HostOnce - Have you heard?

Has anybody heard of HostOnce? We have a client who is using them and their website went down a few days ago. HostOnce’s phone # just goes to static, there’s no email response and their support forum does work… :-/ The information we found was pretty negative so the client is moving hosting but we need to get a hold of HostOnce for the domain transfer. Any thoughts on handling non-responsive hosting companies? … or (and the unwanted option) should we just forget about the domain and find something else?


That is a tough call but if the hosting company can’t be reached what else can you do but move on? How long have you been trying to contact them? Sorry to hear you are having such issues. Did you research the company before you signed on and how long have you been with them? I always try to leave my domain independent of my hosting. I would give it until Monday. If they had a major issues then they make take some time to resolve it or they could have just packed up and moved along. It does happen.

My site too has been down since 7/6/2012. I have emailed and emailed and tried calling with no response. I started a complaint with the BBB. I really just want my domain - which still says is registered under them.

Question: Why would you register with your host with all the advise here to NEVER do that?

Okay, too late for you but you could appeal to your region’s controlling registrar for transfer the domain to a responsible registrar while you’re searching for a reputable host.


[indent]I offer my common advice:

  1. Establish your requirements, i.e., Linux, Apache 2.4+, PHP 5.2+, MySQL 5+ and storage and bandwidth requirements. Remember to allocate for log files, databases, e-mail (attachments) and growth.

1a. (added) If you’re looking for a VPS or dedicated server, remember to ask what the host’s managed services provide. Remember, a non-managed host must be monitored by you 24/7/365!

  1. Know what control panels you are willing to use, i.e., WHM/cPanel. cPanel is the standard bearer for Linux systems and Plesk for Windows systems.

  2. Know how much CPU time/RAM you need. If you need a lot of processing power (like Zoomla and other CMS’s), this will be a major factor. These, however, are usually specified only for VPS/dedicated accounts and automatically throttled for shared/reseller accounts.

  3. Know your target (the Internet is fast but some latency could hurt so the closer your server to your target audience the better) location and try to host as close to your target as possible.

  4. SEARCH (using the above parameters) recording each feasible host as well how well it satisfies your requirements and budget. Spreadsheets are good for this as you can assign weighting to the different requirements and how well they were met to generate numerical scores.

  5. Create a shortlist based on the database you’ve created in step 5 then SEARCH for comments about the host (avoiding obvious shills and websites which advertise for that host).

  6. The last step (other than selection) is to contact each shortlisted host with a question (I’ve used .htaccess and mod_rewrite availability, which services are managed by the host, the availability of IP addresses - you will require one for each SSL you use - or ask to test proprietary control panels - they may make life too difficult for you) and record the response time and your level of satisfaction with the response.

  7. Finally, you’ll have enough information to make an intelligent selection.

Been there, done that (all too frequently in the past).[/indent]




Thanks for the search information. I was actually with hostonce for over 5 years. I did not have this problem until recently. When I first joined their customer service was very good. Now I know much better.

Im glad I found this, as Im with hostonce too, for 8 years! Ive not had probs like this before and wasnt sure if it was only me. Lucky for me it was time to update my site, so I downloaded the whole site structure…then a few days later couldnt connect with ftp…

Then I couldn’t connect to my site with its regular address…

Today I googled my site and usually you will see loads of links to various pages in the results…but not today. Google must have spidered the web again and not finding my site live has totally dropped it from all its result pages. The only time my site is mentioned in the results… is on others sites who have either linked to me or similar. Effectively Im off the web!

I wrote to all of hostonces email addys, TWICE now with no replies whatsoever…their support page and status page dont load either. I found a link to say the billing/accounts email addresses wont reply to anything about tech probs etc…so in an effort to get some response, I have now written to the billing email requesting a refund of hosting fees…now thats something the ‘billing’ email should be able to respond too

I also contacted another host service, explained that when I joined hostonce they supplied both the name and the hosting…and could the new hosts transfer it for me? They advised YES…but obviously not the content, which I downloaded anyway…and bloody glad I chose to d-load when I did as it was literally the only copy!! Bad idea that I know but my backup cd got corrupted and so cant get at the backup anyway.

So if they are down for a while, or even for good, if I hadnt downloaded the complete website, 700 pages…Id have lost all content too. As Im in the UK its too expensive to call. My plan is therefore, to give them one week more, then change hosts. To UK hosts who can be called cheaply! Or visited even…

I’m having exactly the same problem. My website is down since a few days and hostonce is not answering any email or phone.
You wrote that you found a new hosting provider who is able to transfer the domain even there is a lock on it.
Would you please let me know the name of this hosting provider so I’m able to contact them as well.
Thank you!

Wow that was lucky I just checked for any replies to this and saw yours! The host I talked to via live chat was:

But they just say change where the name points too. They cannot say whether the name will still be mine if hostonce have gone under

However I have since learned that while you can change the name server, in my case, hostonce supplied the name and hosting at the same time, so in effect, they still own the name, (I think). If I end up losing my domain name, as others have, I will be furious. One thing tho is that my domain name can still be got with a extension so I may buy that version as domains now cost about £3.00

By going to hostonce/helpdesk link, there is a message saying:

Status Page

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error ‘80004005’

[MySQL][ODBC 3.51 Driver]Can’t connect to MySQL server on ‘’ (10060)

/CurrentStatus.asp, line 5

Im hoping that they get back up soon and return the emails.

