Is our webmaster spinning us a line?

I have used Rapidweaver build a few sites, but I’m certainly not adept. I’d like some advice, please.

Our non-profit organisation has a voluntary webmaster. I think he uses Wordpress. The following, italicised text is from an email to him as confirmation of a recent meeting.

We understand that there will be a need in the coming future to build another website. This is due to upgrades and advanced server and site-builder software being installed by service provider Panther.

Lack of information and tutorials at the moment make it difficult to advise how this new build can be managed, so it is not possible to establish if any changes to our current website could be introduced during the build, if necessary.

Time required to build and publish the new website is unknown at this time- this may just be hours, but could be days or even weeks. It would not be possible to operate the current website whilst building the new one. Conversion software may be available to assist, but there is no good info available at the moment.

I would have thought that new pages would be created offline, and simply uploaded to override the existing. This webmaster has a few other ideas that clash with my thinking including: refusing to include links to any any social media; not being able to properly spell-check, and being paranoid about privacy… very, very paranoid.

I don’t want to stick my neck out by saying it’s a crock, unless I know I’m on firm ground. Your comments would be appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation.

GeoffPh.

Can you give us a ink to the existing site? Then we should be able to work out what platform it uses and offer more relevant advice.

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In my view, there is no such thing as being too paranoid about privacy. The lack of privacy has become the number one issue on the web.

Depending on what “site-builder” is being used than chances are that new pages aren’t “created offline”, but are done live on the server.

WordPress for example is one that is usually done live on the server.

When I ‘view code’ it looks as though RVsitebuilder is what he uses. I was particularly concerned that he indicated that the site will be down— perhaps for weeks. I would have thought that would spell the end of any host. Panthur, the host, won’t respond to my queries because they say I need the password— I’m the president of the organisation, and I don’t want to upset a volunteer. At the same time, if the volunteer becomes a liability, we’d be better off without him.

GeoffPh

Looks as though RVSitebuilder builds sites on the server, a bit like WordPresss. If they’re rolling out a brand new version it’s not impossible that there’ll be a break in service, but it depends on the host, the platform and all sorts of other stuff.

The bigger question is why you’re so suspicious that a volunteer is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. what’s in it for him?

RVSitebuilder is a server-side CMS(like Wordpress). I don’t know what version your site is using but the last major release was v7.0 almost two years ago.

It shouldn’t take more than a couple hours for the hosting company to apply an update.

Are you sure it’s RVSitebuilder being used?
And is the Panthur hosting this one in Australia?

They aren’t listed as a partner on the RVSitebuilder website and their knowledge base doesn’t mention anything about RVSitebuilder being available.

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G’day Rob,
I can understand your doubt as to why a volunteer would be trying to deceive us, but the fact is that as unlikely as it may seem this bloke is a conspiracy theorist. Among other things he is obsessed with privacy, and won’t allow a lot of things on the website: link to Facebook,Twitter etc. He refuses to scan QR codes, convinced that the govt is tracking him.
It is ‘our’ website (we are a not for profit club) which I built in the first instance, and passed to him many years ago, but he decides what’s permitted and not much is permitted. At his request we appointed one only member to deal with him, but she is getting such negativity from him that she wants to resign. He set up our mail through Horde webmail, and he is, therefore, privy to anything that passes through the Horde server, an we often need to send sensitive information via private mail accounts. I might add that responding to what amounted pretty much to a ransom demand we recently bought him a new laptop. Of course it had to be high end, to replace what he maintained was a unit built to US military specifications. Now he iOS dropping broad hints that his phone is on it’s last legs. We, our most conciliating members, have tried several times to conciliate but he is resolute that what he says goes, and of course he holds the trump card; the passwords.
I could rebuild the site in case it goes pear shaped overnight, but I don’t want to be webmaster; I’m too old now, and my knowledge of the new bells and whistles isn’t up to date— I typed raw HTML back then— well— cut and pasted.
It’s got to the stage where we are looking for prices, but we’re poor… I’ll probably post somewhere today asking people to look at www.solosnetwork.org.au and contact us accordingly.
Thanks for your interest.
Geoff.

G’day Teefers,
No. I’m not sure that RVsitebuilder is being used, but I saw that name in the HTML. I seem to remember that he used Pagemill too.
As I said to another poster, it’s getting pretty bad when the single point of contact (a lady social worker) wants to quit because he is so negative towards everything that we go cap in hand. I should point out that while I have been defending him, the rest of the committee would have sacked him years ago. He is convinced that his information is for sale on the dark web for $200, he will not scan QR codes, and Facebook is anathema to him— yet he edits a website, and uses Microsoft products.
The site is at solosnetwork.org.au
Your comments would be appreciated.
Geoff.

Looks like you are using RVsitebuilder 6.3 (current rel is 7.3).

Funny Panthur doesn’t even show they offer RVsitebuilder (I didn’t look very hard). I know notheing about any of these kind of CMS site builders.

Looking at the site there isn’t much to it. Sounds like it’s time to find a new web person.

As for the password, and being held hostage, your going to have to deal with it sometime.

Thanks mate. That’s about what I expected.
G

People eh? Many times more complicated than websites!

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Just to add the closer: Our webmaster received four, identical, profane and I insulting emails, all supposedly from members of the committee, as though we had all got together and composed some disgraceful text to send to him. He has now gone off in high dudgeon, will not communicate, changed the passwords, and has taken the site down, together with our archived email. That’s spite.
I have begun proceedings through auDA to recover the URL, registered a new domain name, opened a new account with Panthur, and published what night be the worst site on the internet— I’m so rusty, my friends are all getting tetanus shots.
The lesson is: Organisations should not— wait! That should be in caps— should NOT give a webmaster top level/ultimate control.
Webmasters might also note:
If you get run over by a bus, or take off with the CEO’s chicky-babe, can the organisation access what they need to access?
Bah!

The latest:
Negotiations to recover the URL have fallen on stony ground. My organisation, of nine hundred members I might add, does not have an ABN, is not incorporated, and is not a limited company we do not legally exist. Even though I have presented the original certificate of registration of the URL in our name, a letter from the CEO of our parent body (which is Ltd), and other documents, the host is refusing to recognise us and says that he who holds the password is the legal account holder even though he has nothing to prove it, has been expelled from the organisation, and is not answering any attempt at communications. Bah!
auDA want six thousand dollars, the solicitor and a court order would be similar. Blind Freddy can see that we are the entitled owners, but the host is blinkered by bureaucracy. There’s a lesson to be learned.
In the meantime, I’ve registered a new URL, rented some space and built a new site, but it’s a crock. I really don’t know what I’m doing.


Unfortanate,
Since your old URL is a country code top-level domain(ccTLD), ICANN’s can’t get involved. I’ve had to go through the ICANN’s Complant process with trying to get a URL back when a web developer disappeared. The company had invested a lot of money on sign’s, paper, and painted trucks advertising the URL.

It took a long time (about 3 months, mostly waiting), but we got the URL back and it didn’t cost.

Because ccTLDs are managed locally, the rules and policies for registering domain names vary across ccTLDs. So ICANN’s can’t help you out.

BTW solosnetwork.org is available without the .au ccTLD.

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The final resolution is that we got access to our legacy email, and rights to the old site, which is now under a redirect. Things seem to have settled, but the old webby should get help.
Thanks everybody.

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