My Do-It-Yourself Site-Host
I’m a small publisher (one
title out, trying to find time and budget for the next) who spent many
frustrating months with a recalcitrant/mysteriously unavailable Web designer. I
was unable to find another who didn’t say “Trust me” (meaning, open-ended
budget), or want me to pay an arm and a leg ($7,000–$8,000) for site
design. Finally, with a deep sigh, I decided to do it myself. And because I’m
not savvy in the ways of the Web, I decided to use a template-type service.
In researching Web-hosting
companies that offered templates, I kept running up against the question of
copyright ownership. Almost every hosting company demanded that new customers
give them full and exclusive rights to use any or all of the customer’s copy
(including book content if I set up a download!) in any manner they chose. When
I called a few to complain, most said something like, “Well, but we’d never
actually do that,” or, “No, there is no way around it.”
Nevertheless, I refused. We work
so hard on securing our copyrights that I just couldn’t see giving them away.
A secondary, but still very
important, issue was quality. The template choices most companies offered were
limited in scope and too simplistic in appearance. I got deeply involved in
more than one before finding out they could accommodate no more than five
navigation buttons, or that the graphic header could not be altered, or that
nav button names could only be seven letters long, or . . .
At last, I found OneWebHosting.com,
which offers certain templates with unlimited buttons (and sub-buttons), and
doesn’t try any copyright shenanigans. The company has other limitations, but
overall I have been satisfied, and the monthly fee is reasonable (under $25).
Some helpful hints when you shop
for a small-site hosting company:
· Be sure to read the copyright
requirements on its agreement page.
· Ask how many buttons you can have
that will show on every single page.
· Call and find out how easy or
difficult it is to get a real person on the other end of the phone (the company
I chose takes messages, but a live person has always called me back within an
hour or two, and email responses are even faster).
· Find out whether it offers PayPal
and at least one other method of online payment.
· If you use a Macintosh, tell the
company up front. This may, and probably will, require different answers to
Overall, the switch to the hosting
company has been worthwhile, because I can:
· update content quickly and easily,
which was my main objective, especially in offering the media seasonal
information (Hi, John Kremer!)
· avoid being charged for every
· avoid “standing in line” for a
site designer’s time
· fix errors as soon as I spot them
(or when somebody else does!)
· change to an entirely new site
appearance quickly, without losing content
· have email responses come directly
to me, instead of to a designer’s mainframe that could go offline without
Disclaimer: Other than the fact
that I am a customer, I have no affiliation with OneWebHosting.com. They are
not aware that I am sending this.