Gator ‘Website Builder’, Not Perfect, But Certainly Better Than ‘Weebly’, V. Attractively Priced & Has 24/7 Chat Support.
Well, the above image makes it pretty obvious as to what Website I am building. Yes, it is time.
I wanted a Website cum Blog that was easy to maintain & update WHILE at the same time giving me the flexibility of having tightly formatted Web pages — even if such views had to be limited, ALAS, to ‘Desktop Mode’.
Despite my near two decade experience with WordPress, it was not going to ‘cut it’. WordPress takes work — a lot of work.
As you may have seen, I played around, albeit it briefly, with ‘IONOS’ & ‘DreamHost‘. Nope. Did not meet my expectations. I then went to Weebly given that I use Weebly for both ‘guruge.com‘ & ‘wownh.com‘. But, this time around I was NOT impressed. My other two Websites (at Weebly) are ‘static’ & rarely updated. That was NOT going to be the case with this new Website. It had to be dynamic & easy to update & change. After a week of mounting frustration I asked for my money back. They did refund it quickly — though through a contact in the Weebly COMMUNITY rather than via their Support. It took their support over a week to get back to I. Weebly’s support has gone to … I am not sure where, BUT it is not online!
Then, after another round of research, I decided to check out HostGator’s ‘new’ Website Builder. Their pricing was definitely very competitive & they had a 45-day refund policy. Plus, they were TRYING to cater for bloggers.
I started with them about 5-days ago. It was easy enough to get started. There were some bits that were confusing, i.e., the blog being handled within 2-pages; a main-page that carried summaries & the blog proper. Their documentation & knowledge base — ler’s say — is EVOLVING. Thankfully, they do have decent 24/7 CHAT support — from India. I have used them thrice, & each time they helped me out. So, that was good. They also have phone support, but it is not 24/7. I have yet to try it. There is also a PREMIUM support option that you can buy. I have not explored that as yet.
It is definitely easier & MORE FUN to use than Weebly! Of that, there can be no doubt or debate. More flexible. ‘Snap to Grid’ based designing BUT you can get (most times) the vertical/horizontal spacing you desire (at least on ‘Desktop Mode’) without having to settle to the CLUNKY/UGLY spacing that Weebly insists on.
Gator also offers a whole bunch of features I have never seen before like ANIMATION & GLOW. Wow. It is more akin to PowerPoint than anything else I have seen.
That said, it has some INEXPLICABLE shortcoming. One that blows my mind. You can’t add CAPTIONS to images! Yes, you read that right. You have to add the caption as a separate text box. Yikes. That is really distracting. I also still haven’t found a way to save/store a color palette. So, I am constantly having to BANG in RGB codes in hex. Yikes.
I have offered to WORK with them to IMPROVE the offering but they rebuffed me.
Get the feeling that those designing the software have zero experience creating & running a production Website/blog. Shame. This could be the BEST Website builder out there. I have never used Wix, but I think that Gator could beat it IF they just get feedback from some experienced users.
Well, I am still working on the Website. When it is up, I will, of course, be blasting it all over the place.
I will also try to keep you posted on my progress with Gator Website builder.
I Despaired & Gave-Up On Both ‘IONOS’ & ‘DreamHost’ When It Comes To Quick & Easy WordPress Hosting.
Neither worked for I. Had too many niggling issues. Yes, IF I had the TIME & patience I could have persevered & fixed each one in time. But, as you know, TIME is my ENEMY. Never have enough for all I want & try to do. That was the issue.
With IONOS, the FREE (for 1-year) ‘.org’ domain name I registered disappeared into THIN AIR. Couldn’t get it. It was registered. That meant I lost it! Yes, I might have been able to find it IF I spent enough time with their support. AND TO BE FAIR, their SUPPORT is good. They even have responsive, real-time phone support. But, I gave up. Asked for my refund …
DreamHost basically has no HUMAN real-time support. All automated. Some of the issues I had with them were to do with WordPress rather than them per se, BUT I had enough with them that I threw in the towel. I basically wasted my whole bloody afternoon with these two outfits & have NOTHING to show for it. NOT HAPPY.
