Wednesday, 12 March 2014

GO(odbye) DADDY

A few years back, I purchased a domain from GoDaddy. My intention was to open up an undeniably exciting website, full of all sorts of informative tidbits; everything from pix and info on every piece of musical equipment I owned, to poetry and songs I had written. In between were movie reviews, toys and video games that struck my fancy, music recommendations; suffice to say the place was going to be jam-packed full of so much content that people would come by, again and again, heap comments of approval, and then share the site with all their friends, neighbours, rellies, as well as - well - everybody they passed in the streets. Hell, I figured they’d be passing out leaflets on the corners.

For the first while, it was very exciting. I spent most of my time preparing pages, gathering information & pictures, and otherwise readying the staging area for this, the best website in the world. GoDaddy presented itself as user-friendly, quick and effortless to use, and all you had to do was plug in your content and GO, Daddy!

As I began to move goodies to the actual page, I found it wasn’t shaping up to resemble the masterpiece I envisioned in my head. First of all, GoDaddy's interface was almost impossible to use. It wouldn’t save my work, kept logging me off (throwing my saved material into some kind of unseen wasteland); it was constantly reformatting my text, or refusing to apply the font enhancements, such as BOLD, ITALIC, etc. After losing mountains of work to this stupidity, I contacted GoDaddy to express my concerns.  They said many things, among them being that I was inserting my text improperly, that I was using unaccepted formats, and, in not so many words, that I was an idiot if I could not use such a simple interface.  I think they also suggested my version of Windows was not up to speed.  I was using both Windows XP and Windows 7, depending on the computer.  I didn't know what they wanted from me.
Aaanyway, I decided to come at it with a different approach.  I started preparing the articles in Word, and then transferring the completed project over in one move. As soon as I would do this, GoDaddy’s template would re-do the fonts, rearrange the page layout info; it was a mess!  I would try to remove the Word formatting, which only made it worse. We all know how to paste without taking along the source formatting with the material, but NOPE. GoDaddy would have none of it.  It would present some of my fonts in 14 point size, some in 16, and some in 20.  Reading the text was making me seasick (urp).

I worked in this thundercloud-over-my-head fashion for some time, because once I had it the way I wanted it, I could do a complete backup of the material and never lose a thing. It was working, sort of, yet I kept having to implement minor changes, fix glitches, reposition pictures - I was spending more time in damage control than in actual content construction. The hours and hours spent trying to work out the bugs was quickly becoming more fuss than it was worth.

When I finally had something of a site to display, I put out notices that the new site was up and running. People DID visit, and DID enjoy the content, but it was so exhaustive in terms of creating a stable page that I had little left of the original dream of a content rich website. Not only that, but I also had lost almost all motivation to continue. Instead of creating content once a week or so, I ended up working on it once a month (if that). If the GoDaddy templates gave me trouble (which they usually did), I would lose interest again and go away.

When my contract was up and I got my renewal notice, I had been months away from the site. I didn’t want to renew. There was no point to it, if it was going to take days of creating, then fixing, then backing up, then more fixing, then more restructuring, then reformatting, all for the sake of getting a 500 word piece on the site. But I was weak, and for whatever reason, held some kind of strange emotional attachment to my site. I renewed. Nothing changed on the creation template side. I even posted some kind of giant rant on how much I hated GoDaddy.
So this was to be it? I get to pay GoDaddy for the privilege of posting material on how crappy GoDaddy is. Hell, I could do that for free elsewhere.
Elsewhere, indeed. That’s when I decided to use Google’s free Blogger site. All the content I could create, for free.  I started moving all my stuff over from GoDaddy to my new Blogger location. It was much easier to use and functioned pretty much like Gmail: you just fill the window with your stuff, add pictures, embed movies, etc., and then paste it up. There is a bit of a slow start as you design your template and get everything set up, but once it’s done, it’s done. You can back up your stuff before you change things, too.

Anyway, to finish up here, it’s renewal time again, and this time, I will not be staying with GoDaddy. There’s enough stuff on the Blog now to make things interesting. I’m going to move the rest of my stuff over from the old side, and then say goodbye to the headaches.

I'm also choosing a new template for the blog.  Updated design, more and better content, and, of course, my renewed interest in the entire process! Many good things to come! Stay tuned!

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