Frequently Asked Questions

The NearlyFreeSpeech.NET FAQ (*)

Our Service (*)

What is adjunct access?

What is the fine print on the "two cents" free trial?

What is a resource accounting unit?

How do I set up TLS (HTTPS) for my web site?

What is an alternate emergency contact?

How exactly are storage charges calculated?

Will bandwidth charges apply to my ssh usage?

What are the default directories created when I set up a new site?

What is resource billing?

How do I transfer something to another member?

How do I set up two-factor authentication for my membership?

How do I set up TLS using my own key and a third-party certificate?

The IP addresses listed for my site have changed since I last looked. Should I be concerned?

How do I cancel my membership?

To manage services for multiple entities, should I create multiple memberships or accounts?

How did my account get overdrawn?

Can I change the name of my _____?

How can people contribute funds to support my site?

If I want to start my site over, should I delete it and make another with the same name?

Why was I warned that my PayPal deposit is nonrefundable?

How come I can't ping/traceroute stuff on your network?

How do I sign up my friend for NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

I tried to change my contact email address but I never got a confirmation email. How do I get another one sent to me?

You forwarded me a DMCA notification affecting my site. Now what?

What is maintenance mode?

How do I transfer something from one account to another on my membership?

How can multiple people manage services hosted here?

Why does my bank's website say you charged my credit card even though your site said the payment(s) failed?

What is the "Excess Non-Production Sites" charge?

I don't log in to your site all the time. How do I stay up to date on news and announcements?

How do I remove or replace my two-factor device?

How do I hand over control of hosted services to someone else?

First, we will summarize the transfer process, which is straightforward and quick when done properly. After that, we will go into some detail about why it works the way it does.

  1. Resist the urge for the sender to give the recipient their username and password. That's expressly forbidden by our TACOS and will ultimately cause both of you a lot more expense and hassle than it avoids.
  2. The recipient should create a new membership of their own. (Unless they already have one!)
  3. The sender and the recipient each send us identical (free) assistance requests to transfer an account between memberships. Or, if the recipient already has an account, there is also the option to transfer assets between accounts.

That's it. The whole process usually takes about five minutes of your time to arrange.

It's common for expert web developers and designers to use our service to set up and manage accounts, domains, and sites for third parties. The third party might be an individual (like clients, friends, or relatives) or a group, club, or company. (For the sake of simplicity, we'll call people who do this "web admins," and we'll call the third party the "client" for the rest of this FAQ entry.)

That's a good match for the way our service is set up, and it's fine to do as long as everyone involved understands that, as far as we're concerned, the member managing the account is calling the shots.

For various reasons, changing the responsible party is sometimes necessary. Maybe a client/designer relationship is ending, or someone is leaving the company or graduating from a school club. This situation, which is often already delicate enough, does need to be handled with special care.

The very first thing is to be very sure you understand the difference between an account and a membership. It helps this type of transfer a lot if all the relevant assets are bundled up in one account on the current web admin's membership. Then, it can then be transferred as a single easy piece to the client's membership. (Most people handling hosting for others already manage assets this way anyway for accounting purposes.)

Transferring assets from the developer's membership to the client's membership (whether neatly bundled in one account or not) must be done while following certain very strict rules about NearlyFreeSpeech.NET memberships:

This means that if you are acting as a webmaster for a client, you cannot, for any reason, create or access a membership belonging to them. This specifically includes setting up a new membership on behalf of a client. And they may not access your membership either. So giving them your login and password information and sailing off into the sunset is right out.

The common question at this point is how a non-technical client is supposed to set up and manage a membership and hosting for themselves. The answer is that they are not. Our service is designed to be used by skilled webmasters, and it's often the case that removing the technical expertise of a professional developer without replacing it with an equivalent is simply not viable. If you find yourself in a situation that would wind up with a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET membership in the hands of someone who won't know what to do with it, stop. That probably means the transfer you need to arrange is to a hosting company that offers a lot of tech support (e.g., telephone tech support) and caters specifically to nonspecialists. That's fine; there are a large number of such companies. We would much rather that happen than for someone to end up with a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET member left in the lurch with no idea how to use our service or what our policies are.

For this reason, if we detect a transfer request between two memberships that appear to have been accessed by the same person, we will stop the transfer. Depending on the circumstances, we may refuse to process it entirely. But at a minimum, we will contact both parties and ask them to verify their identity and that they submitted their request themselves. We will further ask the recipient to confirm that they went through the signup process themselves, that they have read and understood (and agreed to) our Terms and Conditions of Service, that they understand the nature of our service, and that they are comfortable managing their membership and account moving forward without any external assistance (including ours). Only if we're satisfied will we allow the transfer to proceed.

That's a lot of extra hassle. However, it's very simple to avoid it completely: just make sure that the transfer recipient sets up their own membership and that neither the sender nor the recipient ever accesses the other's membership.

For more information on transfers and on helping others get set up on our service, we recommend also reading our FAQ entries about organizations and referrals.

How do I see what users I have granted adjunct access to my site?

How do I transfer funds between accounts on my membership?

How do I remove TLS?

What are the IP addresses of your name servers?

Is my website non-production, production, or critical?

What is unbilled storage?

What is account sharing?

Why can't I cancel my membership?

How do I change the contact email address I gave you when I created my membership?

How do I get a receipt for a deposit I made?

Is penetration testing of sites hosted here allowed?

How can I send funds to another member's account or site?

Since your service is prepaid, how do I know when to add funds?

Do you provide refunds for services already rendered?

What do I do if I find a typo or mistake in your documentation?

What is NearlyFreeSpeech's backup strategy for user content?

Will my site still incur charges if it is disabled?