Dolls' Houses Past & Present

A website and ezine about dolls' houses: antique, vintage and modern. Plus furniture and accessories.

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Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

I don't think that Facebook would have what we need, in terms of photo categories, discussion topics, file folders, etc. And, as Jenni says, Facebook has its own rules about members - we would have no control over people being blocked from facebook (I mean, we wouldn't be able to get people unblocked, if Facebook had closed their account).

We will most likely be looking at an independent website, created by a web developer, although possibly on a platform like Wordpress, etc. The big issue is how we can transfer all our content from this website to a new one. We could certainly just start up again, but all the information, in terms of discussions, photos of different makes of dolls houses etc, is too valuable to abandon. We may have to save it all manually, but if Webs can be persuaded to give us access to the back back end to copy it, that would make things a lot easier.

--

Rebecca :)

May 27, 2018 at 8:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

I don't think that Facebook would have what we need, in terms of photo categories, discussion topics, file folders, etc. And, as Jenni says, Facebook has its own rules about members - we would have no control over people being blocked from facebook (I mean, we wouldn't be able to get people unblocked, if Facebook had closed their account).

We will most likely be looking at an independent website, created by a web developer, although possibly on a platform like Wordpress, etc. The big issue is how we can transfer all our content from this website to a new one. We could certainly just start up again, but all the information, in terms of discussions, photos of different makes of dolls houses etc, is too valuable to abandon. We may have to save it all manually, but if Webs can be persuaded to give us access to the back back end to copy it, that would make things a lot easier.

--

Rebecca :)

May 27, 2018 at 8:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

I don't think that Facebook would have what we need, in terms of photo categories, discussion topics, file folders, etc. And, as Jenni says, Facebook has its own rules about members - we would have no control over people being blocked from facebook (I mean, we wouldn't be able to get people unblocked, if Facebook had closed their account).

 

We will most likely be looking at an independent website, created by a web developer, although possibly on a platform like Wordpress, etc. The big issue is how we can transfer all our content from this website to a new one. We could certainly just start up again, but all the information, in terms of discussions, photos of different makes of dolls houses etc, is too valuable to abandon. We may have to save it all manually, but if Webs can be persuaded to give us access to the back back end to copy it, that would make things a lot easier.

--

Rebecca :)

May 27, 2018 at 8:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Now I don't know if I have posted twice, or not posted at all! The Case of the Appearing and Disappearing Comment :(

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Rebecca :)

May 27, 2018 at 8:39 AM Flag Quote & Reply

cestina
Member
Posts: 474

If you say it three times, it must be true Rebecca :D

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Cestina's Dollshouses: https://czechdollshouses.blogspot.com/2019/04/in-eclectic-manor_20.html" target="_blank">In an Eclectic Manor

May 27, 2018 at 9:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 587

Such a lot of work, Rebecca. I wish I was more computer savvy and could offer to help, but I'd probably do more harm than good. It is great that you and the moderators are willing to attempt to save the site.

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May 28, 2018 at 1:43 AM Flag Quote & Reply

theinfill.wordpress.com
Member
Posts: 161

Rebecca, I know that they no longer support this version of the software but they must have backup of their own(?)  Are they refusing you access to the backup of your own site?

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May 28, 2018 at 3:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Brooksey
Administrator
Posts: 1722

theinfill.wordpress.com at May 28, 2018 at 3:13 AM

Rebecca, I know that they no longer support this version of the software but they must have backup of their own(?)  Are they refusing you access to the backup of your own site?

Yes.

May 28, 2018 at 4:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Holly
Member
Posts: 168
Sadly they are quite in their rights to do that if it is in the terms of the contract and service provision. Webs is what is basically a host platform that sells the customers an 'out of the box' templated solution to build a website upon at various levels of service. This is quite normal in the way of website provision. It means that the 'owner' of the site ie Rebecca has access to use a standard hard coded website template that she can make minimal changes too using a WYSIWG 'what you see is what you get' editing system where you drag and drop items into basic templates a bit like using word. Some website hosts like this allow users to 'download' their site if they ever leave, but Webs explicitly say that they do not allow this like several other similar website providers so it is not unusual for this type of website provision. Some website hosts allow users what is basically 'FTP' access or File Transfer Protocol which allows their users (Rebecca/administrators) to directly access the back end of the site to transfer files directly into the website directories or remove them. Some out of the box website providers don't do this unless you pay for a premium service which can be very costly and some just don't have that facility whether you pay or not. I am not entirely sure from what Rebecca has said whether she has FTP access. Even if the website 'owner' can access the FTP area they cannot make dramatic changes to the hardcoded framework of the site template. For example like using Microsoft Word , you can add text to a document adjust some parameters add a picture into a document, change the font etc but you can't access Word's programming and totally change the system and how it works. If Webs allow FTP access to the site then things like pictures and text files could be downloaded in an organised manner. If they don't this is not really possible without doing it all manually for example saving pictures back directly off the live site and saving them to a pc with and having to set up files again from scratch. There are also automated processes that could be set up in the backend of the website create webpage redirects if the site was moving to a different website provider host, if Webs allowed it. The actual code of the template that is used to build the website is really useless now as it is so outdated so there would be no benefit in Rebecca downloading the site and copying the code and giving it to a developer as she would not want a defunct site like this rebuilding. The only bits really worth saving apart from the magazine and lines database are the user generated thread content which I would recommend under the GDPR explicit consent was gained to migrate. Without saying too much it may be worth throwing the GDPR at webs. It's a difficult one.
May 28, 2018 at 9:17 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 587

