The Russians? Or just the Indians? Or maybe the Brazilians? Or a mix?
Whoever it was, our old site at TeleRead.com suffered repeated attacks from various IP addresses, maybe real, maybe not.
Stand-alone WordPress may be a joy for live sites with sufficient technical resources. But it is nightmare for archival ones like TeleRead.com. Black-hat hackers love to take them over for spam schemes and the like—and maybe even engage in cyber sabotage along the way.
Clearly the world’s oldest ebook news and views site needed to switch the archives from WordPress to static HTLM and get a backup on a memory key.
If that happened, hackers could no longer infiltrate via corrupted plug-ins; the bastards couldn’t sneak in via something that didn’t exist. Nor would we have to worry about updates of any kind—or watching out for surprise additions to the WordPress Admin list at Teleread.com.
Done! Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader and Valiant Chicken undertook the massive jobs of transferring older postings from our existing host to Reclaim Hosting, owned by Tim Owens and Jim Groom. And then Tim did the actual HTML conversion. I highly recommend both Nate and Reclaim, especially for writers and cash-strapped institutions. You’ll find them very affordable compared to alternatives.
And now here is some WP-to-HTML information from Jim for DIYers, although, if your site is as big and complex as TeleRead and your time is limited like mine, you might want to call in the pros.
Please note that the tool that Reclaim used, Site Sucker, runs on Macs—I don’t own one. You could experiment with other alternatives, including Windows software and WordPress plug-ins, but they may not be able to deal with a site as large and complex as TeleRead.
Granted, the conversion to static HTML from a database-driven arrangement was not flawless—some of TeleRead.org’s interactivity-related features and others vanished. But that just goes with the territory. Main thing is, the hackers can no longer so easily interact, and if somehow they get through, we have a backup. Also, our static HTML pages will load much faster than with WordPress.
On top of everything else, the Wayback machine at the Internet Archive, after stumbling at first, has now indexed the HTMLized incarnation of the old TeleRead.
All this relates to TeleRead.org. TeleRead.com, the site you’re reading now, continues with fresh postings. But, yes, in one form or another, we are in fact the world’s oldest ebook news and views site, going back to the 1990s.
Now, if we can only get marketers, aka “content marketing specialists,” to understand that TeleRead.com is archival only! We still get several requests a week from them.
The current TeleRead.org does not accept ads or even sponsored posts (except on rare occasions for clearly labeled, newsy items about conferences we cover).
Meanwhile we have switched TeleRead.org from standalone WordPress to WordPress.com to slash costs to allow a noncommercial model.
Stray thoughts: Wouldn’t it be great if the people behind WordPress actually came up with a WP-to-HTML plugin that worked even with large sites? Also, how about cPANEL arrangements for DIYers?
And just to clarify .com vs. .org futher: We started out as a part of the old Clark.net, then became an .org but switched to .com when NAPCO Media owned us. Now we’re .org again. The oldest Wayback machine entries start in 1998 although we were around on ClarkNet in 1994 or thereabouts, and as an .org starting in 1997.