Just a bit of background to put this in context, I have been creating my own websites now for nearly 20 years. Granted, I am not an HTML writer. I have gravitated and continue to gravitate to packaged solutions to rapid website development. I have created sites in Website Complete, coffee Cup, Wordpress and a host of hosting-site-specific website builders (including Ucraft and the new Network Solutions (NS) builder with which this site and blog were created). I started, back when, with a domain name and then another and another registered with GoDaddy. At the time, they offered Website Complete, a powerful website developer, that had FTP options as well as a launch macro, and upon which I wound up building a half-dozen sites. GoDaddy, after many years, dropped support for Website Complete, and changes to Windows, GoDaddy’s servers, etc. made it difficult to maintain the sites (especially, in terms of keeping them current). When they rolled out their current builder package, I could not bring myself to even think of using it, having been burned by them once before and knowing it is, not unlike this one Network Solutions is offering, not portable to other hosting sites. As my primary business is consulting, and the website has become a primary source of new business, I had to make a move to update it and decided to use Network Solutions because, among other things, they have been around for a long time and, I assumed, had their shit together. I have kept my domain name still registered under GoDaddy, in the case of this site, but have created a new site and am now hosting it on NS. The Website Builder tool is very easy to use, and the site was created and ready to publish in a matter of hours.
Certain questions arose in preparing to publish, such as where and how to add “tags”, do basic SEO, etc. This is where it all went to shit. First, I tried the “FAQs.” I wanted to know how I could add “tags” specific to the pages I created. “FAQs” provides a link to https://knowledge.web.com/. It is then you become painfully aware that Network Solutions is one of three companies (domain.com and web.com) all of which appear to outsource support. There were no useful “FAQs” available that could answer this basic question. I then tried the “Live Chat” button, which presents itself to the right of every page. Live chat, as it turned out, was a bot, not a person, with canned answers that could not answer my question (I have since been told NS is actually implementing people for chat support – we’ll see…). GoDaddy, by the way, has 24/7 support via phone. Ucraft has Live Chat that actually has knowledgeable people on the other end, although there is sometimes a lag between Q&A because they’re troubleshooting multiple issues simultaneously (apparently from overseas). Well, there is that Support tab at the top of the page… The support tab links to a page where a phone number for support 7:00am to Midnight, 7 days a week and an option of creating a Help ticket are presented. Either one is a crap shoot, but I wanted immediate answers so I called the support line. After a bit of a wait on hold, I encountered a tech support rep. (who appeared to be in some eastern European country) that said they did not know how to put “tags” on my web pages. That question needs to be addressed by “MyTime Support”, our pay for support “experts.” Fortunately, for you, he said, it is free for the first 30 days. You put your card on file now and can cancel before they start billing you. Desperate for an answer, I conceded.
The “MyTime Support” Rep. gave me the answer in 20 seconds, and was on my way to enhancing my website pages with “tags.” After I published the site, I know I had to address the security issue. An unsecured site is less-than-attractive these days, so I needed a Secure SSL. Fortunately, Network Solution advertises their Secure SSL services and it seemed a no-brainer. I should note here, that Ucraft, which cost no more than NS, has SSL built into their website builder and hosting package -that’s really a no-brainer! But I was already in it deep with NS and a site that looked good! Paying for the package was simple. Getting it to work required a half dozen phone calls and a half dozen Support Tickets. Eventually, one of the Tech Support Reps. realized that the SSL was properly installed, but had to be turned on by NS. So, he did that and, voila, I was in business. I only lost a week and spent several hours of my valuable time. What irked me more than anything, was the canned answers (using questionable syntax) the support personnel provided to my support Tickets. They essentially cut-and-paste a cook-book answer and closed out the Ticket – without any verification of effectiveness, and was left to open one ticket after another positing the same question in different ways, hoping to get someone who could understand and effectuate an answer that addressed the problem. Now that my 30 days are up, and I have cancelled my “MyTime Support” (because, I find it a bit unconscionable that someone should sell you a product or service without being willing to provide support for same), will my time going forward with Network Solutions continue to be one misery after another?
Given my occupation is quality management systems consulting that focuses, primarily, on international customer-focused based systems (ISO 9001, etc.), I cannot help but feel, in dealing with companies like Network Solutions (which includes my internet provider, mortgage provider, etc.), that appear to have grown so large a to have forgotten that it is all about the customer, that I should be seeking out the “new guy on the block”, who is still hungry for business and is, therefore, responsive to the customer’s needs.
If anyone has knowledge of such a company providing hosting and, ideally, a simple website builder tool, please hit-me-up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!