different for some reason.

I brought up cPanel and checked the mail setup instructions which were different from either. I got the settings for the laptop and the Win 7 PC from cPanel at different times. Apparently, they occasionally change the recommended settings

I opened up Thunderbird on the main Linux desktop, changed the settings, and they worked. My inboxes began filling up. I successfully sent test messages from both accounts to my gmail. I also made adjustments to the settings in my sbcglobal account which I haven’t used in years except for PPOE login when AT&T was my ISP. And I added my new Time-Warner account.

So far it seems to be working. Another problem solved until the next time something changes.

Blogs and nameservers

One day last week I found that I couldn’t access the WordPress blog on my primary domain. I put in a support ticket with my hosting provider and they discovered that my required a lower version of PHP than what was on the server. They downgraded it and I was able to access the blog and upgrade it to the latest version of WordPress.

In the course of investigating that problem, they noticed that my subdomain was pointing to an old nameserver and suggested that I contact the domain registrar to have the nameservers changed. When I changed hosting providers a few years ago I got a new domain name as part of the package and I moved my original domain over as a subdomain while keeping the original domain registration.

I also found that I’d been accessing cPanel via the IP address for the server that had been used prior to them migrating my domains to a new server, meaning that I’d been accessing and making changes to old data.¬† I changed my cPanel shortcut to use the URL.

I contacted the domain registrar to get the nameservers changed on the domain which had me going back and forth between the domain registrar and the hosting provider, and each saying that the other needed to make the change. Finally, someone on the registrar’s support staff provided me with a link to the control panel where I could make the change myself. After reestablishing my credentials, I changed the nameservers.

After giving the change some time to propagate, I checked the domain on intoDNS.com and saw that it was showing the correct nameservers. I opened the blogs that reside on the second domain (that I just changed) and they seemed to be up to date. I checked them at random intervals and it looked good, I hadn’t lost anything.

I still haven’t resolved the problems with Thunderbird on my Linux and Windows PCs. I’m still accessing the hosted email accounts from my Linux laptop. I’m hesitant to delete the accounts on the Linux PC because of all the stored emails. I could delete them on the Windows PC and recreate them, letting Thunderbird find the mail servers like I did with the laptop.

I’m considering letting the second domain go when it comes up for renewal in November.¬† I can prepare for that by forwarding mail to the account on my primary domain, setting up new accounts and forwarding¬† for the kids, and moving the blogs to either the primary domain or to WordPress.com. I’ve got a few months think about it. Having two domains on the same hosting account has been a bit of a headache lately.

Email problems

A few days ago I noticed that I wasn’t receiving emails from my mojoreisen.com account. I changed the account settings in my mail client to the secure settings and the mail appeared. However, I haven’t gotten any since.

This morning, I opened up cPanel and looked at my email account. The disk usage showed 0MB used. I then accessed the account via my host’s webmail interface and there was nothing. I sent myself test emails from various accounts but the only one received was from my rbromig.org account which is on the same server. I did not get any bounced messages in the other accounts. Are the messages getting to the mail server but something is happening to them before they are routed to the account? It’s weird.

As another check, I downloaded and installed Thunderbird to my Windows PC and set up the accounts as IMAP accounts. Again, the only message on the mojoreisen.com account was the one from rbromig.org, nothing from the outside.

I’ve put a ticket into my host’s tech support. Hopefully, they can figure out what’s going on.

I guess I need to go through my various accounts with financial institutions and other organizations and change my email contacts that use that account. If I can get to a point where I don’t need that account, I’ll have only one active account using that domain for mail. Maybe I can set her up an account on rbromig.org or go to gmail or something.

Actually, I’d like to just close down the mojoreisen.com domain, moving my blogs to either my primary domain or to wordpress.com. I haven’t done anything with the web pages on the domain in ages.

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