I'm a pro designer and I don't know why my new pages aren't showing up!
December 11, 2007 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Changes to ComCast-hosted website no longer show up when viewed online, but look fine on my end and when viewing pages on their server. Why?

This has never been a problem before, but I've recently made changes to my website and posted them via Dreamweaver's FTP feature. Pages look correct on my (local) site and when I view them as uploaded to ComCast, through Dreamweaver, they also reflect the changes. But try to view them in a browser, and none of the changes show up - images, text or Flash galleries. And yes, they've been checked on other computers and other browsers.

After talking via chat to someone at ComCast (who simply disconnected me when she ran out of things to say - typical) and someone on the phone who was *completely* ineffective and didn't even understand the concept of FTP, I'm not sure what to do. I'm a web professional and this is a new one. Do I need to host my site elsewhere and just start anew? I need to get this resolved because this is my portfolio site.

The site, if it matters, is www.amymalkoff.com.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
posted by FlyByDay to Computers & Internet (27 answers total)
Have you cleared your cache, shut down the browser, and re-opened it? Have you tried checking or having a friend check your site from a non-Comcast connection? Many Internet providers use proxy servers that cache pages for speed's sake; it's possible that the old version is cached and hasn't gotten refreshed yet?
posted by jenh at 5:24 PM on December 11, 2007


Yes, all of the above. Plus, the changes have been up for over a week and still don't show up.
posted by FlyByDay at 5:32 PM on December 11, 2007

This may sound dumb, but even I have fallen victim to it (and it sounds dumb to me) so it can't hurt to check: are you sure you're saving your changes to the correct folder/directory? Every web host I use is different; sometimes the site is in the www directory, sometimes it's public/web, etc. I uploaded one of my sites to the wrong directory once and went ballistic trying to figure out what went wrong.

Because the site would look fine locally, and would be fine via Dreamweaver (because Dreamweaver is looking in the place where you saved the files) but they wouldn't be viewable on your site if that's the case.
posted by iguanapolitico at 5:34 PM on December 11, 2007

iguanapolitico: Yes, I checked that too. There's only one folder in there. Plus, it's been the same for years. I have no idea what's changed.
posted by FlyByDay at 5:59 PM on December 11, 2007

You're probably going to have to call Comcast back and get someone on the phone who does know what they're talking about. Ask them to escalate the call, ask to talk to their supervisor, etc. etc.

Have all the details ready of your login, FTP address and so on.

It sounds like there's been some server-level change at their end, which they failed to inform you about/the email went into your spam folder.

It's entirely possible that, while the web address of your site remained the same, the actual disk your files are on got changed for their internal reasons.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:03 PM on December 11, 2007

AmbroseChapel: The woman I talked to alternately said that someone would call me tomorrow (but she couldn't guarantee it), and that they "don't handle" these types of things and if I wouldn't create a template site, she couldn't help me. She clearly had absolutely not idea what she was talking about, and after 45 minutes, she said someone else would call me, but I can't imagine that will actually happen. I can try again tomorrow.
posted by FlyByDay at 6:13 PM on December 11, 2007

So when I go to http://www.amymalkoff.com/ and it loads index.asp which is a page with a "blown-glass rocketship" as the background image, is that the old version of the page/site? Are you trying to overwrite existing files or add new ones? If you are trying to upload a new non-asp homepage, the server may have an order of preference (first it uses an index.asp if it fin it, next index.html, next index.htm etc.) If it is new pages rather than updated pages, it could be a permissions issue? (Assuming a unix server, but with ASP it could be Windows)
posted by misterbrandt at 6:14 PM on December 11, 2007

Whether you find the solution to your problem or not, you do indeed need to find a different web host, especially since you mention this is your business.

You want a web host who preferably only does web hosting, or, if they do that and other types of business, has a specific support center just for web hosting. Talking to someone on the phone who doesn't know what FTP is should convince you.
posted by odinsdream at 6:38 PM on December 11, 2007

misterbrandt: no, the main (index) page hasn't been changed, but the "about" page has and the "web" page has and the "print" page has. I even tried deleting the whole site and uploading it again and it's STILL showing the old pages.
posted by FlyByDay at 6:39 PM on December 11, 2007

I've figured out that when I use the unmasked address, the changes ARE there: http://malkoffdesign.home.comcast.net/~malkoffdesign/web.html. But when I use my domain name, they aren't. I'm now trying to figure out why THAT would be. Any ideas?
posted by FlyByDay at 6:45 PM on December 11, 2007

I think someone else nailed it. Your old home page is an .asp page that is using frames. The new home page is .html, which is not. Even if you load a new index.html, the .asp is loading instead. The old web and print pages are also .asp using frames. You need to delete those old .asp pages from the server first.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 7:27 PM on December 11, 2007

It's hard to tell if it's Comcast that is doing the forwarding or not, since it is coded in an .asp page. I can't do a run around on it.

I do get this when I try
so I suspect that there might be a "homepage" setting in your Comcastic account where you direct the forward to the right place. I would definitely look for a new host ASAP.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 7:34 PM on December 11, 2007

strangelefty, but then you could still directly access web.html if it were accessible on the server.

