February 1, 2002 10:05 AM PST

AOL home page glitches irk users

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Some Web sites hosted on America Online have been hit by outages, leaving their Webmasters unable to update, view or transfer files on their home pages.

The outages, which have struck the AOL Hometown personal Web page area over the past few weeks, resulted from a server upgrade, according to AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham. He stressed that only a "small number" of AOL members may have experienced brief delays in accessing their home pages since the upgrade. He also said the problems were not widespread.

"The vast majority of members hosting their free Web sites on AOL have had no problem at all accessing, uploading or transferring files," Graham said. He added, however, that the problems are still occurring and a full fix should be completed in the "very near future."

There are about 14 million home pages created on AOL, some by AOL members and some nonmembers using the service for free.

Indeed, an informal search on AOL Hometown resulted in blank pages or ones with "server busy" messages. Other links on the site were slow to load or served messages saying the page was not available.

Some people using the service have expressed frustration and anger over the glitches. Many people depend on AOL to host business and personal Web sites.

Nick Proios, an agent at Litsa Ibrahim Real Estate in Queens, N.Y., said he created a Web site on AOL two years ago, which at its peak attracted 90 percent of his firm's inquiries. But since a few weeks ago, inquiries have plummeted 50 percent. Traffic, which had once numbered 100 hits a day, has withered to just two or three hits.

"I'm not a Web designer; I'm not an HTML expert," Proios said. "I don't know how to get another page or another hosting service. I don't have the budget available."

Still, AOL's Graham said that once the service's glitches are fixed, AOL Hometown will be a more robust site.

"We certainly regret any minor inconvenience as we upgrade and improve the AOL Hometown area," he said.

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Graham may have been meaning well in 2002 but ever since Sun Java won the battle with Microsoft Java, AOL's Easy Designer hasn't worked with a tinker's "darn". AOL's members have had to go to outside sources to find alternate routes into their sites and to access EZ Designer.

NOW as of Oct 31,2008 AOL has decided to close it's hometownAOL publishing area where all the member's site pages are stored, effectively ending website hosting for all concerned. They barely gave us 30 days to do it. I, for one, am not only taking my studio site to another server but will also be cancelling my AOL membership. The only reason I've even kept up the membership to this lame server was because of being able to use the storage site for "free"(it came with the subscription). Since wireless here is iffy- they charge a ridiculous amount for it and then limit your usage if you go over their set bandwidth - most of the time you are stuck with the same amount of useage as if you were on dial-up, or you can't get online at all, so I've stayed with dial-up for the stability.

It will take some time to rebuild my website and I will have to do it through the stupid slow and lame dial up that AOL offers, as I can't afford to pay for hosting and rebuilding the site AND another access server but I will get free of AOL as soon as I can.

I don't know about other AOL members, but I'm am angry and I feel cheated out of everything I have paid for and had to deal with from AOL. The only thing your membership pays for now is the phone number that you use to dial-up (if you need AOL's access) and the tech support when AOL screws up. Personally, it's not worth all the headaches I have been through in the last 10yrs with this company.
Posted by Melohawk (1 comment )
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