Monday, December 05, 2005

Webmaster Woes

As Executive Director of an organization with only one employee (guess who!), one gets to wear many hats. One day I have to be the Finance Department and pay the bills. Another day I get to be the Research Department and read a lot of articles and reports to see how access to HIV medications is being changed. Most days I am a blogger. And some days I need to work on our web site. And on and on and on. It certainly makes life interesting.

Now the last of these tasks, working on the web site, is just a wee bit challenging on the best of days. For many months, I've had some problems with making things work. As usual, I figured, since I know comparatively little about computers, that the fault was mine. It didn't help that a recent service pack for my software seemed to have turn it into an entirely new program with an interface for aliens.

This past week, I decided that it was time to get serious and get the blasted thing updated. So I waded in and did my usual trial, error, look for answers to whatever corner I had backed myself into. Happily, Microsoft has rectified the error of its ways (sorta) and created some online training courses that even I can pass. Sadly, there are a lot of them to catch us poor ignorant geek wannabes up with the changes that they have made in FrontPage. Still, I started tackling them one by one.

I have quite a few training courses to go, but I am making progress. In fact, I made enough progress to try to tackle one or two of the simpler pages on the site. How hard could it be to spiff up the page with contact information or the list of my Board of Directors? Plenty hard, as it turns out. No matter what I did, the server kept returning "responses that FrontPage could not parse."

Late last night it finally dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't the problem. So I contacted our web host for help. Yup. Our FrontPage extensions were corrupt, and it's taking a while to fix them.

In the meantime, the website is now not only out of date but a mess, since some of my changes posted and some didn't. We had over 5,000 page views last month. [sigh] Woe is me!


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