I did a DNS lookup on your domain name - it shows that your "old" site is on servers controlled by "stargateinc.net" which looks like a big-time hosting provider. Most likely they are contracted by comcast to provide their web hosting service? Stupid question though: you're sure you didn't move your domain name to another web host at some point and then forgot about it?

Do you have some sort of "controlpanel" at comcast that controls your DNS settings for your domain name? (did you register amymalkoff.com via comcast? or other?) Can you make sure that amymalkoff.com points to the DNS servers specified by comcast (whether they are comcast.net or these stargateinc.net ones)
posted by misterbrandt at 7:44 PM on December 11, 2007

But yeah, ultimately it is probably best to move your portfolio site to a real webhost where you can get support from people (especially one that also has a "forum" for Q+A among fellow users -- much more helpful typically than a standard knowledge base.) Probably run you $100/year for a middle-of-the-road host (dreamhost, textdrive etc.) You can always go cheaper, of course.
posted by misterbrandt at 7:59 PM on December 11, 2007

strangeleftydoublethink: I see that asp pages are loading, but there are no asp pages visible on the server that I can delete.

stargate is the company where I got my domain name.

Seems like the best thing is just to get a real host. Bah. Thanks for your input!
posted by FlyByDay at 4:11 AM on December 12, 2007

mywebpages.comcast.net and www.amymalkoff.com are two different IP addresses. If www.amymalkoff.com was an alias of the comcast server then they should resolve to the same machine. They dont.

I imagine the problem is that www.amymalkoff.com is pointing to a server you dont have access to. I suggest you review your settings at the domain forwarding server you are using.

www.amymalkoff.com actually resolves to gipple.stargateinc.com. In others words you are blaming comcast for your own mistakes. Your data is at stargateinc.com not comcast.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:08 AM on December 12, 2007

DDA: I think I realized that, and I'm trying to get some response from Stargate, but nothing so far. I think they used to offer domain forwarding for free, and now it costs $1.00, so I bought it but not sure if that will solve the issue.
posted by FlyByDay at 7:22 AM on December 12, 2007

I don't think the data is at stargateinc. I think stargateinc redirect's the domain to wherever she wants. If you look at the source at www.amymalkoff.com, the frames are "URLforwardtop.asp" and "URLforwardbottom.asp". They're forwarded. Me suspecty there's something wrong with those forward pages. (Like they're dynamically generated, but they aren't dynamically generating, and they're showing old stuff.)
posted by iguanapolitico at 7:42 AM on December 12, 2007

where are they being generated?
posted by FlyByDay at 8:19 AM on December 12, 2007

URLforwardtop.asp and URLforwardbottom.asp are at stargateinc.

If you type in http://www.amymalkoff.com/URLforwardtop.asp, you'll see that you're forwarded to http://mywebpages.comcast.net/malkoffdesign/. Specifically, to http://mywebpages.comcast.net/makoffdeisign/index.html. Is that page correct? (URLforwardbottom.asp is blank.)

I think this is harder for us to diagnose because I don't know if what I'm looking at is what's supposed to be there. :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 9:09 AM on December 12, 2007

Holy crap:


is a Javascript redirect to

which is a 302 redirect to


which is a frameset whose 100% top frame is


which is a Javascript redirect to

which is a 302 redirect to


which is a 302 redirect to


which is, finally, some HTML whose Last-Modified header says "Tue, 09 Jan 2007 20:15:04 GMT". Your data is indeed at Comcast, and you are uploading somewhere else.
posted by nicwolff at 9:10 AM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Honestly, I don't know why anyone hosts static Web sites anywhere but in Amazon's S3. You just pay a tiny fee from your existing Amazon account for the storage and traffic you actually use. Here's a page on how to do it.
posted by nicwolff at 9:16 AM on December 12, 2007

OK, that sounded snotty. Everyone doesn't host static Web sites in S3 because it hasn't been marketed for that purpose. What I mean is just that everyone should!
posted by nicwolff at 9:18 AM on December 12, 2007

Whatever you do, when this is over, you never ever want to forward domains, you want to have the name server point to the the right server. if comcast cant do this then go somewhere else.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:50 AM on December 12, 2007

Comcast's online support materials aren't very helpful, but it looks like you can't point the name server to the right server, or if you can't, I can't figure it out.
posted by FlyByDay at 6:15 PM on December 12, 2007

FlyByDay, if your domain name is registered through stargate, you should be setting the DNS with them, not with Comcast. Do you have access to any kind of control panel at stargate? (whether it governs webhosting, DNS, or domain registration info)

Is the root problem that you have domain registration and redirecting with stargate, and "free" (included in ISP) web space at comcast, and you are trying to not pay for additional web space at a host that will let you point your domains DNS settings at it?
posted by misterbrandt at 8:26 PM on December 12, 2007

misterbrandt: It hasn't been a problem in the past, but apparently now is (or something else is going on). I've signed up for a real hosting company and now waiting for the FTP info.
posted by FlyByDay at 7:48 AM on December 16, 2007

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