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Tools and hints for webmasters

Initially setting up your web site. Getting
a domain name, computer migration, etc.

Sponsored link.

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:

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:  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 site. See: 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. instead of putting up with a regular URL like: There are two main advantages:

bulletYour 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 unaffected.
bulletYou 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: or

Emerald Web Hosting provide hyperlinks to many locations that will register your domain name at minimum cost. See: 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 trademarked. See:

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. See:

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 month.

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: Their plans start at $3.95 a month with no setup fees.

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

Netcraft, at provides a list of the most reliable hosting services. During 2006-JUL, they were Datapipe, New York Internet, AboveNet, Hostway, Rackspace and IPowerWeb.

Web Hosting Hottie at 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. See: has a tool for checking a "robots.txt" file on your web site or any other site. See:

Sponsored link:

Take precautions against the McAfee SiteAdvisor™ program:

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:  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:

bulletInterneSeer is the largest web monitoring service in the world. They offer low cost monitoring with a discount to qualifying small business. See:

bulletSiteUpTime 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:

bulletUptimeAuditor monitors your web site(s) from multiple locations with plans ranging from $7 to $14 a month. The offer a free 30 day trial. See:

Detecting changes to an online web site: 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: 


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: 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: You can specify comments that you want to have sent.

Migrating from one computer to another:

bulletF.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: 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.

bullet 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:
bulletA USB cable connecting the two computers together. This did not work for us because of problems with the XP drivers on the old computer.

bulletA cable connecting parallel ports on the two computers together. This did not work because our new computer lacked a parallel port.

bulletA local area network. We could not make this work either; reason unknown.

bulletCreating 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.

bulletCreating 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 non-functioning programs.

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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

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