Thanks Holly - it is all beginning to make more sense. It is a shame that we may lose some other things, particularly photos of houses handmade in the past from plans or kits of welll known but now less used publishers such as Woodworker, Hobby's and Hobbies as they are particularly useful in identifying houses that are up for sale etc. and I REALLY would like the assorted story collections to survive as Grecon stories have amused many a group or class of littles during a wet playtime in the past - (not sure if I should have borrowed them - hope nobdy minds!) But the magazines and the Triang photos would be the greatest loss - especially if the Grecon-philes go on writing new stories to amuse me and the small people!

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May 28, 2018 at 10:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

No, we do not have FTP access. They have said that they will not allow it because of their proprietary interest in the code base, although as Holly says, that is useless and outdated, so is not a reason for denying us access.


I do not agree that the magazines and the Lines database are the only things worth saving! Brooksey is already saving the Grecon stories. The photos and information about all the other makes of dolls houses are invaluable, and in fact I think more valuable than the Lines databases, just because Lines are fairly well known, but the smaller, more obscure makers are not - how would we ever be able to recognise a Jenlea or a Victory Nelson dolls house, etc, without them?


If we don't get FTP access, we will save everything manually - the question is not saving it or not, it's the ease with which we can do so.


GDPR will be an issue for us in saving and transferring to a new site, but I don't think it would help me get access from US-based Webs to our content, unfortunately

--

Rebecca :)

May 28, 2018 at 11:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Trumble's Mum
Member
Posts: 587

Rebecca Green at May 28, 2018 at 11:07 AM

No, we do not have FTP access. They have said that they will not allow it because of their proprietary interest in the code base, although as Holly says, that is useless and outdated, so is not a reason for denying us access.


I do not agree that the magazines and the Lines database are the only things worth saving! Brooksey is already saving the Grecon stories. The photos and information about all the other makes of dolls houses are invaluable, and in fact I think more valuable than the Lines databases, just because Lines are fairly well known, but the smaller, more obscure makers are not - how would we ever be able to recognise a Jenlea or a Victory Nelson dolls house, etc, without them?


If we don't get FTP access, we will save everything manually - the question is not saving it or not, it's the ease with which we can do so.


GDPR will be an issue for us in saving and transferring to a new site, but I don't think it would help me get access from US-based Webs to our content, unfortunately

Of course you are right, Rebecca!  I would LOVE to have it all available still, but thought some would be better than none, if we had to make a choice between closing down or just keeping some.

If I'm honest, my own first loves are the handmade/homemade OOAK houses and those of the smaller companies. I see the beauty of the Lines and early Triangs but think there are other houses at least as lovely and also some really quirky ones, like the Victory Nelsons, that appeal to some of us perhaps more than others. ( I now have one and find them really cute).

Also, a great deal of research and effort has been carried out to find out about some more obscure makes and the dedication of those who have carried that out deserves to be honoured.

I SO wish I could help with all the transfering, but don't have the skill. I feel sorry to want others to carry out such a huge amount of work when I can't help.

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May 28, 2018 at 12:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2508

This is the reason that Greconville is hibernating - despite a very important wedding about to take place, They don't wish to be the last straw that breaks the camel's back!

May 28, 2018 at 1:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Holly
Member
Posts: 168

Rebecca Green at May 28, 2018 at 11:07 AM

No, we do not have FTP access. They have said that they will not allow it because of their proprietary interest in the code base, although as Holly says, that is useless and outdated, so is not a reason for denying us access.


I do not agree that the magazines and the Lines database are the only things worth saving! Brooksey is already saving the Grecon stories. The photos and information about all the other makes of dolls houses are invaluable, and in fact I think more valuable than the Lines databases, just because Lines are fairly well known, but the smaller, more obscure makers are not - how would we ever be able to recognise a Jenlea or a Victory Nelson dolls house, etc, without them?


