Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Death of a Website - But the Dream Lives On!!!

It is with no little sadness that it becomes my duty to report the sad demise of my Weebly-hosted website, 'Beyond The Barred Window', in fact I am thoroughly miserable about it!  That website had come to mean the world to me - and it had been all going so well!  Then a couple of days ago I started up another secondary or annex site specifically to house the artwork and writings of Roger Benson (of whom regular readers of this blog will have heard much before) linked to the main website in various ways.  And when I finally went to bed, having been up half the night lovingly working  away on the new site and uploading all manner of Roger Benson goodies, everything was working wonderfully well - I tucked myself up with a smile on my face and feeling rather smug.  But that smile wasn't destined to last long!

I woke up the next morning (yesterday) to find not only had the new site vanished - all links to it reporting 'error 404, (basically 'page doesn't exist) - but the main 'Beyond The Barred Window' website had also vanished, some 50-odd pages, sections and sub sections.  In short both my lovingly crafted websites had ceased to exist, as totally as if they'd never been.  As if to rub salt in the wounds, I can't log in to the Weebly website creation and tool box site either - I'm locked out, my password not recognised!!!

Having dedicated several months of my life to the site, I felt - I feel - utterly powerless.  Of course I have emailed Weebly technical support, but I am not holding my breath; this has happened to other folk, it turns out, and the response from Weebly tends to be a figerative virtual shrugging of the shoulders.  In fact from what I have read on the Internet while searching for a solution / explanation the consensus seems to be that the best way of making contact with the Weebly technical support team is in through Facebook - and so I have tried that route too, so how true that consensus is remains to be seen. 

If I have infringed Weebly's terms and conditions or created some (presumably new) particularly offensive content - and had I simply been informed / warned of it by email or whatever - of course I would have removed the offending sections / content and left the remainder as is, publishing the offending material elsewhere.  But I have a feeling no human was involved in this...wanton destruction.  I fear that what has happened is that I have fallen victim to some sort of automatic anti-spamming software (as I have come across others discussing on a forum).  And this does seem the most likely explanation considering the way in which my website's disappearance so neatly coincides with my having created that second, annex, site and then set up those links between the two sites, through which I intended to provide a seamless experience to the browsing visitor (just a matter of hours previously).
By for now - I'm off down the pub; check out Twitter or Facebook to find out where, if you are in central London and fancy joining me for a pint or ten.  Then, later, I'll be at The Avenue Gallery in St James's Street at an exhibition of Sam Toff's oft-humorous work (by invitation only - sorry!) Champagne and other goodies I dare say!  But tomorrow!  Ah, tomorrow! 
Tomorrow I start work on building a brand new website - but very much NOT hosted by Weebly!!!  And hopefully, even as we speak Roger Benson is sending me more of his work for inclusion - my plan is for both he and my collaborator, Angela Fox, to have their own dedicated sections, with 'keys to the door' to allow each to edit and add to their own sections independent of me, if that is possible.  The latter aspect is why I set up a whole new site specifically for Roger Benson's work - which seems to have been what caused all the trouble... Oh well... Cheers!


Orage said...

That's a bloody shame! Didn't you save what was included in that website? It seems it's a must now.
You might ask Februs's advice on the Library of Spanking Fiction, he's an expert.
You need to ask for membership first though.

Toyntanen said...

Thanks for the sympathy Orage! Yes I have all the stuff on my computer in various folders but I didn't have it in website format with all the page setup stuff and organised into pages. However, I'm glad to be able to use this oppertunity to report that Weebly, my website's hosting company, got back to me during the night with a couple of links to my published content and as a result this morning before I left home I was able to download both my websites to my computer! What this amounts to is that both websites still exist in their entirety, but at present residing only on my computer

Toyntanen said...

The problem now becomes where to host it. I don't mind paying if only a few squids per month, but I don't to go to the trouble of migrating the site and working on it for several more weeks just to have some judgmental crowd pull it alll down again. In all fairness to Weebly, I hadn't read the terms and conditions - and they HAVE been decent enough to give me access to my files. But having read through the terms and conditions of two or three other free website hosting companies I can't help thinking the adult content thing is going to be a problem.

But good suggestion, Orage. I have already sent an email to the owner of the site, ' The New Institute' asking advice, so I may well act on your suggestion.... Or I could set up my home computer as a file searver - but that would mean running it night and day!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your website problems, I've followed your site for many months. Sure would've been great to see the Benson annex, he's fantastic.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
I will miss "Behind the Barred Window".

Anonymous said...


I'm really sorry about the site. I know you sweated blood over it. This truly sucks.

It may not be censorship. People can be really malicious, and you might have been hacked. Although honestly, it sounds more like censorship.

I've been meaning to comment on your piece on plausibility in spanking fiction, but you havbe no idea how hectic my life has been this past few weeks. I'll try to buckle down and get that done.

Condolences, a big hug, and thanks for all you do.

The Non Victorian Chick

Anonymous said...

Such a shame after all your hard work.

Toyntanen said...

"It may not be censorship. People can be really malicious, and you might have been hacked."

No it very much was censorship, 'Non Victorian Chick'. As far as I can gather it has happened to lots of folk.

But in all fairness, Weebly do state that 'adult' material is not allowed. In fact it seems that none of the free website companies will host 'adult material'.

The real shame is that had I not created a second, stand-alone, website to house Roger Benson's art and drawings, had I just created an internal section within the main site for his work, the chances are that the content - adult or otherwise - would not have been noticed.

At the end of the day, Weebly hosts some ten million sites and employs around twenty-five people in their office. A robot monitors aspects of the sites, and one of the things the software monitors is the likelihood of spamming...

And so my setting up of a second website, linking them together in several ways, flagged up a possible attempt to manipulate website search engine optermisation... and the rest happens automatically... And of course as soon as I email in to ask what has happened, some human gets involved...

But all is not lost (yet)! Remember I talked about getting in touch with the owner of 'The New Institute' website? By which, of course, I meant 'The Original Institute', a website which in some form or other has been running since 1996?

Well, it turns out the owner had lost interest in running the site and had recently pulled down the shutters and shut its doors. But he has kndly given yours truly the oppertunity to reactivate it and use it to house the content of my old Weebly site... so go check out the following link, and let me know what you think. I have had to edit HTML and CSS manualy and so have thus far only up-loaded the smallish Roger Benson section as an experiment and some of the links may not yet work... but give it a try - tell your friends!

Toyntanen said...

PS: When you arrive, scroll down a bit and click on the Roger Benson drawing... Ta!

Orage said...

That's very good news! You have managed to put back almost everything there! Why not add it to your sidebar, mentioning that we can find there more stuff from you?

Toyntanen said...

Hi there, Orage! Thanks for your words of encouragement.

It is really very early days at the moment and a lot of the links on the site / sites possibly will not work correctly. And, for example, the main site (my old main Weebly hosted site)can only be reached by going through the Roger Benson section.

The good news though is that when you DO arrive at either the Roger Benson section or that area housing my old main site you will find all those flash-looking fly-out and pull down-menus still work (even if they may on occasion link to the wrong place) and the background imagery etc is still there, giving those areas their own 'look' separate from the central website within which they reside.