I hate learning lessons the hard way. Recently I learned that it is always best to keep your hosting provider separate from your hosting registrar. As mentioned before, my former host had a major problem in December. Their site was hacked and thus one of my sites was hacked.
All contact for technical support is done online through a system they took down for two weeks. Not that it mattered as they haven’t responded to trouble tickets or emails at all.
While their system was up I was able to go in and get the keys to the domain and unlock some of them. I wasn’t quick enough however and they still have a handful of domains held hostage.
When they finally got their client area back online, I wasn’t able to login with my old username and password. Password reset worked after 3 attempts, but I was sad (not surprised) to see that only one of my domains and sites is now listed. My guess is that they are restoring the database ( I hope). I wasn’t able to unlock this domain, however.
So now, I have a few small sites that are in limbo. I’m glad they’re just hobby sites and nothing too important. However, I did learn two valuable lessons; keep things backed up and keep your domain host and registrar separate. That way you can start over with someone new and just point the DNS to the new host.