If we don't get FTP access, we will save everything manually - the question is not saving it or not, it's the ease with which we can do so.


GDPR will be an issue for us in saving and transferring to a new site, but I don't think it would help me get access from US-based Webs to our content, unfortunately

"The only bits really worth saving apart from the magazine and lines database are the user generated thread content which I would recommend under the GDPR explicit consent was gained to migrate. Without saying too much it may be worth throwing the GDPR at webs. It's a difficult one."


What I meant Rebecca is there is nothing in the html and code template of the site worth saving. I wasn't casting aspersions on the value of the content of the site just flagging up the fact that it is mainly user based content ie, all the photos, discussions, forum threads etc. apart from the magazine articles all the site content has been populated by various users including yourself of course.


I totally agree that there is some extremely valuable knowledge on the site. 


What I meant re the GDPR is that you could complain to Webs pointing out their deficits in complying with the requirements of the GDPR perhaps suggesting that is one of the reasons why you need to move as leverage. There are lots of things that site owners should be able to do under the GDPR I am not sure that Webs are compliant with, for example the ability for users to download their own data, cookie acceptance etc., and they could end up in hot water or putting their site owners in hot water .


Even though Webs are US based the parameters of the GDPR are that any EU users on foreign websites the website handling their data has to comply with the terms of the GDPR with respect to EU users privacy. For example if a UK user is on a US site the terms of the GDPR apply to any data they share with that site.


Some of us on this site are US, NZ or AUS or elsewhere but many of us are EU.


It is messy I appreciate.








May 28, 2018 at 2:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Brooksey
Administrator
Posts: 1722

Manually saving the site content isn't difficult, it's just very time consuming!


Rebecca has a number of files of articles and their attendant photos from the magazines, so after I saved Issue One, I went back to Greconville. 23 of its 94 albums are now in the bag - 867 photos, and 900 album pages worth of text: all the captions and comments.

May 28, 2018 at 5:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Holly
Member
Posts: 168

You are doing a monumental job Brooksey I admire your fortitude!

Everything can be sorted even if it does have to be the hard way.

Rebecca I wondered if the forum app was a third party app in which case you could liaise with the forum developer and cut Webs out of the middle.

I have never used Webs as a provider so am not familiar with their admin back end but found this info on their site:

This page which suggests that it is possible to get FTP access to the site but you have to switch to HTML mode to do it. 

https://webscom.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/222117888-How-do-I-use-FTP-

"How can I get FTP access?

Because Webs provides a ready-to-use online Site Builder, FTP is a Premium service available only to users in the HTML-only mode.

"FTP is included with the Starter, Enhanced, or Pro Premium service packages for accounts in the HTML mode only. FTP is not included with just a Domain Name or Ad-Free account. You may review which Premium services you have through the Premium section of your Webs ...."


Couldn't you change your package to a premium one or whichever package is FTP eligible one just for a month and switch to the html mode which allows you FTP access get you the functionality you need to move site?




May 28, 2018 at 6:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Holly
Member
Posts: 168

I really wish we could all wave a magic wand and sort it out for you :)

Are there any Grecon Good Fairies...

May 28, 2018 at 6:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Brooksey
Administrator
Posts: 1722

Thank you, Holly! I'd do anything to save what we have here. All the files I've saved so far are also backed up onto a separate USB drive for extra peace of mind.


May 28, 2018 at 7:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Holly
Member
Posts: 168

Manually saving the site content isn't difficult, it's just very time consuming!Rebecca has a number of files of articles and their attendant photos from the magazines, so after I saved Issue One, I went back to Greconville. 23 of its 94 albums are now in the bag - 867 photos, and 900 album pages worth of text: all the captions and comments."

You are a star. Rebecca must be so grateful for your hard work. 

All your hard work could potentially be republished now and even if it had to be done manually some of the content could be summarised if necessary.

There is hope!

May 28, 2018 at 8:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rebecca Green
Site Owner
Posts: 2083

Holly, we have the highest level of premium pro package, but some of the features available at one point were discontinued some time ago. The old FAQ remain online, but have not been current for a long time (one was the option to buy more bandwidth).


On the other hand, this question about FTP is dated 2016, so maybe it would still work - but then, why wouldn't they have mentioned it? Now I wonder if this is available for Site Builder 3, as that looks like the current Webs support site, not the Legacy Webs support site which is for Site Builder 2 users. This is very confusing ... :/ I will try to check it out more ....

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Rebecca :)

May 29, 2018 at 6:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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