|Posted by Paul G on January 6, 2017 at 3:10 PM|
The following is my reply to a member who suggested the introduction of a 'Donate' button on the website and I took the opportunity to keep members informed as to my progress to date.
A Donate button? Never thought of that idea! Yes, that could be a very good suggestion to put into the new website. I will look into that further.
After today's failure of Webs.com to keep their customers websites open (the Webs Users Forum is full of dozens and dozens of irate customers who have all experienced their websites crashing or not even loading at all), it has confirmed the time is right for us to jump ship and find another home.
I have made some positive progress: The Domain name will be transferred to a new registrar (based in the U.K.) shortly after 10th January 2017. The new registrar will then have our domain name for the next five years. I already have another domain name and website with these people and have been very satisfied with the service they have given to date.
Now the bad news: Because our founder, Dave 411, chose Webs.com to build and host this current website, it has unfortunately some big strings attached. Webs.com offer an easy build website facility and they host it as well - all in the one price. This website is paid up till 8th June 2017. Unfortunately, that means that all the website templates I am currently using belong to Webs.com. It also means they won't let me copy the HTML coding and move it onto another host site. When this period expires in June, I'm afraid we lose all the Forum posts that we have built up since January 2013. No, not an ideal situation but it is one we are going to have to accept and live with until I can build another Velosolex Club U.K. website somewhere else and have it hosted. On the positive side, we have built this internet Club up once, so we can build it up again. It'll just take a bit of time to get back to where we are now.
Now some good news: I can make copies of most of the non-Forum pages (including the HTML) to be able to put things like the Owners handbooks, technical illustrations, 'advert of the week' and articles such as getting a Solex registered and how to determine the age of a Solex, etc., back into circulation pretty quickly. I think it will be much easier for me to tweak a new copied page rather than create it again from scratch. With this in mind, I shall start to make copies of all the current pages - both the text and the HTML - so when I decide who I want to use to build our new website, much of the stuff will be just a copy and paste exercise.
My research at the moment has got me looking at a few companies that offer 'free' web-building templates but they don't automatically make the user host the site with them as well. If that is the case, I'll start to build up a new site somewhere else, in parallel to this one and nearer the time I'll likely get it hosted with the same U.K. company that I have my other website with. When our term with Webs.com runs out, I am hoping it will just be a case of the new host pressing a button and no-one will be the wiser - except you will see a brand new website and you will have to rejoin because I can't tranfer the names across. No big deal. Before that happens, I will be able to do a mass e-mailing to every member who is currently listed warning them of the impending event. Once you log on and are members with the new website, life will carry on as normal and we can begin to build up a useful Forum again, but this time it will have a working search function. Yea, three cheers!
I will keep members informed of my progress throughout the first part of this new year. There will be a little bit of pain for a short period, but look on the bright side: No more Webs.com and their crashing servers and we get a Forum with a search function that works!