Tools and hints for webmasters
Initially setting up your web site. Getting
a domain name, computer migration, etc.
Help in creating a web site:
John Richardson IV of MustardSeed Computing is
volunteering for a short time his time and energy as a web programmer free of
charge to all Churches and non-profit organizations. He is a web designer
looking to give back to the community. John can be reached between 3:00 PM until
8:00 PM Eastern Time at 586-222-5324. However he prefers communication via Email
at: [email protected]
There are many individuals and companies who can be hired to
design a web site for you. You might look at
Ernie Vincent's portfolio at:
http://webdesigntexasco.com/ They are amazing.
Ewen Chia has made a report available called "Small Business
Website Check Up." It is filled with advice about how to design your web
http://www.ewenrecommends.com/ This is a PDF file. You may require software to read it. Software can be obtained free from:
"Creating Killer Web Sites" contains many suggestions for
neophyte webmasters, including design tutorials, website templates, web designer
resources, etc. See:
Getting a full domain name:
We recommend that Webmasters consider getting a full domain name (e.g. http://www.religioustolerance.org) instead of
putting up with a regular URL like: http://web.canlink.com/ocrt
There are two main advantages:
|Your URL can remain the same if you change in the future from one
hosting service to another. Thus, your listings in search engines will be
|You also get to have a neat, easily remembered, and
perhaps shorter name.|
Ask Web Hosting has an essay "Why you need a domain name" at"
Determine whether a full domain name has already been taken at:
Emerald Web Hosting provide hyperlinks to many locations
that will register your domain name at minimum cost. See:
http://www.emeraldwebhost.com/ under the category "2. Domain Registration."
We recommend that you check with the United States Patent and
Trademark Office to confirm that your business name and domain name are not
We have found that GoDaddy offers many services and low domain registry costs. We have registered almost all of our domain names with them:
Keeping your Email address secret:
By registering a domain name, your contact data is stored on WhoIs which is
publicly accessible. Spammers regularly mine WhoIs for Email addresses. One
way to keep your Email address anonymous on WhoIs is to use an anonymity
provider like WhoisGuard. They replace your registration contact
information with their own name, Email address, street address, and phone
numbers. When Email arrives, they cull out the spam and send the rest to you.
Finding a web hosting service:
WebLinkHosting accepts web sites that promote any religion.
Last time we looked, they offered to host a website with 3000 Mbytes of disk
space, 50,000 Mbytes/month of traffic, and a free domain name -- all for $6.97 a
SoftwareSolutions4u provides low cost hosting for
websites that deal with metaphysical or spiritual topics. Prices range, as of
2004-SEP, from $2.95 a month for a "virtual business card" to $39.95 a
month for a "corporate package." See:
Another provider of business and personal web hosting is
Emerald Web Hosting at:
http://www.emeraldwebhost.com/ Their plans start at $3.95 a month with no
Some web hosting services offer free hosting, but require you to
post their advertising banners. Others offer hosting at minimum cost, but do not
supply much support. Others cost more but provide extensive support. We have
settled on http://www.cihost.com
http://news.netcraft.com/ provides a list of the most reliable hosting
services. During 2006-JUL, they were Datapipe,
New York Internet,
Hostway, Rackspace and
Web Hosting Hottie at http://www.webhostinghottie.com/ maintains a list of high quality web hosting companies. During 2010 their top pics were Bluehost, Hostgator, Lunarpages, and Netfirms.
Create a robots.txt file for your web site:
This is a small text file that can be placed on the home
directory of your web site -- where your home page file resides. When search
engines spider your site, they will go to the robots.txt file first and
determine which files, file types and/or directories they are not allowed to
search. Yellowpipe Internet Services has a free robots.txt generator.
Websiteplanet.com has a tool for checking a "robots.txt" file on your web site or any other
site. See: https://www.websiteplanet.com/
Take precautions against the McAfee SiteAdvisor
We recommend that you go to the McAfee SiteAdvisor web site and
download their free program. It places a small graphic on your web browser that
displays a green, orange or red background depending upon whether they feel the
site is good, or sends out spam, or injects adware, spyware, or viruses into
your computer, etc.
