Friday, September 19, 2008

Important lesson #1

All was well for the next few months, my 7 dollar monthy earnings blossomed to a whopping 24 dollars, then averaging around 80 dollars a month at the end of the first year. This was all on a free website in my spare time while working a day job. The free website was getting around 400 visits a day, and I was getting nice emails from people thanking me for offering free clipart collections and good feedback on my other funny site content. I even got a nice email from a teacher saying she was using the website for her students to get clipart and photos for their projects. Little did I know the web world as I knew it was about to come crashing down.

I had mentioned before I especially liked the free host I was using because it was easy to edit and had a nice interface. Well another benefit was there was no forced advertisements, no pop-ups or banners of any kind. Well I woke up one day and got an email from my formerly happy teacher asking how could I put porno pictures on my website. Sure enough, I opened my website and across the top, almost as big as half of the page was a couple of pornographic pictures, and links to other questionable sites. This material appears on every one of their free sites on all the pages. That is why I have not told you the address to my first website or the location of the free host. I will only say they were not based out of the United States. They are still out there and they have porno on the pages. It made me very angry and I am still very disappointed. All of the people that trusted me to provide a cool website were sure I was responsible for the photos and there was nothing I could do.

Now I was the learn the pitfalls of a free website. The web address (domain name) they give you is what is known as a sub-domain. It is a name you choose that goes in front (or behind) of the name of the site. Just like what does with blogspot. This is all fine and dandy until the host decides to discontinue service or makes unacceptable changes. You have no control over the name and cannot take it with you. The 400 hits a day I had built up over the year were lost. My reputation tarnished and all the time it took for people to be able to find my website by searching on search engines like Google and Yahoo was out the window. My 80 dollars a month was lost...

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