www.NewStarBooks.com, November 19, 2019. Photo: Eric E. Johnson / Konomark
In the top left of your computer screen, in the bar displaying the URL, you might notice a little yellow triangle with an exclamation mark inside of it.
It appeared there one day in the spring; we first noticed it when a number of you contacted us about encountering a security warning when you clicked on one of the links to our site in the New Star newsletter. The yellow triangle signals a security issue with our site, and (frankly) it’s a big, bright warning sign discouraging users to visit the page.
This sounded like a job for our IT guy, so we put in the call. We had been having other problems with the hosting company, so this felt like an opportune time to make the move away from that outfit, and have our site (physically) hosted closer to home, with a local host, instead of Los Angeles, or Belize, or the Channel Islands, wherever the hosting company is stashing our data.
It was easy-peasy, way back in 2016 CE, to migrate the New Star site from the hosting site operated by a tiny Victoria co. that was getting out of the business, to the new, bleeding-edge, state-of-the-art, everything’s-up-to-date-in-Virtual-City company picked for us as the new site host. We cannot recall even a moment’s difficulty or anxiety in moving our site in 2016.
Remember the 1990s, and “Where do you want to go today?” Well, those days are gone. Three years later, this industry has evolved to a state where, apparently, it has become actually impossible to migrate the site to a different host. Two different, seemingly knowledgeable IT dudes have now told us this, and advised us that the best approach would be to just leave things as they are, and build an entirely new website from scratch on a new host. The hosting company we’re using now is the only web host in the world that can handle our site.
That doesn’t make any sense. Except, apparently, here in the new age, it does.
Maybe the most frustrating and discouraging aspect of our futile efforts to get our website back is that nobody seems to have a clear understanding themselves of what the problem/s is/are. Nobody seems to understand why the site security warning started popping up, and they don’t have an answer for what do to about it. (We thought we did: Please, get us off the awful hosting site! but that, it turns out, isn’t an option anymore.) Nobody has been able to explain what’s so difficult about moving this site this year, when it wasn’t difficult at all in 2016. “Start all over again from scratch,” is the best and only advice we are getting. It’s like your auto mechanic advising you to buy a new car because the misfire you’re experiencing is just too gnarly for them to get into.
So we might be stuck with that yellow triangle until we can either put together the capital to build a brand new site from scratch, or until we can find someone capable to diagnose, and repair, whatever is preventing us — and you — from getting the full use out of www.NewStarBooks.com the way it was originally designed and built.
In the meantime, we’re going to resume posting stories on our blog, and do our best to ignore the the security certificate warnings and the other problems dogging the site — the shopping cart that has room for only one book, for instance. We honestly believe you will not be injured in any way by clicking on our website links. And maybe, in 2020 or 2021, we’ll be able to find a solution to these apparently insurmountable technical issues.
Watch this deprecated space for stories, about the interesting books we’ve released this year, like this one, and this one, and this one; and ones we’re working on for next year, like this one, and this one; as well as other news and views about the press’s work.