Building a Website is not for the Faint of Heart

Weaving a Web can be deceiving
By Harold Glicken

Building a website is not for the faint of heart, the impatient or the naive. When Web hosters claim that a budding entrepreneur will be up and running in a matter of hours, they are exaggerating or offering fill-in-the-blank templates that are so inflexible they’re useless.

I’ve been building websites for at least 15 years. I never could master Front Page or the html programming language that’s used for building websites, so I was left with using Web hosters’ templates, which barely served my needs.

Trying to customize them is frustrating, and the results are almost always clumsy, unaesthetic and in some cases so amateurish, I felt ashamed to publish them. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t successful.

For my current website, www.lastyearssoftware.com, I started by testing out several hosting sites’ tech support.

The winner, hands-down, is Hostway.com. Their tech support and other services are based in Bulgaria, but unlike many other offshore tech support sites, these folks have an excellent grasp of English.

Sure, they have an accent, but they understand and fix things remarkably well and, what’s more important, they are willing to ask a senior tech when they encounter a problem they can’t solve. And what’s even more important, they’re on duty 24/7. Wait times have never been more than five minutes.

But their templates for what I wanted to do are as flexible as a dried sausage. The templates, which are stored on their website, look great, and would be fine for blogging or for businesses that just want to get their names out there. Hostway includes an SSL certificate, but because of the limitations of the templates, they can’t be displayed. An SSL (secure socket layer) certificate is essential for conducting business on the Web because it shows shoppers that your site is secure.

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