Just thought this might help. Again, they probably work IF you have the time & patience to monkey around. I did NOT have the time. OK?
I used to login to Weebly using my Google+ account. I got concerned today when I realized that Google+ is now history. But, no problems. The beauty of the ‘Google’ ecosystem. One Gmail address covers it all. I am happy.
Just wanted to share that with you in case this crossed your mind too.
This was a good move — especially now that Google & Chrome have started ostracizing Websites that do not support SSL-certificate based security, even IF they are only one-way, push-only, informational sites.
Weebly has had SSL support for quite a while now, albeit just on its premium $25/month Business Plan.
Now, and I think it was as of today, they have made it available, FOR FREE, on ALL of its hosting plans. That is a good deal in that GoDaddy is charging $60/year!
Moreover, it is pretty easy to ENABLE!
But, But, But …
Here is a $64,000 TIP.
Read the Weebly SSL instructions to understand the whole process.
THEN, if your domain name is registered somewhere else, e.g., GoDaddy, Network Solutions etc., GO and change your DNS A-record FIRST.
This is CRUCIAL.
Until the A-record is pointing to the NEW 18.104.22.168 you CANNOT enable SSL.
And the A-record propagation can take an hour.
So do the A-record FIRST. Trust me on this. Then wait 1 – 2 hours.
Then follow the instructions and enable SSL in your SETTINGS.
SSL will be enabled in seconds.
The GoDaddy process, in comparison, is a nightmare EVEN once you pay them to help you get it done.
++++ Search on ‘Weebly’ & ‘GoDaddy’.
. . .
by Anura Guruge
++++ Search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts too, as well as ‘Buddhi’ and ‘Cricket’ >>>>
Over the years I would receive great pictures of Ceylon, from the old days, from various people.
It kind of went unsaid that some of them wanted me to share these pictures with the World given that they knew that I had Web presence.
The OLD Ceylon pictures are not mine.
But their copyright would have long expired.
Don’t come to me claiming copyright unless
you can prove that you legally renewed it — in the U.S.
I know my copyright laws. SMILE.
What the page looks like.
by Anura Guruge
Click ENLARGE and read.
My e-mail exchange with Weebly on “why no e-mail?”
Last Friday morning, August 7, 2015, while being kept waiting forever at “Bayside Dental” it occurred to me that I had heard NOTHING about the renewal of my Website “guruge.com” — hosted at Weebly — and that it must be due soon …
When I finally got home I logged onto Weebly to see when the renewal was due.
It was due August 7, 2015!
That very DAY!
It was a miracle ….
Don’t know what prompted me to think about it. But I am sure glad I did.
I had had NO e-mails, whatsoever, from Weebly.
I am used to getting hounded, starting 4 months prior to expiration, from the likes of GoDaddy.
This was NOT right.
You can see the Weebly response. To say that it was pathetic would be a disservice to the word ‘pathetic’. IF they knew I couldn’t auto-renew they should have notified me. This was NOT GOOD. I have expressed that, quite clearly, to Weebly.
So be warned. IF you use Weebly, check NOW. Don’t run the risk of having your hosting expire.
.by Anura Guruge
Remember 24-days ago I said I had it with GoDaddy screwing LOYAL existing customers like me?
In that post I also said I was going to look at template-based, cloud-publishing solutions so I can finally, after 12 years, get away from Microsoft FrontPage.
Having looked at Weebly, Wix and Yola I finally settled on Yola because their price was right (though you do get what you pay for).
For $4.17/month I can get 5 Websites — each with its own domain name (given that I already own these domains).
So for LESS THAN HALF what I pay a month to host ONE (1) Website I can publish and host FIVE (5). I am bit slow on the uptick but it only took me a few days to work out that it was a decent deal.
I spent a few minutes here and there, in my 3rd 11 pm to 1 am shift, looking through their tutorials.
Today at 2 pm I paid my monies (though I could have started with a free account) and started to build the above Website.
A few surprises. What I got was their most basic PAID service, bronze. So they kept on trying to get me to upgrade to Silver. That was annoying. Though they claim 24/7 Premium phone support — that appears to be pie in the sky! When you call it says ‘No Phone Support’! Nice.
