A couple of weeks ago, we had an e-mail from Verizon, our Internet service provider and the host of our website:
As part of our ongoing enhancements to the online customer experience, Verizon continues to ensure security for our Internet customers. As a result of this ongoing effort, Verizon Online is making modifications to the Internet access provided to you. These modifications will occur on August 21, 2011. For security reasons, Verizon will no longer allow users to FTP their HTML files to the personal web site Verizon offers. . . . If you still wish to have a Verizon website, please go to our site builder tool. . . .
Customers immediately complained about this ‘enhancement’, which is really a reduction of benefits and basically puts an end to any but the simplest of web pages. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a common, easy, and frankly essential way to move data between one’s home computer and a remote site, while Verizon’s Site Builder is rudimentary, to say the least. (For our site, we use custom CSS and XHTML through Adobe/Macromedia Dreamweaver software, which has FTP built in.) Nor, as far as we know, has there been any further explanation of the Verizon decision beyond vague ‘security reasons’. Granted that open FTP isn’t secure, but Verizon seem unwilling to offer SFTP, which is. One likely scenario is that Verizon simply don’t want the costs of maintaining server space for personal websites, and are trying to discourage them – not that their free allowance of space per site has been very large, only 10 MB.
We have been forced, therefore, to move our website to another host. Of course, we’re still paying for the ‘privilege’ of one from Verizon as part of our DSL account (we have no good alternative for Internet access here in the wilds of north-western Massachusetts), but looking at the situation realistically, our free Verizon space was already more than half filled, so eventually we would have had to either buy more space from Verizon or move elsewhere. Our site is now hosted by Stablehost, and we have our own domain, www.hammondandscull.com. We had hoped to set up an automatic redirect from our old URL to our new site, but it appears that Verizon’s servers won’t allow it.