Eight years ago when my first book was published, I was told by nearly everyone that I absolutely had to have a web site. This included my publisher who of course would not help develop or pay for it. Now, I grew up in a time when people were still making punch cards to enable a huge computers to play Bolero. I did more or less master Word because I needed it to write my novels, and I also came to enjoy e-mail and Facebook--but web sites, I had no idea how to go about them, and they were expensive to set up. At that time, I had a friend who was jumping on the band wagon to be a web site developer and web master. She offered to put together my site for $350, which, believe me, was a bargain. I told her what I wanted on the site, wrote tons of copy for it, supplied pictures, etc. In the end, I was happy with my simple site www.lynnshurr.com. She also did updates and other maintenance for the site for very little money. In January, she broke the news that she was out of the web site business that, like e-publishing, was reaping small rewards. I was on my own.
Fortunately, my computer literate son agreed to do my updates which aren't very frequent. Easy, he said, just use html. The only part of that I understand is that the L stands for a language I do not understand. Then, a week ago came the annual demand for the renewal of my domain name and hosting from the provider. No problem, I thought, until I noted how much the fees had gone up and received notice that they'd detected malware on the site which they could fix for yet another $90 in virus protection. I had two knowledgeable people go into the site. Neither could find anything wrong.I responded saying as much, and immediately get another notice that they can prove I have malware but it is buried very deep. So, twenty minutes later, the helpful person on the other end shows me some code that he says is the malware--frankly I wouldn't know. So, how do I get it off? Pay them the $90. I inform them that in the diminishing e-pub market, that plus the domain name and hosting comes to half of my royalties for last year and maybe is not worth it.
Okay, they can remove it for one set fee--but my web site is old and needs to be migrated to a new and safer platform. Great. After much discussion, I ended up with a discount if I renewed for three years, and the malware would be removed, but still over $200. And I must now navigate the migration of the web site with which they will help me.. I suffered through several migrations at my place of work. They are never easy or pleasant, but this one must be faced in the next few days. Mostly, I am fearful of losing all the work I did for the first web site--though I might update my out of date picture of me-or maybe I will choose to be that younger age forever. All in all, I know I am not cut out to deal with this and yet I must. Another learning curve, sigh. They seem to get more treacherous all the time.