Sunday, July 15, 2012

InstantPage and Redirect Error

InstantPage wasn't quite instant, mainly due to browser interference, as I said. In the end, I did manage a quite pretty, simple site, with a big photo background, a widget showing the title, and a navigation menu. It seems to be a requirement that the only text on the front page is the title and description. I don't think there's anyway to put a link or blurb right there on the front page. Fine! I was as tired of those one-button pages that say "Enter" as GoDaddy must be. Still, that was my original intent, though I had planned on something more creative than "Enter Site." My workaround was to include a motto or blurb in my photo, though I will be at the mercy of browsers which resize the window and maybe smash the widget on top of my "text." Those were the problems with the wash and wax. It was the mayhem going on under the hood that caused my next problem. I didn't know it, but when I clicked on the InstantPage link, it changed an A record. I didn't know this until I went back to the "main" page I'd built at Blogger. Now, this might have been obvious to someone in the know, that you can't have a static page at GoDaddy and link subdomains of the same site to a hosted page at, say, Blogger. I didn't think so either, but their phone tech had assured me that building a front page with InstantPage would not affect the site I'd already built at Blogger and planned to link to it. My thinking was that I could get rid of the ad-covered landing page that GoDaddy placed as the parking page of my second-level domain (mydomain.com) when I'd registered my domain name. I had already redirected my "www" sub-domain to Blogger. I thought perhaps I could use GoDaddy's starter page to put an entry page at http://mydomain.com. Well, the tech said I could [*mystified*]. (Do I sound like Tom Hank's mama in Apollo 13? Was that movie before you were born?) Now maybe this would have worked if I had not already redirected my subdomain to Google Blogger, pointing the 'www' at my blog.

GoDaddy's InstantPage Thingy

So much for praising GoDaddy. It looked easy there, for a second. Silly me. GoDaddy has a starter page for each domain that they sell. It's all part of the trend of making registrar and host sites look simple and navigable to newbies and tech-impaired, while serving up adequate complexity under the hood to the techies among us. (It think we all know where I belong in that mix). The starter page can barely be said to "start" your site. It's a business card. The background is customizable and can be a photo background. The site does allow for several pages, so that's good. The page editor on that InstantPage® tool is pretty limited, but it could work. It was a problematic to use, with interference from the browser. One browser (Firefox) blocked access to the FTP, I guess. I couldn't upload a photo. The error was generic ~ unknown or unspecified. Thinking it was something I'd done, I spent several hours tweaking and re-editing photos, trying different formats, getting rid of transparency, compressing and checking file size, and changing the dimensions. Finally I opened a support ticket. (I'm not a support-ticket kind of girl, I usually avoid those things). Meanwhile, it did occur to me to try a new browser. I tried Internet Explorer. IE! Oh, groan, groan. The next few hours were dismal, dismal. IE did let me upload a photo, but it returned an ugly security error on every page, growling at me with each one. Och! That horrible growl. I continued in IE ~ I don't know why. A better course of action would have been to save the photo in IE, close the browser, and go back to Firefox. (Well, I'm sure you techies would say, a better course of action would be to install Linux!) I finally got the page saved, but then came the next horror: a DNS redirect error. It's tied to that InstantPage® thingy, so don't go away...