This whole webmaster stuff is an enormous pain in the neck (sometimes literally).
I have accumulated both a greater respect and greater sympathy for those diligent and silent suffering people who are responsible for keeping everyone’s sites up, running and current.
When I contracted with my web hosting service for design work on the web site, I signed a maintenance deal with them as well, giving me monthly access for updates of content or design changes. Fine print notwithstanding, it was not mentioned that both the blog and the forum, though set up and “modified” by my service, were my responsibility from the moment they went active. And by responsibility, that means any update, version change, upgrade or security fix was my job to implement.
For all of us living in the automatic download and install world of today’s personal computers, that doesn’t sound so tough, right? Except that, with the modifications made to the blog and forum, the only way to maintain those changes in any upgrade or version change is to enable those changes manually.
Are you kidding me? The whole reason I paid for a contract on services was to avoid that very issue in the first place! Nevertheless, that’s the deal and I’m stuck with it. I could hire a webmaster, but that’s a bit premature, considering the volume of visitors to date. Still, the amount of work to do these updates is no less with a small crowd than a large one.
On top of that, the frequency of updates is alarming. Oh sure, they’re all “improving” something (although mostly transparent to novice boy, here), but you think they could just wait until they have a bunch of fixes and go with that. Nah.
Always trying to take a positive from things, I’ve learned a lot about ftp protocols and SQL backups in the last few months (more than I care to know, truth to tell). The job of doing the updates is becoming less teeth-grating, though no less time consuming. And, at least to this point, I don’t seem to have screwed anything up yet. That’s a pretty big plus, I’ll admit.
If practice makes perfect, I should be an expert at this shortly, considering the amount of updates that have arrived in just the few months the web site has been active. During the times of these changes, the blog and forum are “offline”, so if you can’t get to the site every now and then, it’s probably just me manually deleting host server files and uploading new ones in my somewhat-faster-than-a-snail pace. I’m sure I’ll be done by the time you check back. Unless there’s another update.