OK forgot to add, I also found a free host here, (looks good) [noparse][/noparse]

Ive started an account with them, may as well have a free service till we know whats going on with hostonce.

Ive changed dns servers already and hope to be live in 24 hours. This gives me a FREE solution to get online again while I wait and see how hostonce pan out, I’m still optimistic they will go live again, then I can hopefully find a way to get my domain name in my hands for good

Can we who have this problem… pls update this page so we all know whats going on?


Well glad to say, I’m online again! Yippee!!

But not with hostonce, who still haven’t replied to over 6 emails. I signed up with the above host I mentioned, changed dns servers, uploaded the site, and am live as we speak. The host is very good for free, no ads/banners etc, and as I haven’t tested every part of their service yet I wont be rushing for paid hosting, if they do the job, why bother! But as said, I havent tested all their functions yet

Hope this info helps someone else out there who suffered from hostonce…

Been with Hostonce since 2001, and feel trapped.

As with bigbadjohn, my new sites are with - they have been great so far.

Both domain names were registered as “free” domain names, and forums say that they dont like to let them go.

so, what do I have to do to get my domains transferred from hostonce?

Just to clarify, I had a live webchat with ipage-com, but went with the FREE service at 000webhost-com in the end… in case hostonce came back online. Even if they did it has now encouraged me to move on anyway, 8 years is a long time to have paid a company only to be ignored after.

Mind you, the new FREE host, (and no Im not an affiliate), is totally unbelievable…just like a paid host and feature rich too, nothing lacking…so you can do well to at least read their offers…at 000webhost-com that is.

If you do a whois search on your domain it shows who the dns server is, my turned out to be Dotster-com… so Im wondering how that is when I originally set it all up with hostonce. But checking past receipts Ive actually paid dotster for years so maybe hostonce split some domains to them? I haven’t a clue, but so far in contacting dotster it seems to be my domain is with them and not hostonce! Go figure…

what ipage-com said was really what any host will say, you can just point your address to ANY new host

IMHO if a site is worth being online, it’s worth having a few bucks spent on it to avoid wasting time on free hosts.

Think of an hourly rate your time is worth.
Total up hours spent dealing with issues of free hosts, searching for new free hosts, moving hosts…
Multiply rate.
Add value of search engine position and sales lost to downtime.
Add value of buying a new domain if applicable.

For most people I imagine the final sum comes somewhere in between ‘should have paid for a cheap host’ and ‘could have paid for years of good hosting’

Oh, joy.

Now all my emails to “HOSTONCE” billing/sales/domains are coming back as “undeliverable”.

“It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man”

Well I do see your point. But heres a couple of mine!! But just to clarify, the host we are talking about going down…is/was a paid host!

First, I totally agree. The ONLY reason I chose the free (temp) host was to restore my web presence ASAP without cost… while we wait and see whats going wrong with the original hosts.

My logic there is not paying for another paid host in a kneejerk reaction… only to find some apologetic emails from the former host saying everything’s Ok now and we are very sorry! As said Ive been with them for 8 years, never had probs like this before so in my mind, 8 years is a good track record. Thats why I paid every year…

My first thought was - with the recent news that the FBI were temporarily taking some servers offline due to a virus scare, that it had included ‘my’ hosts…it happens! Though it doesn’t seem to be the case now

Ive 2 busy websites, (fortunately the second is with another host to hostonce, and has never had the above mentioned issues, so Im glad I decided that in the beginning)

In regards to time spent finding a free host…in my case it took about 25 mins, changing dns settings, 2 mins, and re-uploading, to the temp host, was about 15 mins, so not long at all. About an hour in fact. I cant imagine why it should take any longer TBH…

Search engine listings however, were mostly lost due to me not finding out for well over a week my main site was down. Then me spending a week waiting patiently for replies from the host, so 2 and a bit weeks with no web presence while I innocently tried to track down any problems

As Google no doubt indexes sites weekly, and couldn’t find mine, then yes it vanished from its results, …bummer…but I have a tonne of reciprocal links and affiliates that still point to my site even though google needs to re-index it. So Im still in search results…sort of!

This last point about rankins etc… is not due to ‘free-hosts’…its due to my site vanishing from the spider bots as a result of the host going down, etc. The cheesiest-poopiest-free-host can still host sites with top rankings, as the rankings have nothing to do with who hosts it, do they!!

Rankings are a result of many other things…

You say: “For most people I imagine the final sum comes somewhere in between ‘should have paid for a cheap host’ and 'could have paid for years of good hosting”

But you miss the point here, I DID PAY for years of good hosting to start with, 8 years I said I was perfectly happy, thats just on the one site, on the other site, 6 years PAID hosting so far…and still totally happy!! And once I find my next UK host who have all I want, I will be PAYING them too!

The solution I provided with mentioning the above free hosts, was to help others in the same boat as I found myself with hostonce…to get back online FAST while the main host sorts its issues.

And having said all that… the free host mentioned is actually surprisingly good…

But did you find out if they own your domain name or is that with someone else??

Have PM’d you some news…check your ‘notifications’ at top of page

Problems with HOSTONCE? Want To Transfer Domain, but can’t get in touch? Me too.

I have reported my problem to ICANN.ORG (thanks bigbadjohn for the info)

The more people who log an issue - the more likely they will do something about it (possibly)

Could this info be relevant???

Complaint logged with BBB.ORG - painless enough - only 1 prior complaint? I find that incredibly hard to believe.