"We are sorry, there is no such site."
Displayed when I asked for MY arts site of fourteen years - ellefagan.com. IN the following days, more and more website functionality issues tumbled onto my desk, with my formerly-beloved web host, Aplus.net. The Aplus super Customer service had been grand in helping set up, upgrade and fix issues, and get right back to work for years.
NOT THIS TIME - not only were there repeated issues with Aplus, that worsened - the customer service people became malicious. It became a bad dream for me with Aplus hosting and that resulted in a complete site crash at end 2014.
What happened: The checkbook company, Deluxe For Business, or DFB, had bought out Aplus, and I thought that might be grand! Their ownership should not have upset my pages. But it did, very much! Site visitors dropped from really nice, for a small private site, to almost zero. Normally, even while disabled, nice extra Holiday sales would help make a Happy Holiday to share. NOT this year!
Time for me to leave them. Things were disintegrating. They keep archives of websites in case of crashes or power-outs, but they would NOT give me a copy of my site, and a nice goodbye, so I had to go to my FTP pathway and haul ten years of files from their files to my desktop - which fried the computer - a trusty iMac that had two more years of NORMAL use to it.
Worse: Aplus' people also simply cut me off from MY domain name <ellefagan.com> and used it for their ads! I was able to get the law at them immediately . They stopped exploiting my domain name. But they would NOT transfer it back to my domain name store, so I could use it at the new web host's . That was December 2014. Domain names renew each year at the same time as the date they were first purchased. And since <ellefagan.com> would renew again in February, I watched it at the domain name company and bought it back at renewal time with a forwarding command to the new domain I had by then. Yikes!
The old pages would have to be redone and updated, anyway, or at least transferred manually to the new site. And the COST to me in equipment, stress and missed holiday sales was NO joke. My old attorney had retired and the new one needed a larger retainer than I could afford. Cry if you need to. Then, Pray and get to work.
Still technically disabled, but "fine" now, that website <ellefagan.com> had contributed to my survival daily and was key to regaining financialy "fine" as well. So I ran to see if I could find a DECENT new web host. I still think it was an angel - suddenly, I"just found" them - "Squarespace", a fine and popular company, with , actually much more to offer for my needs, and for nice decent money. I Googled them and the stories about Squarespace were encouraging. Anddddd they are arts-friendly and so, I thought, maybe this find was going to bea left-handed blessing - to cheer my Christmas.
But Winter Holiday 2014, I spent pre-Christmas sale time, crying, working to fix the issues, settling and doing up the new site... often missing the rapport of those years when I'd chat with Ivan Vachovsky, Aplus' genius entrepreneur, and the site folk, for one thing or another and it always had gone so nicely - and for years- so I was hurt to lose them. NOT a good Christmas!
I used a small immediate lawsuit win/chargeback - from Aplus, to buy the Squarespace site, at the end of November 2014 . Rocking from the upsetting farewell from my old world, it was now 2015, and I had a new world online to get to know. And, with Aplus hurting my domain name <ellefagan.com>, my part of cyberspace would be injured - maybe for good. I had to use my name in full <elleSMITHfagan.com> for the new site.
I smiled. I am like John Hancock, on the Declaration of Independence, now with a huge big name....<ELLESMITHFAGAN.COM>. I reacted: "ok, demons from hell, if you hated <ellefagan.com> you may have <ellesmithfagan.com> and like it. So there! I smiled a little bit for the first time in weeks.
Still, it would have been nicer to skip the issues. To stay out of trouble in the first place is better than rescue in the second place.
It is two Christmas Seasons coming now and I am thrilled with Squarespace and my life is normal again. A few months ago , I even did my first big upgrade with them. Their staff is ALL English-speaking and maybe that is a help in tech issues galore with a nice content-rich site like mine. Andddd....their templates save more time than I can believe. Super! I have no perception of the online/offline issues - all my famly are tech-comfy. I did my first data things in 1969.
I am fine and hope you will enjoy your visits to my wonderful Squarespace site as much as I enjoy making them for you!