McAfee may downgrade the status of your web site at any time,
apparently without informing you. This will potentially scare away visitors,
degrade your site reputation and reduce your revenue (if any).
This site was once downgraded to an orange (caution) rating on the
basis of nine reviews of which eight were positive and only one was negative.
The latter accused us of generating spam. The negative review was without
validity. We do not send out spam. More information.
If you feel that they have given you an invalid rating, complain
to their complaint department at:
http://www.siteadvisor.com Do not expect a fast response.
Is your web site still online?
There are many companies that will monitor your web site
regularly and report if it goes offline. Search Google with the string
monitor web site for a listing.
Some services are:
|InterneSeer is the largest web monitoring service in the
world. They offer low cost monitoring with a discount to qualifying small
|SiteUpTime offers a free service that monitors your
web site from four locations around the world at 30 or 60 minute intervals.
If any two monitoring sites are unable to detect your site, their program
will send you an Email. They have premium plans at nominal cost with more
features. See: http://www.siteuptime.com
|UptimeAuditor monitors your web site(s) from multiple
locations with plans ranging from $7 to $14 a month. The offer a free 30 day
Detecting changes to an online web site:
|ChangeDetection.com monitors up to 100 URLs that you
specify, and sends you an Email if any of them are changed. You can have them
monitor important essays on your own web site and be alerted if an abusive
hacker modifies them. See: http://www.changedetection.com |
Netmind checks one or more URLs that you register with it to make certain that
the home page has not changed or disappeared. It currently does this daily. Very useful
site to make certain that all of your links to other home pages continue to be valid. If
one of them disappears or changes, you receive a mail message. See:
Informing people of changes to your web site:
ChangeDetector.com supplies a free box for your website into
which visitors can enter their E-mail address. Whenever you make a change to the
file where the box is located, this company will send an E-mail to all of the
visitors who have registered. See: http://www.changedetection.com/ You can specify comments that you want to
Migrating from one computer to another:
|F.A.S.T. Program: Windows XP (and we assume Windows
Vista) have a little known program called "Files & Settings Transfer"
(a.k.a. F.A.S.T.). It handles the transfer of data files and settings from one
computer to another. For example, it will transfer your folder structure,
account information, and stored messages in Outlook Express on one computer
to another. This is extremely valuable when you purchase a new computer and
want to retire the old one. Gary Woodruff has written an article on the use
of F.A.S.T. at:
http://aumha.org/win5/a/fast.htm This is an almost unique software
article in that it is clearly written by an expert and yet can be understood
by most computer users.|
||PCMover: This is a commercial program by Laplink.
They describe it as "The only utility that moves programs, files &
settings." and "The easiest way to move into a Windows XP or Vista PC." We
successfully used this program to migrate from a year 2003 XP computer to a
2007 Vista computer and later to a Gateway computer running a 2010 version of Windows 7. We affectionately call it "The Beast." The program allows the transfer to be made via:
|A USB cable connecting the two computers together. This did not work
for us because of problems with the XP drivers on the old computer.|
|A cable connecting parallel ports on the two computers together.
This did not work because our new computer lacked a parallel port.|
|A local area network. We could not make this work either; reason
|Creating a compact file on the old computer, storing it on a series
of DVDs or in an external drive, transferring the DVDs or drive to the
new computer, and offloading the programs, data and settings. This hung
up partway through the task.|
|Creating a massive file on the old computer and transferring it to
the new computer. This brute-force method did work successfully. We used
an external backup drive. This was the last available option to perform
the task, so we were quite relieved. |
All of the programs, data, and settings did seem to migrate successfully. Of course,
some of the programs that ran successfully under XP turned out to be
incompatible with the Vista operating system. When we tried to run them,
they triggered a Vista error message and did not run. So far, we have been
able to download updates from various software vendors' web sites for most
Copyright © 1995 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update and review: 2014-MAR-25
Author: B.A. Robinson
Hyperlinks checked on: 2007-JAN-01