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My First Year as an Amateur Website Administrator


I began running my own website as a hobby nearly a year ago. One website quickly turned into several. Now, I'm running twelve websites. Two are blogs, and the remainder are miscellaneous sites that I've just thrown onto the internet without any marketing whatsoever. So, they pretty much just sit there attracting no traffic. The problem is that my two blogs keep me so busy researching, writing, and marketing that I don't have time to do much with my other websites. And, the little time I have with them I don't want to spend marketing. They were mostly just interesting experiments and opportunities to write some PHP code, anyway.

During the year, I've learned a lot about creating, hosting, and administering websites. And, I already have several "horror" stories to tell--hence the name of this section of my Miscellaneous Stuff blog. It occurred to me that my horror stories might be fun for some people to read. So, I decided to write about some of them. Readers may disagree with the word "horror", preferring to substitute other words or phrases like "pain-in-the-neck". That's fine with me. Call them what you will. As more occur, I'll write about them too.

One thing I've learned first hand is that some domain name registration companies are staffed with thick-headed people convinced of their own infallibility. I was forced to drop Namecheap after they insisted that not letting me connect to my account through the TOR network was for my own security. That's after they repeatedly denied over a period of six months or more that they were blocking me. I use the TOR network as part of one of my on-going projects to see just how much anonymity I can retain while running a website. Yes, a website can be run anonymously, but it isn't easy. Generally, retaining anonymity is just a matter of increased effort and cost, and running a website anonymously is no exception.

I spent dozens of hours during the year emailing and chatting with Namecheap employees repeatedly asking them to unblock my account for the nth time, "n" being a large number that I can only guess at. One chat session lasted more than four hours! It ended with the Namecheap supervisor saying she didn't dare keep me connected any longer. This is after I began the chat session by telling her that I knew they were blocking my account and asking her not to waste both our time going through her troubleshooting flowchart. Her response sounded like a memorized company policy statement about how the flowchart was the one and only way to solve any problem. I finally decided to drop Namecheap and start over with another domain name registration company. So far, problem solved. I haven't had any issues with the new domain registrar letting me connect via TOR.

Stay tuned to this website for more horror stories!

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