Archive for the ‘Can Your Website Break?’ Category

Make Your Own Website Your Browser Homepage

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

It wasn’t too long ago I was visiting a past client’s website and noticed a different website than the one she had me build for her. I was surprised since it was it wasn’t that long ago that I had performed updates to the site. I contacted her to ask if she sold her site or changed it. She said no. I did a Whois search and found that her domain had expired over a month ago. It was long enough that she lost the right to it and someone else had purchased it. She had owned the domain for over four years and had grandfathered the domain into the system and it was doing well in search engines. She now had to purchase a new domain and start over establishing the domain on the web.

Two things can save this from happening:

  1. Make sure that your email address, phone number and business address are up-to-date in your account where you register the domain. Registrars want you to reregister with them and they will try to notify you when the domain is about to expire. The first way is with email. If you have changed your email, this notification gets lost. Some registrars will call you or send mail to you but not all do. You want to be on top of it.
    Homepage
  2. Another way is to make your website the homepage of your browser. In Firefox and Safari you go into the Preferences that are under the label of the top dropdown menu and select Preferences. Then replace the homepage link with your own domain address. In Chrome go to Preferences and look for Settings. It is under Appearances. And in Internet Explorer go to the dropdown menu under Tools, select Options and change the Homepage link to your website address.

Having your website as the homepage for your browser is a good idea for other reasons. If your host is having a problem and they are unaware, you can notify them that the site is down. This keeps you up on the condition of your website and every time you open your browser the first website you see is yours. If it changes and you react quickly you can usually recover without incident. In the case of registrars they have a waiting period before you lose the right to buy it back, if you forgot to update your email address with them or never got the email.

If Your Website Isn’t Built Right - From The Start

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

One of my very favorite reasons for preferring a website over a printed brochure for advertising your business is that it is easy to fix mistakes and typos. Once a brochure is printed, you have an expensive reprint in order to fix mistakes. The thing about a website is that it needs to be tested after completion. The links need to be tested and especially all forms and interactive items that communicate to/from your users. When filling out the form make sure that it gets to you in the way it should. If it is in email, make sure you get it. If it is in a database, make sure it caches it. Also, when filling out the form, make sure the form has all the fields that you want or need on it and that the information filled out in the fields comes through to you. When a web master finishes building your site, it is time to check everything. Don’t wait until a user calls and asks if you got the message from your website.

It is also important to check your forms months and years after being built. One problem that can happen is your web server could block the very email from your site and, where you once received the email, it may be down and blocking it. The only way a link will break is if the place you are sending it to has been taken down. Read more…

Is Moving Your Website Like Moving Furniture; One Place to Another

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Believe it or not, moving an old website can be as easy as moving furniture, however, most new sites have ties to their host. This is one reason you want to be particular about which host you chose. When a site is all content, images, and Flash with no forms, it should be easy to move, but it also can depend on how it was built. If the file extension is .html or htm, it could be as easy as downloading the site via FTP(File Transfer Protocol) to your computer and uploading the site to the new host via FTP. Below are a few items to consider when attempting to move a website:

  1. If your extension is .asp and you move it to a server that supports php, the site will not work properly and vica versa.
  2. If you have databases, they will have to be downloaded separately and recreated on the new host.
  3. If your site is created on a template that belongs to the host, it may mean you can not move your site at all. You will have to copy and paste all content to another template or create a real website.
  4. If it is a template like Wordpress that was uploaded to your host, you will need to download it via FTP and upload it to the new host via FTP. Also, do a dump of the database and upload that to the database area.
    Read more….

My Host Broke My Site

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Putting up packaged software on sites can be affected by what your host does to your site. Your site might be hosted on a Windows server or on a Linux server. Which one is better? It’s the choice of the programmer and that choice is largely determined by the programmer’s background. Programmers who were taught in the .net/asp arena have earned Microsoft certification and the credibility that goes with it. However, Microsoft has been slow to become a part of the Internet. Because of their place they have tried to set their own standards on the web, when the standards had already been established by the open source community. The open source community consists of programmers who believe that source code for applications should be available to all and who contribute because they love doing it. It is not controlled by a corporation. HTML, the language the internet was built on, was started that way. PHP is an open source language and is the language used on the Linux server.

Both the ASP language of the Windows server and PHP, the language of the Linux server, continue to change and evolve. These two languages are about functions of a site. As they evolve the context of the language can change. These servers must grow with the language. If someone programs in PHP4 and the server is compatible with PHP4 everything works fine. When programmers start programming in PHP5 their sites may not work on the PHP4 server. The server must then be upgraded to PHP5. Guess what; the sites programmed in PHP4 may have problems and stop working. These sites are broken and must be fixed. Read more …

If Your Host Crashes, So Do You

Friday, July 16th, 2010

There are websites that can break and there are websites that probably won’t break. A website is affected by its host, by the connection of the user and by the user’s computer. When your users experience frustration with your site and you know everything is working fine, it is not always easy to convince them they need to allow cookies or turn on their Javascript. But we have little control over our users’ computers. We do have control over the host we choose.

How can you be affected by your host? When your host crashes, your site goes down with it. You can be affected by the host because it is the place where you have your website stored, so that it can be viewed by the Internet. It is just another computer. Your site can be nicely sitting there working away just fine when the website next to you or on the same server is trying all kinds of new things and getting all kinds of hits that causes an overload on the server, and before you know it, it crashes. Your site goes down with it. This happens to a server just like it does to your computer. It is expensive to have your own server that is maintained by a competent staff so most sites are on shared servers. We are at the mercy of the other sites we are sharing the server with. Read more…