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Easily creating a low-maintenance website

posted Nov 18, 2015, 9:32 AM by www integrated   [ updated Nov 18, 2015, 11:20 AM ]
We have recently met a retired gentleman who was having some issues with his website. Formerly a statistician, he is now active as an artist and publisher. He approached us with a question regarding his website, which had not been updated in a long time and had been designed by a subcontractor of his publisher who was now living in Beijing. He wanted to make some changes and update it, but he had no access and now way to effect such changes.

Given his circumstances, we advised that he transfers his domain name to us, with full control and self-administration, and hosts his website for free.

First, we did a WHOIS query on that domain name (e.g., HISOLDDOMAIN.COM). We obtained the following:
WHOIS query on given domain name
Obviously, the domain was not in his name, which made the transfer quite difficult. We note the expiry date is in 2016, about 1 year from our query. If the current owners of the domain will not release it before its expiry, we have the ability to order a new, similar domain name, pending availability.

Here is how our exchange of emails - first, his inquiry.

I finally heard from the local company (*** ***) that looks after my books, cds, re. production, distribution , warehousing and initial hosting of my website, about the control of my website for direct input daily etc.......that you and I talked about in June, and that I now have to do via a fellow now based in China (***) who was given my account when he worked in Toronto under contract by *** *** I assume.

I have no idea what my hosting- contractual relationship is with Fish if any, since it was done through Indie pool when he either worked for Indie pool or was under contract by indie pool. I made edits of my website through *** ***, who then dished it out to ****. I don't think I ever had any contractual relationship with ****, Indie pool always looked after input to my site, through ****, when in TO; its relationship with him changed it seems when he went to Chin.

As mentioned (see below) I'm going to proceed and host my site myself from here on, all I need now is someone to help me rejig it and help input updates regularly etc i.e. a new part -time web guy or gal.
Thanks for your interest and cheers

What follows is an excerpt from our reply.

What I recommended you do is you take control of your own domain, pay only for what is called "bare domain hosting" (a service we offer) and host your website with a free service that allows free use of a domain name.
There are many a few such free services; I suggest either:
  1. Google Sites (sites.google.com), if your site is mainly static and you do not plan very frequent updates
  2. Blogger (another Google product, www.blogger.com) if you want to host a more complex, very frequently updated website.
To transfer the domain, the current owner will have to unlock it and issue a sort of password. With that information, you can go to http://domains.wintegrated.com, click on Transfers, enter the domain (HISOLDDOMAIN.COM), then press next, and pay for at least one extra year, which will bring your expiry date to 2017-08-25
Starting Domain Transfer
Once that is completed, you will get a login and password that will allow you to completely administer your domain without having to wait or request permission from anybody else. You will get an automatic reminder by email when to renew, etc. The yearly cost of a .com domain is $15/year or less if you renew for more than 1 year.
For everything described above there are online resources that you can access yourself, without my permission, input or anything of that sort.
If you would like me to take care of all this on your behalf, I would charge you $90 in advance (including taxes), which you can pay by PayPal, credit card, or Interac Email. You will get:
    • Transfer of your domain, in your name, with complete online control via domains.wintegrated.com
    • I will interact with the current owners until this is resolved
    • One additional year of registration for your domain (exp 2017)
    • Set up of basic, working webpage at http://www.HISOLDDOMAIN.COM or http://NEWDOMAIN.com which you can expand yourself into a site
    • (optional) Set up of a blog at http://blog.HISOLDDOMAIN.COM
    • 30 minutes of my time to meet face to face and set you up for updates on the device of your choice, set up Analytics and / or answer any questions you may have.
It is also possible to offer you a "hosting package" which would include more professional webdesign and a personalized email such as info@HISOLDDOMAIN.COM, but that would incur a recurring cost or a significantly higher setup charge and you mentioned to me that you don't need it.

This is the most economical way to host a seldom updated website. There are numerous professional templates (themes) that can be used and set up free of charge, such as:
  • bTemplates - one of the oldest template repository for Blogger
  • GooyaByte - a newer entrant with interesting search options
  • LovelyTemplates - a truly lovely interface
  • CSSauthor - simple designs
  • Templateism - some good designs, even though the newest seems to be 2014
  • Designer collections and other articles: 70+, 64
One can easily peruse the above collections of templates and set up a website that can be updated with a Google account following simple instructions, using a free template as a starting point. The only recurring cost is that of a domain name, which would be minimal, as it does not come bundled with hosting. One can also obtain a "branded" email address, but that is a more complicated setup and it usually requires a recurring cost, and a hosted email solution - we can help with that as well.
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