March 13, 2013; THIS POST WAS FULLY UPDATED AND REVISED ON MARCH 28, 2013; UPDATED AGAIN 3/30/2013
I had a most unwelcome email message from my internet service provider in mid-March. CableOne wrote to tell me that they were “retiring” the free personal web space service they have provided to me and other customers for many years. That meant that on April 10, 2013 my existing bartlesvillehistory.org and inquiryphysics.org websites would go dark. (Those links now redirect to the pages I created at awardspace.com and weebly.com to replace the defunct CableOne service.)
Same price, less service. Thanks for less than nothing, CableOne!
I shifted much of my personal web content from their service years ago when I began blogging regularly. I am already the creator of many websites outside of this blog, but most of them are school-related and hosted on the district’s web server. I cannot transfer my Bartlesville History or Inquiry Physics websites to that server, however, since the history site has no relationship to the district and the curriculum site is a personal and commercial page used to promote and sell my physics curriculum.
I tried recreating my Bartlesville History pages on wordpress.com, but it was too onerous a task with the limited formatting options and cumbersome navigation on this blogging service. So, acting upon a suggestion from former student Michael Graham, I switched them over to the free awardspace.com service. It was cumbersome and confusing, but I managed to create a new “bartlesvillehistory” subdomain on their “mywebcommunity.org” domain where I uploaded all of my existing pages and content. Then I switched over the forwarding mask at GoDaddy for my bartlesvillehistory.org domain.
I tried doing the same for my curriculum sales page, but after a day or so the subdomain I created on awardspace’s “onlinewebshop.net” domain stopped working, generating 403 Forbidden errors. I filed a trouble ticket and awardspace revealed that you cannot use “PayPal” on their webpages. That took them out of the running.
I didn’t want to use Google Sites for the curriculum sales page because I simply don’t trust Google anymore after they announced killing off two of my favorite services, iGoogle and Google Reader. So I opted to create my new Inquiry Physics curriculum sales pages on weebly.com at inquiryphysics.weebly.com. Those pages seem to be working okay thus far and were easy to create. I’ve now changed my forwarding mask for the inquiryphysics.org domain.
I’m tempted to eventually switch the entire high school physics website to weebly.com for easier maintenance, but I’ll have to explore its calendar service options. I gave up on using Google Calendar for my classes’ assignments calendars since that service doesn’t offer good live links support; that is why a couple of years back I switched to localendar.com for my class calendars. But I don’t know if localendar.com will prove compatible with weebly.com and having my class pages on the school district’s web server ensures they remain accessible to students through the heavily filtered school district internet service.
Today I upgraded BARTLESVILLEHISTORY.ORG site by incorporating newly scanned larger images into the front page, making them expandable. I also reworked the front page and the links on all subpages so that I could change the forwarding mask. Now, when someone visits the site through the usual masking weblink, the subpages display without revealing the underlying web host. That should allow links visitors decide to bookmark to still work even after the site has to be ported to a new service. I’m trying to do my part to fight link rot. I can’t complain too much: it had been five years since I’d had to update some of the history pages, which is LONG time for the internet.