I had to visit GoDaddy and edit DNS records — not something I enjoy doing since if you screw up you are in big trouble. Then you have to wait for the DNS records to be propagated.
But, by 4 pm I have a PUBLISHED, 3 page Website. It was quick and dirty. But, it was for a 7 year old. I just wanted it up since I first created this Website the NIGHT she was born. So she has had her own, working Website with pictures from the day she was born. I didn’t want to break that and I didn’t. Yes, I deleted the GoDaddy hosting BEFORE I updated the DNS record. I do know my way around. I have been creating Websites and teaching classes on Website design since 2002.
It is OK. It is the lack of phone support that bugs me — after they claim all over the place that they do.
It is possible that they are in trouble.
Now that I have 4 other Websites available, in this package, I will dash a couple more off over the next few weeks.
GoDaddy Commits The Cardinal Sin Of Screwing Existing Loyal Customers While Trying To Attract New Suckers.
.by Anura Guruge
>> GoDaddy e-mail woes
>> — Sep. 24, 2013.
>> GoDaddy e-mail acting up
>> — Sep. 9, 2013.
>> GoDaddy e-mail slow …
>> — May 23, 2013.
>> GoDaddy e-mail problems
>> — Mar. 12, 2013.
≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ Check CATEGORY ‘GoDaddy’ for other posts
—>>> (side bar)
I have been a loyal and lucrative GoDaddy customers for at least 12 years. There were years, when I hosted large numbers of Websites for myself and others, that I paid over $1,500 a year (quite gladly) to GoDaddy.
Even now I am probably paying upwards of $500 a year to GoDaddy.
I have been an ARDENT FAN for a decade. I can’t even count the number of referrals I sent their way.
And ‘yes’ there have been times when GoDaddy has been amazingly good to me — like earlier this year during the papal transfer when my popes-and-papacy blog, hosted on GoDaddy, was getting 150 connection requests per second. Of course I have publicly thanked GoDaddy for their help.
But, something has happened at GoDaddy, to OUR DETRIMENT, over the last 6 months. Yes, I know that there has been change of management at the top. Well, he better get his act together SOON because I am cancelling my products at GoDaddy at quite a rate.
I still have five or six Websites hosted at GoDaddy and yes, every year, I have to renew them.
Yesterday I had to renew ‘wownh.com‘. wownh.com, like guruge.com, has now become basically a ‘placeholder’ site. I don’t do anything on them, mainly because I built them with FrontPage and I can’t be bothered to use FP anymore. Blogging is easier and less time consuming. But, I want to preserve my Web presence since I have had these sites, uninterrupted, for over 12 years.
GoDaddy wants $9/month — $108/year — for hosting these Websites. That is crazy. They offer the EXACT SAME hosting package as I am renewing for half the price to new customers. But, I can’t renew at that price.
Their solution: I can cancel my current hosting, buy a new plan and then re-install the Website.
THANK YOU, GoDaddy.
That is EXACTLY what I am going to do … but not with YOU. Thank YOU.
This will give me the excuse to get away from FP and move to a template-based, in-the-cloud solution.
I already have an account at Weebly.
I didn’t have the time to port across wownh.com yesterday. So I renewed it for a year — PLUS they owed me $21 that I could apply to the $108. But, that will be the LAST HOSTING that I am going to be paying GoDaddy.
Teischan.com is due for renewal on November 28, 2013. This is the PERFECT Website for me to mess around with learning a new template-based system. It is not ‘mission-critical’ and it is very simple and ‘flat’. So, that is the plan.
Once I master the new system I will recreate all the other sites on that platform — though I get a feeling that I may opt to use both Yola and Wix.
I was so mad yesterday that I immediately cancelled my GoDaddy Online File Folder though it was not due for renewal till the end of January 2014! I didn’t even bother to export the 100MB of data I had stored there! Screw it. I have other backups. I LOVE and I do mean LOVE Google Drive. It is so easy and convenient to use through Chrome. No need to logon. It is always there.
This is so sad. I would have stayed with GoDaddy. I like to be a loyal, long-term customer UNLESS I feel that I am being raped.
I hope the new GoDaddy management sees the light sometime soon BEFORE it is too late.