“Screenshot of my desktop with Zerigo.,” Ben Wilson , CC BY 4.0.

TechnologyFrustration with Zerigo

This morning, I woke up looking forward to spending time preparing for my next novel series. Instead, I spent the past two hours trying to fix a problem with my domain name hosting. While I would like to shake my fist at the provider, Zerigo, this was an opportunity to really look at how I host.

In the sixteen years I’ve had dausha.net, I’ve had many different hosting approaches. I’ve used static files, content management systems, wiki engines, and now back to static files. Octopress is my current blog engine of choice. I’ve been using Heroku, with Zerigo for my domain name service. Sometime in 2014, Zerigo stopped doing it’s free domain name hosting for Heroku. I’m one of the customers who apparently was grandfathered in. This morning, dausha.net was no longer available. I learned this because I was using the stylesheet for dausha.net with my series Bible for my next novel series. When the style wasn’t right, I knew there was a problem.

That was 9 o’clock this morning. It’s now noon. I was tempted to buy into a Zerigo subscription plan, but efforts to get to behave and to show the domain weren’t working even with the free version separate from Heroku. In the end, I went to Go Daddy for domain resolution. And while I was at it, I decided I would look at GitHub to host the site. It took a while for me to figure it out, about an hour. In the end, I ended up moving from Heroku to GitHub. Whether I do this for the other two sites that I own remains to be seen.

I have been a developer, and a project manager now. So losing a weekend to get Gentoo Linux to compile properly or otherwise beating my head in frustration over my own ignorance or incompetence is not new to me. Tools should just work, but since mine are a little bit eclectic, I know that a little more pain is involved. It’s a shame because I’ve used the Heroku/Zerigo pairing for a couple of years now and was very happy. Looking online, it appears that there are many other Zerigo customers who are also frustrated. Many of them went to other DNS host solutions. I was tempted to go with one of those but they were all a little too expensive. GoDaddy had a relatively inexpensive plan.

The downside is that for two years I’ve been able to host dausha.net without cost. Now will cost me about three dollars a month. Still a lot less than the $20 I paid throughout the 2000s.

Now it seems that all is right with the world. I’m not upset with Zerigo, they are after all a business and they have to change. Nor am I upset with Heroku, who still provides a fine service. I’m just frustrated that I lost a couple hours when I had time set aside to focus on my next series. Of course, I have friends who are wondering why I’m not finishing Imbroglio. I still have time in 2014 to finish the draft, and I want to be able to start a new series in 2015.

© 2014 Ben Wilson. All Rights Reserved