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Web site woes…and resolution!

September 13, 2011

Eleven years ago I subscribed to Apple’s MobileMe service when it first came out. The sync features were…frustrating. They got better, but never were really good, and I don’t use them much at all now. The part of the service I used the most was the iDisk. It was one of the first “cloud” kind of remote-server services – at least one of the most easily used ones.

It created a copy of the iDisk on your local hard drive, and would sync the two in the background. Of course, I used two different computers a lot, so I had to sync to both. That didn’t always work quite right, but it worked successfully enough that I could use it for my school and personal sites. I didn’t need more than 10 GB of space and no more than the allowed bandwidth.

It had some quirks. Occasionally it would do something weird, like not allowing the browser to open an html file and telling you to download it instead. That’s what caused me to ultimately abandon it this week.

I don’t need the school site anymore, and we don’t really use the family one. (We use PhotoRocket to share photos within our family most of the time nowadays.) Occasionally we will use it to send large files to each other, but we’re using Dropbox more and more for that. Once my music publishing business site, www.waggonermusic.com, started to have problems, it was time to go. The index file required a minor change, and I could no longer access it, no matter what I did.

The domain name was being handled through GoDaddy, using a redirect; GoDaddy has worked well for me to handle domain name issues (I think I have five with them now) but when I was pricing out site hosting and such I found I could get a good deal with Fatcow.com. This isn’t to denigrate GoDaddy; it’s an industrial-strength company with great services. They offer way more services than I need! But this is a shoestring operation. I don’t have a lot of pieces of music to sell, so on Fatcow the shopping cart is free; I could also set up a pretty good little five-page site for free. I can still add anything else I want by hand, and I will, and I’ll ftp it up to the server.

My only gripe was that GoDaddy hid the page where I had to approve the transfer of the domain. It took me a while (like over 24 hours) to realize that I had to go there and approve it. I thought I had already done so. Maybe they thought the page was easy to find, but one of my only complaints with them is that the interface of their account management site is too busy.

The folks in tech support at Fatcow were really timely and helpful in replying to my support requests. They did have to “flip a couple of switches” someplace, which surprised me. I thought everything should be ready to go right out of the box. But within 36 hours everything was good to go. They also don’t have a really good way to do a redirect of a subdomain. That surprised me, too. But I’ll get it. The server is a Unix box and I have access to some scripting features I never had before. I don’t know much about it, but I will probably have to do some research.

I just sent out a big email mailing to band directors in Illinois last week, so I was pretty worried that the site would be down at the worst possible time…but it was back up and better than before. Well, it will be when I get the links put in. And that’s what I have to do now…

By the way, if you would want to take a look, the blog is at blog.waggonermusic.com, and the store is at www.waggonermusic.com/store.

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