If you’re in the habit of checking IP addresses for sites you log onto, you’ll know we’ve moved this web site. Part of a long, complicated, and expensive series of migrations and other changes forced on me and my poor website readers over the last 18 months by a domain name and web hosting provider I used to say nice things about. If you’re one of the few people who visits this page frequently or one of the thousands who visit my other pages daily, you’ve probably noticed sites going up and down, graphics disappearing then reappearing a few hours or days later, etc. Part of that is trying to get SSL set up properly on my pages, something that my provider told me Google would be looking for when doing its rankings, and that the same provider left out half the facts about when I told them to go ahead. “We’ll handle it for you. Just give us $400. We can fix that for you, just give us another $350. We know what you need now. Just give us $800. . . . .
One problem is that you need separate SSL certificates for site names with and without www. in front of them. If you have one and not the other, people who enter the “wrong” version of your site name will get a nasty message about how this site is unsafe or this site’s security features were installed improperly and so on.
But people who’ve linked to my sites and Google itself add or leave off the www indiscriminately, so I need to have both versions in the system. Which means I need twice as many sites covered by the license as they said I would. So I’ve made some of my less important sites subsidiaries of other sites, so they’d be covered that way, to free up “room” to have both versions of, say CreekDontRise.com in the system.
According to my provider, I can fix the “needing duplicate coverage” problem by using their “redirect” feature, but all that does is make BOTH sites flash messages that my sites are unsafe. I made one poor techie sit on the phone while I ran one of my sites through that system several different ways and none of them worked the way the system was “supposed to.” She told me that I ought to be able to figure it out by hacking my own sites’ .htaccess files until something worked. For this I’m paying them money?
Sorry, flame off. This is all a “cost of doing business,” after all. If it wasn’t for the bad timing (we’re trying to move our household physically at the same time), I might simply have regarded it as another challenge to the ever-more-obsolete technical skills that used to land me good-paying contracts in the telecom and insurance industries.
The “Good News” part is that once we get the household moved, I may be able to set up my recording studio gear again in an oversized garage bay, and start uploading more songs and videos. (Maybe by Valentine’s Day, at the rate things are going.)
In the meantime, I have several musician friends who are used to encouraging me asking why I’m not “getting more music done.” Great question!
By the way, our hacks of the .htaccess files for all of our sites seem to be working, might save me $300-$400 in spite of my server provider’s “help.” 🙂