My Do-It-Yourself Site-Host

March 2006
by Liz Franklin

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My Do-It-Yourself Site-Host

I’m a small publisher (one
title out, trying to find time and budget for the next) who spent many
frustrating months with a recalcitrant/mysteriously unavailable Web designer. I
was unable to find another who didn’t say “Trust me” (meaning, open-ended
budget), or want me to pay an arm and a leg ($7,000–$8,000) for site
design. Finally, with a deep sigh, I decided to do it myself. And because I’m
not savvy in the ways of the Web, I decided to use a template-type service.

In researching Web-hosting
companies that offered templates, I kept running up against the question of
copyright ownership. Almost every hosting company demanded that new customers
give them full and exclusive rights to use any or all of the customer’s copy
(including book content if I set up a download!) in any manner they chose. When
I called a few to complain, most said something like, “Well, but we’d never
actually do that,” or, “No, there is no way around it.”

Nevertheless, I refused. We work
so hard on securing our copyrights that I just couldn’t see giving them away.

A secondary, but still very
important, issue was quality. The template choices most companies offered were
limited in scope and too simplistic in appearance. I got deeply involved in

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